We’re going on vacation. Tomorrow. It’s almost here. I can just about taste it.
Like Sabbath, I have not earned it. I don’t deserve it.
It’s a gift.
My calendar is blank. Blank! Demands are few. (I suppose the kids will have to eat…) Freedom will reign. My sense of anticipation is high.
There will be no appointments.
There will be opportunities—opportunities to breathe, gaze, connect, linger, laugh and pray.
May God go before us. May he overflow within us.
While I’m away on vacation, I’m pleased to introduce you to my dear friend Jeanne Burger. She is a seed-planting, harvest-gathering woman of God. She writes with passion about the race we run. She brings it to us with vision and clarity. Deeply grounded in the Word, you will be blessed. This devotional thought is titled, “Go to.” Have a great week!
There we were, lost in downtown Sydney, Australia. Or, more accurately, I was lost. My friend was not lost. She had a good sense of direction, and knew which way we needed to go to get back to our hotel. But I would not listen to her because I did not think I was lost. In fact, I was adamant that I was leading us in the right direction. My kind friend, eager to keep our friendship intact, chose not to argue with me at the moment. She did not go back to the hotel to wait for me to show up on my own either. Instead, she patiently stayed with her stubborn, lost friend, wandering up and down the busy streets of a big, foreign city as we traveled further and further away from our hotel. Fortunately, my friend never lost her bearings, even though she entered into my lostness. Good thing. When I finally came to my senses, and was forced to admit that I was hopelessly lost, my friend was able to guide me home. I was saved from all kinds of trouble that day because my friend understood the go to approach for reaching lost people—an approach that goes out to meet people where they are, rather than waiting for them to come to us.
Jesus used the go to approach all the time. Although he regularly visited and taught in the synagogues as he went from town to town, Jesus also went out of the synagogue to meet people where they lived. He went to the man at Bethesda pool (John 5), visited Zacchaeus’ house to hang out with sinners (Luke 19), walked along the seashore and went up mountainsides to be with the people (Matthew 15:29). Matthew’s description of Jesus’ go to approach is so simple we might miss it, “Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake” (Matthew 13:1). He went out. He sat by the lake. Simple. Yet, look at the results. “Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables” (Matthew 13:2-3a).
Paul and his companions followed Jesus’ go to approach by a river outside of Philippi. As a result, Lydia was saved and a house church was born (Acts 16:11-15). Paul also went to the marketplace in Athens, and met with a group of philosophers in that ancient city, so he could be with people in their lostness and talk to them about the Savior (Acts 17:16-33). Peter used the go to approach when he entered a Gentile home even though that violated Jewish laws. As a result, Cornelius and many of his family and friends were baptized in Jesus’ name (Acts 10:1-48).
Lost people are not likely to simply walk through the door of our church. But they might come to a festival in a park or a coffeehouse in a store front sponsored by the people who meet in that church. Lost folks might talk to us when we go to the Laundromat, to the gym, to their house, or to sit by the lake. Actually, many of us are already doing go to Kingdom work without realizing it, because our actions seem too common or simple!
Jesus did not go out to twist arms or beat people over the head. He went out and reclined at their tables, stood beside them at their wells, sat by the lake, and taught them about the Kingdom. My friend did not try to force me to turn around. She knew I would just resist. But, when I finally became convinced that I needed help, my friend was there for me. People who are not ready to listen to the plan of salvation may be quite willing to let us walk along with them, up and down the streets of their lives. Then, when the Holy Spirit works in their hearts and their circumstances to convict them of their lostness, we will be there for them, to show them the way to the Savior.
There you have it. The go to method for Kingdom work. Allow me to review all of the complex steps: Go out of the house. Sit by the lake.
2013 © Jeanne M. Burger
For more great insights and motivation into the work of “go,” visit The Kingdom Worker Resources web site. https://www.ebenezerpress.com Jeanne sends out a weekly newsletter called Monday Mission. Consider joining the team.
Is This Your First Time Here?
Run hard. Rest well. launched in March 2013. If this topic grabs your heart, we’d like to encourage you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. Along the way, we’ve encouraged folks to read the first 12-weeks of posts found in the archives. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1 (from March). Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.
- The site is under construction for a few weeks to compile the e-book, re-vamp the site and prepare to launch out into a broader spectrum of people. During this time I am going to send out shorter posts and some links to articles I’ve written. Hope they are a blessing.
run hard. rest well.