(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
A couple weeks ago, I went camping in Indiana with my family and a few of our friends. It’s our annual fall camping trip together, and we have been doing it for the last several years. Well, my friend (who is a part of The Few and my Bible Study group) and I have made it a goal to do Bible Study and pray together as much as we can over the course of the camping trip.
So, when it ended up raining most of the day, we decided to go up to the campground’s café to study and pray together. We went into the café and there were a ton of kids in there playing air hockey and a bunch of other loud games. It wasn’t exactly quiet or peaceful, but we sat down our stuff and started to dig in.
After about ten minutes of Bible reading and discussion, a teenage boy walks up to us and asked what we were doing. We replied that we were doing Bible Study together. He said, “Oh that’s cool!”, and sat down at the table right next to us and got on his phone.
My friend and I may not be the “brightest” people alive, but we both knew that he was listening to our conversation.
We were aware of our surroundings, and we were intentional with how we spoke. Listen guys, this may be the only time this guy ever hears about Jesus, and I wanted to use the opportunity that the Lord was giving us.
A few minutes later, he moved to the other end of our table. One seat away from my friend.
Then, he starts to talk to a couple of other teens at the table across from us. As he does, one of those guys asked him, “What are those girls doing over there?” Guess what his response was? “Oh, they are doing Bible Study.’’
Meanwhile, my friend and I were still talking. You know, we were trying to play it cool and mind our own business. But the truth was, we were both listening to what was going on around us.
Almost immediately, the second guy stood right up and came over to our table, sitting so that there was one chair between me and him. So, my friend and I were sitting at one end of the table facing each other and then there’s two teenage boys at the other end of our table facing each other.
Yeah, it was a little awkward.
Finally, the guy sitting next to me says, “I hear you guys are doing Bible Study. I’m not really familiar with your culture, could you tell me about it?” What he really meant to say was “religion”, but I looked at him and said that we would love to tell him. I asked him, “What would you like to know? Anything specific?”
In my head I’m thinking, “How am I going to sum up the entire Bible in three minutes? Do I have one of the Bibles that we use to explain the Gospel to someone in my bag? And thirdly, are they both just trying to play my friend and I to get our phone numbers or something?”
The guy responds by telling us that he has been to a bunch of different churches and started listing off a bunch of denominations. He told us that he had been to a catholic school and was honestly just confused by it all. After all of that, he then says, “Let’s just start in Genesis. Tell me what that’s about.”
At this point, I am thinking, “Dude, there is a LOT in Genesis. But I also thought, what if I forget something important, or what if I don’t know as much as I should.”
So, my friend and I explained that Genesis tells us about how God created the world, and how Adam and Eve sinned and were kicked out of the garden; how that eventually resulted in the flood and so on. You could tell that both of them were really listening to what we were explaining.
We told them that the point of Christianity is Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross.
The guy beside me got up and thanked us for going over that with him, and said that it helped him understand a lot more. However, the other guy just sat there. I looked over at him and asked what he thought about all we had just discussed.
He responded with, “I don’t think that anyone ever lands on one thing. Like, no one believes 100% in something.” We told him that we understood where he was coming from, but we also told him that we had both given our lives over to the Lord, and that we believe that Jesus died for our sin. 100%.
I asked how I could pray for him, and he said that he has had three cardiac arrests in his lifetime, and he was only 15 years old. In almost an angry tone he said, “So I’ve been prayed for a lot,” and then he got up without another word and left.
Long story short, we wrapped up our study a little while later and as we were gathering our stuff and walking out of the café, the other teen who had asked about Genesis and our “culture” walked back in and thanked us again.
We asked if we could pray for him, and he said yes. I see God in all of this! My friend will tell you that a year and a half ago she would have never prayed out loud, let alone for a stranger in the middle of a campground café.
I share this story with y’all because that’s what I call real ministry. That should happen to us everywhere we go if we are genuine followers of Jesus.
I love what James 4:3-5 says, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit He made to dwell in us envies intensely?”
Guys, it would have been so easy for me and my friend to have said that we were just talking or hanging out when that boy asked us what we were doing. But because we have the Holy Spirit, and He taught us at that time what we should say (Luke 12:12) we were able to see God move.
We didn’t have to tell him what we were really doing. I mean, what if he got mad at us or made a scene? That’s what I call a friendship with the world. It’s when you constantly live in a fear of what people think, and what they will do and then you miss out on what the Holy Spirit wants to do through you.
I never want the Holy Spirit to envy what I am doing or feel forgotten because I’m so wrapped up and focused on the world.
“If our lives do not reflect the fruit of following Jesus, then we are foolish to think that we are actually followers of Jesus in the first place.” (David Platt)
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= What kind of things keep you from living for Jesus?
= What did Jesus want you to do recently that you walked into or ignored?
= What are you going to do differently?