I’ve been reading Elisabeth Elliot’s Through Gates of Splendor. Maybe it’s just me and my own laziness, but I have been so challenged by this account of the lives of the five missionaries who gave their lives for the gospel, particularly by the way that they were so targeted in their approach to ministry. They prayed and they planned. They counted the cost. They were aiming at something specific: reaching souls who were on their way to Hell with the glorious life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ.
If they saw the work of the minister to be like the sharp shooter aiming at a target, I’m afraid that too often I have tended to act more like a man with a pistol shooting wildly hoping that maybe I’ll hit something.
This book along with many other influences and experiences of late have lead me to desire to work harder to have an objective ministry. Who am I trying to reach? How am I trying to reach them? What doors for ministry has God opened? I read about missionaries praying that God would give them access to a tribe and then rejoicing when that point of contact is made. They have a specific sense of mission that, in my experience so far, is often lacking in local church ministry. I have begun to pray that God would help me to be more specific in my prayer and in my ministry. I want to be more clear about my dependence on God to go before me and then I want to be able to rejoice as I see Him work powerfully to answer my prayers.
I want to be THIS kind of minister:
“To these men, Jesus Christ was God, and had actually taken upon Himself human form, in order that He might die, and, by His death, provide not only escape from punishment which their sin merited, but also a new kind of life, eternal both in length and quality. This meant simply that Christ was to be obeyed, and more than that, that He would provide the power to obey. The point of decision had been reached. God’s command, ‘Go ye, and preach the gospel to every creature’ was the categorical imperative. The question of personal safety was wholly irrelevant.”