By His Grace

Does God work through unbelievers?

Posted on: October 21, 2013

usandthem

This post is a personal situation I’m going through and would appreciate any input from my brothers, sisters in Christ and fellow friends in recovery. 

There is a man at work who wants to pursue a friendship.  He is a manager and has been awesome with helping me have a “voice” at work during times when I was having some issues with getting more shifts, more tables, etc.  Essentially, making more money.  Because of his input to the higher ups, on my account, I have made awesome money this week.  I am grateful.  Very grateful.

Now mind you, I am not naïve.  I know that this “friendship” he wants to pursue will develop into stronger feelings.  Feelings that I am not ready for.  He knows I am a Christian.  He is not a believer.   He does not make fun of my beliefs (to my face anyway), but I have heard him scoff at the very mention of Jesus Christ and God.  He made a comment yesterday about the church crowd coming in for lunch.  He mentioned that “these people go to church and act all ‘good’ yet it’s obvious one of them is a homosexual”.  I looked at him and said, “God loves everybody.”  Someone gave him a little card about salvation, and he laughed and said “can you believe they gave this to me?”  And threw it away.  He knows how I feel about God and Jesus, and I was offended.  It hurt my feelings.  But I didn’t let him see that. 

I was contemplating getting a second job, and was very torn about this decision.  Reason being, I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot and have my current job be upset and take me off the schedule all together.  I do appreciate this man’s input and advice.  So I went to him for advice.  He knows the restaurant owners better than I do and he told me they wouldn’t like it, especially with the busy season coming.  There is always another person wanting my job.  So I decided to not go for the interview at this other restaurant.  I was up in the air about what to do.  I prayed boldly about it. 

My first thoughts are to seek God with my decision making and what choices to make.  But I wasn’t positive of what to do and thought maybe God was opening a door for me to make more money.  But I had never got a clear cut answer from God if this was His will or not.  I had to make a decision within 3 days.  So I sought other advice.  And I believe I made the right decision now by cancelling the interview.

Now back to the whole “friendship” thing.  He kept pressing me into talking about how we feel about each other.  He says I’m running away from myself.  This was my response to that comment, “I am not running away from myself.  I am very confident in who I am, but at this point of my life, I am focusing on myself.  I don’t have the emotional or mental room for others right now.”  This is the truth.  I found myself thinking too much about this man, when I should be filling my thoughts with Jesus.  I was very uncomfortable allowing an unbeliever from the opposite sex filling my thoughts.  I could tell it was wrong.  The Holy Spirit was grieving about this and I felt it. 

So today I put an end to it.  I told him we can stay work friends and that’s it.  He was very polite about it and backed off (at least for now). 

Here are my questions:usthem

  • When do we seek human advice from man when we aren’t hearing from God, especially if we need an answer within a deadline?
  • We have to work in a world of unbelievers, how dangerous is it for us to follow their advice about our careers?
  • God works through people, do you believe God also works through unbelievers to bless us?  Why do you believe this?
  • How close are we to get to an unbeliever?  Should we develop close friendships with them?
  • Should we have an attitude of “us” and “them” ?

20 Responses to "Does God work through unbelievers?"

Hello Michelle,

Just checking in on ya. Pray all is well my sister. Hope you are keeping the faith and still trusting God to do what only He can do. God bless and I love ya. Debra

Thank you and God bless you sister.

Has this situation changed any?

Sorry it took so long to respond, I appreciate you asking. yes, the situation is better.

You have received very wise responses/advice especially the first two.

I would only add Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,..
God can and will use the ungodly to bless us, we can listen/hear what they have to say…however that does not mean we adhere to their advice. Prov 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Don’t convict yourself or feel remorse for following his advice. We’re all growing spiritually and will make mistakes. God’s grace is always much greater than any mistake a person could ever make.
He knows your heart… and many times He blesses us in-spite of our mistakes. That’s how good He is to us. So be blessed.

When I was growing up we would recite Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Personally I don’t think it’s us against them. For now, they’re just sheep without a shepherd. Only when they come to see what you have in Christ
(peace, joy, love, abundance, health etc.) that you are Holy (the opposite of Holy is common) set apart, uncommon, then they will want to know the God that you serve so they can have what you have.

I saw your comment on Noel’s blog (livingthekingdom) and left a comment there for you.
I was unable to post the link to the video, but it’s just the second lesson to the video I have in the above comment.
God Bless you..(I was truly inspired by the people you have commenting on your blog. Makes me blessed to be a part of the body of Christ).

