To the other cities…
M2M (Ministry to Ministries) is blessed to share the MEDIAlliance newsletter by President, Ron Harris. It was a turning point for me. After decades in radio, much of it in Christian media, I was confronted by a comment by Jesus. To be honest, even after reading through the Bible several times, the passage in Luke planted itself in the forefront of my mind and would not move. Seems God’s Spirit does that sometimes to grab our attention for His purpose.
The account is in Luke 4. Jesus journeys to Capernaum. His reputation is growing dramatically. The rescuing of a demon-possessed man in the synagogue only adds to the growing amazement at His teaching and His power. After healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus begins an all-night ministry of healing the people of various diseases and freeing others of the demons within.
At daybreak, Jesus left for a secluded place, no doubt to rest and restore His spirit. But the people found him. Many wanted him to simply set up shop in Capernaum and continue a successful ministry. Maybe his disciples saw the “wisdom” of building on that success as a way to establish that kingdom on earth.
Jesus had a different perspective. He had a different calling. It had little to do with success from the world’s viewpoint, and everything to do with obedience to a higher calling. Here’s the passage that has become a turning point for me.
When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
“I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
I remember reading that, and getting caught on that revelation by Jesus. Leave sure success? Launch out to places where He knew there would be opposition? Why? Simple. “I was sent for this purpose.”
If it was Jesus’ purpose to take the Gospel to other cities…and if I am to be like Jesus…then what about me? Can I be content to stay and enjoy “success” (whatever that means) here? Does God have other cities, other cultures, others countries that need to hear the Gospel? That has shaped my direction for several years…and the results today is MEDIAlliance International.
Occasionally I get questions about the “joy” of flying 10 to 20 hours (or more) to get to other lands to work alongside Christian broadcasters. Others recognize the difficulty of launching an international ministry and raising funds in these days. Those are legitimate challenges. But they are minor afflictions when held up against the high calling of helping to spread the Gospel to “other cities.”
I am humbled by others who hear God’s call, and respond. In the Prologue to Nik Ripkin’s new book, The Insanity of Obedience: Walking with Jesus in Tough Places, the author tells a story from his interviews with believers in some of the most challenging places of our world.
“The house church elder explained that the Holy Spirit woke him up in the middle of the night and told him to gather together the fruits, vegetables, and meat that the house church had stored up to care for people in need. The Holy Spirit told the man to take this load of food, by horse and sled, to a pastor’s family who had been left to die in a one-room hut in the frozen tundra.
“The man reminded the Holy Spirit that it was thirty degrees below zero outside and that there was no way that he would survive the trip. The man reminded the Holy Spirit that the wolves would probably eat his horse and then eat him.
“Then the words of the Holy Spirit rang in his ears: ‘You do not have to come back; you simply have to go.’”
I am often guilty of thinking too much…of weighing the consequences of following God’s impression in my heart. Dr. Henry Blackaby has often said that when we hear the Lord speak direction to our heart, what we do next defines where we are spiritually.
God’s purpose…His call…the Holy Spirit’s direction…. What is He saying to you. And what are you saying in response?
Prayer and Praise
We rejoice with the news from Radio Voice of the Gospel (RVE) and our friend Lucian Despa that they will be taking the Gospel to another city, too. After many years of praying and making application to the Romanian regulatory boards, RVE has received permission to begin broadcasting in Moldova Noua. This brings to ten the number of stations across Romania that Radio Voice of the Gospel programs. In acknowledging God’s hand in this new opportunity, Lucian Despa, RVE’s General Manager said, “We will keep the course supported by your prayers and guided by His grace.”
Radio 7 continues to make inroads for the Gospel in neighboring country Kosovo. Along with radio programming in this mostly Muslim country, Radio 7 is acquiring Christian television programming for airing on the most popular secular TV station in the capital city of Pristina. In March, MEDIAlliance will meet with Radio 7 and another Christian media ministry to work towards the sharing of children’s programs to air in Kosovo. SAT-7 produces programs for several satellite delivered television channels to the Middle East. There is a willingness to explore this opportunity to impact a Muslim culture with God’s Truth. Pray for the Lord’s direction and favor in these discussions.