A moment of authenticity.
As a missionary, I feel a great deal of pressure to see the church grow and people come to Christ. I realize that is the job of every Christian, and in all honesty, the most important job that we will ever have. However, now it is also our livelihood. In a sense, our support/income depends a lot on our effectiveness here. Many churches and people are counting on us to spread the gospel and love of Jesus here, and we don’t want to let them down.
With that being said, it is a huge fear of mine that we will invite people to church and no one will come. I find myself picturing us at church months or even years down the road with no one new sitting in the chairs around us. That terrifies me for many reasons, the main one being that I desperately want these people here to be saved and be with Jesus in heaven one day. Also, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to “waste” time here with nothing to show for it. I don’t want supporters to drop us because people won’t accept our invitation to church or accept Jesus as their Savior. I don’t want to let people down. I don’t want to let God down.
Then today at church, it hit me. It was one of those things that I already knew deep down. I had even acknowledged it out loud multiple times in the past. But the fear in me caused me to forget this truth. I was reminded that God wants the people here (and everywhere) to come to a relationship with Him even more than I do. As much as I care about it, He cares a billion times more. I was reminded that if I do the job that He has called me to do, I can count on Him to take care of the rest. It is my job to get out there to meet and make relationships with people. It is my job to show them the love of Christ. It is my job to invite them to church. It is my job to teach them about the Bible and invite them into a relationship with Him. But it is God’s job to put that desire in their hearts. I can’t do that, but He can. And if I do my part, I am confident that He will follow through on His end. I know that doesn’t mean that every person I meet or invite is going to come to church and become a Christian. But it does mean that God is going to use us to make an impact on people. I can make a difference because I serve a God who is powerful and loving.
That realization washed over me in the middle of a song, and suddenly I felt so much peace. What a relief! Not only am I not alone in this, but I have the help of the Creator of the universe! I may not be able to do this, but He can. Suddenly, I didn’t feel that overwhelming pressure and fear anymore. I felt confident and assured. Essentially I felt like God was saying, “You’ve got this Tiffanie, because I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”