My family and I practice Karate as a family. We started it last year to get exercise and do something as a family and even though it’s tiring and we leave sore sometimes, it’s still great. One of the things about Karate, or any martial arts, is that there are different types of belt rankings. You start with one color and progress up and up.
For those that are white belts (the beginners), they have to think the black belts (some of the most advanced) do some pretty weird or outrageous things. How about breaking concrete bricks with your bare knuckles? Some of their kicks and katas (imaginary fights that showcase different moves) may seem weird. Even black belts of Karate may think black belts in another martial art look weird because they’re doing things a certain way.
For both of them, that idea of “that’s weird” comes because they don’t understand the other. They haven’t been where the other has been, they haven’t experienced what the other has experienced, they haven’t trained and had techniques drilled into them. They haven’t heard the “why” and “how to” of these weird looking moves, but the other person has.
For the person “on the outside,” they haven’t been where the other has.
Think about this, as a Christian, we haven’t been where that unbeliever has been. Though receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord may seem like it was the easiest decision ever, it probably wasn’t. For most, coming to that decision probably happened after years of doing things apart from God, contrary to Him and His Word.
For those who haven’t received Jesus, even after hearing the Gospel, we may wonder what is wrong with them. Why wouldn’t they want the greatest thing ever? When we have those thoughts, we have to remember these things:
We haven’t been where they have. We haven’t experienced what they have experienced. We haven’t lived their life. We haven’t had the exact same messages and lies pounded into our brain as they have. We haven’t been raised the way they have. We haven’t been drilled on this idea or this belief until it has become an integral part of who they are.
We have to remember that each person is different and our experiences shape us to receive or reject certain things. That isn’t an excuse now. It’s just a reason.
All of those things can be overcome though. No matter what struggles people have gone through, it can all be overcome to the point of believing what Jesus has done for everyone. Of course many may think it’s overcome with simply preaching the Word or preaching the Word the right way. But how many times have they heard the Word, a Gospel message and rejected it? How much preaching has gone out to the world and it’s still in the same condition?
It’s more than just the Word being preached. It’s the Word being preached, directed and anointed by the Holy Ghost, with the power of God in demonstration. Now granted, even then some will still disregard what God wants to do for them, but preaching alone won’t necessarily get the job done.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” That kind of message doesn’t come by preparing a good sermon. It comes by preparing yourself in prayer, getting God’s message for the hour – straight from Him, and delivering it under the anointing. Then signs will follow (Mark 16:20). If we want to see the world come to Christ, it’s going to take more than a pretty message. There’s a lot of junk people may need to overcome. But that junk means nothing to a message that’s been anointed and directed by the Holy Spirit with all the power of God on full display. Stay with the Word and the Spirit.