I sit in a room full of like-minded people as a like-minded senior missionary gets up and says, “There is absolutely no way you can do this without God’s help.”
While heads nod around the room, my heart whispers, yes you can.
Explorers have done it without Him (or rather, without acknowledging Him) for hundreds of years. Ungodly anthropologists and vile linguistic experts have documented many unknown languages. While staying enemies of God, they’ve made friends with the remotest and most unloved people.
What scares me isn’t that I can’t, but that I can. We all can if we’re gritty and stubborn enough. We can endure the repulsive smells and the harsh people and the vomiting and retching and fevers. Millions of people do it every day! Most of us, with proper training, can learn to document an unwritten language and teach reading and translate books of the Bible.
If I don’t set my mind on Christ and handle each day with grace and dignity, if I choose anger instead of compassion, if my heart stops praising and seeking and thanking, if I grow old out there with my burdens instead of His yoke, I’ll do it without Him. And no one will know!
I’ll come back a “missionary hero,” but at Judgment Day, I’ll stand in front of my straw house, sobbing, while I watch it burn up in front of my face.
All those years I could have been adorning my house with gold and jewels, but because I let sin creep in and rule, I built it all with straw. And here I stand ashamed before the God who bought me.
Whatever you’re doing, don’t be afraid of what you’re building, be afraid of what materials you’re building with.
1 Corinthians 3 –
“Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”