Deny yourself, pick up the instrument of your death and follow
Live to be forgotten, part 2
Today, leaders emerging for the Kingdom are arising with gifting as I’ve never seen before in my life. They are willing to lay it out there, sell it all, burn the ships to stay and pay the price. It is an exciting time, in spite of the tail spin the church is in throughout what we know as “the west”.
With that said, it is also a time when the leaders emerging are emerging to “make their contribution”, to pursue “their calling”, to make their own unique contribution. Look – I get it. I know that a miss fit place is a hard place to plant deeply and make a difference. A misalignment is exhausting.
Yet, this “unique calling” gets confused – it becomes about us, about us feeling fulfilled, about us finding some spiritual masturbation of our own ego, our own gratification, our own self soothing endeavor.
May I offer a challenge – that we live to be forgotten!? That is a hard thing to grasp. I’ll use a story. One night at Urbana, where we went to look for what young leaders God might send to live lives of anonymity with us, I had the privilege to hear Dr. Partick Fung. He has his own dynamic powerful story of living a life with reckless abandon. Yet, his story struck me more. He was in London, went to a library that kept records of missionaries who went to China in the last century and a half. When being taken to a room, he found it lined with high shelves and every shelf filled with thousands of files – each a British subject who left King and country to go to China. Save one, two or maybe three, we know none of their names. The librarian, a secular person who denies the Almighty God, made the most profound statement, made more profound because it came from her, “Every one of these people left the United Kingdom, and went to China, never to return, to give their lives to advance the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They lived to be forgotten.”
Instead of seeking our own individualized self realization, might we together pursue being Christ, to the world that does not know Him. Might we choose to sacrifice our lives (Romans 12.1-3), living sacrifices, who live for one purpose; that He may be known. May we live lives not to pursue success, fame, power, or even contribution for our sakes, but that this world which has such a hard time understanding the simplicity of this great news we bring, may taste and see just how good He is.