Part IV of our Series on Visiting and Remembering
That was the message woven into our blog posts last week. Today, the message is not “therefore you should visit, too.”
The message is “God visits through you.”
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul says:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
As ambassadors, we brings God’s care—God’s eyes, God’s hands, God’s touch, God’s ways—not our own.
It’s not that we are his hands. It’s that he intends that our hands become his! In other words, just because we visit someone doesn’t mean that it’s automatically a visit from God and that anything we do or say is inspired by God.
Moses learned this the hard way! Remember last week we learned the story of God sending Moses out as God’s ambassador to deliver the Israelites. But when Moses was a lot younger, you may remember that he visited the Israelites and tried to deliver them himself:
When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, “Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?”
But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?” When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. (Acts 7:23–29)
So when we go, we go as his ambassador, sharing his message, not our own. And because we are continually making good on God’s pledge to visit those God seeks and deeply loves, our ambassadorship regularly carries us to people we don’t know or like!
The prophet Jonah may be the classic example (getting sent by God to the Ninevites), but the Bible is full of these kinds of visits, so get used to it! Think, for example, about the apostle Peter’s visit to the Roman Cornelius, where God first took the gospel to the Gentiles:
Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” (Acts 10:27–29)
It’s interesting that Cornelius (the one being visited) knows more about why Peter is there than Peter does. God has heard Cornelius’ prayer.
So the person you visit may know more about why God sent you than you do. It’s probably good to ask if you’re unsure.
Has God ever called you to be his ambassador to someone you didn’t know or like? Has he ever called you to someone and you didn’t know why? Share in the comments!