One of the pastors of our church recently said something in conversation that stuck with me. She said “I can’t be the Holy Spirit”. We were talking about people we know who are lost. People who need a personal relationship with Christ. And we were discussing efforts to help them along. It can be very frustrating. We are called to fish for men. But sometimes the fish don’t bite. We can put the bait in the water, but we can’t make the fish bite. As much as we would like to talk someone into becoming a sold-out follower of Christ, we can’t be the Holy Spirit.
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'” Matthew 4:19
Our command to be fishers of men is simple. We are to reach out with the Gospel to all. We should be continually looking for opportunities to share Christ with others. Where ever we go, whatever we are doing, we should have this goal in mind. Some take this more seriously that others. There are those who take the Word of God to street corners. To dangerous, unfriendly places, just like we are commanded to do. Others take a more passive approach and believe that just by living as an example of a follower, friends and family will take notice.
We are ALL called to spread the Gospel. But it’s not our sharing of the Gospel that saves. It’s the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to lead people to the truth, but we cannot force the Holy spirit into someone. As much as I would like to do that with some specific people in general, we cannot. Ultimately the choice to follow Christ is just that, a choice. And it’s not a choice that can be forced upon someone. What I can do is present someone with the truth. And pray that the person in front of me can open their eyes and ears to the truth so that the Holy Spirit can indwell.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13
I pray this for several specific people. Who do you need to pray will have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth?