After all, everything we need is already in place to get the job done:
--Jesus' promise to be with us,
--the Holy Spirit's empowering,
--the Father's provision of needed resources,
--millions of Christ followers already on the front lines ready for action,
--millions more in "reserve" waiting to be deployed
--the Word to guide and us show the way,
--outposts strategically placed in all the key centers around the world,
--direct access to the Commander-in-Chief 24/7/365,
--apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers, servant-leaders willing, eager, and ready to train the saints for the work of service...
And yet with everything in place, why is it that we are further away from accomplishing the goal than ever before?
I believe we have substituted comfortable peace-time religion instead of engaging an all-out war effort to finish the task we were charged with 2000 years ago. It is about us and what we want and like; not Him and where is heart is for bringing in the harvest.
A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, "Son, go work today in the vineyard." And he answered, "I will not"; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, "I will, sir"; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, "The first." (Matt.21:28-31)
Which of the two are we like today? The first or the second? Most of us are persuaded we are doing the will of the Father because we are "good Christians" who go to church and read our Bibles. Yet, we have been clearly told to work in our Lord's vineyard. Like the second son, we say, "I will, sir"--but our words are just words. We are not doing anything. It is perfectly OK to
As Steve Smith writes in T4T: A Discipleship ReRevolution, "The problem throughout history has never been with God--He is willing, passionate for His people to be reached. The problem is not with the harvest--the Spirit is doing His part to prepare a harvest even among hard peoples. The problem is with us--we need to recapture the first-century discipleship revolution that turned the world upside down. We need a discipleship re-revolution!"
I find it amazing so few Christians seem interested in even talking about evangelism, discipleship, church planting, or reaching the billions of lost souls scattered around the nations--not to mention actually engaging in these pursuits. The idea that we are followers of Jesus who fish for men (Mark 1:17) seems to be something missionaries and professional clergy are supposed to do.
The Church in America seems to have a totally different agenda from that of our Lord. She desperately needs to understand that the call to follow Jesus means death to one's self, one's ambitions, one's personal dreams, one's personal well-being. His Kingdom is first. His mandate of making disciples of the nations takes precedence over our own plans, dreams and ambitions. "Not my will but thine be done" was Jesus prayer (and ought to be our prayer!) His interests come first. His heart beat needs to be our heart beat. His glory is what it is all about.
We desperately need to recapture the first-century discipleship revolution!