Come and Go

We constantly get it backwards.

As part of a culture marked by pragmatism and productivity we repeatedly mishear Jesus. We busily build the Kingdom, conscientiously fulfill our ministries, sacrificially give our time and energy, and faithfully serve others. We may even think of “Burning out for Jesus” as a badge of honor.

We go and we do. It’s in our spiritual DNA. After all, Jesus sent out the twelve (Matthew 10) and the seventy (Luke 10). He has given us a Great Commission to “go into all the world and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19-20) So, we constantly challenge each other to step out and be about the business of the Master.

But gradually, imperceptibly for some of us, the burning passion of our conversion dwindles. The flame becomes no more than a flicker.

We have many explanations, and they all sound reasonable—hurt by a congregation, betrayed by a Christian friend, used by the church, abused by a spiritual leader, unappreciated, unknown, and disillusioned by organized religion.

“Go into all the world to make disciples” quietly becomes “Go into all the world…to find a place to recover.”

Thousands share this story. They started the Journey of faith with enthusiasm and devotion but now feel spiritually empty. What happened?

For many, the commandment to “Go” usurped the greater invitation of Christ to “Come.”

“Come, follow Me.” (Matthew 4:19)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest…and you shall find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Ideally, we come to Jesus not just on the day of our conversion, but every day of our lives. However, we usually feel that time spent with Him is time we are not going to others. Time with Him can feel unproductive, and we have so much to do!

But “Come” precedes “Go.” Always.

Indeed, when we go to the world before we have come into the Presence of Christ, we assume that we can achieve more for Him and without Him than in partnership with Him. We are vain and misguided.

Jesus invites us not to come to an organization, a vision, or a mission, but to Him. In His Presence, we find peace and restoration. Let’s come to Him before we go any further.

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15 Responses to Come and Go

  1. Hi David, there is an old hymn which starts with these words, “In Your Presence Lord…….” So true isn’t it. There is another not-so-old song, “Where Can I Go Without You”. Seems like maybe these two hymns should “go” together as we ‘come and go’. Even though we perhaps think so, we cannot do the work of Christ without the Presence of Christ….in and through us. Though salvation is essential, so is day to day sanctification/spiritual formation, or as some might express it: growing up to maturity in His grace serving with a grateful heart filled to overflowing with faith and faithfulness, wisdom, joy, love and humility — really all the fruit of the Spirit. Praise You Lord Jesus! May we allow You to shine in and through us…..individually and as congregations of on fire disciples! Thank you brother………


  2. Mike Raleigh says:

    David – thank you – again.
    This summer has been a bit overwhelming – work, family – demands from a lot of directions. Even now, while preparing for a vacation tomorrow, the plans and the preparation seem like just one more thing that I don’t want on my list. Three times this morning I have been reminded, through the writings of others, of Jesus’ message to “come”. Your article, an article on the busyness of church leaders and an article that in essence asks, “are you ignoring God’s call to silence, solitue and attentiveness to Him?” The vacation will help a little but I now am making plans for a few days of silence and solitude. Thanks for helping to remind me of what should be the natural order of things. God First!

  3. Mary Bawden says:

    I agree with Mike. You did get it right. Again. Your posts are filled with wisdom and godly reflection. Each time you send ‘By His Grace’ I am blessed. And yes. We need to come to him for restoration so that we can go…..Right now I’ve asked the Lord Jesus to restore my heart as only he can do. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11

  4. Scott says:

    Wow! Thanks David. Jesus bid’s me “come” right now…so im going to do that.

  5. elmer riley says:

    Thank you for your consistent service. I do agre with you 100% may the Lord bless you.

  6. Great reminder. 1st come, then go. Watch for that in an upcoming sermon :>

    Hope you and the family are doing well.

  7. Tim Ross says:

    Thank you for all of your writing (books and blogs) and your architecture and design of the HOPE MA Ministry classes that point us to Jesus. Perhaps the best thing I’ve gotten out of my studies at HOPE is an understanding that I need to be deeply in prayer, meditation, inspired reading of the Word, and other “disciplines” to connect with Jesus. As I have done this I find the fruits exploding in my life. You have been and continue to be an excellent mentor to me. Thank you.

  8. Norm says:

    This is something i struggle with unfortunately. I have a Martha complex. Forever i’ve been praying for wisdom and understanding so i can fix, solve and accomplish everything. I decided this year to stop praying for that and start praying for love, which i’m relearning is more meaningful. I’ll add stillness and quietness to that as well. Thanks for the reminder to sit and down

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