I recently attended a Ladies Conference where I was blessed to hear the testimony of Vani Marshall. She shared a moving story of her radical transformation and conversion from Hinduism to Christianity.
I was asked to lead worship at this conference, and in preparation, my prayer was that God would give us a fresh revelation of who He is, and who we are in Him.
That’s exactly what He did!
I was reminded of just how powerful God is and the lengths He goes to in order to reach those who are hungry and searching for Him.
During Vani Marshall’s testimony, and in the days following the conference, one small detail took root in my heart – the realization that most people really don’t know Him.
In America, it’s easy to take for granted that everyone knows who Jesus is. But the reality is, while that name is well known, the bearer of that name is completely foreign to a majority of the people in this world.
Vani Marshall shared that Hindus worship millions of gods. Among those, is a god they call the ‘unknown’ god. Marshall’s curiosity about the unknown god was an interesting, and humorous, piece of her story.
How sad that so many people worship and give honor to a god they don’t even know.
They don’t know his name.
They don’t know his power.
They don’t know his love.
They don’t know anything about him.
Still, they worship this god with a sacred devotion.
In Acts 17, we find Paul in Athens. There, he finds an altar with the inscription, “To The Unknown God.” When the people of Athens ask him to teach, Paul’s response is to draw attention to the fact that they worship a god they do not know.
He said it like this in verse 23: “I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”
Paul’s response to these people was to introduce the God that they could actually know, and His name is Jesus.
To so many in our world, just like in Acts 17, Jesus is the unknown God.
We know Him, and love Him. But, our knowledge of Him should not, and cannot stop with us. We know Him, which means we have a responsibility to make Him known!
Matthew 28:19 commands us to Go and teach all nations!
Our job is not to judge who is worthy enough or hungry enough to hear the Gospel. Our job isn’t to judge who may or may not want to listen. Our job is not to transform people or manufacture some supernatural experience. We don’t even have to say and do everything perfectly.
We simply have to make Him known.
The rest is up to Him! And, He’s powerful enough to touch and change someone’s life all on His own.
For our part, it’s not really hard to make Him known. We often make it seem too difficult and scary. We take the possible rejection solely upon our own shoulders, and thus walk silently through our lives to avoid it.
But a world is waiting, searching, and praying for someone who can make Him known.
Today, I was helping my husband work at the church. A woman approached me with tears in her eyes, asking for prayer. She was obviously struggling with substance abuse, and had recently been abandoned by her boyfriend, who was also struggling with drug addiction.
She had no idea where to turn, or what to do. But something encouraged her to ask me to pray for her.
So, I did.
Right there on the sidewalk in downtown Seattle.
No, she didn’t get the Holy Ghost. No, there were no fireworks or booms of thunder.
When I finished praying, she thanked me and left. But, now she knows a there’s a church that will not judge her or shun her. Now, she knows there is someone who will take time out of their busy day to pray with her.
And through that, I believe that in that small prayer on a sidewalk, she had an experience with the one who she really needs.
Yeah, it’s a little awkward to do something like that. It’s much easier to say, “sure, we will pray for you on Sunday,” and then leave it at that.
But, being willing to stop and acknowledge a person, to show them that there is a God who, right now, is willing to listen to them. That’s more impacting than a thousand promises of prayer later.
I may never see this girl again. Then again, she may be at church on Sunday.
And, if I continue to do my part to make Him known to the world around me, one-by-one, people are going to know who Jesus is.
I can’t make a city of 700,000 people meet Jesus. I can’t reach a world of 6 Billion people.
But I can introduce one person to Jesus. And Jesus can turn that person into a Peter or Paul that can reach thousands.
That’s His job, not mine. Mine is to make Him known to one person at a time.
I’m blessed enough to know Him. Others deserve to know Him too.