The missionary zeal
Acts 21:12 “When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.”
Luke and the team begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
It wasn’t because they believed the Holy Spirit had told them not to go.
It was because:
1. The Holy Spirit had told them that trouble was ahead.
2. As part of his team they would be going with Paul into that trouble.
Two things happened to me last night.
I had a skype call with a missionary couple who are 3 months away from leaving the UK to go to another nation. It was an exciting conversation but we also talked of family members who are struggling to let them go and who had hoped by now they would have changed their mind.
Later in the evening I was in conversation with a friend of a missionary who was describing how difficult it was for that missionary to be a witness in the nation they were in. They continued to try and explain to me that if they even tried to give out a Bible or talk about Jesus they would be arrested.
On reflection later laid in bed I was moved by both conversations. The pleas from family members and the advice of a friend were being played over in my mind. I committed myself to do all that I can to honour the role of the missionary by not down-playing the high cost that is to be paid. I will do all that I can to make sure that whilst the safety of the missionaries is important it will not fall into the area of comfort and fear stopping them from doing the will and call of God. I committed myself to make known the following:
1. The missionary is committed to laying their life down. Death for them is only negative in that it will stop their mission of sharing the gospel, not that it stops them being on earth.
2. The missionary has people who are cheering them on and they also have family and friends deeply concerned for them. That is how it is.
3. The missionary is a person with such strong conviction that nothing and no one will stop them.
This is why we must pray and give to the missionaries. We must do all that we can to cheer them on and encourage their zeal and not to dampen it.