Friday, April 2, 2010

Is the Cross the attraction?

Why is it we do all we do?  Our lives are busy, sometimes to the point of distraction..........  But I ask you, what is all the busyness for?

I have been reading a book about Amy Charmichael.  This book is written through the lens of Elizabeth Elliot, and equally gifted woman of God.  To Amy, everything was God's work.  Changing a diaper, or sweeping a floor, was equally as important as leading a person to Christ.  It was BECAUSE of her passion for Christ that she did the cleaning and caring.  I wonder how many times we make these things mutually exclusive, instead of all encompassing?

Here is a list of questions that she asked prospective recruits to the mission field.

1. Do you truly desire to live a crucified life? ( this may mean doing very humble things joyfully for His Name's sake.)

2. Does the thought of hardness draw you or repel you?

3. Do you realize that we are a family, not an institution?  Are you willing to do whatever helps most?

4. Apart from the Bible, can you name three or four books which have been of vital help to you?  Apart from books, what refreshes you most when tired?

5. Have you ever learned any classical or continental language?

6. Have you ever had opportunity to prove our Lord's promise to supply temporal as well as spiritual needs?

7. Can you mention any experience you have passed through in your Christian life which brought you into a new discovery of your union with the crucified, risen, and enthroned Lord?

How well would you have scored?  What would your answers have been?
After this list was compiled, it was said she would sum theses questions up with one statement:  Do not come unless you can say to your Lord and to us, The Cross is the attraction.

When reading this list of questions, asked of those who felt called to a life of missionary work, I was compelled to examine my own life and heart for God.  I have often said that raising my children is my mission field.  He has given me four precious gifts, to teach, train and admonish in His ways.... but is the cross the attraction to my work?  Do I care for a sick child because I just do... or do I care for them with Christ's love?  ( I will confess to you that at 3 a.m., when there is a cranky baby up for the 3rd night in a row, I am surely not feeling Christ's love for that child!....  I am selfishly wanting my sleep!) 
I was ashamed, that as I searched and examined my motives behind the countless little things that are done each day...........Christ is not my attraction, I am not as selfless as I would like to think.  I needed to be reminded that unless Christ is first, I will become selfish and bitter in the work he has given me to do.

Today happens to be Good Friday.  Back in the day, when they were writing the Bible, the word we have translated into English as Good.... started at HOLY........  how poorly our English understanding of the word "Good" is in this instance.  Today, my Savior, hung on a cross.  A cross that he carried, after being beaten until his flesh hung from his body,  having a crown of thorns crammed onto his very skull.  He was nailed to that cross, hoisted into the air, and left to die.  The world accomplished their goal of killing him this day..... But His triumph is coming.  The triumph over death, we will celebrate on Sunday.....  The triumph forever, is yet to come.

In pausing to think about what we remember today... I know that is the level of sacrifice that is called for from me...........  I need to be THAT selfless, that humble.  Through the humility that was displayed on the cross, I am saved.  Through the humility displayed through me...... others will see the cross......

Is the Cross YOUR attraction?


  1. I need to come back to this post and reconsider those questions when it isn't so late in the day and when I am a little more clear-headed.

    Read: Not feeling some of my more 'human' and less Godly emotions quite so close to the surface.

    But thank you for sharing this here.

  2. I am STILL working through those questions.. I think that number one is the one that haunts me the most. I do lots of things that would be defined as "humble"(in the book) in any given day... but is the phrase... "truly desire to live a crucified life"... that I have the inward battle with.

    I don't know if I would even have answered them in a way that would have caused me to be chosen to serve along side Miss Carmichael...
    Elizabeth Elliot pointed out that now in the mission field we have a battery of psychological tests we put an applicant through before we, by committee, decide if someone is worthy to serve God on the mission field. The beauty is in the contrast of her simple and direct questions....


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