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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts on Faithfulness

As I type this, I am sitting in the Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam, enjoying the free wi-fi and watching the boats troll up and down the canal outside the glass wall. The city is waking up a bit earlier this morning, it seems.

Yesterday, our first day of class, the city seemed to stay in bed much later than I was allowed to. This morning, in anticipation of today's New Year's Eve festivities, the people of the city are out and about already.

I'm excited about today.

Yesterday, the feelings I had included trepidation, fear, discomfort and more. Yesterday, while our first day of class, was also the first day to go out into the city and meet people with the express purpose of engaging them with the Gospel message. For someone who likes to have a purpose, who likes to build relationships, and who is always wary of random people starting conversations with me, this endeavor felt a bit like a dishonest ambush on the people of Amsterdam.

After several attempts, mostly unsuccessful, I was able to meet a girl about my age named Una. Una was Serbian, who had lived in North Holland most of her life and was preparing to move to Germany to start her life over. Getting into our conversation, she quite proudly told me how open-minded she was, and I quickly saw how our conversation essentially followed the map of "ministering to a post-moderns." Although no claim for Christ was made, or even anything close to it, the Lord used the experience with her and with the others whom I'd tried to get into conversation with to open my eyes to some things. Therefore, some conclusions about myself/ministry/God.

1) God does not need me to "do evangelism." The Holy Spirit can draw people to Himself without any successes or failures on my part.
2) What is success or failure in missions? I am only called to be faithful, to share the message, and let the Lord take care of people's souls.
3) My excuses: I like to build relationships, not just start conversations; it's uncomfortable to talk to strangers (Stranger Danger!), I'm being dishonest if I'm not up-front about my desire to share Jesus with them, striking up conversations without having a legitimate "reason" just isn't "me"... These excuses are all just that: Excuses. I have been fearing myself, other people and their reactions, and discomfort FAR more than I fear God. How arrogant and wrong of me.

The Lord has given me this incredible opportunity to serve Him. He doesn't ask me to save the world, he only asks me to tell people how He has saved me. In doing that, I am being obedient. In telling the story of God, I am being faithful. In telling of His glory, He is being glorified by my life. That is where I want to be.

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