A little while ago, one of my Facebook friends posted this video from ‘Save the Children’, a non-for-profit dedicated to bringing protection to kids around the world in sitauations where there can be serious harm. This is the video:
It’s a video that I’ve seen before but every time it crushes my heart. I’ve had this post on my mind for a good while now, but with this video now in mind, I can go ahead and write it.
As my thoughts are drawn more and more towards the future, I have come to realise that I don’t really have any long terms plans outside of “1) finish my masters degree” and “2) maybe become a missionary”. This lack of long term plans concerns me a little, because as a young adult I should be working towards a house, or a car or whatever it is we young adults, with adults jobs need to be working towards. What I have come to realise however is that this lack of concrete long term plan is entirely linked to point number 2) maybe become a missionary.
It’s this ‘maybe become a missionary’ that would drive those of us who perceive some sort of call into ministry (mission or otherwise) away from security. What point is there in buying a house here in Australia when at any point you are just going to up and leave? What point is there upgrading the car when you’re just going to have to sell it anyway?
In each and every one of us there is an innate desire for security. To be sure and secure of ourselves in whatever context we find ourselves in. It’s why refugees are running from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar. It’s why we look for that job or get that home loan for that home or get that car that’s not going to fall apart on us as we drive. It’s why we plan long term plans and why we plan them well.
My biggest fear, I think, is that I would become so secure and content in my ‘stuff’ and my situation that I become complacent about God and His purposes. And my biggest frustration, I think, is well meaning Christians, myself included sacrificing what God asks of us on the altar of security, working out our complacent faith in comfort and ease while people in this world suffer because of our inaction.
Too often in Australia, and not only from Australia but online from other US Christians I have seen far too much fear, far too much animosity and far too much complacency. We see videos like the Save the Children refugee video, or we see a video from Compassion on child sponsorship and we feel ridiculously moved. We have compassion on them – I know I speak for myself when I say my heart is crushed every time. But when push comes to shove, we refuse to do anything about it. We are too intent on our temporal security and our ideal of safety that we are too scared, too complacent and refuse to allow our hearts to act compassionately on behalf of others.
I read an article today that told me 71% of Australians want to ban Muslims immigrating to Australia. Seriously? At what point did fear become the decider for how we are going to live our lives? If you are a Christian reading this and you support a ban of Muslims entering the safety of our country, you need to do a serious heart check. These are people who are getting slaughtered by the adherents of their own religion just as much as non-Muslims are.
At what point did we as Christians in the west allow security and temporal safety to become our idols? At what point did we abandon the costly call of Christ to take up our cross daily? At what point did we decide, as followers of Christ, that we could forsake compassion and love on the outsider because we’re scared for our lives?
Hebrews 13:14 tells us that here we have no lasting city but we seek the city that is to come. So why are we so intent on making this temporal earth our home?
“15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
~ 1 John 2:15-17
The things of this world, the desires of safety and security were rarely a call to which followers of Jesus in the early church adhered to. Many lost their lives for the sake of the gospel and for the name of Jesus. They considered the surpassing worth of knowing and seeing and serving the risen Christ of far more worth then their temporal safety here on this earth.
This truth is why I can step forward willing into the mission field, not knowing what lies ahead. This truth is why I can stand with open arms in this beautiful country and say with Malcolm Turnbull that Muslim immigration must continue. This truth is why I will happily and willing support children and organisations and my church with my finances. This truth is why I will stand up for refugees running from war torn countries with their children in tow.
The truth is there is nothing in this life worth keeping which won’t be magnified in the presence of the eternal Christ in the eternity to come.
The idolatry of our security is subtle. And I refuse to allow my human nature and innate desire for my security and safety to hold me back from the plans and the purposes of the one who gave up His own eternal security of heaven, took on human flesh and revoked his safety and died a humiliating death on a cross for me.
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
~ Philippians 3:8