The 5 Ancient Rules for Mission

Amidst an abiding discontent born of fruitlessness on January 4, 1906 James Outtram Fraser, missioner to the Lisu peoples wrote in his diary:

I do not intend to be one of those who bemoan little results, while 'resting in the faithfulness of God'. 

Are you too weary of laboring without fruit? 

Is your back broken from digging in clay, or hands torn from planting among thorns?

Jesus too knew the finitude of His energy and time, so Jesus deliberately planned around people's responsiveness - He too desired fruit.

Without any surprise the New Testament helps markedly:

  • Jesus only did what His Father asked Him to do - He did nothing because He considered "this seems like a good idea". He got behind His Father's will and did not beg His Father to get behind His will. (John 5:19)
  • Jesus instructed His disciples to look for responsiveness, a welcome that they may stay. (Luke 10:5-7)
  • Jesus instructed His disciples to look for unresponsiveness that they then leave, not wasting time, energy and truth - or, not casting pearls before swine. (Luke 10:10 -11)
  • Jesus expected reproduction. (Matthew 25:14-30, John 15:16)
  • Weeds on your seeds can choke sprouting. The sower's un-dealt with sin can hinder their spiritual fruit. (Matthew 5:23-24, 1 Peter 3:7)

Faithfulness in service is not measured by an acquiesced persistence among thorns, baked clay or concrete.

Faithfulness is not measured by ongoing failure, or a blind repetitiveness.

At the Divine assize faithfulness will be measured by fruitfulness. (See Matthew 25, John 15)

How often do we call ongoing service that bears little fruit faithfulness, when I fear Jesus may call this foolishness?

The time arrives for many an evangelistic endeavor to simply shake the dust from its feet. (Luke 9:5)

The diligent and humble servant will not be satisfied with barrenness, they will recognise the right time for fervency in prayer, assessment of strategies, or to even seek fresh fields.

Cultivate hearing from God first that you then can be doing for God second.

Today's Soul Snippet:

If we grow into manhood in the spiritual life we shall not escape conflict. ~ James Fraser

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