No 'Titans' Needed

Speaking of this marvelous, courageous missionary—Darlene Deibler Rose—(I did last Sunday. Did you miss it? Check out the asterisk * below), there is a delightful moment, right at the very beginning of her incredible journey, that reveals how graciously our God works in our lives. Yes, in spite of our weaknesses and limitations. Or, rather, let's say using our weaknesses and limitations. Oh, yes! In fact, He delights in doing so. Can you remember that dear Christian, when you find yourself feeling weak and ineffective?

She was 21 years old and just one into her marriage with Russell when they arrived on the mission field. It was 1938. In fact, they stepped off the ship at Java on their first anniversary. A few days later it was on to Macassar, where Darlene remained at the mission's headquarters, studying the native languages of New Guinea (can you imagine?). Russell plunged into the jungles to explore the numberless unreached tribes and villages that dotted the rivers below Wissell Lake. It was just too dangerous for her to go in with him. It would be a seven month separation. 

At one village, Enarotali, Russell became acquainted with a tribal chief. His name was Endatori, and he squatted in his hut and listened, transfixed, as Russell preached to him and his people, trying to explain the love of God and how Jesus had died for them. 

Endatori was a spiritually hungry man. He admitted that. But: "This Jesus may have died for you," he told Russell, "but not for us. We are people,"  he argued. "You are a spirit from the spirit world, beyond the mountain."

Russell was shocked at this line of reasoning. "No! I am not a spirit!" he protested. "I'm a man, just like you." 

Endatori stood up, walked over to an ancient Stone-Age calendar that was hanging on the wall of his hut and began examining the rattan knots—eighteen of them in all—each knot representing the passing of a "moon". The first knot had been tied when a policeman had arrived, eighteen months before. Marks on later knots indicated the arrival of other outsiders: "spirits from the spirit world". 

"And now you have arrived," he explained. "All of you have claimed to be men, but none of you has a woman or children. If you are not spirits, who gave birth to you?"

"But I told you before: I do have a wife." 

"Where is she?"

"Macassar," Russell replied; which to Indatori probably sounded like the "spirit world". 

"Why hasn't she come with you?" he asked.Then he went on to explain that if Russell and his kind could live without women, to carry the load, and share the burdens and be by their side, "then you are not men. You must be spirits". 

Don't you love it? 

Russell sent a letter by canoe, back down the river to Darlene recounting the whole story. Darlene read it and instantly prayed: "Lord, if these people are ever going to believe our message about You, women will have to come!"  Then she put Russell's letter down, ran to the missions headquarters and, filled with joy, announced to everyone: "I'm going to New Guinea!" 

A few weeks later, off she went: this innocent, hometown Iowa girl, hacking her way through jungle, paddling canoes upstream and crossing vine bridges to join her husband's work! 

Has it occurred to you, dear ones, that 'superpowers' don't really reach the lost? Perfect, spiritual "supermen" do not  touch the human heart. God doesn't send angels and 'spirits' to do this. Have you wondered why? He didn't  send 'Titans' out into the world. He sent humble, flawed disciples! He sent you!—and me!—with all of our weaknesses and limitations intact! Oh, that's because the lost are weak and limited and flawed! Hurting and broken and sick and defeated. And whenever the Good News comes, their one burning question will always be: "How does this relate to me?" "Of course God loves this powerful, 'spiritual' messenger who is bringing this Good News, but surely not such a weak and broken one as myself?" 

Oh, listen, dear ones, especially right now as everyone around us groans in the grip of this world and its "spirit of fear": God chooses you to bring His Good News. He's not looking for spiritual Titans. He won't even consider using 'supermen'! He chooses you; He chooses me, weak and limited though we may be, to do His greatest work. 

Isn't that what we read? 

"For God has chosen the weak things of the world...and the lowly things...the despised things...so that no flesh should glory in HIs presence." 1 Cor 1: 27-29

God bless you dear family! 

See ya Sunday. Or...you'll see me.   : (

 

* You can view our  Sunday Services on YouTube: search Calvary Chapel Old Towne, and subscribe. The audio podcast of each sermon can be found at calvaryot.com and also on iTunes search podcasts then Crossborn.  

Apocalyptic?
Message from Pastor Dave