Walking beside those who hesitate to believe

Last week we looked at the story of Robin, a woman who was taught through By This Name, but seemed hesitant to acknowledge her need for a Saviour.

This week, we’ll take a look at some things that helped Robin move towards Christ, as well as things we realized we needed to avoid.

  1. Be willing to re-teach. Robin wasn’t necessarily interested in learning new material; she wanted to get the same material firmly established in her mind. Another couple (we’ll call them Joe and Della) volunteered to teach her through No Ordinary Story. As they studied, they took time to discuss Robin’s questions. Don’t assume that the gospel truths will be easily absorbed by your student. The Bible stories that seem so basic to you may require much more effort for your student to understand. Don’t underestimate the darkness of the unsaved mind and how much it may obscure the truths of Scripture. Only the Holy Spirit, prayer and exposure to God’s Word can break through that darkness.
  2. Give time. Robin needed time for the Holy Spirit to work; time to process everything she’d heard; time to weigh the truth and consider how she should respond. Don’t push for results, especially if it’s simply for the sake of being able to announce a new believer. Often we feel pressure to see our student make a decision right away, but we must be sure we’re allowing the Holy Spirit to guide the process.
  3. Be available. If Robin needed to discuss for the 5th time a particular hang-up, Joe and Della took the time to gently point her to Scripture. Slowly, we saw Robin trust her questions to God and choose to believe his Word. Don’t get exasperated and be careful of a judgmental or condescending attitude towards your student. Patience is key.
  4. Keep the spiritual battle in mind. Pray compassionately for your student. Don’t forget there is a great struggle going on that we can’t necessarily see or understand. Only the Holy Spirit is mighty enough to break through the darkness and oppose the obstacles thrown up by the enemy. Pray for them!

There came a point when Joe and Della realized that Robin no longer held the gospel at arm’s length. She began to respond in faith, even if she didn’t fully understand everything. Robin started to identify herself as belonging with those who believed the Bible. Sometimes, they’d read a few sentences that pertained to the gospel and Robin who say, “That’s what I believe.” She began to acknowledge that her former way of thinking was wrong.

She stopped attending her New Age classes. After years of despising organized religion, Robin was now interested in attending church. She spoke with unbelievers around her about the Bible. Her speech and demeanor began to change. She grew hungry to learn the next steps in the journey.

This all came gradually over the course of many months. There was no “lightbulb moment,” no clear hour of conversion. It simply became apparent over time that Robin was a believer. At some point, Robin crossed over from death to life, the exact moment known only to her Saviour. But it was undeniably clear that we now had a new believer in our midst. Oh, the rejoicing!

Next week, we’ll look at the next steps taken with Robin as she began her new walk with the Lord.