Instrumentality :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions


Joanne Landon
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I once heard a preacher say, “Pray for instrumentality every day.” Just as a surgical or musical instrument functions for the greater cause of healing or orchestration, God can use our words, actions, and Christ-like spirit for the extension of His kingdom.

So I added instrumentality to my daily prayer list. Very soon the results of that request came in unexpected ways for one cannot explain the workings of God. His ways are so far above and beyond us. We may try to analyze His workings, but “who hath known the mind of the Lord or who hath been His counselor?” (Romans 11:34). At best, we can humbly thank God for using us at all—putting us in a particular place at an appointed time with a specific soul who needed to see Christ’s love.

For some, proclaiming Christ’s truth outright can be scary. Excuses may include questions such as these: “What if I say the wrong thing?” “What will others think?” “I’m not perfect myself.” “I’m afraid I’ll do more harm than good.” “I can’t remember the verses.” “I don’t think of good answers until afterwards.” Tell the Lord your fears and ask for His help to be a confident witness for Christ. We do not need to force conversations. We can start by living a consistent Christian life and praying for God-given opportunities. Let God open the doors for you.

Be on the lookout for opportunities. They might re-arrange our schedules, add a dinner guest or two, involve a listening ear, or cost a few dollars. But when you are praying for such an opportunity of service or witness, be ready to seize it!

Some gospel openings may be delivered right to your door. An elderly neighbor who didn’t drive asked Mike to take her cat to the vet. Several months later this neighbor sought out Mike and his wife to ask for some spiritual advice, which resulted in another witness and invitation to church.

Other opportunities might present themselves as we go about our regular duties. On the way to visit a widow, Trish saw a woman crying on the street. Wondering if she should stop, Trish decided she could as she still had enough time. There she met Lisa, who needed to know where there was help, and hope, and Christians who cared. Interestingly enough, Lisa’s sister had visited Trish’s church, and through this meeting Lisa would also come.

Be approachable. All Gary knew about Matt was that he was a preacher—and they both attended the same gym. One afternoon Gary sought out Matt and asked him to pray for his terminally ill brother. Matt, sensing a saddened heart and a lost soul, assured Gary of his prayers for his brother. Later Matt sought out Gary to find out how the brother was doing and to give assurance of continued prayer.

Don’t force confessions. Strangers may be more inclined to confide in you if you listen. My husband and I hadn’t planned a river walk at lunchtime. But it was a nice day, so Mark parked the car by the side of the road, and we walked down to the river’s edge. We could have turned right or left along the water’s edge for both ways were scenic.

“Let’s go this way,” Mark pointed. There along the water’s edge we met Paul. There is something comfortable about meeting a stranger. He doesn’t know you or hold your past against you. You may never see him again.

After some pleasant small talk, Paul shared his story: “Drink has ruined my life and my family.”

As Mark shared the Gospel and the Lord’s deliverance, Paul quietly listened. Then he sadly responded, “I think I’m past redemption . . . .”

“No, you are not. You still have life and a conscience with the knowledge of right and wrong. You don’t like your sad condition, and that is just the person whom God wants to save, the sinner. God can deliver you by His saving grace, but you have to seek Him and ask for deliverance.”

So there by the river’s edge Mark asked God to deliver Paul’s soul—from the enemy within (Satan’s lies) and the cruelty from without (alcohol). Paul seemed grateful. He shook our hands and accepted our gospel tract. He read the church’s address. “I’ll come visit you.”

Yes, even the direction of a casual stroll can make a difference if you are praying for God-given opportunities (see Psalm 37:23). God can direct our very steps and thoughts and words to reach a stranger, someone who might feel comfortable enough to share personal need, and seek, and find eternal hope.

Being an Instrument starts with a desire. Just see folks as eternal souls who need Christ. They are all around us. God can use any sincere, humble effort, overrule our blunders, or help us learn from them. Taking a personal evangelism class, participating in our church’s outreach program, and memorizing key doctrinal and salvation verses can all aid our efforts. One can expect some rejection or ridicule, as some souls are unready for the life-changing Gospel. Don’t worry about God’s timetable or workings. His plans can march on without us, but if He chooses to use us, let’s be willing, able, and ready.

Instrumentality can begin today:

  1. Ask God for opportunities of service or witness and recognize unexpected ones. When they come be friendly and show you have time.
  2. Carry gospel tracts with your church’s address. You might give out your contact details, but others may not give you theirs since they may be homeless, embarrassed of their circumstances, unsure, or unready. You can offer to meet again in a coffee shop or some other public place.
  3. Pray for conviction of sin. Most honest souls will admit this. Tell them of Christ’s power to fight temptation. He is the great Deliverer, not you or me. If you see them again, tell them you’ve been praying for them. It’s amazing how it can soften a person’s heart to know that this stranger remembered them to God.

Seeking to be God’s instrument can become one of the biggest blessings of your life. You don’t have to force conversations, and you may be amazed at whom you meet, when, and how. I’ve met strangers while walking our dog, waiting in line at the post office, visiting in a nursing home, and taking a class. Some of these souls have come to church, and several have made professions of faith. Some have become long-term friends and great blessings in my life. Other contacts I still pray for or have committed them to God for other Christians to influence.

God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, and if we seek souls for His kingdom, He will bring them across our path and give us the wisdom, joy, and power to point them to Christ.

It was just an exhortation in a sermon, heard years ago—but it changed my life, my prayer life, and the lives of a few strangers along the way: “Pray for instrumentality every day.” 

I Timothy 4:12 -- In word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in purity.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash