Without a robust understanding of God’s sovereignty, God’s Under-Shepherd’s cannot confidently go where God has called them to go. They cannot (and will not) face the sin that perverts and destroys their lives – and the lives of their people with the steel (but tender) spine they must possess. If not understood properly, that God lovingly holds all things in his hand, God’s Under-Shepherd’s are attempting to survive high-risk missions without the proper weaponry. They are expecting to bandage their wounded without medical supplies. Practically this means that men and woman in need of the gospel are already dead before the team hits the battlefield.
It is the triune God of the Bible who changes hearts and transforms lives, not our words nor our ministries. It is our mighty Redeemer that makes church growth possible, not books and articles by TGC, etc. It is the creator of the universe who gives us life, breath, and yes, even death. He is in complete control, and He is outrageously good. This realization is what drove Doug Logan, a church planter in one of the most dangerous cities in America, to exclaim confidently during a conference I once attended, “If you get hit with a bullet, trust that it’s God’s bullet!”
God has a mission, and that mission is to make much of His Son Jesus! He is asking us to suit up and trust him. He wants to use us, though broken and sinful – because he loves us graciously and loves to flex.
Be encouraged and comforted, Shepherd, for He has promised to be with us every step of the way, and that changes everything!