Friday, July 12, 2013

A New Heart for the Nations

Throughout our time here in Zim, God has been working in the hearts of our team just as much if not more than He has been working through us. As we've been going through Acts, over and over we've been reminded of the boldness and urgency we're to have in sharing the gospel, both overseas and at home. 

One illustration that was in our group Bible study has particularly spoken to me, as well as many on our team. The illustration was that if you were standing by the bank of a stream, and some little children were drowning, you wouldn't need to wait for someone to tell you to go rescue them. You would not wait for an officer to come by with a legal document personally designating you to rescue them, to jump into the stream. You would despise yourself if there was a possibility of saving them, and yet you stood on the bank waiting for a specific "call" or for someone to push you to do so. 

So many people have treated the missionary "call" just like this.  Myself included. The Bible however, doesn't say "Go tell people about me if I call you to a specific place" or "Go preach the Gospel only if you "feel called" to do so". The Bible says "go". 

Over and over in the word of God there are accounts of preaching the word with such boldness. In Acts, Paul doesn't sit at home while he waits for God to instruct him where to go specifically, he goes out and preaches among the nations until God sends him to the next place. Yes, missions at home is also very important. If we can't minister to those around us and share the gospel at home, more than likely we won't be willing or effective to share it overseas. But the longer I've been here, the more He has been revealing Himself to me through scripture, and the more I have begun to see God's heart for the nations, and the urgency to spread His name among people who haven't heard it, and don't understand it. He has begun to make in me a heart for reaching the lost in places other than just the U.S. 

God has shown me over and over this summer that He calls His children to have boldness and reckless obedience for His name sake. He has commanded us to share this life saving news with drowning people all over the world. We just have to be obedient and go do it. One verse He has specifically laid on my heart this week is Romans 15:20 "and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, 'Those who have never been told of Him will see, and those who have never heard will understand." I don't know the specifics of what God has in His plan for me to do in the future, far or near, but I pray that I will have the obedience and boldness of the first Christians to do what He has commanded me. He may call me to stay at home, but He has already commanded me to go.