Each of our three children learned the Heimlich maneuver in school. You probably know what that is. If someone is choking, you get behind them; you do the magic squeeze to dislodge whatever they’re choking on and it keeps them from choking to death.
Now, can you imagine being in a restaurant and you see someone choking on a piece of food? You stand up immediately and you say, “Is there a throat specialist in the house? We need a throat specialist right now!” Well, there is none there, so you say, “Well, I guess we have to take him to the hospital.”
So, as he’s choking and turning several shades of colors, you get him in your car and you drive him to the hospital. But by the time you get him to the specialist – to the person who knows the most about it – it’s probably going to be too late. Tragically, a lot of us are making that mistake with someone’s spiritual survival. Instead of treating them where they are, we keep waiting until they get to the specialist.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Delegated Life Saving.”
Now, our word for today from the Word of God; it’s about delegated life saving. It’s in 2 Corinthians 5. I’m reading verses 19 and 20. “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Now, Paul is saying here that the rescuing – the life saving – of people who don’t know Christ isn’t in the hands of some religious professionals. It’s in our hands. If someone is choking to death at a restaurant, you need to have the training; you need to know how to rescue them. There’s no time to get them to anyone else. The rescue’s in your hands because you’re there, you’re close. You can’t delegate life saving. The Heimlich maneuver, CPR, whatever it is, you can’t just depend on a specialist being on the scene. You have to bring the help to the person, not wait for the person to come to the help.
You can’t delegate spiritual life saving either. There’s someone you know right now who needs your Jesus. You know Him; they don’t. They need to know that what happened on that middle cross was for them. And you very much, I know, when you get to heaven, are going to want to see that they’re going to be there with you.
But maybe you’ve been depending on getting them to a Christian meeting where someone else can tell them the Good News, or to go to church with you, or to read some Christian book, or go to some event, but maybe they just won’t go. You can’t seem to get them to the help! They won’t go to the emergency room, and they may never go.
Well, then, are they just going to be lost? See, it’s up to you to let them know in a place where both of you are already together. Would you begin right now to pray by name for that person you care about at work, in your neighborhood, wherever it is? Pray specifically for an opening where you can extend some spiritual CPR on the spot. Say, “Lord, I know it’s not up to some evangelist. It’s not up to the church. It’s not up to getting a Christian book in their hands. It’s up to me, my body, my flesh, my life, my smile, my voice to share what Christ has done.
Learn to pray on a daily basis that wonderful three-open prayer, “Lord, open a door.” Which means, Lord, give me a natural opportunity to bring up my relationship with you; something going on in their life, or my life, or in the world. And then, “Lord, open their heart.” Lord, get them ready for this. And then, “Lord, open my mouth.” Give me the words; give me the approach, give me the courage. “Lord, open a door. Lord, open their heart. Lord, open my mouth.” Because I understand I’ve been placed in their life. I’m the one to deliver your Good News.
See, you have more influence on that person than any Christian persuader could ever have – any specialist. You’re in their life. So, don’t wait for the specialist to tell them. My brother, my sister, the rescue is up to you.