This is a guest blog by my friend Daniel Vogler from RevivalLifestyle.com. Daniel is an amazing man of God and I can’t recommend the man enough, below he shares some great thoughts on ministering to people out of compassion and not compulsion.
Make sure you let him know what you think by leaving a comment below and he’ll get back to you on any questions or thoughts you have.
The number one way God starts speaking to me in every-day situations is by moving my heart with compassion. I can’t tell you how many times I was in a public place, surrounded by thousands of people running some sort of errand and not even thinking about ministering to anyone as it happened. One person suddenly catches my eye. Somehow they just seem to stick out of the crowd. I feel my heart being moved and somehow can’t get my eyes of their face. That’s when I know Holy Spirit is up to something and I start asking Him for prophetic insight as I approach them and jump into the next God-adventure. After talking to many revivalists throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that compassion usually is the number one way God grabs our attention.
Jesus was moved by compassion
14 times can we read in the Gospels that Jesus was moved by compassion for people. One example is Matthew 20:34 where it says: “…Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes…”. Isn’t it fascinating how whenever Jesus felt compassion, He would stop everything He was doing and focus fully on that person His heart was being stirred up for. I think it’s safe to say that compassion was a big part in how the Spirit led Jesus in His ministry. How much does it influence you in your daily decisions?
“Never be too busy to stop for the one.” – Heidi Baker
Seeing with God’s eyes
One day in my early teenage years I told God “Lord give me your heart. I want to feel what you feel. I want to laugh over what you laugh and weep over what you weep.”. Well, God pretty much took this prayer serious. I spent a few sleepless nights laying on my face crying as flashes of hundreds of pictures were appearing in front of my eyes. Faces of hopeless individuals, broken families, people being hurt and abused… it went on and on and I could feel the pain and compassion a father would feel for his child in each of these situations. Then He would lead me into a vision of the vast power of His Gospel and I spent an other couple of hours laughing, getting filled up with hope. These encounters changed my life forever. It’s as if Holy Spirit brought my heart in tune with what and how God sees. Think about it for a moment: every single second God – being omnipresent – sees Billions of people hurting, suffering and dying. His heart must be bleeding over the incredible amount of injustice brought upon the ones his love is abundant for. At the same time He sees the fullness and of the beauty of His kingdom and the power of the Blood to save and restore every soul. What would happen to us, if we shared His perspective? I think we’d feel an intense sense of urgency and joyful hope at the same time. This mixture of emotions was exactly what motivated me to step out on the streets of my hometown in Germany at the age of 16 with no experience or guidance in evangelism whatsoever and to start a ministry that was gonna impact hundreds of people. I recommend you to take a minute to watch this video. I’m sure it’ll inspire you even more than you hopefully already are by reading this:
Click here to read the full lyrics of “Give me Your eyes”.
Fear – the compassion-killer
Did you ever realize that our hearts get easily stirred up with compassion for helpless little babies? I know this sounds a bit random, but see where I’m going with this. It’s true for any sort of living creature: As long as their small, harmless and cute, it seems to be an easy thing to be compassionate with them. We call it “protective instinct”. Once they’re grown up, however, this seems to become a harder and harder task. I discovered that our ability to be compassionate gets blocked in the moment we perceive something as dangerous.
Test yourself. How much compassion do you feel when you look at the picture on the top of the cute, fluffy wolf baby? Now look at the picture below. Did anything change? Thats’ what I thought.
Recently I saw a poll on a large Christian website asking people: “Should Christians go to Bars to share the Gospel?”. I was saddened to see that 86% of the believers responding said something like “No. It’s way to dangerous and tempting.”
I believe we’ll have a hard time feeling any form of love and compassion for anything we fear or are disgusted by. That’s why it’s crucial for us as revivalists to walk in a revelation of our identity as overcomes and a full measure of His love. Do you see yourself as a doctor who’s coming to bring healing to the sick, or someone inferior who might get infected by the sickness of the other person? The way you answer this question might determine if you can feel compassion for the run-down drug addict pointing a gun in your face, or not. I know that’s a bit of an extreme example, but you get the point.
I speak out of own experience when I say that if we ignore these tiny emotions in our hearts for too long, we can grow unable to notice them anymore. We can run through our busy lives and miss out an a whole bunch of God encounters if we don’t allow our hearts to be moved by divine compassion. Luckily God – as always – is ready to completely restore your heart in this area. Here are three practical steps you can take to grow in compassion:
1. Pray and invite Holy Spirit to begin to move your heart for what moves Him again. Remember the Chorus of the Brandon Heath’s song above? “Give me your eyes for just one second, Give me your eyes so I can see, everything that I keep missing, Give me your love for humanity.”
2. Go into a public place, sit down somewhere and simply observe people – in a non-stalkish way of course. Focus on the person, that seems to be most interesting to you for any reason and begin to ask yourself: What is this person going through right now? What’s going on in their lives? Where are they coming from right now? What’s God perspective on them and their future? Now test your heart for any feeling of compassion. Then go tell them.
3. Steward your growing love and compassion towards others by giving it room. Stop whatever you do when you feel a hint of compassion for someone in any situation and allow this emotion to develop. Take a minute and get creative. What could you do to brighten up that person’s day? What are God’s thoughts about them?
My Questions to you:
When was the last time you were moved by compassion for someone? Did you act on it? Do you have anything to add on to this topic? I’d love to hear your opinion so leave a comment below!