Have you ever wanted to give up on someone (or something)? I have. But I’m thankful God’s Word instructs us differently. For starters, God didn’t give up on me.
In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus said it this way: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, “Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down! Why does it use up the ground?”
But [the keeper of the vineyard] answered and said to him, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.”
We need to be careful we don’t write people off early. In fact, all of us should be glad God didn’t write us off early — but instead saw that a little digging around our roots, mixed with some fertilizer of love, patience, and truth, would produce a good harvest.
So what is our responsibility if there seems to be no indication whatsoever of a person, or even a nation, turning to God? You and I can intercede (fertilizing the soil of their hearts) through our prayers. It should be our daily prayer, “Lord, who do You want me to talk to (or pray for) today?” It may just be that our actions help “dig around” the hardness and prepare hearts, lives, and nations for salvation.
Jesus indicated we can make a difference. So never underestimate the power you have… or the power Jesus has given you. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). “Assuredly, I say to you whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:18-19).[Tweet “It seems Jesus had confidence in our prayers– and faith we would put them to good use!”]
The only reason we would want to write someone off is: we’re worn out, we’ve lost hope, and/or we ourselves have drifted from the Gospel. So let’s be careful. If we’re wanting to write someone or something off, it’s a big indicator that we ourselves are much weaker than we’d like to admit.
Maybe the digging and fertilizing needs to be around our own heart first.