January 24, 2015
"But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." Matthew 19:11
When we lived in California, I was on a mission. I mean, we moved there for me to pursue acting on a Mega Professional level. But I felt called to another mission while I was in pursuit of my acting career.
I wanted to be used by God and led by the Holy Spirit to bring about change all around me. I wanted to create an eternal impact.
I'd walk the streets headed to or from somewhere also wondering where God would lead me for that day. Would I share the gospel with someone? Would I be used by God as His hands and feet and share some food with someone, or just give them a few minutes of my time to encourage or pray with them?
I was excited and ready to go. I just needed my ears and eyes clear and in tune with God's Holy Spirit so I would not miss an opportunity.
One day I was walking through North Hollywood, I saw a guy. He was sitting back pretty close to an closed office building. I could tell he was homeless, because he had his blankets, and a jacket on with a shopping cart parked next to him. I wondered if he was the person I was supposed to be a blessing to. I decided that I would buy him lunch. I was thinking that morning, that God would lead me to someone to buy lunch for anyway. I had actually come from window shopping, and I was hungry. I thought to myself, why not use the money that I plan on using for myself to buy someone else lunch. So when I saw him, I figured he was the one.
I went to nearby doughnut shop and purchased some orange juice and a ham and cheese breakfast sandwich. While walking back toward him, I prayed and asked God to lead me and shine His light through me. When I got to him, I said, "Excuse me sir, I got this extra food and wanted to share it." He took one look at me and said, "No thanks!" I asked if he was sure, and he responded with, "Yes, I don't want it." He seemed to have a bit of an attitude, which I brushed off as the enemy trying to discourage me. I persisted with, "Well, I'll leave it here, and if you change your mind, it'll be here for you to eat later." His response was, "I won't." to which I said, "You might." The last thing he said as I set the food down and began walking away was, "Trust me. I won't." I said okay and God bless you. Then I left.
I walked off feeling a bit icky and unsure about what I had done. Was that the right thing? Did I handle that well? Lord was that entire exchange genuine on my part? Was I reflection of You? Or was that me being prideful? A few minutes later, I saw an older lady walking with a shopping cart. She was also homeless. That's when I had a thought, Was she the one I should have given the food to? I felt so bad, and asked God to give me peace over the situation. I said, "Lord, please forgive me if I missed the mark. If I wasn't supposed to give the food to the man, but I just did it out of some character unrelated to You, I am sorry. If it was meant for her, and I gave away her blessing, forgive me." I asked Him to send someone else along to bless her with food if she indeed needed food.
I will never know if that man ate the food or not. I will never know if it was really meant for me to give that food to the lady I saw after leaving the man. But I do know this, God has given us a gift. He has given us Jesus. Through Jesus, we have eternal life, we have life to the fullest. It is the greatest gift ever. It is the gift of salvation, and it comes from accepting Jesus as our lord and savior.
The gift He has given, was not meant to be hidden away in a closet. We as Christ followers are called to share this gift with others. But not everyone will want what we have to give them. Not everyone will receive it. We don't force this gift on anyone, and neither does God. We offer it. That is our task.
Later that day, I wondered if I was more focused on forcing the guy to take the food and complete the task rather than sharing the love of Jesus with Him. Like, maybe my attitude was, Look, you are homeless and I am not. I know you are hungry, so take this food I bought you. I am doing you a favor, so take it cause I know you want it. And then say thank you! I wondered if I was so focused on making him realize that he needed the food and I was doing him a favor that I missed the true task.
And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." Matthew 10:14
Jesus tells us to shake the dust off of our feet when people don't receive us or hear our message. Let it go and move on! We do this in love, but we do not let it hold us back. It may not be their time, they may change their mind and receive it later down the road from someone else. Or they may never receive it. That is not on us. If we've done what we were called to do, and we were not received, we must not stay focused on changing that. We must move forward in order not to miss the task God has for us.