For those who follow this blog along with the readings of Oswald Chambers, I apologize. I jumped a day yesterday, and now am back with his devotional for yesterday. My excuse? I’m on holidays and have no calendar on the wall in front of me? Or my hand shook and I hit the wrong link? Or I’m thinking ahead to the plans for tomorrow? Whatever the reasons, God still speaks so that I might live each day under the guidance and grace of His Word.
For today, Chambers writes that the great danger in being called by God to go into a sin-filled world with the gospel is the enormity of human need. He says our sympathy for them can overwhelm the reason and purpose for which we are sent. “The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ—‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.’”
In reversing these two days of devotional readings, I’m actually hearing the Word of the Lord with greater impact that I would have otherwise. We are in a large city. Going from my personal space where I spend most of my days to a metropolis filled with needs, plus listening to the news with even greater intensity, has me feeling that overwhelming sense of where does a person even start?
There is so much need, so many people, that I can barely pray for it all, never mind do anything. It is to this sense of urgent unrest that the Lord speaks to me this morning . . .
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21–22)
Jesus was sent by God. As the Father sent Him, He sends His disciples. I’m not to go anywhere or do anything motivated by what I see around me, but motivated only by the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my ‘inspiration’ rather than the needs or even any cries for help that I might hear.
Chambers says that most people operate under the leading of inspiration. That is, they see something that needs to be done, have ideas about how to do it, then move forward with hopes of accomplishing their task. This sounds good, but as this author says, the ideal is being true to Jesus, carrying out His enterprises. I’m to do the will of God His way, not in whatever way seems good to me.
This shows up in how I evaluate the lives of godly men and women. Do I praise their wisdom and understanding? Or do I recognize that they were led by the mind and leading of God, not human wisdom at all? Do I give credit to the people instead of attributing their success to God and how He is able to supernaturally equip His people to do His will in His way?
If God so leads, any of His children can become world-changers. He knows how to make it happen. Who He uses is up to Him. In the meantime, I am to be at peace, listening, and (in the power of the Holy Spirit) obeying whatever small role He desires from me.