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BE A FAITHFUL WITNESS!--By Maria       5/92       DO 2896
--Whether You See Results or Not!
--Encouragement for Our Teens & All!
Maria #208

       1. SOME DAYS YOU TEENS who are out witnessing are not only not going to win any souls, you're not even going to find any receptive people. This, of course, can be very discouraging, especially if you're a new witnesser. On one hand, the Lord may just be testing your faith, & on the other, the Devil could be trying to completely discourage you from witnessing.
       2. The Lord may be testing you to see if you'll keep going & obeying regardless of the results, just because He said to do it! He didn't say do it if it's fruitful or do it if you win souls, He just said do it! He said, "Go ye into all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature."--Mark 16:15. He didn't say that you're going to have a salvation for everybody you preach the Gospel to.--In fact, what He indicated in the Parable of the Sower is that you probably won't have very many. (Mat.13:3-23)
       3. You need to obey the Lord even when the Devil is trying to discourage you from going out & telling you it's not necessary because, "Nobody really wants the Lord anyway, so why should you go out & look for sheepy people when you can't find any? You're just wasting your time!" The Devil is trying to get you to give up in despair. But you need to remember that the Lord has commanded you to go out, regardless of whether you see any fruit or win any souls or not!
       4. Does a gardener or farmer give up in despair because he doesn't see any results for a long time after he plants the seeds? No! He has to take it by faith that after a while those little seeds are going to sprout & are going to grow into plants, & finally he is going to reap the harvest.
       5. There are a lot of jobs in the World where people work without seeing any results for a long long time, like physical therapists working with the handicapped, or scientists looking for remedies for diseases. So certainly you can go out for a day or two, or even a week, without finding any receptive people or without winning any souls, just in obedience to the Lord!--That's your job, to preach the Gospel! You might as well get used to the fact that "strait is the gate & narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, & few there be that find it!"--Mat.7:14. "For wide is the gate & broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, & many there be that go in thereat."--Mat.7:13. So you just have to realise that when you go witnessing you are going to get a lot of rejections. The Lord knew that, but He still said to go & give out His Message!
       6. He wants us to do as He did, "To seek & save that which is lost."--Luke 19:10. You need to seek out His sheep, but you're not going to know who is sheepy & who isn't unless you give them a chance to hear the Message. So don't be discouraged if many reject it, just keep at it. Pretty soon, when the Devil sees that he can't get you to give up, he'll give up!--And then you'll have a wonderful victory & you'll see some real fruit from your labours in the way of receptive people or people who really go all the way & receive the Lord & the Holy Spirit.--And even people who will be interested in going on further for the Lord.
       7. You need to keep in mind that some of the great missionaries like Hudson Taylor & Adoniram Judson & scores of others laboured for literally years before they won their first soul! They went to pagan lands where bringing Jesus to the people was considered anathema*, it was an intrusion, where they considered Him a foreign God who was there to bring evil instead of good, disturbing their customs & uprooting their ways of doing things. *(something utterly detested or condemned) You can be sure that the Devil was working overtime on those demonic, heathen people to make sure that they considered the Christian God a bad omen & a bad product to be introduced to their country. They made it as difficult as possible on the missionaries, & the Devil fought them every step of the way.
       8. Those dear missionaries went through all kinds of terrible hardships & persecution & illnesses, & even deaths of their family & loved ones. They went through disappointments; people whom they thought they had won turned on them & betrayed them. People spat in their faces & rejected them year after year!--And some of them did not win a single soul for years! So when you get discouraged because you haven't won a soul in a day or two or three, or even a week, just think about those dear men & women of God who laboured for years & years before they ever made any progress as far as winning even one soul to the Lord.
       9. A good story to read to encourage your faith is the one in the Kidz mag about the JETT girl who went out witnessing one day & came back very discouraged because she hadn't seen any results. But then later she was able to see the fruits of her witnessing in different ways: One old man who took a Poster home that she'd given him was saved, along with his niece; another boy that she had only smiled at was led to join the Family as a result of that smile; a father took a tape & video home, & his whole family was saved & completely changed. That's a very beautiful story to keep in mind when you feel discouraged about not winning any souls, or not seeing the kind of receptivity that you would like. (See Kidz 77 DO.)
       10. The Lord is trying to teach you faith, that even though you don't see the results right away, in some way you're getting results. He's promised that His Word will not return unto Him void, it will accomplish His purpose! (Isa. 55:11.) You will not see some of the results until you get to Heaven because you don't always know the results of the seeds you plant in someone's heart, how or when they will take root. Perhaps the person you have witnessed to will eventually find the Lord due to something that you said, or your witness will have worked in their heart to cause them to be more open & receptive when some other Christian witnesses to them.
       11. We can't always expect to be the sowers & the reapers, because the Lord said that some sow & some water, but God gives the increase. (See 1Cor.3:6.) Sometimes we enter into other men's labours & sometimes others enter into ours. Sometimes we win the souls that have been a long time in preparation, people who perhaps for their whole lifetime have been going through things where the Lord was bringing them gradually to the point where they would be willing to yield their lives to Him; & we come along at that point & we invite them to receive Jesus, & they do. We are just brought by the Lord at that time in their life after they have gone through a long period of preparation, & we're able to reap all that has been sown & watered by others.
       12. Sometimes we enter the scene somewhere else in the growing process. We may come in at the beginning, as the sowers, where we plant the initial seed.--Or who knows, maybe we're coming in somewhere in the middle & we're watering the seed that was planted in their heart by someone else. We're answering another of their questions, & we're showing them a little more of Jesus' Love, & that will continue to work in their heart, even if they don't immediately manifest how much it meant to them. Perhaps we may never see them again, but the Word & the love we showed works in their heart & the Lord uses it as one more step in bringing that person to Him! Their eventual salvation will partly be a result of our faithfulness to show them His Love & tell them His Message!
       13. A person's salvation is the result of many things & many ways the Lord has already worked in their life. We may just be one in a succession of people who have tried to get through to them. We have a small part in their salvation, along with others who have also had a part in preparing the person by perhaps being a sample of love & concern, by sharing the Word personally, or giving him a tract, or Poster, or preaching on a Christian TV program that he has watched. All these are things the Lord may have used. So we can't take the glory & say we were the ones who did it! In other cases perhaps that person was never witnessed to by another Christian, but the Lord, in various ways, has been directing them to search for the Truth.--And in the Spirit World, spirit helpers may have been working behind the scenes to help them to experience various things that would little by little draw them toward the Truth & to the Lord.
       14. So there's really no more glory for us in actually praying a salvation prayer with a person than there is in preaching the Word to him & having him go off without receiving Jesus right then & there. Of course, it makes us feel especially good when we know someone has securely gotten into the Kingdom, but as far as receiving any more glory for actually praying with someone to receive the Lord than just preaching the Gospel to them without them receiving the Lord, there is no more credit to you in one case than the other! It's your job to do whatever you can for them, & the Lord will reward you for your faithfulness, whether it is just giving them the Word or whether it's praying with them to receive the Lord.--You don't get more credit for one than the other. You just get credit for your faithfulness in obeying & doing what you can for the Lord.
       15. Of course, we rejoice more over someone who gets saved, & it's quite an occasion for joy when we know they're safely in the Kingdom.--And it's natural to rejoice about that. But as far as credit, there's no more credit to the person who prays with them than there is to another person who just talks to someone without seeing them receive the Lord.

It's the Holy Spirit that Does the Winning!
