A balance needs to be kept between our concerns for a deeper life and our concerns for world evangelism. God wants us to grow and become more like Him. He wants us to know Him intimately. He is a jealous God who longs for our fellowship and seeks our undivided love and attention. All this is true. But it is also true that He has sent us into the world as His representatives to seek the lost. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
It is good to desire a deeper life, and it is good to go forth telling of Jesus. But we will only have a balance in these things when our focus is on Christ and Christ alone. Paul had a desire to know God and a desire to preach the Good News. Both desires existed simultaneously because both are in God’s heart. The same should be true of us.
I encourage you to go to the average Christian bookstore sometime and look at the titles spread all over the shelves. The majority of them are about how to fix your life or how to get a deeper life. But how many books are there about half of the world going to hell? How many books do you see talking about the needs of millions in unreached areas?
The other extreme is being people who are so full of zeal, constantly driven by the great need around them. We cannot work in the flesh and have no understanding of the Lord in our inner life. We must be people who continually seek the face of God to know Him.
There must be a harmony in developing our intimate walk with the Lord and our passion to reach the lost. If I really know Jesus who gave His life on the cross and shed His blood to save sinners, how can I not want to save people? How can I say that I know Jesus, or how can I enjoy a life of deeply loving Jesus, and not be compelled to do whatever I can to reach the lost world? We should not become unbalanced by all the deeper life teaching that we forget the reality of the lost world.
Anything of a truly deeper life culminates with us becoming more like Christ—having the mind of Christ. And Christ died for the world and paid the price for us to be saved and to spread this Good News to everyone. If we keep our focus on Christ—not specifically on gaining a deeper life for ourselves or on reaching the millions—there will be this balance.
© 2003 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia. It was written with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.