Only When We're Willing

Several missionaries on furlough have visited our church over the past few months, and quite honestly, sometimes they intimidate me. What is it about them that somehow makes them so bold for the Gospel? I wonder every time they share how they have Bible studies with nonbelievers, invite people they meet on the street to come to church, talk with their neighbors, and witnessed to the person sitting next to them on the plane ride back to the U.S.

And yet, the majority of missionaries I've heard speak in my lifetime have all said, in some way or another, that when they accepted Christ or at some point thereafter, the one thing they never wanted God to call them to was being a missionary.

I've been thinking about all this the last few months, and God has been making some things clear to me. One is that I shouldn't get annoyed by how often I hear missionaries say they didn't want that "job", because maybe they're not just bringing it up to make their bio sound more dramatic or God's call more spiritual, maybe they're bringing it up because it's true, it's human nature, that most people are reluctant to think about being missionaries because it's intimidating to consider being held accountable for really being all in for Christ, and being "in the spotlight" and no longer able to brush off what you do with your life when you're not at church on Sunday morning. The reality is, I don't like the idea, either, of having to really surrender my whole life and give up what I've got in my fists and own up to the fact that I'm often more concerned with my own comfort than Christ.

And then God reminded me, we're all supposed to be missionaries. Not just the people called to another continent, but we who are living in neighborhoods, in normal American towns . . . because you don't have to find a new world to find a lost soul. The reality is, I don't take seriously God's call to become a missionary, right where I am, in my "mission field", and this is most obvious when I'm listening to those missionaries on furlough talking about what the rest of us should be, too: bold for the Gospel.

This hasn't been as much a guilt trip, thinking through all this, as it's been a heart-prick. I know I struggle, or am simply unwilling, when it comes to not making excuses for proclaiming Christ, not only in how I live but also in sharing Truth and hope with others. And when missionaries seem like they're completely unafraid to speak of Christ, to "go, and make disciples", maybe they're not bringing it up to sound like they aren't afraid, maybe they're bringing it up because they know they're just like the rest of us and though they struggle with the same things, they've realized that even in our fear and weakness and dragging heals, if we're willing, God uses us.

No comments :

Post a Comment