Monday, August 23, 2010

Rushing the Field

Rushing the Field from John Eldredge and ransomed heart

A friend of mine (John's) wanted to teach English as a second language in an Asian country, as a way of becoming a sort of undercover missionary. A beautiful dream, one that I'm sure she would have been excellent in fulfilling. But she rushed to the field unprepared in many ways. I don't mean finances and language skills; I mean in the ways of the heart. Lurking down in her soul were some deep and unresolved issues that would set her up for a fall: among them shame and guilt from an abusive past. The team she joined was totally unfamiliar with the new heart, and they doubted its goodness; as with too many Christian ministries, shame and guilt were often used as motivators. Their old covenant theology would play right into Susan's issues, shut down her young heart. Finally, she was unpracticed in spiritual warfare, ill-equipped for what hell would throw at her. The devil is a master at shame and guilt. She went; she got hammered; she came home, defeated. Her friends wonder if she'll ever try it again.

The disaster could have been avoided. Wisdom was crying out: do not rush the field (Luke 14:31); train yourself to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14); live as though your life is at stake, and the enemy is waiting to outwit you (Matt. 10:16). God has given us all sorts of counsel and direction in his written Word; thank God, we have it written down in black and white. We would do well to be familiar with it, study it with all the intensity of the men who studied the maps of the Normandy coastline before they hit the beaches on D-Day. The more that wisdom enters our hearts, the more we will be able to trust our hearts in difficult situations. Notice that wisdom is not cramming our head with principles. It is developing a discerning heart. What made Solomon such a sharp guy was his wise and discerning heart (1 Kings 3:9).

We don't seek wisdom because it's a good idea; we seek wisdom because we're dead if we don't.

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