       16. And don't think that just because someone is a better talker or preacher than you are, more fluent or more expressive, that there's going to be more credit given to him than to you, who perhaps are halting in your speech & are not able to express yourself very clearly. His great speaking is not going to win more souls than you win. If you see him win more salvations than you, it is not because he is more fluent or more expressive, it's just because he was the one the Lord chose to meet those souls who were ready to receive the Lord that day. Maybe he met them instead of you because he was praying harder or needed the encouragement of seeing a soul saved more than you did, or maybe he had a testimony or a story that the Lord wanted to use to speak to that person, or any of a variety of reasons.
       17. You might say, "Well, if the Lord wanted to use a story or testimony he had, then that's the same principle as using his fluent speech or his personality, isn't it?" No, because if the person being witnessed to is a receptive & hungry soul ready to receive the Lord, they can receive the Lord without having heard that particular testimony or story, & the Holy Spirit will work in their heart regardless, but it's just that that particular testimony or story might be a real encouragement to them later on when they reflect back on that wonderful day when they received Jesus, & maybe they can use that in turn with others. It's the Spirit of the Lord that does the winning, it's not because somebody is more expressive & more fluent & more talkative & more charming than you! You need to get that idea out of your head!
       18. Maybe the Lord wanted your more fluent brother or sister to witness to that particular person because they needed to see a Christian who was articulate & expressive & could debate with them. On the other hand, someone else might need to see a sample of someone who can't speak well, who stammers & stumbles, so they will appreciate that witnesser's determination & conviction & dedication--that even though they knew they were incapable in themselves, they loved others so much that they were willing to witness no matter how poorly they thought they were doing. Read the story in the Hope Mag about the man, John, who had to preach to the Indians because his pastor had laryngitis. Just read that over & over! (See Hope 29, pg.20.)
       19. Get it through your head that it doesn't have anything to do with how fluent you are or how eloquent & expressive you are! It's the Spirit that is going to do the work in their hearts! It only has to do with your obedience & your faithfulness to do all that you can!--Your obedience, your faithfulness, your sincerity, your broken heart for the sheep to do all you can to try to win them to the Lord! It doesn't have anything to do with what you can't do! That doesn't have any place in the equation at all! You just do what you can do by obeying & going out witnessing, & the Holy Spirit will do the rest!
       20. You don't have to compare yourself to those who may be better speakers, or know more verses than you, or can more easily answer questions. Just be obedient! Give'm John 3:16, & if you can't answer all their questions, just say, "I'm sorry, I don't know that answer, but I do know that Jesus can save you & make you happy & give you a wonderful new life!"--And the Holy Spirit will work! It's the Holy Spirit that wins souls! It does not matter how you speak, all that matters is that you do speak!--And that you are obedient & you're faithful & you want to see these people saved.
       21. Don't compare yourself with people who can talk better than you & know more than you do, who you think can witness better than you! It's the Holy Spirit that's winning the souls. It doesn't matter to Her how you speak!--If the people you're witnessing to are ready, open-hearted, open to the Lord & His Love, She's going to get through to them! She'll do the job & She'll prepare them to pray with you & receive the Lord, no matter what you say or what you do, no matter how badly you speak or how messed up you think your witness is!

How Mightily God Can Use Our Teens
       22. I was so happy with our teens in Australia for how they stood strong while they were in custody. It's very encouraging that they did so well in spite of the fact that so many of us have been concerned that we haven't poured into our teens enough, we haven't given them enough input, there's so much material that they haven't had time to read, they've only gotten a fraction of all the input that we adults have gotten. We've wondered how they're going to make it without all the input that we've had.
       23. We feel weak enough as it is, & we've had years of input & all the Letters. Our teens, in some ways, have just had the milk of the Word, & maybe not that much milk at that. But the example of our kids in Australia shows that when they're in a crisis situation, the Lord really will come through for them, regardless of whether they've had sufficient input or not.
