Who Will Go? (Part 3)
“ALSO I HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD, SAYING, WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US? THEN SAID I, HERE AM I; SEND ME.”
Who will go? Where will they go? How will they get there? These are some questions people ask when it comes to missions. Let me answer these questions in a visual way:
1. Surrendered People Will Go
Although missionaries surrender to serve God, it’s not without challenges. However, once we look for God’s Handwriting we will take and find comfort in His sustaining power. This is an article about the Missionaries Dick & Margaret Hillis:
Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the Japanese invasion. The couple lived with their two children in the inland town of Shenkiu. The village was tense with fear, for every day brought terrifying reports of the Japanese advance. At the worst possible time, Dick developed an appendicitis, and he knew his life depended on making the long journey to the hospital. On January 15, 1941, with deep foreboding, Margaret watched him leave.
Soon the Chinese colonel came with the news. The enemy was near and townspeople must evacuate. Margaret shivered, knowing that one-year-old Johnny and two-month-old Margaret Anne would never survive as refugees. So she stayed put. Early next morning she tore the page from the wall calendar and read the new day’s Scripture. It was Psalm 56:3 — What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (KJV)
The town emptied during the day, and the next morning Margaret arose, feeling abandoned. The new verse on the calendar was Psalm 9:10 — Thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee. (KJV)
The next morning she arose to distant sounds of gunfire and worried about food and her children. The calendar verse was Genesis 50:21 — I will nourish you and your little ones. (KJV) An old woman suddenly popped in with a pail of steaming goat’s milk, and another straggler arrived with a basket of eggs.
Through the day, sounds of warfare grew louder, and during the night Margaret prayed for deliverance. The next morning she tore the page from the calendar to read Psalm 56:9 — When I cry unto Thee, then shall my enemies turn back. (KJV) The battle was looming closer, and Margaret didn’t go to bed that night. Invasion seemed imminent. But the next morning, all was quiet. Suddenly, villagers began returning to their homes, and the colonel knocked on her door. For some reason, he told her, the Japanese had withdrawn their troops. No one could understand it, but the danger had passed. They were safe.
Margaret glanced at her wall calendar and felt she had been reading the handwriting of God.
God’s handwriting is all around us but so often in the midst of the wars we face, we neglect to take notice. Let’s make an effort to see His merciful hand at work in our lives today. He cares for us more than we can imagine!
Psalms 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee”
All too often we let circumstances overwhelm us and extinguish our faith in God. We usually do this in three ways:
- Focus On The Circumstance, Rather Than God Who Gave It
A lot of people will focus on the circumstance of what happened in their lives instead of the God that brought about the change. This is one of the biggest reasons why people abandon their faith and convictions. Questions usually come up like but not limited to:
- Why is this happening to me?
- Where is/was God?
- Aren’t Christians supposed to be protected from this?
- Why don’t “the bad people” get “bad things” while Christians suffer?
- I do everything right, but things still fall apart in my life. Why?
These are perfectly legitimate questions to ask, but we need to ask them to God. When we cry out to God in this manner, we are seeking His face. However, when we cry out to the world we:
a. Complain against God and bring accusation against Him
b. Confirm, to the world, that God is not real and that He is not fair.
God is good whether or not we think so or feel that way. He allows things to happen for HIS glory and not ours. When something bad happens in your life look at it in these three ways:
- Is God punishing me because of unconfessed sin? If this is the case then look at
I John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Once we confess our wrongs, the relationship will be restored and God will be glorified.
- Is God protecting me from a potentially worse situation? If this is the case then look at
Psalms 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”
That word “order” means to regulate, arrange, manage or direct. As we submit to God and give HIM the “permission” to direct our life, He will implement things in our lives to make us more effective for HIM and give HIM the maximum amount of glory.
“I remember a testimony of a young man that was awful at running, while in grade school, but was in very good shape physically. He began to get upset because he couldn’t run like everyone else. I’m talking about God putting the pieces together. As a result of this poor performance, this young man sought out other ways to get credit for school electives. This led him into the music and band program. This young man selected the flute to play when no boys played this instrument in the school’s history. This young man was very poor and didn’t get his instrument until almost 3 months after everyone else. In all human logic, there was no way for this young man to catch up to the rest of the students which had their instruments 3 months longer. However, God gave this young man a real talent! He started out behind and sat 10th chair, which was the very last seat in that section. Over the period of a school year, less than 5 months, that young man sat 1st chair and was being considered for advanced placement. After that year, in grade school, that young man never sat lower than 1st chair, even in the district and all state band competitions. That young man plays professionally today and uses his talent for the Lord as a musician.”
Sometimes, God will allow you to endure the bad so that the result will yield glory for him and a better and closer relationship for you to Him.
- Is God pressing me so that others can glorify Him? If this is the case look at
Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
When I think about this verse I instantly think about grape juice. When grapes grow up, they develop in groups called bunches. These grapes are, from the time that they develop until harvest, around other grapes. They live in close proximity to others their whole life. If one spoils, then it spreads to others. If an animal eats one grape, the others are usually next to go. Animals usually don’t eat one grape from one cluster and eat another one from another cluster. However, one day the husbandman came and cut the bunch away from the shoot where it has been nourished it’s whole life. It is introduced to other grapes in a very large basket. They are later taken to a processing facility where the pressing begins. The grapes are put into a crusher where they are dismembered from their original state. This process breaks the exterior so that the heart can be exposed. Then they are put into a press that presses out all of the juice. Only, the juice moves on and the things that aren’t able to produce juice remain behind. Then, the grapes are heated for a period of time to kill off things that could hurt others. Once all of this has been done, then the grapes are no longer called grapes but they are called juice, wine or jelly.
God, in order to receive the maximum about of glory from our lives, will send us through a process whereby we will become a blessing to everyone. God will call us out of where we are because He has a divine purpose for our lives. He will then introduce us to others that also have a divine purpose for their lives. The fact that we made it to this point, without being consumed by life and other situations is ONLY the goodness of God. God will allow us to be moved from the place where we are most comfortable and put into temporary situations until it’s time for Him to permanently set us. He will allow us to be crushed so that our hearts can be yielded unto Him. This crushing of our hearts will only make us more valuable to Him. It is not intended to make us hate but to make us wait for Him to move. After we have been crushed, then comes the presses of life that will seemingly squeeze all the goodness, life and tears out of us until we have nothing left. This process is to remove the things that hold us back from being used mightily in His service. You can’t drink whole grapes. They have to be broken in order to fit into a vessel. The things left behind are a tangible reminder that God has taken me into a closer relationship with Him by removing the things that hold me back. Grapes still attached to the stems will make the juice taste very bitter. These things have to be removed in order to have a sweet savor to the master. Somethings in our lives have to be removed in order for us to give off a sweet savor to the Master. After being crushed, strained and pressed the grapes are then sent to a massive oven and exposed to large amounts of heat. This is where things that they can’t see are being removed from their lives. God allows us to come into the oven of testing and trying so that things inside of us won’t spoil us when others come into our lives. Once all of this has been completed. We will come out a blessing to others everywhere.
Young babies can’t eat grapes but they can enjoy grape juice. Church members don’t eat grapes for communion but they do enjoy grape juice, which represents that blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. All of this happens when someone decides to go. Who will go? Will you go on the field? Perhaps God is running your life through the ringer so that others can be blessed by your life and see that God is real, or even be able to experience God by seeing how you deal with the pressure. Don’t hate the pressures of life; embrace them because they could be from God. In tomorrow’s devotional, we will cover the second reason why people loose faith in our series of Who Will Go. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.