Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself out for the unreached. Get a global vision. Far too many Christians are trying to fight for joy within the tiny little sphere of their family or the tiny little sphere of their 14,000-member church. I mean that with no irony.
The globe makes that church look like a tiny dot on the map. God is at work in every square inch of this planet. He’s at work in North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq. He is at work in post-Christian Europe. He is at work in worldly America sliding to who knows where morally. God is reigning and working and spreading and conquering and building. “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
If you deny yourself an awareness of the global work of God, you’re cutting yourself off from some big emotions. You’re just living in the little cocoon of your family or your church and wondering, “Why do I only feel small emotions?” Today with the internet and magazines, you can find out about the triumphs of God among the suffering church. Just type in persecution.org for starters, and find out the triumphs of God in the most suffering church. Get a global, big vision.
“God is at work in every square inch of this planet. He is reigning and working and spreading and conquering and building.”
You were made to know and love and embrace a global God — a universal God — not just a little, teeny, intimate God. Those are precious emotions, so don’t let me mock them. Those are precious. But if all you want is, “Just want to rest in your arms, Lord Jesus, and feel your acceptance. Just that, no more. Let the world go to hell. Doesn’t matter what’s happening in Iraq or North Korea or China or Argentina or Brazil or Japan. It just really doesn’t matter. I feel so good.” Just break free from that limitation to intimacy, but love intimacy.
John Paton, the missionary to the New Hebrides, was being chased by 1,500 people who hated him on the island of Tanna. To escape, he crawled into a tree while they ran underneath. He said, “The fellowship and the intimacy that I enjoyed with Jesus through the promise, ‘Lo, I will be with you to the end of the age’ was so sweet, I would not trade that moment for any moment in my life.”
Please don’t hear me saying that sweet, deep, precious, personal, intimate fellowship of Jesus is a small thing. It just gets you to Tanna. It gets you to the island of Tanna. It gets you to the New Hebrides. Six months after you get there, you bury your wife. Then you bury your six-week-old baby. You say at the grave, “If it were not for Christ, I would go mad.” Then you give the rest of your life in the New Hebrides. That’s what joy is meant to do in this conference.
Read, watch, or listen to the full message: