Go and Do Likewise

An executive headhunter recounted to author and evangelist Josh McDowell a perspective-altering conversation he once had: 

“When I get an executive that I’m trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he’s all relaxed. Then, when I think I’ve got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, ‘What’s your purpose in life?’ It’s amazing how top executives fall apart at that question. Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, “To go to Heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career, I was speechless.” 

Clearly, that executive got it . . . his life purpose extended farther than himself, an unselfish realization found by few. Once you figure out His purpose in coming to Earth and what He wants to give you who follow Him, then you must begin to align your purpose with His purpose. Seeing that He came to preach the Word and testify to it, as one of His, what must you do? Go and do no less. 

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” In a Christian context, we could say two most important days are the day you were born again and the day you figure out why you were born again. If you’ve experienced one without the other, here’s a claim you can make your own: “I’m where I am at this moment in time because Jesus has entrusted me with the continuation of what He started until the Earth’s four corners have been reached.” 

As the Apostle Paul quoted from Isaiah, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15) 

Do not think for a second that these directives were given to a select few in the 1st Century and have little implication for you. Quite the opposite. You are every bit as called to testify to others as others testified to you. 

A missionary to Africa told how he once gave a new convert a copy of the Bible. When the two met months later the Bible was torn to shreds with most of its pages ripped out. Frustrated, the missionary exclaimed, “I thought you treasured the Bible I gave you and would handle it with great care.” The man replied, “It is the finest gift I ever received; it is such a wonderful book that I gave a page to my father and a page to my mother then I gave a page to everyone in my village.” 

That new convert’s relay had already begun. Early in his race, he went from being a mere disciple (one who learns) to an apostle (one who is sent). His life’s purpose was to simultaneously run for God’s glory while urging loved ones to join him in the race. 

If you’ve not made that same move from disciple (one who learns) to apostle (one who is sent), the time is now. Be bold by offering up a prayer of discomfort in your role as a disciple until you transition into an apostle. C.S. Lewis said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” 

For any who are Christians, take comfort knowing that your unique gift set was custom-tailored by the Holy Spirit to perfectly empower you to carry out God’s call on your life. Oh, that you might abound in sharing, not hoarding, your gifts. Attune your ears to humanity’s current plight that wails in desperation to hear but one Word of Good News, “for the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19) Yours must be that word.  —  Excerpt from The Relay – George Shamblin