Read His Words Before Ours!
My husband and I said, “Yes” to the something big two years ago.
We’ve been married 10 years, we have three children, two with us, and one with Jesus. We’ve lived in seven houses in three countries.
We’re familiar with the Lord asking us to do something and us (trying) to say yes.
Our most costly “yes”, however, came when He asked us to Go.
For us, going meant moving across the world to share the Gospel with people who haven’t heard it and don’t have access to it from other people in their culture.
These are the unreached.
The price tag for obedience is varied for many, but Jesus says in Matthew 8 it may involve not having a place to lay your head. In Luke 14, Jesus says one should hate his father and mother in order to leave and follow Him. While not literal in meaning, these examples demonstrate what it looks like to surrender. We must be ready to give up everything we hold dear to us if we really want a deep, vibrant relationship with Him. This is not only my family’s cost for obedience, this is for every Christ follower!
Serving in cross-cultural evangelism is hard.
We moved to a country where we knew no one and didn’t speak the language. The food was strange and spicy, the traffic didn’t seem to have any system beyond Don’t Crash. While we have a really comfortable place to live, the plumbing is taped together, the washing machine is filled with mold, and the bugs and critters seem to multiply overnight.
One of our elderly neighbors passed away a few months ago. We attended the wake service for her and our eyes were opened again to the lostness and lack of hope without Jesus. Her religion believes that the night someone dies, God and Satan fight for the soul of the deceased. In order to get that person to Heaven, the family and friends must say special prayers and recite parts of their holy book with great fervor.
Hopefully, the deceased makes it in to Heaven.
We sat for nearly three hours listening to these petitions.
Many people had the prayers memorized.
Some used a book as they recited empty, hollow, words.
Wearing a scarf and long sleeves in the uncooled room was stifling.
Our kids were fussing and bored, tired of sitting quietly for so long.
Spiritually, the heaviness and darkness in that place was oppressive.
This is part of our price for following Jesus with everything we have.
When we see the heart of God, it’s easier to understand why He requires a 100% surrender. Jesus says in John 10:16,
“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
The why is rooted in radical love!
This neighbor and her family belong to an unreached people group in our city.
If there is no one to tell them of the redeeming love of our Creator God,
How Will They Know?
How will they believe anything different
than their traditional upbringing dictates?
Paul asks these same, bold questions in his letter to the Romans.
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in?
And how can they believe without hearing about him?
And how can they hear without a preacher?
And how can they preach unless they are sent?
As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
If all Christ asked of us was a head-nod assent to the fact that He is God and died to save us, then we not only cheapen His sacrifice, but we also miss out on being bearers of His good news. The cost to carry the good news is high, it’s total surrender.
But it is worth it!
Jesus asks us to give all, but He gave all of Himself first.
And He did it out of love for the lost who did not know Him.
Part of our task is sharing the Gospel with everyone the Holy Spirit prompts us to share with. This requires boldness we do not possess on our own, which is why God gives us His own Spirit inside of us to teach us how to surrender in obedience.
We frequent our neighborhood mall, markets, and playgrounds with the desire to proclaim the Good News often. We also work with a local group of believers to bring increased health to our church, with the long-term goal of seeing them reach their neighbors with the Gospel. All that sounds good on paper, but in the flesh, it’s messy at best, and always involves surrender.
In reflecting on our previous year on the field, the Lord has taught me repeatedly how the goal of my life is not to make it easy.
I’m not promised an easy life in Scripture.
In fact, I’m promised quite the opposite.
“If they persecute me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18)
In the midst of this challenging year, He has shown how the joy of my salvation will sustain me. By God’s grace, we may learn to be more effective on the field, but it likely will never get easier. And that’s okay.
What “yes” is He leading you into today, dear one?
Carve out time to ask Him, Lord what would you have me do?
Listen for His gentle whispers.
Praise the Lord, you don’t have to be ready for what He’s asking you to do.
He’ll do it through you as you give Him your yes!
Count the cost, place it before Him as an offering, and step out in surrender.
Immense joy, found in that tight space, is waiting for you!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!