"I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached people drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set."
Photo creds: r2krw9.deviantart.com
One of my favorite verses! I’ve been struggling to determine how involved and how distanced I should be from this fallen world. Today in church I heard an excellent sermon about how to walk that fine line, how we’re called to lives that are actively engaged in this world. As Christians there are two mistakes we can make in how we go about this. Either we err on the side of isolationism and withdraw from the sinners we’re called to love because Jesus loves them (and as were before we found Him), or we immerse ourselves so much in the world that we end up being destroyed by sin. Both are terrible but there is so much hope to found here too. The hope is this- we have a God who became a man and wrestled with all this Himself. He walked among men and loved them fearlessly. Despite their sin He never sinned. He is here with us to, and so is the Spirit that raised Him from the dead. He is with us every step of the way and only by Him can we walk that fine line between isolationism and over immersion. There is no other religion on earth where God loves us so much that He called us into a loving relationship with Himself, sending His Son to die so that we could be free. This is a radical, powerful love and presence that enables us to do all things through Christ. All we have to do us surrender and follow Jesus. Only when He is the center of our lives can we find joy.
God is awesome<3
One of our missionaries returned from Vienna this week. It was beautiful to hear her speak about what God has done through her the past two and a half years. Vienna is one of the most affluent, gorgeous, and yet Christless places (less than 1% professing Christians!) on earth. During her time there, she and a few others bravely started a church. Not only is that in itself an incredible feat, but this church has become active in bringing people to Christ. I’m really excited to hear her speak more about it in a few weeks.
I’ve been struggling to determine how God wants to use me. All I know that I want to dedicate my life to bringing people to Christ. I don’t know why, but this, combined with my pastor’s sermon about determining God’s will for us regarding His mission, really spoke to me today. I think there is something deeply beautiful about going into a place that is so attractive and whole in a worldly sense, but so broken spiritually. We usually think of places that need to hear the Gospel as being broken and impoverished third world countries, but the truth is that even the most successful cities are no better off. Vienna, Austria was rated the most beautiful city to live in! I’m sure that if I went there, it would be so beautiful that I wouldn’t even think about the eternal well being of its people.
This hit me hard. It is so heartbreaking that the people we live, work, and play with are living such comfortable, successful lives that we forget about their true spiritual state. Our ideas of a blessed life, even if we know Christ, are naturally out of touch with the truth and easily influenced by the Enemy. Whether or not I ever become a missionary to areas of the world like this (which exist both overseas and in our communities), I want to live my life with this awareness and a heart that’s eager to respond.