“You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:3-6 ESV).
The American board of Reaching Indians Ministries International (RIMI) gathered at The Billy Graham Conference Center at The Cove for their biannual meeting in June. In a special time of testimony, one by one, each described how he or she had become acquainted with and involved in this ministry in India. Every story was unique. The details of every tale were convoluted and intricate, long-term, and intimately crafted by the Holy Spirit for each individual.
The telling of each story took a while. None of these tales were broadcast wide for the world to stand up and take notice. They were hidden, private interactions with God, known only to a few—changes in the heart, working together of circumstances, attitude repair, conversations, tragedies, “chance” meetings. All of these tools had been used by God to aim each heart in the direction He wanted it to go.
All were called differently. All were called uniquely.
But each was called to be intimately connected with helping local indigenous pastors and missionaries to reach the subcontinent of India with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a work of faith. Take a look at the picture at the top of this post. None are famous. Yet God is using their quiet efforts to assist believing and committed Indian men and women to spread the gospel in their homeland. Since 1993, RIMI pastors have planted over 5,600 house churches throughout India. In the last five months alone, they have baptized 3,432 new Indian believers.
We are small people on a large planet. In the day to day, we often feel invisible. Over 7 billion souls people the earth, 1.2 billion of them in India. We feel lost in the crowd. When we gather together, each of us longs to tell his or her story, wanting others to know us. But everyone else wants their story to be known as well. Only a fraction of us are heard.
Being human is a lonely experience.
We wonder: Does anyone know me at all? Does anyone care? Does my life matter?
What a relief it is to have a Savior who knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We hide our motives from ourselves and often don’t even comprehend who we are or what we think or feel. Our hearts are dead, like stone. Yet He wants us anyway.
He crafted us in His image. He planned before the foundation of the earth exactly how He wants to use us in His kingdom. And so, He draws us to Himself.
He gives us hearts of flesh and makes us His own, supervising and carrying out our salvation, attaching us to Himself, even giving us the very faith necessary to believe in Him. He intimately designs a unique mission and passion within each of us, working out the circumstances to call us, to bring us to life, to gift us, and to equip us. He knows what He wants to accomplish through us, and He already knows the day each of us will die. His care is so intimate that He knows our thoughts before we even have them.
We are not lost, small, miniscule, and unimportant. We are crucial to His plan on the earth. We are not alone. We are seen and known. And He wants to use us in His plan to change the world.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV).
In the sphere in which he has placed you, how are you proclaiming his excellencies?