But if that person is an elder at your church, and says this while teaching on a Sunday morning, you are more apt to listen to that wisdom.
And if that person has been a mentor for you for over 15 years, you definitely follow his advice.
If you haven’t read this book, or if it’s been a while, here are some excerpts that inspired and challenged me:
In preparation for the mission
“We’ve already put our trust in Him for salvation, so why not do it as far as our life is concerned?” Ed McCully (in a letter to Jim Elliot)
“The life of a missionary calls for infinite adaptability.”
On the mission
“How continually I thank God for bringing me here, almost overcoming the impossible and pushing me out. I felt ‘thrust out’ and how grateful I am for God’s impelling.” Pete Fleming
“A missionary plods through the first year or two, thinking that things will be different when he speaks the language. He is baffled to find, frequently, that they are not. He is stripped of all that may be called ‘romance.’ Life has fallen more or less into a pattern. . . . The missionary watches, and longs, and his heart sickens.”
“Was it the thrill of adventure that drew our husbands on? No. Their letters and journals make it abundantly clear that these men did not go out as some men go out to shoot a lion or climb a mountain. Their compulsion was from a different source. Each had made a personal transaction with God, recognizing that he belonged to God, first of all by creation, and secondly by redemption through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. This double claim on his life settled once and for all the question of allegiance.”
“Christ was to be obeyed, and more than that, that He would provide the power to obey. The point of decision had been reached. God’s command ‘Go ye, and preach the gospel to every creature’ was the categorical imperative. The question of personal safety was wholly irrelevant.”
“For these men the drive to deliver to the Aucas the message of redemption through the blood of Jesus was blocked only by the language barrier. If only they might suddenly leap over the barrier and convey to the Indians one hint of the love of God!”
After the death of the missionaries
(Side note: I was shocked at how sudden and anti-climatic the end came. Weeks of preparation and contacts, a week on the ground, one day with three Auca Indians, and then murder.)
“The prayers of the widows themselves are for the Aucas. We look forward to the day when these savages will join us in Christian praise. . . . Revenge? The thought never crossed the mind of one of the wives or other missionaries.”
“God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”
“God is the God of human history, and He is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing His eternal purposes in us, through us, for us, and in spite of us.”
Question for you: Have you read “Through Gates of Splendor”? If so, how did this book shape you?