If you look at the iconic pictures of these saints above, you will see two very different expressions. This is because these men had two different messages. Billy Graham led crusades to call people to the Lord. His message was mainly repentance and the need for Jesus.
Bill Bright also led people to Jesus, but his message was calling people to the Lordship of Jesus. He was on a crusade and calling men and women to join him. Neither one was better than the other, nor were they in competition. They both focused on what God called them to and followed that vision intently in friendship with one another.
Both men loved God very much. I have no doubt that they could have preached each others message with complete perfection, yet there was power when they did what God called them specifically towards. God empowers what He has called you to.
There are two ramifications of this truth:
- Draw from several streams.
- Strengthen your message.
Draw from Several Streams
Several people love John Piper as the deep Christian thinker. Several love Joel Olsteen as the Christian motivator. Beth Moore for her Christian Bible studies, Francis Chan as the Christian activist, and Bill Johnson as the Christian revivalist. And while each of these people have several thousand people who love their teachings, few of their followers can find something good in all the others. This is a shame.
While some on this list may have some errors in their theology, it is a greater error to think you don’t have any. I would be surprised if any on this list doesn’t love God with all they know how to love Him. Their messages are different because God has wired them differently and has each of them speaking a different part of His nature. We need each to see a fuller vision of who God is. If we limited ourselves to one stream, we will become uneven in our Christian growth. Imagine the impact we would have on the world if we let our combined messages go out in harmony with one another instead of either isolation or competition.
Strengthen Your Message
How did God call you into the kingdom? What was the thing that made you say yes to Jesus? These messages that burn on your heart are the same messages that cause the people around you to burn for God.
When I was working with college students, I had one guy who came to me saying he had begun questioning his faith. He loved biology, and all of his science classes taught evolution as truth. He accepted Jesus as a youth, but now he questioned how it all could be real.
This sounds like a great candidate for some Henry Morris, Ken Ham, or Darwin’s Black Box. Let’s pull out some apologetics and show the case for Christian science. However, this is not my message. I may know the material, but this isn’t what I carry. I started meeting with him regularly, showing an interest in him, and got him in fellowship with other believers. My message is God is real and wants to interact with you, therefore I gave him opportunities to connect with His love. Within a couple months, his doubts were gone.
For some apologetics would have been the right approach. However I must trust that those God puts in my path need the message that I carry. He was in my group and he opened up to me, because God was drawing him to what I carried.
Share Your Message
It is important to know what you carry because those around you need it. You are an important part of the body and we need what you have. Find out what stirs your heart; ponder how God is this for you; study the Scripture to find others experiencing God the same way; speak to others about what you are learning.
I am so concerned that you strengthen your message that I want to invite you to share you message here. If you are interested, let me know in the comments below and I will email you how you can get your message to me. The body of Christ is so diverse, but we are all still part of His body. Let us encourage one another to keep our eyes set on Jesus. Let the Christ in you encourage us to live more fully in the Christ in us.
Here are Some Guest Posts to the Prayer Coach Blog:
- Caroline Mauger – Improve Your Prayer Life – Talk More; Listen Less
- Steve Hopper – How to Live From Your Heart?
- Kevin Adams – Resting On The Floor Of Your Wilderness
- Heather Jones – God Did Not Heal Payton’s Heart
- Dave Chater – Who Does God Say I Am?
- Jesse Skinner – Staying in the Race
- Carmel Bruce – What We Say Over Ourself and Others
- Erin Nelson – I am His and Through Him I Am Victorious
- Trisha Cwir – The Secret Place with God