Whatever will be will be, the saying goes. That is not the Gospel. Nor is it the heart of God. Jesus described His purpose on earth by saying “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
A sense of urgency about lostness is one of the most common characteristics found in disciple-makers.
Hearts Broken For the Lost
Jeremiah cried out, “I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me” (Jer. 8:21).
Jesus wept as he looked at Jerusalem, calling them sheep without a shepherd.
Does lostness cause us to weep? Or have we become casual in our attitude toward those apart from God?
Ask God to give you His heart in a fresh way today.
What Keeps a Sense of Urgency to Reach the Lost Burning In Our Souls?
1. A proper theological understanding of lostness.
The world tells us it is arrogant to think that others are lost and we have been found. “All roads lead to God,” say Hindus or New Agers. “Do your own thing. You be you, I’ll be me” is the millennial mantra of the West.
Is it proud or intolerant to see those apart from Christ as lost? Not according to the Bible!
Christ is our example. He used this word, not only to describe His mission but also to explain His great love for those apart from Him (see the parables in Luke 15). If Jesus called those who did not know Him lost, so can we.
2. Embracing compassion rather than looking at your own needs.
It can be challenging to focus on others rather than self. This is especially true when we are in pain. Emotional or physical suffering causes us to be self-centered. Part of the solution to coming out of that difficulty is to focus on others. Millions wait to hear the good news. They are our neighbors, colleagues at work. Does their lost condition stir your heart?
3. Letting go of judgements and offense caused by unsaved people in your life.
The lost are not always nice people. Sometimes they are rude, even evil in their actions towards you. Their sin may feel offensive to you or their behavior cause feelings of disgust. We must ask God to change our heart, to help us see them as those who are lost lambs that the shepherd is seeking after.
Repent of judgments and ask Jesus to fill your heart with His love for those who do not yet know Him. Do not be like Jonah who called down fire and brimstone and hoped God would judge his enemies. That did not turn out so well for him.
4. Regular prayer and intercession for those apart from Christ.
I cannot change my own heart or cause it to become soft and compassionate. There is something I can do though. Regular prayer for those around me who do not know Jesus changes me. I begin to get my Father’s heart for those I am lifting before Him, those I am asking Him to bless. Soon, I find my heart is feeling different as well.
May God soften our hearts and cause us to see the lost as helpless and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd.
Share your own prayer for lost people, or any comments you have on this topic in the comments below.