Many times God will bring people into your life at times for an assignment. That assignment may be to get them solid in the Lord and for another it may be until the right connection comes along within your circle of influence. There are other times where you have a kingdom connection where a lifetime friendship emerges from it. However, no matter the assignment you have to a person you do not get to determine how it will end because people have free will.
This can be a blessing and it can seem at times like a curse. Free will if influenced correctly by the renewed mind can cause great joy. Free will under the influence of an un-renewed mind can be frustrating and taxing upon your nerves. This is the part that is hard for us to understand, even though we get the assignment to a person we cannot save them or keep them saved. A person is responsible for their open lives and decisions. We can only try and influence them. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase.” All we are called to do is plant the seed and water the seed. We leave the increase up to God.
Where we get frustrated is when we try and take on the role of God in a person’s life to force increase. It doesn’t work that way. You will never be able to handle the pressure of changing a person’s life. The yoke of Christ is to plant and water. Jesus said in Matthew 13, the parable of the sower, that the word of God is the seed and the soil is a man’s heart. You just plant the seed, the person you are planting into is responsible for their own soil, and then God if the person is willing will supply the increase. Notice these three important roles:
You are responsible for planting the seed. (Word of God)
Your assignment is responsible for their own soil. (Heart)
God is responsible for the increase. (Salvation, Renewed Mind)
Many times we are trying to do God’s part which then after many seasons of disappointment, frustration, and eventually burnout we are the ones left with nothing to give. This is not God’s will for your life. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” If you are currently in a long struggle with someone claiming to be a believer but no change is lasting, you are not the problem, God is not the problem, that person just doesn’t want to change.
At some point after years of pouring into someone and carrying them on your back they have to take responsibility for their own lives, actions, and spiritual walk. Jesus said that person has to make a decision in their walk with Christ. “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciples. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish,” (Luke 14:27-28)
God may give you an assignment to someone but they have to take responsibility, make a personal commitment, and conscience decision to follow Christ even if you were not apart of their life. If not, you are wasting your time and eventually you will be burnout. I’m not talking about someone who is struggling and recently saved. I’m talking a person who claims to be a Christian and for years keeps their life in drama, chaos, and shows no lasting fruit. You can’t grow fruit for them. You can’t do their praying for them, and certainly can’t read the Bible for them. They have to take it upon themselves to walk with Christ.
Paul speaks about this in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 when he speaks about sexual immorality and sin among those who claim to be Christians and brothers. “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with sexually immoral people of this world, or with covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a BROTHER, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?” (1 Cor. 5:9-12)
Paul is saying that if people consider themselves Christians, in the church, walking with Christ, and claiming the brotherhood and yet are still choosing the lifestyle of sin without change you are to RELEASE THEM! Let them go because if they won’t change with your help then they have not committed to a life with Christ. They have been around long enough to know better. So while you are spending your time with them trying to change them you are pouring water into sand. It won’t stay! While your family, friends, and most importantly assignments to people who want change are begging for your attention.
Release them. You have poured your heart into them. You have planted and watered, planted and watered, planted and watered! Release them so that maybe they will wake up and make a true commitment to Christ. Release them so you can be refreshed with renewed family, friend, and new relationships. You are not responsible for their spiritual growth and the condition of their heart. You have done well, now release them. Don’t carry rebellious Jonah on your boat. Throw them off so the storm will quit in your life. God knew how to care for Jonah and he turned out just fine. Your friend will to. Release them and place it in God’s hands.
This may be hard to swallow but this is what Paul said, “…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” If you will release them, by God’s grace they will be saved on that day!
By: Mark Casto