I’ve recently deemed myself as an “exhausted insomniac”. My sleeping patterns have been ridiculously odd these past few weeks, or month even. I sleep terribly, wake up really early, and lie in bed for hours wishing I would just fall asleep. I don’t know why this is happening. I fight to keep my eyes open and my body from falling over all day, but, when I finally get in bed, sleep is not what happens. I don’t get it. I suppose I have a lot on my mind, but, can’t it wait to be thought about til the daytime? I know it may not be early for you, but being absolutely exhausted and waking up at 4AM and blogging at 5:42AM is really…really early. Not sure what the point of writing that was…I guess to explain why I’m blogging so early, and it can be the excuse if this doesn’t make sense…or maybe just to complain and feel sorry for myself. I should read Philippians 2:14.
There’s a word that God keeps bringing up to me
Lately, it seems like I can’t escape it. It’s everywhere.
One day it was pretty heavy on my heart, and I opened up my Bible to read the scripture passages for that day and, lo and behold, pretty sure I could have circled “nations” multiple times in about every chapter I read.
I’m still making my way through Radical by David Platt. I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging about it like I initially planned to. Life has succeeded in getting in the way. If you don’t have a copy, I urge you to get one. God is ruining me. Year 2010 has, thus far, and I feel like it will continue to be the year that Shara was completely ruined. I have grown up more in the past 5 months than I have in years. I’m thankful for this, but, at the same time, being rocked is pretty scary.
Anyways, what I was trying to say is that Radical is jam packed with my new word, “nations“. It basically oozes from every page.
I’m the queen of the highlighter. My Bible is one big underlined highlighted mess.
Pslam 67 is no exception. This chapter…ah, ruining me…
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among the nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Wow. Did you catch that? At the beginning? It’s something I never have.
Verse 1 is a priestly blessing…you may have heard it before…but, it has a purpose clause tagged onto the end of it.
May God be gracious to us and bless us SO THAT ALL the nations may know Him.
In the context of the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Abram (Abraham) and called him both to bless him and his descendents so that they would be a blessing to the nations/gentiles.
I love this in my footnotes, “Singing this helps Israel to keep its own calling in view; their blessing is not simply for themselves but for the Gentiles too (Gen 12:2-3). Each Israelite is a player in a grand story that stretches far beyond the boundaries of his own life, or even of his own land.”
They were blessed so that the rest of the world would come to know the one true God.
This is the same for Christians.
This idea has been being hammered into my head as of late. Seriously, church last night was all about this. The little notes handout they give us is completely covered in writing. I was struggling to find room to jot down everything. I think I wrote down nations a lot.
To be honest, missions was always one of those things that was awesome for “other people”. I didn’t “feel called” to that. If you would have asked me last year if I ever planned on doing missions, I probably would have responded with a “Eh…maybe something short term. I wouldn’t mind spending a week somewhere.” Whoa, has my perspective changed completely. Missions is not something some are “called to do”, it is what, as Christians, we are all called to do. In one way, shape or another, we are all, as Christ followers, commissioned (multiple times in the Bible) to bring God’s glory to ALL the nations. This isn’t just…something that we should do…it’s what we’re made for. It’s our purpose.
God has saved us to exalt Himself and we must now go to the nations to declare God’s greatness. And through our salvation, the nations will see the glory of God.
The Bible doesn’t say some nations. It says all of the nations…even the dangerous ones. ALL of the nations will be represented in Heaven. ALL of them. But how will they know the Gospel if we don’t tell them?
I’m not saying that everyone is supposed to move to overseas immediately or you’re obviously not a Christian. But, we are required to spend ourselves for the nations. This may mean staying in America for some, but, we are still required to “make disciples of all nations” You cannot pick and choose what you like in the Bible. You can’t just accept the stuff that fits into your lifestyle. We cannot simply sit back and chill out living selfishly, but, it’s all good because we prayed a prayer one night at summer camp so, we’re going to heaven, when there is a world that is dying and we’re okay with that. I’ve been okay with that. Because if I can’t see it, I can ignore it. It’s not affecting me. No, I’m good in my safe little Christian bubble world.
what are we doing?
What is the point if we are not broken over the lost? What is the point if we are not sharing the Gospel? How can we say it’s good news to us when the more exciting news is the latest TV show or sports game?
What am I doing…
God has blessed me like he blessed the Israelites. I have been given so much. I have never thought of myself as rich, and by American standards, I’m probably not. But, by the world’s standards I’m disgustingly rich. God hasn’t blessed me to make much of me. He’s blessed me to make much of Him. God hasn’t blessed me because I’m a “good person”. He’s blessed me solely by His grace so that others will experience His grace.
I want to go to the nations. I want to see God’s glory made supreme in dark places. I feel completely inadequate for this. But, God is so adequate and He chooses to use insignificant people like me.
I don’t know how God will choose to use me to bring His glory to the nations, but I pray for an ever willing heart and an eagerness and an openness to whatever it may be.
To live is Christ and to die is Gain.
God help me to live like that is truth to me.