‘How beautiful (or lovely) on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news …’ says Isaiah 52:7. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch people respond to God’s call, commit and prepare themselves for service, and in time arrive in the land where the Lord has burdened them to make His love known to the lost. The calling and deployment of missionaries has been happening for centuries, and praise the Lord, it is still happening today!
Scripture is full of examples and references to God calling people. Ephesians chapter 1 is one such passage whereby God is stating that His calling on our lives is His initiative, aligned to His plans, His will and His pleasure. Yet choosing to obey His voice and make oneself available to go does not mean that everything will go well, that there won’t be ups and downs, challenges, problems and obstacles to overcome. For in John 16:33 Jesus Himself said, “In this world you will have trouble”.
Recently I was looking through the names of people serving with World Outreach International, and I was reminded of different kinds of troubles many have faced or are still facing. Today there are ‘lovely feet’ represented in WOI who have left promising, lucrative careers when choosing to obey the call of God. Many sold their homes and possessions in order to go, and most live sacrificially, even struggle financially. Some have been kidnapped by armed bandits. Others have experienced numerous bouts of malaria and other life threatening diseases. A few have had a child or loved one die while serving abroad. Others have been evacuated by the military as civil war broke out. Some have had armed home invasions at night while still in the house. Others have been brutally assaulted with machetes, requiring emergency surgery.
Yet all remain on the field, steadfast in their calling and commitment to the Lord. Why? They would say, ‘For the love of Christ compels us’ (2 Corinthians 5:14). When we truly understand what Christ has done for us, the price He paid for our salvation, how could we not give our lives for His service? The world may never hear of their exploits, their sacrifices, their wholehearted commitment, BUT the Lord knows and He is well pleased.
In Philippians 4:10-20 Paul says that generous acts of love and service are like ‘sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to the Lord!’ What we do for Jesus in this life echoes in eternity! Wherever you are, let your lovely feet be proactive in looking for opportunities to represent Jesus in showing intentional acts of love, sacrifice and generosity to others. In doing so your life too can fill the throne room of God with a fragrance that brings pleasure to Him.
John is the Present Emeritus of World Outreach. He lives with his wife, Mary, in New Zealand.