I too am blessed by the people who comment on my blog, yours included. Thank you for the Scriptures. It helps alot. I’ve been distancing myself from this person at work. For whatever reason he wants to be close to me but I think he’s getting the message that I want to be left alone. Thanks again and many blessings to you! :-)

I was a year saved when i got involved with a non beleiver and convinced it was right i persued the relationship futher to the point of leaving my home to come and live with my now spouse , you see we can let our emotional feelings take over and then become convinced that its the right thing we are doing when the bible is plain and clear not to be yoked with unbeleivers , I then moved to england to be with my partner and live with her and had children then after a while i fell away and backslided into the ways of the world for about 6 years , The blessing is that God will never leave us or forsake us even when as christians we do things which are against his will , 5 years ago I came back to the Lord I am now married to my partner and have children but I can tell you it is hard and a struggle ,but thanks be to the Lord my wife is not hostile to christianity or Jesus or the bible and she is very open and listens when i get the chance to wittness to her , I have bibles for my children and talk to them about Jesus and they ask questions , When you get involved with a non believer it can affect your relationship with Jesus and make things a lot harder as both see things and do things drifferent which can bring conflict and pain and suffering , but i Thank God he gives me Grace to bear up every day and i continue to pray for my wifes salvation.

hope this helps

God bless

Thank you for commenting. I will pray for your wife’s salvation too. God bless!

You answered your own question in the beginning of your blog ” Feelings that I am not ready for.” That is the answer. God’s word says…

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

So there you have it. I can tell that your friend wants to know the truth but he’s acting like he doesn’t. Sounds like he knows what he should do…but choses not to. Just let your light shine and be an acquaintance to him and nothing more. Don’t lean on him for help and guidance either.

If you want to seek counsel from godly people that’s good but rely on prayer and the guidance from the Holy Spirit more. I tell you from experience…the more you rely on others for guidance the more trials God seems to give you until you learn to rely on Him alone and first. It has taken me years to get this and I still don’t always do it but I’m getting better. Go with YOUR first instinct and you’ll be OK.

Lord Guide my sister and direct her in her spirit the things that you want her to know about her situation. Thank for letting her reach out for truth because she wants to please you. Please bless her with your love and care. In Jesus powerful name…amen.

Thank you Tanya. I appreciate the advice especially about God giving more trials until I totally rely on Him. You always seem to say just thing I need to hear at that moment. Bless you! :-)

Hi Michele,

If I can share my opinion on your questions:

1. From my experience when I am not ‘hearing’ God it means that I am cluttered and distracted because He never yells above the ‘noise’ that’s going on inside of me. His voice will never compete for my attention when I am distracted. But sometimes even when I feel as if I am not ‘hearing’ and I get a little panicky, there is a feeling that lets me know what is the right thing to do.

2. We will always work with non-believers but they are never our primary source of advice. Even if they offer input on our careers, it still has to line up with what we believe God is wanting us to do. There are many that guided me in my career and some I didn’t have the privilege of knowing if they were a believer or not, but their guidance usually confirmed something God already said or it lined up with what I ‘felt’ in my spirit.

3. Yes, God uses anyone however He chooses. There are so many instances in the bible where non-believers were used by God, to bless and punish believers (Rahab the harlot was used to save the spies), but there are more..

4. I personally believe there is nothing wrong with befriending an unbeliever. If anyone needs our ‘light’ it is the unbelievers. (light doesn’t impact light, it impacts darkness). In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul says even though he is free, he became all things to all men so he could win more over to Christ. However, we should have influence over them not vice versa.

5. I do believe there is an us against them. ‘Us’ being the body of Christ, ‘them’ being the world. We are to be set apart from the world. There should be a difference in us. However, we show love and compassion and seek every opportunity to win them over to Christ.

For the past year I have been working with a very vocal atheist. He always comes over to my area and hangs around me, but God has not told me to engage him. I do know that I have to walk my faith out in front of him though. God has been blessing me tremendously at work and the other day the atheist guy told me he wanted some of what I had: some of that ‘religious’ stuff :) :)

Stay focused on God and what ever comes your way make sure He gets ALL the glory. He is a jealous God ;)

Blessings my sister ;)
JC

That’s incredible to hear about your atheist coworker wanting what you have. That warms my heart! This man at my work has already said I am special and there is something different about me. I responded “it’s Jesus”, and put my hand over my heart. He tisked and didn’t like that response. I really like what you said about God not shouting above the clutter in my head. Good analogy and it totally makes sense. Spot on, thank you. :-) I really appreciate your detailed message. It’s just what I needed. Many blessings to you my sister JC!

