“We who are here shall do our duty in praying that He would glorify Himself more and more by your constancy, and that He may, by the comfort of His Spirit, sweeten and endear all that is bitter to the flesh, and so absorb yours spirits in Himself, that in contemplating that heavenly crown, you may be ready without regret to leave all that belongs to this world. More
The summer siege on Tiananmen Square in 1989 was temporarily halted by one man who dared to face-down a Chinese tank. It’s an image that captured a century-defining moment of reckless defiance against the tyranny of communism.
This lone rebel, in another photo taken moments prior, was seen walking calmly through the frenzied, fleeing mob. He walked towards the enemy, and then stood unarmed, directly in the path of the advancing tanks. The lead tank tried to swerve around him, but he repeatedly sidestepped into its path with defiant, yet, non-violent hand gestures. Rather than crush the young man, the tank eventually stopped its engine.
The peaceful protester climbed onto the hull of the lead tank, crawled under the tank gun to the driver’s hatch, and, on live television, was seen talking to the driver. It is reported that he demanded the tank commander, “Leave my city. You have no right to kill my people!” More
Who is the most radical person you know? I once knew a man who was constantly trying to convince people that he and they should quit their jobs, sell everything they have, and just do evangelism all day, everyday. This was his idea of radical. This was his idea of what he thought Jesus meant when he told the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22). This was what he thought Jesus’ point was when he told the story of the rich fool who built new store houses to store up all his grain for himself to live on for years to come (Luke 12:13-20). My friend also believed the other way you could be radical for Jesus was to become a missionary. More
I am thankful that I live in the United States of America, a land of prosperity and freedom. I am fully aware that the freedoms we enjoy here have come at an extremely high price. That price is the life-blood of many soldiers who, in various wars and conflicts, have carried the battle to the enemy in order to keep us safe here.
Veteran’s Day is a time that we have set aside to remember with grateful hearts those who have given all to preserve and protect our freedom. We are also mindful of those whose lives are daily on the line as they track down the enemy elsewhere so the enemy can’t come here. The words ‘thank you’ seem terribly insufficient, but it’s all I have so, thank you.
However, there is another group of freedom fighters that is often overlooked. More
Editor’s note: Sarah Vander Ark was the Communications & Administrative Intern at To Every Tribe during the summer of 2014. The following is a blog post she wrote after reading David Sitton’s book, Reckless Abandon.
How attainable is change on our own? Without Christ we can do nothing, including change. As I replay the pages of David Sitton’s book Reckless Abandon in my mind, considering the countless stories of unreached tribes turning to Jesus, I am reminded of this truth: God can take the hardest, most hostile hearts, and change them into hearts full of love, joy, hope, and, ultimately, Jesus.
David writes,“It was a thrill to walk through the village shaking hands and happily hugging people who only a few years before were throwing rocks, if not swinging machetes, and threatening our lives.” This is profound, miraculous, and true transformation. Although I often wish I myself could simply change someone’s heart, I know only Jesus can accomplish that. However, I am given a mission to be used in the Lord’s process of changing hearts! It’s amazing that rebels like me are called to share the best news in the universe to people who have never heard it. Does Christ need you and I to do anything? Absolutely not! He’s God! He needs nothing from us, but he allows us to partake in the advance of His kingdom, and in the joy of telling the world of His greatness. Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6). More
Get Radical in the Going and God will Get Radical in the Guiding
I chuckle when I hear missionaries say they “surrendered to the call” of ministry. I always want to ask, “After you surrendered, were you waterboarded, or just hauled off in handcuffs and leg irons?” Was it really necessary for you to be abducted by a heavenly vision before you would joyfully go into the work of the gospel in unreached places?
The “missionary call” is not like a prison dog that tracks us down, sniffs us out, and hog-ties us for the nations. That kind of talk bugs me. It’s bad theology. Nowhere in Scripture is a “mysterious (supernatural) call” a prerequisite before we can respond to the Great Commission. The opposite is actually true.
Don’t Wait for a Call
No aspect of mission is more bogged down with extra-biblical baggage than the “missionary call.” The clear command of Christ “to go” should be, by itself, sufficient to set you on your way to unreached regions. You can’t go wrong by trying to go. Be aggressive to go. The Lord will direct your moving feet.
Do you know how 99% of the cross-cultural workers for the gospel in the book of Acts got to the unreached places? In, Run With The Vision, Bob Sjogren with Bill and Amy Stearns suggest how they think people serving in cross-cultural ministry in the book of Acts were “called”:
99% of them went into cross-cultural ministry because of persecution
74% of the remaining 1% went because the Apostle Paul challenged them to go
18% of the remaining 1% went because their local churches sent them
7% of the remaining 1% went simply because of their zeal and desire to do it!
Dramatic calls to ministry are the exception. If you have it in your heart to go, then go. And lean on the sovereignty of God to get you where He wants you in the harvest.
Try To Go
Paul tried to go into Asia, but the Lord wouldn’t let him. He then tried to go to Bithynia, but “the Holy Spirit forbade him” (Acts 16:6). Still, he kept trying to go. I count at least six cities in Acts 16:1-6 where Paul tried to take the gospel. It was only then that the Lord gave him a vision of the Macedonian man (Acts 16:9). He woke up the next morning and immediately headed for the regions north. The point? Get radical with the going and God will get radical in the specific guiding.
I was never called to be a missionary. I wasn’t drafted. I volunteered. No special call was needed. I chose to go. I want to go. I am compelled to go. Where I go is determined by an open Bible (Romans 15:20-21) and a stretched-out map of unreached regions where Jesus isn’t known. Going for Jesus and with Jesus to the ends of the earth is the privilege of a lifetime.
This blog post was taken from the December 2013 Ekballo magazine of To Every Tribe
Check out David’s audio message, “Don’t Complicate the Missionary Call” from the December 2013 CROSScon