“Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit”, says the Lord GOD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
This morning our class of 20-plus students completed a course that enlarges our vision to new horizons of God’s Kingdom. Admittedly, some of us, including myself, really crammed for our examination like university freshmen with a sleepless night. The good thing about this is that we seem serious enough to endure for God’s purpose in our individual lives. Such enthusiastic commitment to the divine calling can be contagious.
Apparently, this awakening of the urgency to “save souls” is a result of the rampant COVID-19 virus which has swept across our world with astonishing numbers of innocent and civilian casualties, including the frail, the elderly, the homeless and unfortunately, lots of dedicated front line medical personnel. The tragic fact of 1.56 million people slipping from life to death globally within the last 9 months is enough to shake up everyone into the realization of the brevity of life, the futility of human efforts to secure for our earthly existence.
People ask where is a good and merciful God in their anguish, distress, confusion and even anger. God’s people instead seize this golden opportunity to train up soldiers for Christ. Harvest is ready, and we must be prepared to reap the harvest. I really believe that Holy Spirit has shone upon the Toronto Short Term Mission. Great passion and sense of mission have been ignited among its leadership and courses after courses on phone evangelism have been launched on Zoom online, attended by Christians across the world. I am privileged to have joined the 7th “Jesus loves Toronto” in August. Due to the pandemic, it has switched to using telephones & smartphones to spread the Gospel beyond Chinatown. What seems to be a calamity has become a blessing as Christian workers are revived to respond to Christ’s Great Commission.
To keep up with this zealous spirit, God gave me this amazing course on conversational evangelism from late September to early December 2020. “Amazing” because it is a real breakthrough. In as much as it purposely aims at cracking up misconceptions and dubious beliefs of the “Unsaved”, so that they can see Jesus Christ as the truth and true light of the world. It first cracks our mindset, and discards lots of our old and unwise approaches. Above all, it attempts to correct our mistakes of talking without listening, preaching before scrutinizing and feeding without discerning the appetite.
The 4 models of a listening musician, an illuminating painter, an uncovering archaeologist and a constructing builder together form a very powerful tool to detect negative attitudes, lower defensive barriers, expose conflicting concepts and beliefs, and dig up hidden intellectual, emotional or volitional baggage. Finally through prayers, Holy Spirit leads people to see Lord Jesus as the hope and answer for humanity.
My Gospel outreach instructor is a great lecturer who has inspired the class with her well prepared and presented classes. God has given her wisdom and loyalty. The 2 textbooks were well chosen for fundamental Christianity and evangelism. The challenging questions raised by many non-believers she counters are used for thought provocative class discussions. My fellow students have been very interactive not just in the theory classes but also in the transparent sharing time after each practicum. The Tuesday theory classes were matched by the Thursday practicum when we called up real Gospel audiences — store keepers, relatives and friends. It has always been thrilling for me because I could sense the Holy Spirit leading us (a team of 3 to 4 persons) to go out fishing. Here was where our faith was put to test. It was not how much fishes we caught that count, it was how close we came to Christ, how cohesive our team was in the Holy Spirit before we could be of any use to the Lord.
Truly, there is a time for everything. Progressively, God will transform us all into His top-notch soldiers in His spiritual warfare. Firstly, He purifies our hearts to be Dove-like — hearts with a Godly compassion for “the Lost” in this End Time while cracking our cemented sheep-brains corrupted by erroneous thinking and conversational habits, and finally ripping off our small-sized skin so we can possibly grow into wiser and bigger serpents. Hallelujah.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent doves.” Matthew 10:16.