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.