When a young man told his minister he felt called to spend his life as a missionary in China, his minister replied,
“Ah, my boy, as you grow older you will get wiser than that. Such an idea would do very well in the days when Christ Himself was on earth, but not now.”
Funny how we are encouraged to wise up and grow out of the calling on our lives. We may not all be called to China, but there is this tender stage in youth (before we are calloused to the idea of Hope) where we look out into the world and think crazy things are possible.
The universities know about this stage. Professors often push students to question the “wiser” world’s calloused assumptions, but fail to give any adequate answers for solutions. We are not the solution. If that were the case, failure would be certain. Try as it may, secularism cannot offer anything deep enough to meet the needs of the world. Naturalism, humanism, and pantheism (as discussed in Poplin’s book Finding Calcutta) all come to definitive and depressing ends, far short of an answer to the world’s deep pain.
Fear not, friends – for secularism is not what God had in mind for the reconciliation of Creation to Himself. Our wisdom is foolishness to Him. Our human efforts and toil amount to nothing, unless He wills. Our plans and schemes are rubbish unless He decides otherwise. Nothing crazy can/will happen outside of God’s will.
In fact, only inside God’s will do we find that the impossible is possible. Paul writes,
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)
I heard my friend preach a sermon on this passage and he marveled at Paul praying that the people know the love of Christ that is impossible to know (…and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge…). He is praying an impossible prayer for the people in Ephesus. He then quickly follows with a reminder: God is capable of doing the impossible – beyond what we can think or imagine.
He asks us to do the impossible – know Him, love Him – and then He provides a way to make it possible: Himself. He is the only One who transcends the constraints of this earth, the limitations of the physical world. He is the only One capable of making impossible things possible.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
Acts 17:24-27, ESV
That young man who heard such discouraging words from his minister – his name was Hudson Taylor and he never got “wiser.” He was the founder of China Inland Mission and the catalyst in a new era of Protestant missions. He believed his calling was not one confined to “the days of Christ Himself,” but that proclaiming the saving message of the Gospel is exactly what it means to be Christ today. This is what it means to pray “Your Kingdom Come.”
So, go tell it on every mountain… and let us never be wiser.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy