When was the last time you were shook by the fact that:
unreached peoples are drowning in the flood of God’s wrath?
They think they’re just happily swimming downstream to the next life,
But you know they’re paddling to a waterfall that plummets to an eternity without Christ.
And moved with compassion, you want to take action, and it so happens that you have the one message to save them – the life preserver – the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And standing on the banks of safety, you think, “well maybe: they might believe.”
But your knees start knockin’,
Because this person might not wanna hear you talkin’,
Their hostility is rockin’ you. And you start to remember that sharing the gospel comes with a heavy price:
Number 1) your comfort and maybe number 2) your life.
So out of fear and pride, you try and try to do missions on your own.
Forgetting the counsel of your faithful local church back at home,
You water down the message; you make it a little more light,
And you toss this twisted ‘life-preserver” with all your might,
After all, with your insight, you know you can pitch it just right.
But it doesn’t reach that person; and they’d still be ruined even if they did accept it.
And so you watch your “strategy” float, completely ineffective, in the breaking waves…
And you realize how inadequate you, by yourself, are to save.
Inadequate. Not sufficient. How do you respond?
Do you doubt like Abraham, an old man, whose descendants were promised a land yet he thought, “How could I have a son?”
Do you tremble like, st-st-stuttering Moses, who thought how could I speak deliverance to Pharaoh, to Israel, to anyone?
Are you undone and you wanna run, run away from the place God is calling you, like those Israelite spies who saw Canaan through the lenses of fear and so they gave a bad report.
Do you resort to your own strength like Samson?
Are you doing your own thing, hiding like a king, camping out in a cave like David? Face it: we can’t save ourselves, much less the nations.
We’re inadequate…like Israel trying to get themselves out of exile…we are inadequate, like the prophets calling them back.
BUT GOD gave a ram to a wrinkly old man so his son Isaac would carry on His plan, yes: his blessing to the nations would continue on,
BUT GOD, delivered Israel outta Egypt. Check the hand of Yahweh glorying his own name: mighty and strong,
BUT GOD, crushed the heads of his people’s enemies, and judged all their foes,
BUT GOD, sent a greater David, the greatest prophet to end his people’s spiritual exile, to end their woes:
And we, you and me, like them were dead in our sins,
Following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,Carrying out the desires of the body and of the mind,
We were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.
BUT GOD being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
By sending him as the sacrifice to pay the price for sins, for all those who would turn from their dark ways and trust him for IN eternal life.
And after Christ was raised three days later in power,
He commissioned his disciples to take this good news to the nations,
He’ll be with us every hour, ‘til the end of the age…
Yes, we God’s people are inadequate, but God, we trust, is the one who saves.
See there are no mighty missionaries, just a mighty God.
So we give up the facade of self-sufficiency,
We refuse to mess with God’s Word, or any engage in any kind of trickery,
Hickory, dickory, STOP: We ain’t gotta be clever or cute,
We just need to trust God’s Spirit to do only what he can do,
Because we know that God buries his workmen, but he will continue his work,
And gospel seeds we plant might just lie in the dirt until we do,
But God, might just make them burst through the ground then;
We’re trusting that He’s sovereign.
Brothers and sisters, we walking by faith, not by fruit,
And though like every other Christian, we feel daunted to share the good news
We’ll pray like the church in Acts 4, and we’ll ask God ask for more,
More boldness, like Paul in Ephesians 6,
We’ll ask God to put the words on our lips,
To help unreached peoples enjoy the fact that he exists,
Relying on his Spirit fully, brothers and sisters, don’t forget:
That this missionary task can feel like a gauntlet,
“But God…” is the one using the foolish and the weak, so we pray the gospel, we send the gospel, we take the gospel to the ends of the earth UNDAUNTED.
Performed on February 27, 2015 at CROSS Conference in Austin, Texas.