Answer 10: He gives us the words to say.
I flew into Seattle a few weeks ago as part of a ministry trip in the US. From the airport I caught an Uber for the hour-long drive to where I was going. I was truly exhausted from over 20 hours of flying from Sydney, through LA and on to Seattle. I crawled into the back seat of the Uber and blearily greeted Ross, my driver. I said to God, “God, I’m wiped out. All I want to do is sleep. But I’m available if Ross is wanting to talk.” Then I left it in God’s hands. I even told Ross how exhausted I was.
But Ross wanted to talk. He asked me what I was there for and was quite interested when I mentioned that worked with churches to help them share the message of Jesus more effectively. He asked me, “Which area of Christianity is growing the fastest? Is it the Mormons?” I was so brain dead. I didn’t have the energy to think about clever ways to turn the conversation to the gospel, or to connect with Ross’s heart needs. I just asked the Holy Spirit to give Ross the message he wanted Ross to hear.
Words popped into my mind. I told Ross that we don’t really consider Mormons to be Christians because, like other cults, they get three foundations of Christianity wrong: 1) They have an ultimate authority other than the Bible that tells them what to believe, even if they hold the Bible as a second authority; 2) They don’t accept the deity of Jesus Christ; and 3) they say that you have to keep their list of rules in order to be acceptable to God, totally missing the Bible’s message that a good relationship with God doesn’t come from what you can do, but from what Jesus has already done for you!
We had a good conversation about salvation by grace rather than works, and Ross mentioned several other supposedly Christian groups that get that wrong too in his experience.
When we arrived at our destination, I was completely spent, yet at the same time, content. God had revealed himself through me to Ross, even in my weakness. He had given me words to help Ross see the gospel message of grace.
Ross got out of the car to thank me for the conversation. “You’ve given me a lot to think about. I got a lot out of it.”
When Jesus told his followers they would face hard times and be dragged before judges, he told them not to worry, that the Spirit would give them at that time what they should say. You might not be facing persecution, but the Spirit will still give you what to say as you make yourself available to him, even when you are tired and can hardly get your words straight!