Can you imagine an airline pilot flying a 747 over the Atlantic Ocean and in the middle of the flight forgetting his destination?
One of the strongest and most successful attacks of the enemy on the work of God is to cause us to forget our purpose and our goal. All of a sudden we find ourselves totally wrapped up in “normal living,” no longer able to answer the questions, “Why are we here? What are we doing?”
The Bible very clearly tells us that we are here not for ourselves but for the cause of a lost world that has never heard the name of Jesus and for its multiplied millions of souls who are heading for hell.
How can we forget nations like Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and China, where there is so much spiritual darkness and physical suffering? How can we so comfortably live for ourselves while millions slip into an eternal hell? We can do it because our enemy has managed to replace our purpose as a Christian with a desire for comfort and self-realization.
You see, it is often in emergency or crisis situations that we are roused to action. For example, seeing the burning house where our own child is trapped inside would surely motivate us to do something about it.
But we have forgotten the reality of the lost who are heading to an eternity in hell and the urgency to tell them of salvation. In our forgetfulness, we lose sight of our motivation and purpose. Instead, we become self-centered. From that moment on, everything God asks us to do that would disturb our “heaven on earth” becomes a burden, a problem to us. We start looking for excuses to say “no, not me.”
During World War II, the people of England saw that if they didn’t win the war, they would lose their land, their freedom and everything that was dear to them. This realization caused them as a nation to scale down their lifestyles to the barest of essentials. For this one goal—to save their nation—they gladly sacrificed all they had: money, gold, silver, even their sons to fight the war.
This type of single-focused sacrifice is often manifested on the mission field. Shankar was born in a leper colony to parents stricken with leprosy. In order to save him from contracting the disease, a native missionary raised him in a home he had built for the children of lepers. Shankar received a good education and with it a chance to make a better life for himself.
Along the way Shankar gave his life to the Lord and received a call to full-time ministry. Just before Shankar graduated from Bible college, the missionary brother told him that he was free to go to a new place and start a new Gospel work. Shankar replied, “No, I will work among my own people, the lepers, and tell them how the Lord has changed my life and how He can save them.” Today Shankar has laid down everything he has gained and his chance for a better life to live and work as a missionary in the leper colonies of India.
He remembered the war.
We too must keep the war in our mind—at all times. Let us not forget why we are here. God is looking for people with a wartime commitment that will save our generation.
What about you? Are you willing to stand in the gap for a person, a village, a state or a nation? The Lord was looking for a person who was willing to make such a commitment when He spoke through the prophet Ezekiel and said, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30).
Make a list of 10 people who don’t know the Lord and pray for them daily—fast and pray. Witness to people about the Lord wherever you are. Carry Gospel tracts or booklets and pass them out. Find out about the unreached nations and people groups of the world and adopt them as your prayer focus. Pray and believe for their salvation.
You are called. What are you waiting for?
Reflecting His Image © 1998, 2004 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.