Jerry Wiles on The Alertness Factor: Connecting with God’s Redemptive Activity

Shopping Trips – On Mission with God

God is at work at all times, and in every place.  Being alert to our environment and the people around us enables us to connect with His redemptive activity.  Connecting with people and making new friends is not as difficult as we might think.  Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a friendly greeting, a comment or a question.  Being alert and watching for those opportunities can make a difference in whether we connect with what God is doing in people’s lives, or missing those opportunities.   It’s easy to be so focused on our shopping lists that we fail to notice the people around us.

On a recent shopping trip I simply asked a lady, who was looking over the meat selections, “Are you a salmon connoisseur?”  Well, that question opened a conversation and she began telling me about her shopping practices.  I complimented a store worker and expressed my appreciations for the way they arranged their products in the store.  That lead to a conversation about the worker’s recent move from Detroit to Houston.  So, I asked, “How would you characterize the difference in the spiritual climate in the two cities?”  Those are general and non-threatening ways of connecting and engaging with people that often lead to spiritual conversations.

Sowing Seeds and Sharing Good News

Notice how most people tend to talk to each other more during difficult or crisis times.  When bad things are happening in the world, or when people are experiencing great difficulties, it often provides witness and ministry opportunities.  Simply offering to pray for someone may be the most appropriate thing to do.  Most people, of any religious tradition or none at all, are generally open to receiving prayer.  One seldom knows when the Seed of God’s Word will connect with fertile soil.  However, being alert and prepared to speak a word of testimony or encouragement is something each of us can do.

Many followers of Jesus have a desire to reach out and minister to others, but have difficulty getting started.  An awareness and recognition that God is at work to draw people to Himself can make a big difference in our fruitfulness as ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors of Christ.  Think of being a Seed Sower and a Good News reporter.  We just seldom know the condition of people’s hearts or how the Lord is at work in their lives until we connect with them.  Perhaps it’s as simple as saying something like, “Those are nice shoes, are you a runner?”  Or, “That’s an interesting cap, or T-shirt.”

Walking in the neighborhood, on a shopping trip, a visit to a medical center or airport are all places to engage with people.  When we are conscious of the fact that we are “On Mission with God,” we will recognize all kinds of opportunities for Kingdom connections.  Most of all, it’s the fulness of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Christ that is central to everything.

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SOURCE: Assist News