I have to admit, I have a tendency to fall into this same trap. The trap of elevating the ministry, or work, of God higher than my affection for God himself.

It can creep up subtly, as I tell myself, “But God, I’m doing this for you.”

But there will be many do great miracles and drive out demons and accomplish random acts of kindness in the name of Christ, when afterward he says, “depart from me, for I do not know you.”

I am passionate about reaching unreached people groups. I am passionate about Within Reach Global, the ministry God gave my wife and I many years ago. I am passionate about new missionaries joining us in our endeavor to reach the least reached peoples. I am passionate about our local Chinese missionaries, trailblazing new ministry centers throughout Southeast Asia. I am passionate about bringing light to darkened regions of the planet, that worship might arise from every corner of the earth back to God, glory allocated properly.

    

But I also have to be careful. I know there are times when I need to stop, pause for a moment—selah—and reflect simply on God. Not the work for him. Not the breakthroughs and praise reports which can look for good in my newsletters. Just stop, and be silent, and listen to the wind, and watch the stars, and hear the faint beating of my own small heart, and be with Jesus.

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I pray for grace in this, both for myself and for you. Do not elevate the mission higher than God himself, as if the mission is deserving of the glory. As if the means are greater than the ends.

Stop. Pause with me. I am quiet now. And I think I hear God’s faint whisper in my heart, “Just be with me.” And that is enough.

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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