The PROCESS of evangelism – Managing the ENCOUNTER


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture

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Gen. 24.1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Jeremiah 51.15 reminds us that God “established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens.” In other words, creation was not a product of God simply saying “let there be…”, and then Him waiting expectantly to see what would spring forth by chance. He had a clear design in mind. He went about His work intelligently, methodically. As has been said by one wag, the spiritual gift most often neglected by Christians is grey matter. God made us rational beings in His image. He is rational. He works through plan, process and means. And our work for Him ought to be no different. Thought out. Worked through. Executed.

So it is in our narrative. Eliezer is fully aware of his dependence upon God’s providential oversight. And at the same time he goes about his business with a plan. And the process we watch unfold in the text is exceedingly instructive.

Note first that upon his arriving in the region of Abraham’s kin, prepared with gifts, and having sought God’s blessing in prayer, he now encounters a young maiden. He does not know who she is, nor whose she is. Thus, he PROBES. He talks with her, and asks her for water. She responds in a manner harmonious with his prayer. But he does not take that as some magical omen. He inquires after who she is. He watches her responses. Is she responding as he might hope? Does she give signs of being one who would be a good candidate? One thing leads to another. He seeks to find out who her family is and if there is a place for him to lodge. Finding the affirmative, he is more confident he has found the right people and place. All the while, Eliezer is testing, weighing, seeking to determine if this is really going to be the answer to his prayer and search.

Secondly, we must marvel at Eliezer’s HONESTY. This is displayed amply in his five-fold manner.

a. His is no surreptitious approach. He will not even eat before he makes his presence and purpose clear. In verse 34 he makes it clear whose HE is. He is but a servant. He is seeking to do his Master’s business, not his own. We should never be ashamed to let the world know that is why we speak as we do. “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.” (1 Cor. 3.5) His urgency exposes the weight of his business. It is important stuff. Not indifferent.

b. In 35, he tells them whose SERVANT he is. This is most important. We are not on our OWN mission. We do not represent an organization. We’re not after enlisting men to our cause or just getting warm bodies to fill our rolls. We are ambassadors of Christ Jesus, the Lord of all. Our business with them is on His behalf. To deliver His message. Ultimately to bring them – to Him.

c. Then in 37-40 he explains in detail WHY he is there. So ought we. No one is ever deceived into the Kingdom. We are not fooling people into attending a Tupperware party or an Amway presentation. There is no bait and switch. This is why we seek out souls – to be betrothed to our Master. Let us be upfront about our goal. It is glorious.

d. Verse 49 brings us to a place we are most uncomfortable with. But in the interest of true honesty, and full disclosure, we just ask outright for a RESPONSE to what we have presented. It is amazing that we feel so reticent to do so. But beloved, we have placed before them eternal truths in the Gospel of Jesus Christ – it is only fitting for us to find out their hearts and minds on the matter. Men are not saved BY their decision, but neither are they saved apart from one. Faith must believe the message, AND, trust it. Place their weight upon it. Cast their whole hope upon the Savior and His work at Calvary. No one is allowed to be indifferent. And we must make it clear that failing to hear and respond in following Christ, is to deny Him. There is no middle ground.

e. Lastly, in 54-62, Eliezer was clear about what would be required. Nothing less than total commitment. A leaving of house and family and friends. An absolute surrender, in being wed to another. To give up independence and things familiar. To have no way to return. To be this man’s, the Son’s, bride. To bear His children. To walk beside Him. To take His people as your own. To take His name upon you. To become His loving and faithful wife. To lose one’s life, in order to find TRUE life, in Him.

Evangelism has no place for tricks or deceptions. There is nothing to blush about in so loving men’s souls, and in so loving The Savior, as to bring the two together.

Let us be about the Master’s business. We can do nothing greater or better, for our fellow man. And nothing more glorifying to our Christ than to reveal Him in His atoning work.

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