My eyes forced themselves shut before my head hit the hotel pillow. Exhausted, it wasn’t long before I was fast asleep. We were supposed to arrive in Lima the previous evening and get a good night’s rest. That all changed after boarding our first flight and then, after an hour, getting deplaned because of a mechanical issue. After a few more hours of waiting, they found a new plan and we were on board ready to go.

However, the wait for takeoff was about thirty minutes and the crew only had fifteen minutes left on their timer before they were illegal to fly. They tried to speed it up, but to no avail. For the second time that day, we had to deplane and wait in the airport while they looked for a new crew. After another few hours of waiting, we had a new plane and a new crew. We arrived in Lima a day later than we had planned with no sleep.

After a short nap at the hotel, we got up to continue our next leg of the trip. Our final destination, a small village in the Andes Mountains, was still a six hour drive away. By the Lord’s grace, we made it and were able to catch up on sleep along the way.

Why did we take so much time off work, spend so much money, and stay up all night just to spend a few days in a tiny village?

Because God has called people to himself from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language. When we gather around the throne and worship the Lamb, there will be people from this tiny village worshipping too. How will they hear the gospel unless someone goes and shares?

God calls his people to make disciples of all nations. He sends out his people to go and fetch the lost sheep both home and abroad. When we obey, the Holy Spirit uses our witness to awaken darkened hearts to their sin and need for salvation. I don’t share the gospel in spite of God’s sovereignty, I do it confidently because he is sovereign.

Part of God’s Story

However, some often question the relationship between God’s sovereignty and our need to share the gospel or engage in missions. If God is sovereign, they may ask, why do we need to share? If God is going to save people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language, why do we need to go and tell them?

The reality is God doesn’t need us. He’s certainly capable of saving who he wants without our help. If we are silent, he can easily have the rocks cry out on our behalf. In the Old Testament, he spoke through dreams, mysterious writings on the wall, or even dumb animals.

However, the good news is we GET to be involved in God’s redemption. He’s doing a mighty work all across the globe and he invites us to join in that work. When we walk in obedience, we get to see God working through us to save people from their sins and grant them eternal life. For all of eternity, we’ll share stories of God’s salvation and how he used our weak, stumbling efforts to rescue souls from eternal damnation.

Fueled, Not Hindered by the Sovereignty of God

Some might argue that we shouldn’t emphasize God’s sovereignty too much because it might remove people’s urgency to evangelize. While it’s certainly the case that our sinful hearts are willing to find any excuse to disobey, we shouldn’t shy away from biblical teaching because it could be abused. There are plenty of examples from Scripture and church history where a healthy view of God’s sovereignty fueled missions and evangelism.

In Acts 4, the believers prayed for the “Sovereign Lord” to do “whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (vv. 24-28). They firmly believed in God’s sovereignty, yet that didn’t keep them from praying or sharing the gospel. In fact, their prayer continues: “Grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness…” (v. 29). God’s power was the fuel for their boldness and witness.

Believing in the sovereignty of God didn’t keep Charles Spurgeon from laboring and preaching the good news at his church for thirty-eight years. It didn’t silence George Whitefield from preaching to thousands in fields across the country. A high view of God’s sovereignty didn’t stop John Newton from writing “Amazing Grace,” perhaps one of the most recognizable songs by believers and unbelievers alike. Time and word count would fail me to tell of many other heroic acts of faith. Many of these godly heroes would attest that their deeds were fueled by the comforting doctrine of God’s sovereignty rather than hindered by it.

Going in His Power

I’ll keep going to Peru and dealing with the unexpected issues and travel delays because I can rest in God’s sovereignty and goodness. I’ll keep sharing the gospel with the stranger at the store because perhaps today is the day the Lord opens their eyes. I’ll proclaim the good news of redemption to anyone the Lord puts in my path, and I’ll do so with confidence in the sovereign power of God who might decide to use my fumbling efforts to rescue a soul trapped in darkness. He might sovereignly appoint me to be in right place at the right time to free someone from the grips of hell and give them eternal life. I’ll go in boldness because it’s his power at work, not mine.

I share the gospel BECAUSE God is sovereign and mighty to save, even through a wretch like me.

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