Happy Mothers Day!
This morning I was thinking about an encounter that I had when I first launched out into Evangelistic ministry. I called a pastor of a church that I had heard a lot of great things about and he was a friend of a friend so I figured he would be eager to help me in my new endeavors. I called him one day and asked if I could share my vision with him for a few minutes. He hesitantly agreed so I began to pour out my heart and passionately shared with him my desire to see millions of souls saved around the world. After ranting for a couple of minutes he abruptly cut me off and said, “son, I’m sure that what you are doing is fine, but we have a lot of our own things going on here and we are not interested being involved in anything unless it has to do with our local church”. I was taken back…literally speechless for a few moments. I guess in my heart I knew that there were people that didn’t care about the lost and about missions but I had never heard someone just come out and say it. I said, “Okay…well, thank you for your time.” And I hung up the phone and began to wonder to myself how someone who is in love with Jesus can have no burden for souls.
In Gen 30:1 it says that, “…When Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.” I know that today there are many women who experience emotional pain and even depression because they are unable to have children. God created women with an innate desire to bear children…it is part of their makeup. This is why little girls play with toy dolls and pretend to be mommies. They are programmed this way.
However, I think that from a western frame of reference it is almost impossible for us to grasp the implications of bareness in Eastern culture in Old Testament times. In those days it was common for men to have several wives (not to mention concubines and servants) so there would have naturally been a certain amount of competition for the husbands affection. Also, sometimes the men were married for reasons other than love or desire (such as when Jacob ended up married to Leah instead of Rachel who he loved). If one of the women in the household had no children while everyone else around her was fruitful, it would have clearly shown that she either had a physical problem or was not intimate with her husband and this was very embarrassing…even shameful. That is why to Rachel, her bareness was no side issue…it was a life or death cry for help: “Give me children, or else I die.”. For Rachel, it wasn’t enough to be a bride…she wanted to be a mother.
John Knox, who led the reformation in Scotland, felt this same burden for spiritual children when he prayed, “Lord, give me Scotland, lest I die.” This intensity of desire might seem like an aberration of the norm, but I think it should be natural for the church to desire to see souls saved more than life itself. It is an inexplicable emotion. The world, and those who do not know Christ simply cannot understand it, but the burning heart of the bride has an untamable desire for intimacy with the groom, which will inevitably result in spiritual fruitfulness. The true bride will want to bear children. If the desire for souls is missing from a church or a believer, it is an indication of a problem and spiritual bareness is a symptom of a lack of intimacy with God. I feel like I can confidently say that if you have no burden for souls, you need to take a serious look at your own relationship with God.
If you were to lay your head on Gods chest right now and listen to His heartbeat, you would hear this; “Sal-va-tion, Sal-va-tion, Sal-va-tion”. If you truly love someone you become interested in their interests and their desires are important to you. Henry Martyn once said, “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” I believe that there are only two kinds of people in the world; those who are winning the lost, and those who are lost themselves…which one are you?
If your Gospel isn’t touching others, it hasn’t touched you! –Curry R. Blake
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. – C.S. Lewis
In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been — Robert Moffat