The Buddhists do it better

“‘Is he actually an expert in religion?’ the Japanese Buddhist asked.  

I tried to explain that in the West it is not always considered essential that missionaries be well trained in Christian theology.

He replied, ‘I can only say that if we Buddhists send someone to another country to train the people in Buddhism, it is first required that they be experts themselves.’

There is some validity to the expectation of respondent peoples. They believe the one who is sent halfway around the world to convert them from religious systems that have commanded their faith for many centuries should be able to communicate alternatives intelligently and clearly.”

(From David Hesselgrave’s Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally)

_______________________

The Christian God is a God of great strength and power – a God that takes the lowly and uses them to make his name great, but God isn’t in the business of magic tricks and sleight of hand. He wants us to pray WHILE we’re diligent, not instead of it.

Think about the practical proof of this:

Do you lock your doors at night or do you pray instead?

O ye of little faith!

Dad, do you buckle your baby girl securely in her car seat or do you pray instead?

O ye of little faith!

Husband, when your wife is diagnosed with cancer, do you ask that a man of faith treat her and not a doctor?

O ye of little faith!

Pastor, do you study throughout the week for your sermon, or do you pray the moment after the last hymn ends that you’d just say the right things?

O ye of little faith!

What foolishness. Of course we don’t abandon all common sense in our everyday lives to pray instead.  So why don’t we extend this same thinking to our missionaries? Why can’t missionaries carry logic over to other countries too? Why are missionaries sent over to other countries just because they’re willing, even if they’ve had no preparation? Why are missionaries told in hard times: “Just pray about it. God will bless your work.” Why do missionaries have to stop using their brains in the name of “seeing God work”?

I’m glad that the banner over the gates of heaven doesn’t read “abandon all reason ye who enter here!”

It’s one of the biggest lies of our generation that hard work and faith are mutually exclusive. Where would we be without the combined MILLION hours of study from Zwingli and Calvin to Edwards and Spurgeon and Ravi Zacharias and everyone in between? Had they put down their notes and just prayed, would you have ever heard the messages or read the commentaries or even be half the Christian you’re striving to be today? Would you? Check your fear at the door. It’s okay to say no. It’s not that God’s not capable, it’s that he hasn’t chosen to work that way. Let’s honor him by working the way he’s laid out for us to. And that’s hard work and faith. Let’s be saints AND soldiers.

2 Timothy 2:16 – “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of Truth.”

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