Are You a Normal Believer, Coming and Going?
I can still remember sitting behind the backstop on the athletic field at my junior high school. It was an ordinary lunch time and I was there talking with my friend Scott. I had just gotten up the courage to share the gospel with him for the first time using a gospel booklet.
I don’t think that he prayed to receive the Lord that day. But, something changed within me—I got my mouth open to share my faith in Jesus Christ. It made me so happy. I believe it also made our Savior God happy.
That wasn’t the only such experience. In fact, as a high school and college student, I became increasing bold to flow out the gospel of Christ to people I met. It seems that every time I did it, I touched the joy of the Lord. The Lord flowed into me, enlivened me, making me feel like I was walking on a cloud.
But there were also times in the years that followed, that I found my Christian life growing stale and joyless. Haven’t you?
So what’s the reason? Either a lack of “coming” or of “going.”
It’s the principle behind this experience that I’d first like to share with you in this post. That principle relates to two important characteristics of the living of a normal believer–coming and going…Then I’ll introduce something for our practice of going.
A normal believer—coming and going
Have you ever noticed these two words in the New Testament—“Come” and “Go?”
The Lord Jesus repeatedly used both words to instruct His disciples:
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Later in John 7:37, He said, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”
Coming is the beginning of our Christian experience. By coming to the Lord Jesus, we receive salvation, eternal life, and His grace and peace. But this is only the first half of the experience of a normal believer.
For more help on coming to the Lord you may want to read my post on coming to the Lord in His word. Coming is the beginning, but to be a normal believer we need something more.
In Matthew 28:19, the Lord Jesus charged His disciples, “Go therefore and and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
In John 15:16, He also said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain…”
Following the coming, there is the going. We come to the Lord to be saved. Then we go to people to bring them salvation. We come to Lord for life and then to go to others to minister this life.
The principle of inflow and outflow
As believers in Christ, we’re like a hose with two ends—inflow and outflow.
Without regular inflow there is nothing to outflow.
For some of us, inflow may be our primary need, That is, we need to build up a daily time of coming to the Lord to receive His grace, His Spirit and life supply through our daily contact with Him in His word by means of prayer.
However, for others, the problem may be with our outflow. The “nozzle” on our “hose” has been shut off. And when there is no outflow, the inflow quickly stops.
I’m afraid many of us have been coming to drink for a long time but have become stale because we did not go to others to flow out that which we have received.
A simple point to practice
Try making a deal with the Lord that you’ll share Him with one person this week…or better yet, one person each day.
To help you, you may want to get some gospel tracts or booklets. They’re a great way to break the ice, to get your mouth open.
One of my favorites is entitled “The Mystery of Human Life.” You can download a free copy here.
Then try giving a tract to someone you meet this week–a family member, friend, classmate, a waiter, or a store clerk. You can offer it to them and say, “Here’s a great gift for you! Read it to find out.” (If you feel timid at first, just leave the tract with a tip at a restaurant or in a place where someone will find it, like a laundromat.)
Another convenient way is to send people a short email or tweet with a link to a YouTube gospel video like “The God-Shaped Vacuum.” Better yet, you can play it with them on your tablet or smartphone. Then you can ask them what they think about man having a spirit to contact and contain God. If they’re open you can invite them to pray the prayer at the end of the video.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just by opening your mouth to flow out Christ, you’ll experience the His fresh inflow filling you within.
In this way you will experience being not just a half a believer, only coming, but a whole believer, both coming and going.
If you’ve experienced the difference from coming and going, drinking and flowing, please share the benefit you’ve received in a short comment.
References and Further Reading:
- The section of this post on “Coming and Going” was inspired by Chapter Two of, Rising Up to Preach the Gospel, by Witness Lee.
- The part about inflow and outflow–drinking and flowing was inspired by the Life-Study of Exodus, Message 45 by the same author.
- You can read them both online at ministrybooks.org
About Tom Smith
Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!