“I followed Him and learned….”
Five men from all stages of deputation, furlough, and pastoral ministries shared lessons they have learned as they followed Christ.
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One of our missionaries is on furlough from the Middle East. His name has been omitted for security purposes, and the recording is unavailable.
Lessons from my family:
- If you can’t talk of your struggles with others in the missions family, you can’t do so anywhere.
- Church doesn’t have to be a big building.
- As a missionary kid, you’re always a stranger wherever you go.
- God’s ways aren’t ours. I wanted my life to go a certain way before we went to the field. But I gained and became a better person.
- You can make a place you really don’t like into a home.
- People everywhere are basically the same.
Lessons from Peter:
Christ called Peter to follow Him at the beginning of his ministry. In the middle of his ministry, Christ reminded Peter to continue to follow Him, in spite of what others may be doing. At the end of his ministry, Peter was still following Christ and growing in grace. In following God, there will be amazing things you will do, but you may be terrified. Follow anyway. It is better to be terrified following God than terrified walking alone.
Note: Part of point one is missing from the recording due to technical issues.
If you truly follow Christ, you will do so when others are not, when things are difficult, and when others have it easier. You will learn that God changes your perspective. You will see God give clarity through many prayers. You will see His compassion for people. You will learn He can call you to a specific place. You will experience His care for your provisions. You will know His calm of peace. You will have His confidence in placement.
Be faithful. Guard your time with Christ. Realize it’s not about you, it’s all about Him. We are not the treasure; we are just a worthless box holding the treasure. When people are looking for treasure they are not enamored by the box. When we realize this truth, we will be the missionary God desires. Realizing this truth takes the pressure off of us. We can then be free to faithfully serve and watch Him work through us. When we realize this truth, we can get out of the way and let Him work.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to follow the faith of the older generations, considering the end of their lives. What you look to is the direction you will go. We must have goals. But we must keep our eyes on the Lord Himself, rather than on our own goals, even if we have a good godly goal. Otherwise, we will seek to reach the goal in our own way. Joshua had his eyes set on the goal of conquering Ai, and failed to consider God’s method. Joseph had a dream from God, and never forgot it, but focused on serving God and others and allowed God to make the dream a reality.
God says what He means and backs up what He says. When you do what He says, He will do the rest. God often carries us through the fire that we may comfort others. When you are in His way He will lead you. Don’t dwell on the former things, but allow God to do a new thing in you. Don’t put God in a box or make Him a servant to your plans. You are His servant. Don’t be afraid for Him to change your direction. I’ve learned that God is faithful and true, and that is all I need to know.