The Problem With Being Undercover: National Workers.
The last thing that my notes bring me to (and was hard to write) is the idea the you must stay undercover for the sake of the national workers. “You don’t want to hinder the national worker” people say. But I ask “are you more afraid of being a witness and getting him put in jail than him being a witness and being put in jail?” This type of thinking just doesn’t make much sense. Why? Because of Jesus’ example.
Jesus told his disciples “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” Therefore, you have two choices: the missionary can go undercover and play it safe (his disciples will follow) or he can live it out boldly and endure suffering (his disciples will follow.) Ultimately, we should be following Christ. They hated him and crucified him, therefore we should expect suffering.
In the same passage he told his disciples some of what they would experience:
- “behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Mat. 10:16)
- “they will scourge you in their synagogues;” (Mat. 10:17)
- “ye shall be hated of all men” (Mat. 10:22)
Jesus told his followers that if they followed him there would be persecution. Jesus trained his disciples to live boldly in spite of the persecution. He didn’t go into fear mode to keep his disciples from persecution, he lived out the suffering for all to see. He expected his disciples to turn the world upside down and to endure suffering in the process.
Suffering is part of God’s plan in spreading the Gospel. (Our emotions want to overrule this and we want to protect those we so dearly love. We don’t want to see them hurt or cause pain towards them. Let us remember that God know’s best and suffering for the sake of His name is part of the Christian life.)
This may seem like a harsh saying, but, if they persecute the national worker, it is not because of you, he can deny Jesus and not be persecuted. He is persecuted because they hate Jesus!
But what if “the persecution for the national worker is greater than what it would be for the missionary.” This may or may not be, but you just have to leave this in God’s hands. Everyone’s lot in life will be different. Some will endure a little, some a lot, others will give all.
Our goal is training men. Not just assisting them from time-to-time but life-on-life discipleship. Therefore, they will learn to react to persecution the same way we do! If we hide in fear, they most likely will do the same. We desire more than to train them to be saved and safe. Our training says “we are training you to be exposed to danger or risk for the sake of the Gospel!” We want to see them reach their country with the Gospel; this probably will include enduring persecution. We should model what that looks like the best we can.
I know I have failed in this area. I have often been the coward more times than not. May we rest in Him and boldly live out His grace!