Thursday, March 31, 2016
Thoughtful About . . . Great Men of Faith
What makes a hero of the faith?
A Paul? A Nicholas? A George Muller? A John Lake? A Mother Theresa?
What makes someone the kind of Christian that earns him a place in church history? The kind whose stories we tell each other to buoy each other up, to teach each other truths?
During out Bible study talks during church in this last month, we were talking about this. About how John Lake had given up his family fortune and set off to be a missionary, not funding himself but relying on God. About how George Muller had given up his family wealth and a promising career to live on nothing but prayer and faith and ended up in charge of over a thousand orphans.
That's when the question came to me--are these men capable of making these sacrifices, these decisions, because they're great men of faith?
Or do we know them as great men of faith because they were willing to make these decisions?
Are more of us called to the same sort of sacrifice, the same sort of faith . . . but ignore it?
My grandmother was quick to say, "More are called than answer."
I think this is true. I think this is undeniable. I think, without doubt, God calls more people to do His work than those few toiling in the fields. So what happens? Where is the breakdown? Not in Him doing the calling, that we know.
The problem is in us. The listener. We are so quick to say, "Oh, He doesn't want us all to give everything. He doesn't want us all to be missionaries. He doesn't want us all to be preachers."
No. He doesn't. But He wants us all to do something. He doesn't call us all to the same thing, but He calls us all. And the call of God always requires sacrifice. Reading through the Gospels back-to-back as I just did, that stood out loud and clear. When Jesus calls people to follow Him, He expects them to follow. Not look back.
The Church today looks back. And back again. And wanders toward home. And has perfected the line they tell themselves and each other: "God doesn't expect that."
Well, I'll leave us with one last question to chew on this weekend:
What if He does?