In this day and age, and I guess all throughout history, man has been, particularly when it comes to business, goal-oriented. We are creatures of the flesh: seeing, wanting, craving, and needing statistics and the facts and figures that go with it. After all, aren’t we supposed to get back a return for our investment? This thinking has even found its way into our witnessing efforts and I’ll admit to endorse the view that if something works — don’t get in the way! But what of those ways as yet untried and never receiving recognition? What of all the efforts that have apparently ‘failed’ which have not seemingly borne fruit? And what of the attempts which were made by the few whose unknown labor went unnoticed? Is any faithful effort wasted… is any seed sown to His glory unfruitful… does any of the falling rain not fulfill its purpose… does His Word ever return to Him void? (Isa 55:10-11).
This is not to say that we either knowingly waste time and resources or cast our pearls before the obviously maddened and irreverent crowd. But as is so often the case, we don’t know the outcome of our preaching so it’s best to prayerfully try! The best we can do is to plant and water hoping that God provides the increase. It was never intended for us to know the results in advance and even when faced with supposed lack of success, there is always a wealth of experience we can draw from, fond fellowship to strengthen our bonds, verses to be made more familiar and ever more ready at our fingertips and on our tongues, improvements in public speaking and debates, Scriptures enabled to be unwrested, and unlimited added insight into our spiritual conversations. Who knows if that particular form of preaching will work?!
The point is… just preach!
In the parable of the sower, the seed was scattered everywhere. The sower wasn’t careful to specifically scatter the seed on fertile ground… it went everywhere… and that’s our job… to preach to everyone and anyone.
Our human nature always wants results right away and I’m no different. It’s wonderful to see the fruit of our labor! Yet plants begin to grow slowly at first as the Word did in us. God was patient, as we should be.
A brother at an ASK meeting not too long ago remarked that we ought to be more ‘task-oriented,’ that is to keep our objective in mind that we have been commissioned to witness, not to ensure the results. Jeremiah, Noah, and even Jesus couldn’t guarantee success in their preaching, but we do know it helped save them!
It would be wonderful to have an assured amount of converts every time but let’s keep witnessing anyway as we are assured of a great reward in our faithful attempt! (And yes, there are those still waiting to be called.)
The seed never sees the flower… we don’t know what our efforts today will bring tomorrow and we may never see its fruits in this lifetime… but God sees the flower — the end result. So, plant those seeds and let God take care of the rest… the flowers will come!
From an Autumn Editorial: Ontario Ask Newsletter