We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:20)
Embassies, ambassadors, and their staff need the permission of their host country to work there. Any diplomatic mission depends on the understanding of mutual benefits. Every individual and every human organization is a “kingdom” of its own. Before anyone else can influence that kingdom permission has to be given. The rules of etiquette of heaven are followed on earth too. As God’s ambassadors we need to understand those rules and how spiritual diplomacy works.
The rules are simple. In order to get permission to be an influence, an ambassador must find favor and convince the foreign ruler that something of value is on offer, a benefit to their kingdom.
We have all met three kinds of people or organizations. Some receive us right away and are happy to take our advice and allow us to use our gifts and resources to help them. Others immediately erect barriers so that we can’t make friends and the relationship seems fruitless. In between rejection and acceptance is a third kind. These people need time to figure us and our beliefs out. In every case, it is all about favoring us and knowing that what we bring is genuinely good.
When we are rejected or treated with caution there are two diplomatic tools we can use in response. The first is to convince doubters that our offering is good. I like the following definition of love: seeking the very best for people. As God’s children, we know that life in relationship with Him is the very best. The relationship itself is the most wonderful part but He also provides us everything that we need and guides us in good paths. Having been reconciled to God ourselves we can honestly beg others to accept the same reconciliation because we know His blessings. But are we consistent in our desire for the best for everyone? Is that what others sense from us? The more we can avoid favoritism, spitefulness, or being judgmental, the more we will receive favor and permission.
Second, we can ask our King to exert His influence on hesitant and resistant human kings so that they give us favor and accept our offering as pleasant. Nehemiah was God’s ambassador to Persia. Four months passed between his hearing about the shameful state of Jerusalem and making his request to the king. During that time Nehemiah prayed and fasted. When he finally had opportunity to ask the king for permission to rebuild the city walls, his request met with the favor and pleasure of the king. Intercession changes things.
The goal of Bible Maturity is to promote spiritual growth and faith in God. Please share these short Bible devotions with your friends and family and pray for revival.