Just a side note here… This post if my article from the NightLight Branson newsletter for July! Thanks for reading and as always feedback is welcome!
There have been moments in my life when I have been accused of taking the Scriptures too seriously or too literally. Often, it leaves people around me feeling like I am too much. Too holy, too serious, too bold, too harsh, and too reckless. I’m sure there are moments when I am out of balance and some of these things are true. But I am also sure that being too much in some of these areas has actually qualified me to be the director of a ministry location at age 26.
The reality is that, when I was younger, I read the Scriptures, believed them to be true, and took great risks to do great things regardless of circumstance. This has left me uncomfortable, exhausted, and overwhelmed–and absolutely and foolishly hopeful. One of the Scriptures that I took as absolutely true when I was 18 years old was Isaiah 58:10:
“…and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
Six years ago, I truly started believing that, if I spent myself for the sake of the Gospel, the lost would be found, the captives set free, and the glory of God would shine through me. So, I started sacrificing in lots of ways to invest in things that are eternal. In return, God has taught me some incredible things and led me on an awesome adventure.
I think the church wants adventure and freedom and desires to shine forth the Glory of God. But I think the church has also somehow forgotten that God was serious when He asked us to spend all we have on eternal things. When I look back at other times in history when people have fought for freedom, I am amazed by how much people sacrificed during the fight against slavery, the fight for women’s rights, and the fight for civil rights. Some people sacrificed everything. This only reminds me that I am called to spend myself on behalf of the oppressed. If others have given up so much for human rights, how much more should we, the church, be giving up for the oppressed who need to know freedom through the Gospel?
I know what you’re thinking, “Mindy is going to ask us for money again. That’s why she’s talking about sacrifice.” But you’re only partially right. Instead, I’m asking you to truly partner with us as we spend ourselves to set the captives free. This is not simply about writing a check. Yes, we need you to give so we can keep doing ministry. But we also need you to care about what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. We need you to pray with us and encourage us when it’s hard, when we walk through the desert, and when we feel like there is no fruit being harvested. Don’t base your giving off of numbers. Base your giving off of our vision, purpose, and heart to see God set the captives free. We need you to celebrate with us when we have small victories and when we see mountains move. We need you to spend yourself right alongside us as we spend ourselves. I know this costs your time, money, talents, and energy, which are probably things you feel you don’t have to offer. But I am asking you to sacrifice so the Gospel can go into the dark places: Into the streets, the clubs, and the brothels. We have an amazing opportunity to see God work in impossible ways. How much better will the journey be if we spend our lives on things that last, together? So go ahead. Join us. You know you want to