Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
Last month we looked at reminding ourselves of our purpose in an ever changing world, focusing on making much of Jesus and pointing others to him. I’m sure that neither of these things we would disagree with. That being said, sometimes the way these truths are communicated can cause hindrance to those who are watching the believer’s life or listening to the believer’s words. Clearly this is something which Paul understood.
The people of God are not to be marked with an air of triumphalism which fails to engage with real people who are not yet believers. We are not to be obsessed with being accepted by the society in which we find ourselves. Neither are we a group who are to be defined by our confidence and giftedness. Instead, we are to be a people who are marked by our love for the Lord Jesus and a life lived out in obedience to him. This, Paul says, means that our attitude must be the same as that of Jesus.
One of the key and defining attitudes which should mark out a believing person is a heart and life of humility. This is not life as a doormat, but life as one who relies on and depends on the Father’s wonderful grace and caring provision for all that we need. The Lord Jesus, God the Son, lived out this life of humility willingly to the point of death on a cross so that his Father may be glorified and that we may know liberation from sin, death and hell.
So as we seek to work together in seeing many come to know the Lord Jesus among East Asia’s peoples we need to put this humility into practice. Great, but what does that mean? First of all, it is the continued commitment we have to pray for what God is doing in Asia. Pressing on with this and bringing the needs of our partners in the gospel before the Father is a beautiful act of humility which brings blessing now and eternally.
Following this, we must remember that this ministry we have through OMF is one that we have been invited to by God. We are not to think of ourselves more highly than others but instead see the gifts that are being displayed by our brother or sister and encourage them in these. As we move forward we trust and pray that God will be drawing new people to serve both here and across Asia in making Jesus known. This may mean that people will be different to what we are used to and it may mean people don’t have the same connections to OMF as we have.
Let’s not be those who live a triumphalist life but those who live humbly, trusting in the great goodness and faithfulness of our Father to build his kingdom and for him to bring others whom he has invited to join us in serving East Asia’s peoples.
May the Lord be gracious to us and grant us wisdom in the task unfinished