Friday, October 3, 2008

Apostolic Passion

I hung out with some friends a while back and the topic of missions came up. One of my friends made the comment that how can we know that God does not have that for us. He only reveals things to you when you are ready to accept them so how can people say I know God has not called me to that (I am sure I am butchering the way it was said, but this is what I heard...I'm sorry). The next week I was reading for Perspectives and I came across the most challenging article yet for me personally. I think that part of what was said in it fits perfectly into the conversation we had. I wanted to share a few things that have stuck with me and I keep finding my mind returning to. The article is written by Floyd McClung.

McClung writes about Apostolic Passion. He says that apostolic passion is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. "It's the quality of those who are on fire for Jesus, who dream of the whole earth being covered with the glory of the Lord." He goes on to say that "if you live without the vision of the glory of God filling the whole earth then you are in danger of serving your own dreams of greatness, as you wait to do "the next thing" God tells you. There are too many overfed, under-motivated Christians hiding behind the excuse that God has not spoken to them. They are waiting to hear voices or see dreams-all the while living to make money, to provide for their future, to dress well and have fun." He goes on to make the claim that if we do not make an attempt to cultivate the passions of God, a passion for the Nations, then we should not be surprised that we never hear God say go. He further explains that once we nurture the desire to see the earth bathed in Christs praise, then we can truly trust our heart when we hear the Lord say stay.

I think that all too often I care more about the things right here in front of me that are pleasurable but not eternal than I do about Jesus Christ's name being worshipped by all peoples. And I think the biggest crime is when I live as if that is OK, as if that is enough. Christ tells us to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. I am coming to believe that I cannot truly love the Lord fully when I don't even think about His name being worshipped by all and I know I am not loving my neighbor when I don't ever dare to offer Jesus to them. He is love so to offer love in some form I must be focused on offering Him. When my thoughts do not turn in this direction then I can likely rest assured that I am not experiencing Apostolic Passion. McClung encourages us to beg of the Lord to be ruthless in revealing our selfish ambition and our lack of willingness to die to ourselves if we find ourselves in this place lacking passion. I think that is a hard prayer to pray because I believe the Lord will answer and I am pretty sure I am not going to love the response.

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