Saturday, August 10, 2013

Are You Afraid?

{I want to say from the start that this is not an anti-missions or anti youth on missions post.  I love World Missions and believe in it, support it and pray for it whole-heartedly. Thankyouverymuch.}

We live in the St. Louis Metro area and we love it.  But you don't know how many people, upon finding out where we live, say these very words. . . . "Are you afraid?"  

Followed closely by, "Don't you all know that St. Louis has the highest crime rate in the country?!?"  This is always asked with must gusto.

This might shock you all, but no we aren't afraid and yes, we know that and we knew it when we moved back here three years ago to plant a church in the Central West End of St. Louis.  But thank you for verifying that we know this tidbit of information.  Seriously, we appreciate the concern, but we aren't afraid and you shouldn't be either.

I am always saddened when people are afraid to go into their downtown area or into the more rough neighborhoods because of fear.  I understand it and fifteen years ago was right there with ya, but after fourteen years of inner city ministry I find myself in love with the city, drawn to it even.  I am even ready to move into the city (from my tidy little county dwelling, St. Louis speak for suburbs).  

You see we send missionaries into war torn countries, political hot beds and countries that would kill our missionaries if found to be preaching the Oneness and The Good News.  We applaud them, pat  them on the back, pray for them and support them, as we should.  Sometimes we even feel the need to help them in person and many become AIMers and go on Youth on Mission trips.  But when we are in our own cities we are afraid.  When we return home from all sorts of foreign locations that could have been dangerous we are afraid to step into those ghettos and reach out a hand and speak the truth in a loud clear voice.  I haven't yet seen anyone walk up to a missionary at conference and ask, "don't you know that country will kill you if you preach about Jesus?"  Those missionaries know and we know that they know.  We don't question their call nor do we question that God, who has called them, will protect them. 

Why don't we have enough faith in God, the same protector of those ministering overseas, to protect us as we go into neighborhoods and communities that are war torn, impoverished and in need of Good News?  No, you won't find soldiers in battle rattle running through our streets (not yet anyway) but you will find gangs gunning for each other, single mothers struggling just to feed their kids and young men without a purpose, families looking for something to change. . . .is there a missionary for them?

It's easy to hide away in our big, beautiful churches {nothing wrong with a beautiful church, it's a blessing but it can also be a curse} with our blinders on, not really seeing the deep need for God in our cities (all across America). . . all because of fear.  When will the missionaries that are afraid to march around their very own city stand up, bind up that fear, cast it out and take the land?

You may not be called to a foreign land and that's okay, not everyone is called to go overseas.  But this I know, with no doubt, we are all called to be missionaries, reaching the lost wherever we live.  Fear has kept too many of us from doing something for too long.  So we blame our schedules (which believe me are as busy as a schedule can be) and we blame not knowing the area or not feeling comfortable when in reality we are simply afraid.  Maybe fear of rejection or physical facing an attack or fear of the unknown, but fear isn't suppose to cripple the saint of God.  What does the Word say??  In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul told Timothy this. . .

for God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

We are filled with power and of love, that power was given to us so that we might become witnesses to ALL men and love that we might love them enough to go and speak the truth . . . even out of our comfort zone, even when it's not safe.

We do not have enough time to be afraid.  We must carry the Good News to every person we possibly can, whether they live in a safe area or not.

If we can pray for that missionary heading off to a foreign country, believing completely that God WILL protect them. . . . then we must have enough faith to believe that for ourselves.

Get in your field, fulfill your calling.  God will take care of you.

This is a high rise in our field, the Central West End of St. Louis.  More than 800 people live in this building alone.  The mission field is HUGE.  There is a field for you, trust me, there is a field for you.

{This is not directed at any one city or church, this is just something burning in me.  Fear is crippling and we, the church, do not have time to be crippled anymore.}

1 comment:

sapphire493 said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly. Fear is the biggest tool the enemy uses no matter where we are. The best help is from the scripture, 'For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.'2 Timothy 1:7

We live in troubling times all around and there is a need for much diversity in ministry. Everyone has been called, we just have to find out where.

Where God guides, He provides. He has always protected His people at home and abroad. Keep up the good work and thankful for the calling your family has for the city of St. Louis!