Dan and Ana Jones are missionaries our church supports, and they work and minister in Sonora Mexico. After reading Dan’s newsletter, I thought you would be blessed to read it as well. He issues a very poignant challenge at the end. ~ PD
How safe is the world we are living in today and how does it compare to the way the world has been in the past? Where is safety found and how much should we avoid danger? What is danger? I think that danger is doing anything that isn’t God’s will for your life. I think that it would be dangerous to not go to a cannibalistic tribe and remain in the safety of your comfort zone if God was calling you to go to the cannibals.
We are at a very interesting place in the book of Acts. Chapters 20 and 21 find the disciples heading to Jerusalem with Paul trying to reach there before Pentecost. This is what Luke had to say about that in 20:22,
“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Again, just like Jesus said, “he who would lose his life will find it”. Paul wasn’t bound in chains, he was bound in the spirit. He knew that chains were waiting for him in Jerusalem but he didn’t consider the option of not going forward. Look at what happens in the next chapter: Luke 21:12,
“Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’” So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
It’s so interesting to me that prophets and fellow believers were hearing from the Lord that Paul was going to suffer in Jerusalem. The conclusion that they came to was a very logical one. Don’t go to Jerusalem! But Paul had clear orders from the Lord to go and although he was aware that it wasn’t going to go well with him, he was assured that “All things work to the good for those that love the Lord and are living according to His will.”
We were talking about how important it is to hear God’s call on our lives, each one of us; I don’t call anyone to the ministry, God does that. No one called me to the ministry; God did that. I can be used to call someone, just like the Lord used Pastor Chuck to call me, but it’s the Holy Spirit that makes the call. (Pastor Chuck didn’t even know who I was!)
One of the reasons that it’s so important to be assured of your assignment (and I do believe we all have assignments) is that when (not if) tribulation comes, we won’t lose hope or faith. The reason that it’s so important to read the Word of God on a daily basis is to be able to see what we too can expect as believers in this world. Every time Jesus says, “I’ve told you these things so when the time comes, you will remember,” should be etched into our hearts. That way, when tough times do come, we don’t lose faith.
Dying to ourselves, just like Jesus said, is the way to truly begin to live. Being alive to my needs and wants, etc. etc, only leads to death. Being dead to myself and alive to Him and His call on my life, leads to life.
So, is there someplace that you aren’t going or something you aren’t doing because it’s not safe? If the Lord has not told you to do it, no problem! On the other hand, if the Lord HAS called you and you are waiting for the second call, you might remain in a safe place and still go to heaven. It is by grace that we are saved and not by works least any man should boast, but a thousand years from now, what will you wish that you had done? The safe thing or what God was calling you to do? Don’t be afraid to go into the waters above your head because even if you can’t swim, if God is calling you into those waters, He will sustain you and not only sustain you, but bless you for your obedience!
God bless you all,
Daniel & Ana