November 1 – Speak

“Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.” (Ezekiel 2:3-5)

Read: Ezekiel 1:1-3:15, Hebrews 3:1-19, Psalm 104:1-23, Proverbs 26:24-26 

Relate: Today he is one of the most famous missionaries in church history. At the time he was considered a failure. In 1812 Adoniram Judson set out with his wife to be missionaries in India. They were among the first missionaries to set out from America, but their welcome in Calcutta was not very warm. The local British missionaries did not want Americans among them and so they were ordered to find their own path. Even that soon became an impossibility as the British East India company told them in no uncertain terms that they were not allowed anywhere in India. So after less than two years on the field, the Judsons left India.

They did not do as one would expect, however. Instead of returning home, Adoniram and his wife pushed forward and became the first missionaries to have a permanent presence in Burma (Myanmar). Even here, it took a long while for things to begin looking up. It was more than three years after they had first come to Burma before they had their first convert. It took almost another two years from then before that number reached beyond ten and they could start their first tiny little church. This slow start was not unique to the Judsons. I remember reading of another missionary who sold himself into slavery that he might reach the slave populations in the Caribbeans. He worked away for more than eight years before seeing his first convert. Hudson Taylor had only four converts in his first three and a half years before he broke away from his missions board and started the now famous Ningbo Mission.

React: Imagine that. Giving up everything you knew to go to a completely foreign land. As you learn the language and the culture, you plod away in obscurity. You speak, you witness, you share and pour your heart out among your new friends and neighbors… and you are met with deaf ears. Now imagine that God told you beforehand, I’m gonna send you out but they aren’t going to listen. I called you to speak, but you aren’t going to be very effective. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel… they were all told some version of this at the starts to their ministries. What if it was you? What if it was me? In a culture and society that places such a high premium on the bottom line, would we be willing to be obedient even if we knew in advance that through the world’s eyes we were guaranteed to be failures?

Respond:

Dead God,
Help me to keep my priorities straight. Help me to remember that obedience is more important than effectiveness. It is not my responsibility to change hearts. It is my responsibility to speak out. Help me to speak. Help me to be a voice crying out Your Name. And even if not one person turns, help me to understand that my obedience in speaking will one day result in hearing, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Amen

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7 thoughts on “November 1 – Speak

  1. You said: “In a culture and society that places such a high premium on the bottom line, would we be willing to be obedient even if we knew in advance that through the world’s eyes we were guaranteed to be failures?”

    Yes, I would, and I did. The Lord Jesus gave me such a calling back in 2004, and I have been obedient to that calling, even though I may not see with my eyes much in the way of results, as humans would think results should look like. Nearly every day I post on the internet what the Lord teaches me through my quiet times with him each day, and I give it to a runner (the internet), so that a runner can “run with it” (the name of my blog). My job is just to write what the Lord teaches me, to the best of my understanding, and to place it on the internet, and then the Lord takes it to whom he wants it to go. It is not my job to make certain that the right people read it or even that anyone responds to it. If I had to measure my success based on feedback from humans, and if that was my criteria for whether or not I should continue, I would have quit years ago. But, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is my calling (from before the creation of the world), and that God chose me for this specific assignment (my part in the body), and so I obey him, and I trust him with the results. But, all glory belongs to him, for I can only do this in his power, wisdom and strength. Sue Love

  2. Spot on my friend, we are called to reduce so that the Son may be glorified. Were we to take praise, honor, or glory, it would be to steal the show. To God be the glory forever!…. and at whatever the cost to us! May we only find grace to give, to serve and to follow our Master´wherever He may lead!
    God bless all his feeble voices, wherever we are!

  3. Thank you for sharing ; I too need to walk on and share the Good News faithfully at all times. Whenever I falter or think my work for the Lord is not bearing fruit, these words will encourage me.

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