EPIKOS CHURCH - REAL PEOPLE. REAL STORIES. AMAZING GOD.
When I woke up Sunday morning I had no idea that I'd make a new friend named Jerry and definitely no idea that I'd make two new friends named Jerry. The truth is that I probably shouldn't have made friends with "Jerry Squared" anyway. I drove home from San Francisco on Saturday and pulled in the driveway about 4:30am. When I finally woke up it was already 9:30am and I planned to be at church by 10:30. One hour... well that's just enough time to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, drink a cup of coffee or three and see the kickoff of a Sunday football game. I was all geared up for a typical Sunday morning and when I came downstairs my wife was cooking pancakes. Definitely no time to leave the house and what are the odds that a couple of Jerry's would show up on my doorstep at 9:30 on a Sunday morning? The only problem with that scenario is that I am a follower of Jesus and followers of Jesus give up their rights to live "typical lives". We have to be alert and ready to follow His lead at all times. And on this Sunday morning I was well aware that He didn't want me showing up to church without having gone out to invite others.
You see, I had been wrestling around all weekend with the question of why am I so slow to tell people about Jesus. Why do I hesitate, why do I always look for a better opportunity later? All weekend I knew that the Lord was talking to me and trying to help me let go of the things that were holding me back. I realized that I often wait because I want to be sure that when I do share I will be effective. In farmers terms, if I'm going to plant the seed I want to be sure the soil is ready and that conditions are perfect. I don't want to waste the seed on bad ground. I mean if I share Jesus and it gets rejected then I get rejected. If I mess up how I share then maybe I'll blow the opportunity for them. If I... If it... If... Yes, it seems there are a lot of hurdles to jump to "get ready" to actually just share the amazing story of how Jesus loves people and how He has made a way for them to be reconciled to God. All weekend I could sense God was telling me to get out of the way. He was saying "Quit watching for perfect conditions and just start scattering the seeds!".
There's an interesting passage in the Bible about a horrible sower. This is a sower that would quickly get fired if he were working for a commercial farmer. Take a look at his story.
Luke 8:4-8 ESV
"And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold." As he said these things, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Seriously could you imagine if you hired someone to sow seed for you and they took the bag out and scattered all over the rocks and thorns!! I'm sure you'd have some nice words for them like "Pack your bags and don't come back tomorrow! Yet the Bible doesn't say anything negative about this sower at all. Why? The simple answer is that he has an unlimited seed supply. We are particular about where we sow because we have limited seed and limited labor. God does not have this problem. He has an unlimited supply and because of that unlimited supply He only has one priority. Get the seed out of the bag and onto the ground! Get it out there, scatter it and let it grow.
This is the call of God to us. Stop analyzing people, stop analyzing our delivery methods, stop making the gospel about ourselves as the sower and just scatter the seed. Stop getting in the way of His desire to reach people because we are worried about how they might respond. In God's world a great sower isn't one that plants every seed perfectly for growth. A great sower is one that gets the seed out of the bag and onto the ground and keeps coming back to fill up again.
This is the call that was working on my heart all weekend and I just couldn't get comfortable with eating pancakes, watching football and going to church alone because "I hadn't found the right opportunity this week to invite someone." With this pressing on my heart I jumped in my car drove to Walmart and that's where I met my new friends Jerry, Jerry Jr. and a dog names sweetie. All three of them came over to share our pancakes and followed us over to church. They left half way through the service and I don't know if I'll ever meet them again. Maybe they will become a permanent part of my life, maybe I'm just a piece of their journey toward a relationship with Jesus or maybe they couldn't care less about anything but the pancakes. I may never know what happens with the seed I sowed but what I do know is that for at least one day I got out of my own way and just went out to share the love of Jesus with someone who needed it.
I pray that God will work this freedom into your heart the way that He is working it into my heart. Here are a few other scripture passages to help you with the process of letting go of yourself so you can experience the freedom to be a great sower.
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. NLV
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” NLV