Speak God into the Room

One of the wild privileges of being a Christian is to be one of God’s ambassadors in the world. That’s you and me, friends! Paul put it this way in 2nd Corinthians 5:


17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


Now, maybe you read that and think, “I could never say something like that at my office,” “I’m too timid,” or “I can never think of the right words in the moment.”


If you feel timid, it’s ok to acknowledge that, and to pray for boldness to take a step of faith (see Acts 4:29; Ephesians 6:19). But perhaps your timidity is matched with a lack of realism. It’s unlikely that you’re going to speak in paragraphs to your neighbors at work, at lunch, at a family function, or at Chuze Fitness. It’s much more likely that you’ll have short conversations about whatever is happening in your lives and work. What does a bold step of faith look like in those contexts? Perhaps it will mean imploring your neighbor to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. More often it will be one of the many small seed-sowing moments ahead of that. To this end, we simply speak God into the conversation; we speak Him into the room!


What does that mean? My mentor used this language, and I’ve seen it printed, but I couldn’t find the source in a brief search. That said, in your daily life, as you live and work and play, you’ll encounter people facing the grief of relational loss, the frustrations of financial and workplace setbacks, the anxiety of conflict with their employers or within their family systems, and myriad of ordinary life joys and sorrows. What if you listened well and attentively to your neighbor (which communicates that you care!)? After listening and asking thoughtful questions (and always listening to God for His leading in the conversation!), you will have opportunities to speak God into the room. Perhaps you’ll ask, “Would you mind if I shared what helped me when I faced the loss of a loved one (with their blessing, you could go on to share the hope of the resurrection of Jesus!)?” Or, “Grief is so hard. It’s a comfort to me to believe that God grieves with those who grieve.” You might simply ask a friend if you could pray for them.


Certainly, many neighbors will not want any “help” – least of all anything they perceive as trite religious soul band-aids! They may turn down an offer for prayer, even harshly. But sometimes your neighbors are truly thirsting, and they will take a true drink when it’s offered. Perhaps you’ll just pique their interest. Perhaps you’ll just make them uncomfortable. But now you have acknowledged that God is in the room and relevant to their real life.


What would it look like for you to speak God into the room? On a beautiful hike in RMNP, you might say, “This weather is a gift from God.” In a moment of great need or anxiety you might pray audibly in Jesus’ name, or even ask a friend (even a non-believer!) to pray, “God, please help!” During an election year in the U.S. you stumble into a conversation about the doom and gloom of the moment, and you say, “I’m resting in the truth that God is in control.”


What does it take to speak God into the room? It doesn’t take a whole lot of highfalutin’ theology or the eloquence of Billy Graham. Here are two helps to get you started:


1) Speaking God into the room requires attentiveness. What is going on in my neighbor’s life? Is there any intersection between their experience and my own life of faith? Is there a truth or short story or image from Scripture that comes to mind that would reframe a situation in light of the reality that God is really here? Is the Holy Spirit leading me to share the gospel, just a building block for the gospel, or perhaps just to listen and communicate care? How might Jesus inhabit this room in this moment?


2) Speaking God into the room requires willingness. You may face ridicule or worse for even the most gentle, precise Christian word of encouragement or truth. So what? If God is leading you to share, are you willing? If you think he is leading you to wait, go back to being attentive as you look for the right time. Then you’ll have to be willing when the moment comes! There is an old educational tool called a catechism, which is just a bunch of questions and answers designed to teach the Christian faith. One especially good one is the Heidelberg Catechism. The first question and answer go like this:


Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?


A. That I am not my own, but belong— body and soul, in life and in death— to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.


You belong to God. That’s a comfort worth talking about. You may have an opportunity to speak God into the room this week. So, pay attention, and start asking God for a willing heart now.