“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
1 Peter 5:29
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.”
I have heard of people who do crazy things for God. They have given up good jobs or careers. These people sold all they had and chose a simpler lifestyle. Their family and friends couldn’t believe they are left then to live among complete strangers. These people see a painting being created by the unseen hand of God, while those around them wonder what they are staring off into space at.
A man named Jim Elliot did this when he felt called to work with the Auca Indians in Ecuador. He left a good job, sold off what he didn’t need and left his family. Yes, people said he was nuts. It might have also been fellow Christians who felt he had gone too far.
When the Lord moves people, it moves the world. Jim Elliot took a wife, Elizabeth and a few friends who also felt the call. Just as their work began to show some fruit, Jim and four of his fellow missionaries were killed by the people they were trying to help. Even in this foreign culture a little misunderstanding cost them their lives.
Did Jim go too far? Did he really hear God telling him to radically obey Him? Why would God do all of that work and then let Jim and his companions die? Wasn’t that a waste of a life?
I am sure the list of questions was longer than that. We want answers, but God, in His wisdom doesn’t always dispense them like we think He should. The Lord uses unfair circumstances and the worst life has to offer and turns them into grace. Isn’t that amazing?
He knew that those left behind after Jim’s death, were inspired to love those who showed such violence and hate. One man’s act of obedience caused others to believe that God can use all things for good. Many people in that tribe became believers and now they are the ones taking the Gospel to other tribes. Like Jesus said, “Unless a seed dies, it cannot produce fruit.”
When I die to what I want, God can do something that effects the population of eternity. Will I see it in this life? Maybe. However, God is working behind the scenes in the ordinary and forgotten places. It is a much more detailed and connected painting then we could ever imagine. I suggest being an obedient tool in the painter’s hand. Let Him do what He does best, sometimes no questions asked. Wait to see how the painting is completed. You will be amazingly in awe.