Going Out Boldly

trustNicole has graciously allowed me to guest write for her today. I was glad to do it because I was struck by a a couple of passages in Luke 10-12 which dovetailed with a message we just watched online from Francis Chan, whose book “Crazy Love” and whose messages have deeply challenged me. 

 

The recurring message I see in this part of Luke’s gospel is of trust in God. It starts with the sending out of the seventy-two, who “carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way” (10:4). Can you imagine? Not even a change of clothes. If I walk out the front door of my house without my wallet, I feel like I’ve walked out naked, whether there’s money in there or not. And my keys are ALWAYS in my left front pants pocket. If they’re not there, something’s wrong and I drop everything until I find them. Seriously. Could I even walk out of the house without my keys for Jesus? Yet these men left everything and took nothing with them, trusting God completely for everything they would need. 

 

Sometimes I wonder if I truly trust in God. I trust in God to produce the outcomes I desire, sure. That’s great, when he does. What about when he doesn’t? Do I hedge my bets? I sometimes feel like I live as though God weren’t really sovereign, which of course he is – and I’m not just talking about sin, I’m talking about faith. Am I trusting my Creator, or a direct deposit payroll? My Maker, or a socioeconomic system that’s placed me in a position of comfort relative to most of the world? For me, one of the hidden blessings of hard economic times can be an invigorated faith. The AA Big Book puts it this way: “freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.” Jesus has shown me this many times, but sometimes I still want to cling to the false security of mammon. 

 

Francis Chan was talking tonight about boldness, which I think is a part of that trust in God. Another quote from the AA Big Book: “We are people who normally would not mix.” That statement describes me perfectly! I am a person who normally would not mix.   With ANYONE. I have so many fear-of-rejection and fear-of-abandonment issues that I have spent most of my life emotionally curled up in a little ball keeping everyone at a distance. And in the past couple of weeks God has been pushing me into relationships with people. Just today, I finally learned the name of my next door neighbor whom I’ve lived by for, um, three years now. Yesterday my son dragged me down the block to meet some other neighbors because the guy was fixing something on his (my son’s) bike. And after all, how can I be a witness for Christ to anyone (or for that matter have any purpose on the earth) and not be bold about reaching out to other people. In many ways lately, I’ve felt God challenging me to crawl out from under my rock — even if the sunlight turns me to dust. 

 

Of course, as Nicole (who is now apparently my editor) has pointed out, all of this isn’t about me. I’d like to think that it is, but it isn’t. In Luke 10:1 we see that he “sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.” They went out to stay in the homes of those they were ministering to, building relationships with them (vv. 7-9) until He Himself came behind them. And verse 17 tells us the result: they “returned with joy.” They went out boldly, and He didn’t fail them. That’s an inspiration. 

 

Jesse, thanks for writing today’s post. Next I will be reading Luke 13 and 14.

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6 Comments

Filed under AA, Addiction, Bible, blog, born again, christian living, christianity, church, Evangelical, faith, God, inspiration, Jesus, Luke, Recovery, Uncategorized, worship

6 responses to “Going Out Boldly

  1. Nicole Wick

    First of all, thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post on my blog. I guess I let you come back and write again :)

    What I really loved about this passage, and this post, is the plan that Jesus laid out for the 72. Basically he told them to go out (v.1), meet people (v.5), develop relationships (v.7) and start telling them about me [Jesus] (v.16). It made me think about what we do with local missions (including in our own neighborhoods). This is the formula that we should be following. Get out, meet folks, form relationships, share Jesus.

    My favorite part of this passage is the second part of verse 1. It reads, “[Jesus] sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”

    I once sat in an adult Bible study class that taught how to share “the bridge to life.” Note: I do not necessarily think the bridge exercise is bad. But it’s just that an exercise. I can’t imagine myself pulling out my notecard and sharing Jesus in a “fill in the verse” type format. But I do see myself going out, talking, living, sharing, witnessing, being, loving – creating relationships. That’s the real bridge isn’t it?

  2. Alex Lowe

    To piggy back on your comment Nicole, I actually think it is harder for me to build the personal relationships that are often needed to share the Gospel that it is for me to randomly share the “bridge” experience to someone I don’t know well. I understand that both can be valid in different scenarios so I’m not knocking anything. However, my sense of the calling God has placed in my life leads me to believe that the personal relationship is important in the times that we live in.

    Jesse – I share in your thoughts and challenges with regards to actually following God’s call in my life every day. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I actually have more to write on a related note but I’ll be creating a Facebook note for that. =)

  3. This was a very thought provoking post for me and gave me some “Ah ha” moments while I read. I can definitely relate to being a persone who “doesn’t mix”. It’s very easy for me hold back from relationship because of the emotional vulnerability that’s required, especially in those that are closest to me, namely, Michael & my children. I know this came up largely after my first husband died and I also know that I miss out on the people that God has blessed me with because I’m trying to protect myself, or hedge my bet, as Jesse said, so that I won’t get hurt if they, or I, leave (die).

    Your last paragraph was very eye-opening when it comes to our marriage ministry. Here we are, going out in twos and ministering to others to prepare the way for God in their marriages. Each week we’re in their home (via our call) and building relationships with them. It’s a humbling place to be. Can’t wait to share this with the other helpers in our ministry!

  4. Freedom from fear. . .
    During the last six weeks or so my bible reading has been focused on passages dealing with fear. This is a major theme in Scripture. I read 41 chapters per day — 15 history books, 2 from Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, five Psalms, 1 Proverbs, 10 from the prophets (including Revelation), 4 Gospels, 4 epistles. Every day I have recorded several entries dealing directly with fear — what NOT to fear, and why; what to fear, and why. Several entries EVERY day.
    There’s enough material for another sermon on fear for every day of the month.
    “Fear not, little flock; your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. . .” — Jesus.
    In other words, don’t worry. I’ve seen the end of the story. You guys win.

  5. tam

    this may be a little off topic. i hope not. but not too long ago my faith and trust in God was questioned by a friend. she questioned it because she didnt understand, if i have been praying for God to heal me (lupus) why i still have this disease. “dont you wanta be healed, tam? dont you trust God? your faith is small.”

    um. ok.

    i went on to explain to her how God has already healed me. ive been healed from many of my character flaws because of this disease. i no longer look at someone with a chronic illness and tell’em to buck up and stop whining. ive learned compassion and grace. things i needed to cultivate in my life desperately. and this is how God is teaching me these things.

    so…in all of this, God has taught me to trust Him whether or not the circumstances are ideal. cuz He’s working in all of it. for His glory – not mine.

    and for the record…i did remind my friend, knowing that she has been praying for my healing for years, that in James it says it is by the faith of those who are praying for you, that you will be healed. so i got to question her faith ;-)

    im ornery like that.

  6. Katy

    I’ve never had a problem reaching out and talking to people I don’t know (just ask my kids I have “friends” everywhere we go, even if I just met them while standing in line). That being said, I don’t think about begining a conversation about faith. I don’t hide my beliefs but I don’t shout them from the roof tops either. I would imagine some of this is due to fear but I hope my behaviors towards others and life in general show my faith. It’s not exactly the way Jesus said to do it and I pray that I can reach that level someday.

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