Energy Independence--many nations seek ways to produce more of their own energy needs.
Sometimes the needs are small--as in a small flashlight; other times a great deal of energy is needed.
When the Apollo space missions were launched in the late 1960s and 1970s, the space capsules rode upon Saturn V rockets. These rockets generated more than 7 million pounds of thrust as they propelled their cargo into space and then ultimately to the moon.
The astronauts depended on these powerful rockets for not only the success of the mission, but for their very lives. The engineers designing these rockets were highly motivated to succeed in their mission. Failure in even the smallest detail could be fatal.
As a result of their diligent efforts, eight people successfully landed on the moon and returned to earth.
In the second epistle to the Corinthians, Paul shared his motivation (what drove the engine of his life) with his readers.
"Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere,and I hope you know this, too" (2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT).
Earlier in this chapter, Paul addressed the reality of the resurrection body.
The idea of a physical resurrection ran against common Greek thought.
In fact, this Greek belief in an only spiritual existence after death helped shape Gnostic heresies in the early Church later on. Paul addressed this false understanding clearly and pointed out that the new bodies God will give His people would be far more glorious than the bodies we currently have.
Paul clearly stated his preference to be with the Lord in this glorious body, yet at the end of verse 9 he makes this point, "our goal is to please Him".
"Our goal is to please Him" This goal was no idle whim though as Paul makes it clear in verse 10, that everyone will appear before Christ's judgment seat, and will give an account for our actions in this life. No wonder that in verse 11 Paul describes his responsibility to persuade people with the Gospel as "fearful". Paul understood the importance of this mission entrusted to him by the Lord.
This was the engine that drove Paul's ministry.
He understood the lostness of humanity, and the reality that each of us will be giving an account to Christ regarding what we have done for Him in this life. Such a motivation allowed Paul to persevere through incredible hardship and suffering. Yet, none of those circumstances were more important to him than reaching the lost. This of course raises an obvious question for every believer today--are we even remotely as motivated to reach the lost?
Many Christians struggle with priorities, because there so many distractions attempting to capture their attention.
Though many of these things are necessary to living in this world, they can easily crowd out God's priorities of reaching the lost. Looking past our circumstances, and on to the harvest field that God wants us to labor in, takes specific decisions.
- Firstly, we must determine to notice people who are in need of Christ. When we start looking past our own circumstances, we will discover people in our own circles of influence that need to be saved. This will also allow us to begin seeing these people as individuals for whom Christ died and people who are important for us to reach.
- Secondly, we must determine to build bridges to lost people. There are many ways to do this. The main thing is to build a relationship with unsaved people so that the Holy Spirit will help us see the open doors He creates in their lives. Volunteering for community outreaches or becoming a 1 to 1 mentor also helps open the door to meeting people who need Jesus and have come to Him.
- Thirdly, we must let reaching the lost be an engine that drives our lives. The more we see the world as a harvest field, the less we focus on ourselves. This allows God to transform us into workers in His harvest.
We must remember that our world needs our Savior.
His love in us, for that world in need, becomes the engine to drive us to work in His fields.
© 2010 Don Bailey