by: Staci Stallings
In 2 Corinthians 5:13-20, we come to this verse:
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Notice how St. Paul sets this up as he is discussing going out as Christ’s ambassadors, being channels of God talking to the world. It is important to note what he DOESN’T say.
He doesn’t say, “Okay, folks, here is a five point plan on how we’re going to do this.”
Nor does he say, “The measure of your faith (and worth) is the number of people you bring into the church.”
What he says, and what I want you to hear especially if taking God out into the world is a calling on your heart… “We IMPLORE you on Christ’s behalf: BE RECONCILED TO GOD.”
Let me rephrase that…
If you want to help others, you’ve GOT to reconnect with God YOURSELF first!
On an airplane, they say, “In the unlikely event that we have to make an emergency landing or something fails, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. PUT YOURS ON FIRST!”
Oh, how, how, HOW many good, well-meaning Christians are out there trying to help and burning out faster than a match in a glass of water!
They get their will stripped and their faith stripped. They feel they just can’t do it anymore, that the odds of them making a difference are astronomical and laying their life and time on the line is just not worth it.
Here’s the place that burn-out starts. They’ve come unplugged from God!
The other day in our church bulletin, a section that I normally love to read, talked about St. Paul and “self-confidence.” I almost threw the thing across the room. It said, in essence, that St. Paul had to have a lot of “self-confidence” to do the things he did–going into foreign lands, being shipwrecked, being thrown into prison. How could you do that without a lot of self-confidence?
But that have it so, so backwards!
St. Paul did NOT have “self-confidence!” In point of fact, he renounced, pointedly any confidence in himself, his abilities, or his position AT ALL. Saying those things counted “as nothing” when compared with what he had found in Christ Jesus.
No, folks! We do NOT need “self-confidence.” Self-confidence is a TRAP that will take you down a road you really do NOT want to be on!
What we need is to be RECONCILED with God!
We need to reconnect with God and stay connected with God if we have any prayer at all of reaching those He is calling us to help!
So St. Paul wisely says, you are called to take Christ into the world, but FIRST and ALWAYS be and stay connected to God.
Because if you don’t have that, you don’t have anything!