JC…your advice is very wise and so on point. That atheist on your job is begging to be saved and you are handling him so right by letting your light shine and being that salty Christian. God bless you and keep you in His loving care.

P.S.- You should be out there preaching with all that goodness and gifts that you have! :-)

Amen and Praise God!

Still at work and you just made my night ;)

Blessings sister and thanks for you kind words ;)

JC

For what it’s worth, I definitely do not believe we should have an “us and them” mentality. It’s thinking like that that has gotten the disrespect of people toward the church in general. I do believe that we should not get too close, friendship-wise, though. It’s a difficult question, as friendships open a door for sharing the gospel, but we can’t get too close, or we run the risk of being pulled down. I feel rather strongly about not developing romantic relationships with unbelievers, though.

Can God work through them? Absolutely. Remember, he used a donkey to speak to Baalam! :-D And I believe that it’s perfectly fine to ask for advice from an unbeliever, especially if they have a strong understanding of the subject we are asking about.

May not have helped much, but we need discernment from the Spirit in situations like this. I think you were definitely right to cut this one off.

Grace and peace!

Yes, Jeff I believe too to not develop romance with unbelievers. I hadn’t done this in the past, but I’ve grown so much spiritually these past 5 years that it is now a conviction of mine. According to your comment about “getting pulled down”, this is probably why I am so apprehensive about getting too close. This relates alot to my prior substance and alcoholism. I found myself thinking about this last night and the thought of having a drink to calm my nerves came into my head. Not good, so I nipped it in the bud with this guy via text messages last night and felt alot better. Thanks for your feedback Jeff. You’re awesome. God bless!

@”God works through people, do you believe God also works through unbelievers to bless us? Why do you believe this?”

how can God turn unbelievers to believers if God cannot work through them?

God works in all things. If He must, He will chose His sons and daughters to bless the other sons and daughters. but, He can and will make use of anything possible to bless His children

@”How close are we to get to an unbeliever? Should we develop close friendships with them?”

when i became a christian (or so i though), i started to distance myself with unbelievers. i though of them as dirty, sinners, bad influence and wicked.

unbelievers started calling me hypocrite.

it was then after i realize the gospel. the gospel that attracts sinners.

so now i try my best to get close to unbelievers. by God’s grace, i have shared the gospel to them.

telling unbelievers “you are going to hell” is never gonna work.
but having a good friendship with them, showing them the Love of Christ that is in you, will definitely gonna work.

you may have not preach the gospel with your words, but you have definitely preach the gospel through your actions

@”Should we have an attitude of “us” and “them” ?”

i think we should not. there is no us and them. only “we”.

now, God knows his children. just like Jesus said “I know my sheep”.

Thank you so much! Well said. I found myself nodding my head to your responses. It’s great and helps clarify for me. Thanks a bunch and God bless you!

Here’s what I think: You were wise to tell him that you can’t pursue a relationship beyond the ordinary work relationship that you have with all your fellow employees. If he were to become a believer, that’s a different story, but the Scripture is clear about a man who is not saved.

Remember that God is not limited in what He uses or who He uses to fulfill His will. He spoke through Balaam’s donkey, He used the pagan Pharaoh to elevate Joseph in Egypt, and He used a worm to teach Jonah about humility. Nothing in creation can withstand His sovereign will.

Can He use an unbeliever whose intentions may have only been to help you out to get something in return. YES! After their father Jacob died, Joseph said to his brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me: but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Gen 50:17). The Almighty is Lord of His own people, but also over all of His creation.

One last thing, your final question asks about an attitude of “us” and “them.” Read, for example, the book of Ephesians. The letter was written by Paul to believers and notice how many times he uses the word “us.” As Jesus said in John 8:42-44, everyone is either of the Father in Heaven or of the “father the devil.”

Keep the Faith in grace.

Thank you Richard. I like how you used examples from God’s Word. This helps me alot. You have an awesome understanding of God’s Word. Thanks again and many blessings to you!

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A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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