Paul spent his time and efforts in places where people had no idea about who Jesus really was. He was driven to somehow get there and explain the good news to people who had never heard it, so that:
“Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” Isaiah 52:15
Who’s going to live with this same ambition today? Who’s going to use their years and efforts to get to places where no-one knows Jesus? Who’s going to uproot their lives and move to one of the few places where people don’t get to ever meet followers of Christ? Who’s going to learn one of these languages, and learn to operate in one of these cultures, so they can show people Jesus, and then teach them to love and follow him?
This will keep you away from people and things that you love, just like it did for Paul.
“This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.” Romans 15:22
This is serious stuff, seriously painful separation. Young mothers who move to these places will have to raise their kids away from loving, caring, grandparents. University students will have to say goodbye to all their closest friends. Some will have to leave wonderful ministry opportunities, great churches, and pressing needs at home. I had to let go of awesome plans for a music career with an incredible friend. It can feel like jumping into a black hole, away from so many good and beautiful things in life.
But you’ll be living for Jesus, the sweetest name, your soul’s refrain.
(thanks to Will Reagan for the lyric)
You’ll be hearing this lovely song roll out of your heart into new places and echo through untouched valleys.
You’ll be smelling his fragrance as it fills up rooms with the sweetness of the news of his sacrificial love.
You’ll be seeing sprouts grow out of the desert, and springs of living water crack open in dry places.
You’ll be using that talent entrusted to you to make tens or hundreds more.
You’ll be encouraging brothers and sisters, and parenting children in the Lord.
You will come to impossible situations, and see him come through for you.
You’ll suffer, and feel his comfort.
You’ll persevere, and grow in his strength and stamina.
You’ll see something awesome, and his heart will leap for joy within you.
You’ll be walking with your best friend, wherever you go.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20
You’ll learn to love his glory and his friendship more and more, and you’ll be filled with the beauty and the joy of knowing him. And of course, he’ll give you more family, more friends, and more unexpected awesomeness along the way. (Matt 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29)
“Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” Matt 19:29
Go ahead. Lean your life into something that God cares deeply about.
Live to know him, love him, and let them know him too. Go where others aren’t going.
Where are these dark, unreached places? According to ghi.org here’s a list of the top 20:
Who’s got that same ambition that Paul had, burning within them?
“It’s God who works in your to will and to act according to his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13