I read an article by Henry Blackaby yesterday that challenged and reminded me again that the essence of the life of a Christian, of a disciple, is our relationship with Jesus and His Lordship in our lives. He wrote the article in response to my denomination (Southern Baptists) and our call to a "Great Commission Resurgence". His point was, as I understood it, if you don't have the relationship with Jesus right, then evangelism and witnessing become just more religious activity that attempts to be accomplished apart from the power of God.
Jesus said "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn 17:3, NKJV). Eternal life is not just heaven, but it is knowing, fully knowing, God and Jesus. From this relationship, everything flows. In his article, Blackaby writes "
unto Me.' If you're not doing it now just out of relationship to the
Lord, don't look for a program that would help you do what you ought to
be doing spontaneously."
As I read the book of Acts, I am reminded that the New Testament church did not have buildings and materials and programs and ministries and overhead projectors and Power Point and tracts. Silly church, all they had was the Word of God, and prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Didn't they know that they never would be able to reach the world around them unless they had fancy promotional materials and lots of activities and loads of musicians and other things like that to draw people?
I had a missions professor in seminary that said that if you weren't on mission while you were training to be an international missionary, you probably wouldn't be on mission once you got to the foreign mission field. If we aren't on fire for the Lord, no program is ever going to make that happen.
It is a humbling reminder to me that I must be ever diligent in making my relationship with Jesus my first priority, for from that, everything else flows.
The link for the article is here