I’ve seen many people die. I don’t mean in any gruesome way but just in terms of the natural course of old age or cancer. Most of them were committed Christians and I can say of them what John Wesley often and joyfully declared, “Our people die well!”
Indeed, when I’ve seen how well they can die, how unafraid and triumphant they are when they face the last enemy, I am fortified afresh to testifying to the sufficiency of Christ’s works for me.
“As long as I am still something, Jesus Himself cannot be everything. My life must be expelled, then the life of the Spirit of Jesus will flow in.” -Andrew Murray
The most important thing an everyday missionary does is look to God, not ourselves, no matter, to fulfill His mission for us.
One way we do this is through prayer. Prayer admits that our best planning and plotting are not enough for God’s mission. How would God have us engage?
As we pursue missions, we pray for five things:
- We pray for those to whom God sends us.
- We pray for Spirit-led discernment.
- We pray that God emoldens us.
- We pray that God softens hearts.
- We pray that God draws people to Himself.
The doctrine of the fall, with all of its dire consequences, shines with awful clarity in Scripture: Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”
The effect of the fall was shame, the never-failing companion of sin. “They knew they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). Their peace and purity were gone.
The effect of the fall was the darkness of the mind. “Adam and his wife hid from the presence of the Lord…” (3:8).
The effect of the fall was slavish fear. When God asked Adam why he hid, he replied, “I was afraid” (3:10). They were now afraid to look upon God whose presence was their heaven and joy.
The effect of the fall was to refuse responsibility or to repent (3:12).
Jesus hung on a cross for three hours before the sky got dark for another three hours. Jesus’ first words from the cross were a prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus died praying for others. What he preached about in terms of loving enemies on a hillside in Galilee, he practiced on a cross on Golgotha.
Sure, leaders are often characterized by the period. “Go here. Do that.” Others are better characterized by the exclamation point, expressing enthusiasm and optimism. But the best leaders, especially Jesus, are characterized by a symbol that is bent in humility: the question mark. Jesus was always asking questions. The gospels record over 100 from him.
If you want to be a better leader, ask more questions than just giving blunt answers.