I just read an article in the Washington Times, reporting that Kim Jong-un, the leader or North Korea, has ordered the execution of 33 Christians in North Korea. This isn’t a hate problem, this is a worship problem. The North Koreans don’t need to be tolerant of Christians, they need to see Jesus clearly, and worship him fully. For decades, the North Korean people have been under the influence of dictatorship that demands the worship of the country’s people. This is happening in our world, and for me it does a number of things.
1. It reminds me that God is a global God.
And that carries a significant to weightiness to my soul. The question at my heart is this: Am I really all about God if I’m not about what God is all about? I know that Jesus won’t return to this earth until every people group has been introduced to Jesus. My heart for Jesus is exposed by the measure of my involvement with unreached, unengaged peoples. God wants the nation of North Korea to know Him. He wants the peoples in that border to see His sacrifice. He laid down his life for them. Our greatest joy depends upon our presence at our appointment with Jesus at the foot of His cross.
2. It beckons me, come and die.
Jesus laid his life out on the altar for you and me. I am completely convinced that deepest joy is found whence we meet Jesus in that place. To be honest, two years ago I was more willing to go to China on the North Korean border than I was willing to go to DC, but that’s not what God had for me then. I know that God is forming me and training me here in DC, but I still can’t help but feel a big picture call to go to unreached territory with the gospel – specifically, North Korea. How could I not? Jesus is being lifted up there and will be lifted up there. If Jesus is there, I want to be there too. I can already hear the upper class northern Virginians ramble about how illogical that decision would be. But I don’t want a northern Virginian faith or a northern Virginian reward, I want Jesus. So, someday, I’ll go to North Korea.
My heart wants to know Jesus in the truest place, and for me I sense that would be in a place where everything is on the line, a place where the consequence is real, but the reward – more real. I am convinced that Jesus is more clearly seen and known when life is measured by being with Him and only Him. It’s hard to truly gage that in America. Though, that is changing. Still, mission and purpose become clear and full when our actual life is on the line. I’m not advocating that everyone leave the U.S. I am advocating that we transfer the weight of our intentions and make God force us to stay in the nest instead of forcing us out. After Jesus left earth, the apostles definitely had to consider the value of their own lives… and before Jesus comes back, you and I will have to do the same.
3. It convinces me that going in the Christian life is not optional.
I can already hear people saying; you don’t have to go, just be on mission where you are. To which I reply, yeah, tell that to Paul and Abraham. Going is always part of following. Even if I proclaim Jesus in my town, I have to leave my house and go into town. We gotsta go. We should all feel the weight of the world longing to worship God – longing to see Jesus revealed. Our own groaning for God makes us more sensitive to the world’s groaning. The Great commission isn’t optional. I hear people all the time tell me that missions isn’t their calling. But, mission is the result of following Jesus. So, the question is: who’s calling you? Furthermore, the command is effectual two thousand years later. My heart longs to respond as I hear the command – “go make disciples of every nation.”. That doesn’t just mean the easily accessible nations. I’m convinced that to the degree of difficulty that our context presents is the degree to which we’ll see the power of God manifest. If you don’t want to go someplace hard, you might be in a place of not seeing God move. I can’t explain the longing I have to go to other nations, and the affection I have for Jesus and people once I reach those nations. I believe God does that in our hearts to show the holistic joy of following Him
Friends, the news of the nations should not distant our hearts more. We cannot disassociate suffering in North Korea with our own personal faith. We are the body and when one part of the body suffers, the entire body suffers.
Most people think that if they give to missions or pray for missionaries then they’re excused from going on mission. I don’t see that in the Bible, and I think it is faulty to not see going as imperative. Yes it’s costly, but not going may reveal the fact that we don’t see the true reward – the reward of His suffering, a global bride.
For the joysetbeforeme,