08 October 2019

18 years in Kenya (October 2001 - October 2019), Oswald Chambers' thoughts on being a missionary

I am created for God; he made me.
I must continually keep my soul open to the fact of his creative purpose
and never confuse it with my own intentions.

God wants me in a relationship where he is so easily my master and teacher
that I have no conscious awareness of it -
a relationship where all I know is that I am his to obey.

A missionary is someone in whom the Holy Spirit
has brought about this realization:
'You are not your own.'
We are called to be Jesus Christ’s own
and are not dictate to him what we intend to do.

The same things that happened to our Lord will happen to us on our way to our 'Jerusalem'.
There will be works of God exhibited through us, people will get blessed,
and one or two will show gratitude while the rest will show total ingratitude.
But nothing must divert us from going 'up to [our] Jerusalem.'

Nothing ever diverted our Lord on His way to Jerusalem.
He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted,
or lingered in others where He was blessed.

Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned our Lord
even the slightest degree away from His purpose to go 'up to Jerusalem.'

The desire that comes into a disciple is not one of doing anything for Jesus,
but of being a perfect delight to Him.

The missionary’s secret is truly being able to say,
'I am His, and He is accomplishing His work and His purposes through me.'
Be entirely his!

The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ,
not the needs of the lost.

He says, “Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty,
teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me.”

“None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,
so that I may finish my race with joy,
and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:24).

That is how to keep going until we are gone from this life.

The key to the missionary’s devotion is that he is
attached to nothing and to no one except our Lord Himself.
It does not mean simply being detached from the external things surrounding us.

Our Lord was amazingly in touch with the ordinary things of life,
but He had an inner detachment except toward God.

The duty of a faithful missionary is to concentrate on
keeping his soul completely and continually open to the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The men and women our Lord sends out on His endeavors are ordinary human people,
but people who are controlled by their devotion to Him,
which has been brought about through the work of the Holy Spirit.

God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses.
And why is He doing it?
He is doing it for only one purpose - that He may be able to say,
“This is My man, and this is My woman.”

Once God has placed His call upon you,
woe be to you if you 'turn aside to the right or the left.' (Deut. 28:14).
He will do with you what He is not doing with other people.
Let Him have His way.

All of God’s people are ordinary people
who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.

A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by God.
The great controlling factor is not the needs of people,
but the command of Jesus.

The source of our inspiration in our service for God is behind us, not ahead of us.
The tendency today is to put the inspiration out in front -
to sweep everything together in front of us and make it conform to our definition of success.

In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us,
and is the Lord Jesus Himself.
The goal is to be true to Him - to carry out His plans.

In missionary work the great danger is that God’s call
will be replaced by the needs of the people,
to the point that human sympathy for those needs
will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus.

The needs are so enormous, and the conditions so difficult,
but we must remember the command of Jesus Christ -
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19).

A missionary is created for the purpose of being God's servant,
one in whom God is glorified.
Beware lest you forget God's purposes for your life.

To go simply means to live.

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Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher, best known for the devotional My Utmost for His Highest.

His writings have greatly influenced me!

All quotes above are Chambers'.

Photos are a random selection, representing my God-ordained ministry relationships.

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