But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. ~ Exodus 9:16
Jim Elliot asked if this verse would be in essence, an epithet spoken of him. Ultimately, it was. His death on January 5, 1956 impacted the Christian community around the world. It challenged hundreds, even thousands, to enter the mission field and take up what Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed Mc Cully, Roger Youderain, and Pete Fleming had laid down.
What am I picking up? Habits? Thoughts? Ideas? Actions? Attitudes? Is any of it long-lasting or eternal? Am I choosing to honor God with everything or just some things? With part of my heart or all of it?
If I want to give my whole heart, how do I start?
Seek first God’s kingdom, not my own (Matthew 6:33). Why God first? Simple. God is the root of it all. He is where the very spring of life itself is found (Genesis 1:1). I need to remember that while my to-do list is important, it is only for a temporal world. God’s kingdom is eternal. His purposes are for the salvation of the world and a relationship with each person here.
If I want to follow God with my whole heart, my whole life, I will need to pick up my cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24) and put down the things that fill my time but don’t fill my soul. To be blunt, life is short. I am not promised tomorrow, neither are you.
Dear Ones, what choices are you making to leave a legacy for the Kingdom? We may not need to go into the jungles of Ecuador to make a difference, it may be as simple as crossing the street and getting to know your neighbors. The parents of your children’s friends. Serving once a month in the children’s ministry at church, or with the homeless ministry in your community. Or with a food pantry. Or a car ministry.
The point is, make sure that your hands are moving with an eternal purpose. Picking up and putting down as God designed us to do.