We live in a world that is saturated with the pursuit of comfort, and that comfort is especially one in which we have familiarity and ease. As I study the Bible, I am more and more convinced that God wants to challenge us in our comfort, and move us out of our comfort zone for our own good. Our country is sadly still facing the challenges of adapting in its comforts of familiarity, and a superiority complex in regarding our own ways as being right, and different ways from being wrong – particularly as it relates to race and culture. We need to be challenged in our comfortable worldview, to see everyone around us from God’s perspective!
I moved here from Iowa, where the population is more than 90% white. In small towns and rural areas, the percent is much higher! How I love the creative hand of God displayed in the demographic of our area. It is a constant reminder of the worship around the throne in Revelation 7:9-12:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
As I rejoice in the picture of God’s redeemed among every people group, and in the gospel which has torn down the dividing wall of hostility and united all people groups within the church, there are two important reminders: 1) God chose to bless the world through Israel (not white people!) and 2) there is still work to be done in spreading the gospel! God loves all nations (Deuteronomy 10:18-19), and has commissioned us to make disciples among all people groups (Matthew 28:18-20). What a unique opportunity we have when God has brought many among the world to our doorstep! As we live and proclaim the gospel while going about our regular day, we will encounter people from among many different cultures. Will we saunter away in discomfort, because someone is different than us, or will we see the beauty of cultural diversity and endeavor to be light in the dark world around us?
As John Stott said, “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” Let us go, therefore, and be conscious and intentional of the need for the gospel in all of our daily lives!