Weakness, need, helplessness. We strive to avoid these things. We choose our careers, buy insurance, build savings accounts and invest in retirement, all in an attempt to protect our independence. We are humiliated by the thought of having to ask for help.
But do we have the faith to do what Jesus commanded? In Matthew, during Jesus’ mission training for the disciples, He said, “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff” (Matt. 10:9 NIV).
Missionaries in our day are often thought of as development workers. We come in positions of power, ready to supply the needs of the poor and neglected. We expect them to come to us for help, and invariably they do. But Jesus taught a dramatically different approach to missions. He sent His disciples out with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and a healthy faith. They arrived in need of their target people’s help, dependent on the generosity of their hosts. And the reward they brought in return was true peace.
People responded to these needy missionaries. Their humility and dependence opened people’s hearts. The results are undeniable. Going out in weakness, they started the largest Christian church-planting movement in history.
Do we have the faith to reach out in humility and need? Will we come, not in power and wealth, but in weakness asking for help, and in return offering the peace that passes all understanding?