You see, our desire for self-preservation—for securing our future and for making sure we personally get something out of what we do—whether secret or openly expressed, prevents us from thinking long or deeply enough to find godly answers. Instead, we cling to the traditional missions approach, no matter how ineffective it might be. And in our personal lives we seek to exchange the uncertain “follow Me” by leaving His calling or replacing our service to the Lord with something that guarantees security. Elisha’s servant Gehazi and Demas, the co-worker of the Apostle Paul, are both examples of this.
Suddenly, it’s our personal struggles and the question “What do I get out of it?” that take priority over millions of lost souls, eternity and our calling. Immaturity is our problem—little squabbles, difficulties, discouragement and unfulfilled expectations. These are the major reasons why people get out of the battle.
It takes godliness, spiritual maturity and faith to look past such things to the good ending that is still yet to be realized. Jesus saw beyond all His impending suffering on the cross to the joy of bringing multitudes into the kingdom, and He was willing to pay the price (see Hebrews 12:2).
One family had such vision and gave money for a van for one of our Bible colleges in India. They didn’t ask what was in it for them. And God used this vehicle to become instrumental in seeing the church in that area grow from 85 to 227 people.
Four of our national missionaries were severely persecuted and almost killed in an Indian village. Yet all of them requested to return to the same place. If you would ask these young brothers what they would get out of it by going back, they would answer, “We can see by faith a church and people worshiping the Living God.”
When we follow Jesus and serve Him, looking ahead by faith, we don’t have to be anxious about what we will get out of it. He has already promised to meet our needs, and He remembers our labors on behalf of His kingdom: “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name” (Hebrews 6:10). He even tells us that whatever we have done to the least of His brothers, we have done to Him.
Keep your hand to the plow and don’t look back. It is well worth it.
This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, 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.