For those giving their lives...

If you spend your years on behalf of a people hungry for the gospel, if you waste the prime of your life in a place where people are cut off from the good news, then this promise applies to you:

“The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
(Isaiah 58:11)

When we pour out our lives in difficult, dark places, God pours out his love and goodness on us.

Share "For those giving their lives..."

Share on: FacebookTwitter

Aslan is on the move...

When we hear the word of the Lord, when Christ pushes us forward to a person, to a people, to a place, something happens… When we know we’re setting our steps to be working with him, in exactly the time and space that he wants to be with us, we come alive.

It’s something like how the children felt when the Beaver from Narnia mentioned that Aslan was on the move.

“At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.”

There’s a childlike excitement and drive that propels us forward in knowing Christ, in prayer, in cross-cultural work, language learning, and talking to the lost. It sometimes is very trying and difficult, it often requires perseverance and resolve, but it shouldn’t always feel like a dry straining.

“To many Christians the thought of a life wholly abiding in Christ is one of strain and painful effort. They cannot see that the strain and effort only come, as long as we do not yield ourselves unreservedly to the life of Christ in us.” (Andrew Murray)

Yielding ourselves unreservedly to the life of Christ in us… I think this is the kind of surrender and yielding that Paul described his own “work” as. He was propelled ever forward by the desires of the Spirit inside of him.

“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Col 1:29

It’s not trying to work up a bunch of motivation and work hard with that. It’s about emptying ourselves and receiving his ambition. It’s not about working up the courage to go do something scary, it’s letting go and trusting that he’ll be with you in that scary place. It’s about yielding ourselves to the life and passions of Christ, wherever they may be. They could be among flocks of Muslim families in a park during Ramadan, or in another more difficult country that he’s calling us to, or in sweet communion with the Father in a prayer closet.

The lion of Judah is roaring and charging forward inside of us. We’re just trying to keep up.

Make sure you’re knowing him, knowing his voice, and don’t settle for anything less. Get on your knees, and get his heart for the people. Get his heart for whoever he wants you to go to.

Share "Aslan is on the move..."

Share on: FacebookTwitter

Find Strength in God

As we follow Him and live for the Gospel, we turn away from a more ‘normal’ path of life. And so we can face difficulties and discouragements that might push us to despair.

There are times when a worker for Christ can be tempted to feel cut off from everything good and life-giving.

But the key is finding strength in God, and not in our circumstances. Then we can joyfully overcome whatever craziness is thrown our way and keep running forward into the good works prepared for us.

David did this when he faced an incredibly brutal situation:

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)

And at other times a friend came alongside him to help direct him towards God’s strength:

“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” (1 Samuel 23:16)

We need to be people who believe and take hold of that strength, so that we can walk with him wherever, whenever.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16)

Share "Find Strength in God"

Share on: FacebookTwitter

Too Stressed to Listen

We can be too stressed to listen and hear his voice.

But why the stress? Why the preoccupation with the impossibility of the situation? Isn’t it rooted in an unspoken lack of trust in the One who stands above all things?

And how can we expect to receive counsel and answers, or action and solutions from someone that we don’t trust.

Without faith, it’s impossible to communicate with and relate to God.

And so, the first, biggest, and most crucial assignment in everything we do is to be in the position described in Psalm 131:

“I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.” (Psalm 131)

The child is too simple to be filled with doubt or accusations about the inability of the mother to provide, care, and make sure that everything will work out fine.

We could do with a good dose of that childlike innocence.

When we take the position of the resting, trusting child, we’ll have an open mind to hear his voice.

Share "Too Stressed to Listen"

Share on: FacebookTwitter

Barren mothers bear fruit

It’s ok to feel barren or unproductive. Great people were born of completely sterile mothers.

Sampson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were all born from barren, embarrased mothers.

All of these mothers had incredible encounters with God, as he spoke to them and provided a child.

Perhaps because they knew that their sons were not from them, but a gift from God, the Lord was free and eager to use them to display his glory.

Cry out to God like Hannah, and get a son like Samuel.

It’s through these kinds of humble people that God does mighty, earth shattering things.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
In the Lord my horn is lifted high…
She who was barren has borne seven children”
(1 Samuel 2)

Share "Barren mothers bear fruit"

Share on: FacebookTwitter

What is the work?

What is the work? What do we do?

It’s the “work of Christ.” (Phil 2:30)

  • carrying his life
  • interceeding with him
  • making him known
  • teaching what he commanded
  • doing what he says
  • living and suffering with him
  • going with him to “the next village” (Mark 1)

These are the simple terms that the apostles used to describe what today we call “missions.” They were witnesses of Christ, messengers of Christ, servants and ambassadors of Christ. They were minister’s of God’s reconciliation in Christ.

The work, the salvation, and the church is his. He won’t give his glory to another.

The work of Christ: it’s a precious spiritual commodity that he gives out to us. We can’t package it, methodize it, or pay people to do it. We can’t reproduce it with human strength, resources, or ingenuity.

We can only get it from him, and we can only do it with him.

He is the vision, he is the fuel, and his glory is the result.

It’s simply, “the work of Christ.”

The challenge in this thing we call missions, is to remember that.

“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:28)

Share "What is the work?"

Share on: FacebookTwitter