Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blind friends

When someone first surrenders their life to Jesus, they normally experience overwhelming love for Him and an urge to tell everyone about their Lord, about salvation, about this amazing new life that they found. But what often happens, is the people they'd been closest to, the ones they were most certain would embrace their new faith, reject it outright. 

It hurts. It’s a shock, like a bucket of cold water. A lot of new Christians can’t understand how their dearest and most trusted friends and family just don't see what they see. So they talk, argue, debate, pressure and drag these people to church who for some reason are resistant and resentful.

It’s frustrating, but the Bible explains it. There is a god of this world. A false god who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), who dulls people’s minds to the amazing glory of Jesus, and blinds them to the life they could have if they surrendered to Him. This god will convince them that they already have God, that they're already saved, that they're just fine, thank-you very much. Of course everyone has free will, and everyone has the ability to reject the influence of this god, and to listen to their loved one’s testimony who is obviously deeply changed by this faith. But that’s where the dividing line among people shows very clearly. This is where you can see the true state of someone’s heart and whether they're just pretending to believe in God or not. 

If your dearest friend who says that they've always loved God is irritated at your faith, don't try to argue them into anything. It’s probably the time to back off and allow God to do what only He can in their heart. If they don't want God, or if they're just putting on an act of spirituality, no amount of convincing is going to change them. Might as well save your breath and just pray for them. It’s hard to believe that a faithful lifelong friend would, or could be false, but now that you serve Jesus as your Lord, your top priority is to defend this precious faith inside of you. You need to see the reality that deceiving spirits work in even the nicest people.  

Telling them your testimony, the testimonies of others, answering their questions and encouraging them to come to church for counseling is important, but once you’ve said all there is to say, it’s time to trust that you've planted a seed that God can use when your loved one is ready — if they are ever ready. That’s the sacrifice many have to make. To let go of a relationship that is no longer healthy for their faith while entrusting those loved ones to God. Lowering yourself to the same spiritual level as they are is not showing them love, even though that’s what they want you to do in order to stay close to them. But fighting on their behalf against the false god that is blinding them is the truest love you can offer. Most likely they'll be offended that you aren't like them anymore, and that false god will convince them of all sorts of negative things about you. Don't be discouraged. Just focus on your fight and love them as God wants. This is a part of our daily sacrifice of the flesh, and the only way God can be given the space He needs to work in their blinded hearts. 

…the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  (2 Corinthians 4:4 HCSB)

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