       24. Regardless of how much they've had or how much they haven't had, the Lord will come through by His Spirit & help them & show them what to do & what to say.--And some of the things He showed them weren't even in any of our books anyway! Even if they'd read all the books, they wouldn't have gotten the answers that the Lord gave them in that situation! It shows that if they've got the Lord's Spirit & they're obedient, as they were, when they pray, the Lord will come through for them & give them the answers by His Spirit, even if they've never heard of doing such things before! Who ever heard of our people going on a hunger strike?! That's certainly one thing we never put in our lit! We never even thought of such a thing!--But the Lord showed them to threaten to do that in order to get their way!--And it worked! GB'm!
       25. Our enemies have gotten ahold of these answers to their accusations that we sent out, & they think that they now know exactly what our teens will answer & how they'll act, but they're in for some big surprises, because our kids have the Spirit of God directing & leading them in these situations! If our teens in this case are any example of what's ahead, then we can certainly see that the Lord's not always going to go by the book! He will give them things to say & do that we never even thought of! Who in the world would have even thought that our teens would threaten to go on a hunger strike? We've never even talked about that in the Family, we didn't even know our teens knew anything about hunger strikes, ha! It's so funny! I guess they got it from the news!
       26. The other encouraging thing about it is that our teens actually rebelled against the System's domination & tyranny there in Australia. Here we've taught them from the time they were small children the importance of yieldedness & obedience; week after week, month after month we've emphasised obedience to the Lord & to their parents & elders as part of their good training. However, when they got into that situation they were able to be led by the Lord & realised that this was a time to rebel!
       27. By the Spirit of God they understood that sometimes there is a time to rebel, there is a time to go against authority if it isn't Godly authority & it's keeping you from serving the Lord & doing your job for the Lord.--That if it's evil that's trying to stop you & destroy you & destroy the Work, they have a right to rebel against authority! Just like Peter & John said, "We ought to obey God rather than Man!"--Acts 5:29. Thank God! We didn't tell our teens to do that, we didn't prepare them for it, but they were led by the Lord to do so! They're definitely not robots!
       28. We never told them, "You can rebel" or "You can go on a hunger strike" or "You can threaten them with punishment for illegalities & wrongdoing or mistreatment." So you know it's just the Lord that put that in their minds & that gave them that spirit to rise up & to fight the Enemy--the real spirit of fight--because they've never had to do that before. They've never had any practice or any experience, so the Lord must have put that in their hearts. Thank the Lord! It was marvellous how He put it in their hearts to want to stay & take care of their younger brothers & sisters, & then when they couldn't, He put it in their hearts to insist that at least they would get a chance to see them & encourage them before they left. It sounds like they pretty much took over things while they were in detention. GBT!--A real miracle!
       29. So even if they haven't gotten all the Word they needed & haven't gotten all the input, they certainly have seen our Family sample year after year after year, & maybe sometimes even that wasn't as good as it should have been, but at least they must have gotten enough that the Lord could use so that He can speak to them & guide them & direct them. Even if they're on their own without any communication with us, they still can be in communication with the Lord, & He can show them what to do.
       30. It was just wonderful the way those kids behaved themselves! We don't know the whole story, & I'm sure they had their tough times & rough times, but at least they really came through in the end! It's just wonderful how the Lord spoke to them & showed them what to do. It's wonderful that they can hear from the Lord enough to distinguish between when they're supposed to obey & yield, & when they're supposed to fight, even fight adult authority if necessary, & stand their ground for what they know is right & what they know should be done. They knew that they needed to be able to see the younger children & be able to encourage them, & they really stood their ground on that, GBT!--Not being afraid of what those people would do to them if they insisted, which again is another real miracle, because our kids have been taught that adult authority is pretty absolute, & that if they don't obey they're going to be corrected for it.
       31. So to be able to stand up against adult authority & contradict it like that is something that they're not at all used to, & it's pretty unheard of, & they know that if they do they're going to pay the consequences. To be strong enough & convinced enough to do that just shows it was the Spirit of the Lord.--I'm really proud of them! And it gives me a lot of faith for all our teens around the World! PTL!

Copyright 1996 The Family