Published by Barnabas International • PO Box 11211 • Rockford, IL 61126 • Volume III • No. 7 • July 1989
LAREAU LINDQUIST, Founder
My first recollection as a child is a mission story. I was about five years old when it happened. Following a Sunday evening service at my home church in Minneapolis, most of our congregation went to the Great Northern train station to see Liz Anderson off…off to Africa for a five -year term of service. I will never forget my feelings and tears as a child. Five years seemed too long. And Africa seemed too far away. But then I did not know what I now know. What a difference.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), He also gave them two great promises. Without these two promises, the assignment would have been overwhelming…frightening…impossible. But His two promises made all the difference then and they make all the difference today to us 20th century disciples.
THE PROMISE OF HIS PRESENCE
Jesus promised to be with them forever…in all places and for all time (vs.20). Previously God had promised the same to Joshua with these words, As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. In the Book of Psalms, He promised the same to David.
The same promise is passed to God's people from generation to generation. Just weeks ago, Evie and I visited missionaries in the jungle areas of the Ivory Coast of Africa. In a few days, we will be leaving for Europe and will be ministering in some of the large cities there. The promise of God's presence is to you who are in the crowded cities of the world and to those of you in the isolated villages as well. YOU AND I ARE NEVER ALONE. THOUGH PERHAPS SOMETIMES LONELY, NEVER ALONE. Remember that.
Secondly, Jesus assured them that all authority and power was His to give to us in our lives and ministries (vs. 18).
All of us in ministry go through times of powerlessness, and consequently discouragement. Such times surface in many ways. Even now, perhaps you are in such a time. Maybe you are tired (physically…emotionally). Or weary, wondering if your efforts are making a difference. Or frustrated with the enormity of the assignment. Has the chill of loneliness and separation numbed you? Are you misunderstood? Ready to throw in the towel? Then this promise is for you.
Jesus promises His power. Power to revitalize you. Power to refresh you. Power to bless you and others through you. Power to energize you, making your talents and gifts effective as they are coupled with His great power.
When Peter discovered the availability of God's power in his life and ministry, he moved from weakness to strength. Out of his own experience, he confidently wrote these words for our encouragement…
His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS. (II Peter 1:3)
I would never dare to step out into ministry unless I was absolutely assured of these two realities…HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER GO WITH ME. Claim these realities today in your ministry.