A lost life

When I first felt God asking me to go to South Africa for missions my immediate response was: “No!”. So were a rather large number of subsequent replies.

You see, being Australian,  I had heard all the sad, horrific, or appalling stories from people who had left South Africa after a traumatic event. My response made sense in that context,  but I couldn’t shake God off so I eventually said: “Okay”.

I said: “yes” not knowing what my time in SA would look like. I knew that God could super naturally protect me, but might not. I remembered all the stories and was convinced I’d be victim to or witness of a vicious crime. But I also looked to passages such as Matthew 16:24-26 and went obediently.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

Thankfully nothing traumatic happened to me on that trip or so far in my life.

On DTS outreach in South Africa, 2008

On DTS outreach in South Africa, 2008

I wanted to move in quite a different direction at this point, but no longer feel I can in this post. I would rather honour those living in dangerous places world wide because it is where they feel God has placed them. I want to give special acknowledgement to those in South Africa in such circumstances. I also want to commend the bravery of all who have left such places to protect their family when they haven’t felt a call to stay; starting a new requires great trust in God, too.

We all have choices to make in life. We all have to choose whether we will obey or disobey His voice. We all have to choose whether we will cling to our lives or lay them down for Christ. Sometimes laying them down means just that – in death – but more often it means walking the path God has set out uniquely for us as individuals.

Do we truly mean what we declare in the hymn “We will love” by Graeme Gardiner:

We will walk with you at the edges, We will die with you on the crossroads, We will live in your dangerous places, We will love. We will risk with you taking chances, We will stand with you facing evil, We will live in your dangerous places, We will love.”?

It is scary to lay our lives at the foot of the cross, entrusting them to Jesus, but the reward for obedience is great.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12).

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:38-39).

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s