That girl I mentioned in my *previous post –the one I dated at age 16, who confronted me about life-long relationships and missions? Here’s the rest of the story.
She had this mission’s thing in her head since she was about eight years of age. Matter of fact, back then she wanted to be a missionary nurse. But she heard about the gory stuff with blood & needles and open wounds so she dropped the nurse part and kept the missionary idea.
Fast forward a half-dozen years and you would find us married and both in relationship with the Lord. But the missionary idea wasn’t exactly affirmed between us. You see, we were involved in ministry; we had a new baby, I had a good job, and lots of stuff. Little did I realize how comfortable I made life for my family until God prompted my heart about missions. Suddenly the tables were turned.
Up until this point we had an effective ministry of evangelism & discipleship, but something was missing. We’d been praying for months about what more we could do in serving the Lord. It was during these months that God affirmed to my heart the truth of Romans 15:20 –that we should focus our evangelism efforts in making disciples among the nations.
I announced this new-found purpose to my wife, thinking she would be excited in realizing the dream of her youth. She thought I was crazy. “You’re crazy,” she said. I looked at her in disbelief.
She wasn’t flippin’ tables but she certainly wasn’t buying into the notion that we should forsake all and move to some remote part of the world where people lived beyond the reach of the gospel.
“Why not?”, I asked, to which she reasoned that we could do ministry here. Mind you, this was ‘that girl’ who confronted me not too many years earlier that we needed to be involved in missions.
She wasn’t budging now, and that was a problem. She wanted to ‘stay with the stuff’ rather than risking it all for sake of going where the gospel was never declared.
I couldn’t go it alone and I wasn’t about to leave on my own. I rationalized that either God’s gonna’ haffta’ change His Word or else He would have to change her heart. …So I waited and I prayed. …And I waited some more and I prayed some more. It went on for around four months until I saw the answer to that prayer.
One evening when I came home from work I found my wife weeping as she rocked our baby. At first I thought something had happened to one or both of them but I quickly learned that nothing at all had happened to them. Now you just don’t sit around and cry for nothing, do you? Well, maybe women do!
I asked if there was something wrong. My wife began telling me the experience of her day. She was sitting there rocking the baby and looking at all the nice things we had accumulated over the years. We had a nice home with nice furnishings, we had a few motor toys, we had the baby, and our collections of fine things. She said the thought came to her that in light of eternity it’s all gonna’ burn someday.
So I questioned, “What does that mean?”
She went on to say that when it’s all said and done, the only thing she would have left to lay at the feet of Jesus would be a big pile of ashes.
“…And what does that mean?” I asked.
“Well,” she said, “let’s go get the souls of lost people.”
LOST PEOPLE… that’s exactly what Jesus saw when he looked upon the crowds in Matthew chapter nine. There’s a fine line between chapter nine and ten. That fine line has to do with having compassion on those outside the hearing of the gospel and doing something about it.
The encouraging part of the story is that God moved us out when the time was right. I’m glad about the choices we made to step on faith to trust God in this journey.
Has it been easy? …No!
Would we do it again, given the chance earlier on in life? Perhaps.
More importantly, we knew we needed to do more than hear the command to make disciples; we HAD to go… or we could disobey. We’re bringing that life challenge to everyone we meet.
I met a man recently who said he has worked 28 years as an engineer. He said he is forty-nine years of age and has nothing to show of eternal value for his efforts and that he is looking to change that situation by investing his life for God’s glory. You see, obedience to God’s Word has no age limit –we’re never too old to impact someone for Christ.
I don’t know where you are in the journey of glorifying God by your vocation but I do believe each of us have something to give in making disciples among the nations. It just might be time we consider flippin’ tables and contribute our time and talents as Jesus commands us to do. Whatcha’ think???
We’re here to help you discover this journey through a closer look into the Word and to help you discover what God intends for you to do about lost people… those around you, those in your community, and most of all are those living beyond the reach of the gospel. How will they ever hear if we don’t go?