Wednesday, March 02, 2005

planning to go, willing to stay

for those of you who are in Perspectives right now, you've probably already read part of what i'm going to post here, but for those of you who don't have the privelege of attending the class, i wanted to share some of the stuff that really resounds with my heart right now, and how it has caused me to reflect on where i was and where i am. i totally recommend this class to any believer. especially if you want God to expand your horizons, change your ideas, and challenge your 'perspective'.

Apostolic Passion:

"passion" - from the Latin paserre, meaning "to suffer"; whatever a person is willing to suffer for

"aposle" - sent one, a messenger

"Apostolic passion", therefore, is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. it has to do with being committed (to the point of death) to spreading His glory.

"Those who have apostolic passion are planning to go, but willing to stay. You know you have it when you are deeply disappointed that God has not called you to leave your home and get out among those who have never heard His name."

"Present your gifts, vocations and talents to the Lord. Press into God. Stay there until you long to go out in His name. Remain there and nurture the longing to see the earth bathed with His praise. Only then will you be able to trust your heart if you hear God say, "stay". Only those who long to broadcast His glory to the nations have the right to stay...If you have apostolic passion, you are one of the most dangerous people on the planet. The world no longer rules your heart. You are no longer seduced by getting and gaining but devoted to spreading and proclaiming the glory of God in the nations. You live as a pilgrim, unattached to the cares of this world. You are not afraid of loss. You even dare to believe you may be given the privelege of dying to spread His fame on the earth...Your greatest dream is that His name will be praised in languages never before heard in Heaven."

- Floyd McClung "Apostolic Passion" from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

reading this made my heart leap! it made me so thankful to God for what He has done in my heart in the last several years. i used to be afraid of evangelism, before i realized that that big word just means living my life in the pursuit of Jesus Christ and telling people about Him. i used to think that i wasn't someone that God would ever want to use as a "missionary". that seemed so foreign, like a "higher calling" or something. missionaries were "those people" who "had a 'burden' for the people of China or something.
i specifically remember writing in my journal about 4 years ago these words, "i am going to be an evangelist". and i was completely terrified! i remember praying, "God, if you want this for me, You are going to have to do something big and get my heart in line with Yours, because that is SO NOT ME!"
its amazing what God does when you make a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. God took that step of faith, and brought my own heart into line with His. seriously. i can't say how He did it, or when it occurred, rather it was a process and now, as i look back i see such a difference in how my mind, and my heart think and act. the things i think, the ways i react...i never would have responded in such a way prior to His working in me, which was His faithful answer to my prayer 4 years ago. God has granted me Apostolic Passion. one of the highlighted lines above from McClung's article, the one that says, "you know you have it when..." OH MY! i feel like i would burst if i were to hear God say, "stay". i was talking with two friends a few weeks ago, one of whom will be going to serve the Lord overseas for an extended period of time, (as will i, Lord willing) and one who is not. the one who is not, asked both of us if it was scary to think about going so far away and leaving family, friends, and much that is familiar behind. i answered this way: "what scares me more is that God might ask me to stay." i know that sharing about Jesus is just as much needed here as anywhere else and i am taking as many opportunities as i am seeing to be salt and light among my own people and culture, but i have such a burning inside to go. would God ever choose me to stay as a way to "suffer" for Him? could i have joy though my heart longs to be elsewhere serving? let this be resounding in my heart:

"Though He slay me, yet I will praise Him."

planning to go, willing to stay. only if He says so.

amanda copy


neil said...

come on! i'm gonna have to read that like 3 more times to get it all in my head... thanks for calling tonight - humbling to know how many care... no worries about not making the party - i guess that makes up for the whole birthday thing, huh?

emma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
emma said...

i love that picture of you. dear friend you challenge and encouarage me, i'm praying for you.
i was just reading an article for this speech on i'm doing, and when i read this line, amanda came into my mind.

"and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm."

i thank Him that He made you as He did. thanks for listening to Him. it speaks volumes. oh yeah and, christianity isnt' a religion.

the article is rather interesting, if you are looking for something to read haha.