10 August 2011

Total Abandonment

London Eye & Big Ben at sunset by Harshil.ShahPink Patang by Meanest Indian

Poverty. Persecution. Suffering. Lostness. Addiction. Darkness. These are things that consume our world, hold happiness in a stranglehold, and suck the life out of billions of people. This planet we call home is riddled with pain, and those of us who are blessed enough to be removed from such horrors as starvation, disease, and filth so easily ignore it all. It’s so easy to sit inside our air conditioned houses on cushy couches and make grandiose plans about our futures.

But don’t we have a responsibility to the lost and suffering? As a Christian I believe that Jesus has called me to follow Him in making disciples, bringing the gospel to all nations, and helping the suffering. It is my purpose in life to know, love, and serve Him. Where does a trip to Britain fit into all that?

For a long time I’ve struggled with the difficult question, “Is this really how God wants me to spend my time and money?” Couldn’t my Britain fund be put to a better use in saving someone’s life in Sudan or feeding a hungry child in Guatemala? Should I be flying to Tanzania instead of England? Should I work with the unreached masses in India rather than attend a Bible school in Lancashire?

The answer seems obvious—of course bringing the gospel to the world is more important than a pleasure-trip for me. But then how do I go about it? Do I relinquish all my dreams of European travel and immediately dedicate myself to the lost and starving?  Which lost and which starving? African, Asian, American?

Is it going overboard to give up my lifelong dream for Christian service, or is it exactly the kind of radical devotion and total abandonment that Jesus requires?

Have you ever been faced with this dilemma—to pursue something for yourself or to give it up for others, or if you’re a Christian, for Christ? I don’t want to live a self-consumed life where I am the end and the means and Jesus is just a friendly spectator. I don’t want to go to Britain if it isn’t His will.

And so I’m back to square one. Confused, worried, depressed, unsure. Is this what following Christ is like, or is this what fighting against Him is like? 


Pink Patang, a photo by Meanest Indian on Flickr.


  1. Wow....I'm going through the same thing. Talk about deja vu! I've been praying and seeking for the Lord's direction for my life - where would He like me to focus and serve Him??? Specifically, how do I go about helping those in the slave trade, orphans, the sick and helpless etc.?
    Does my desire to visit Britain fit into His plans or is it a selfish desire?
    Everything you said I can relate to!

    Have you ever read any of Leslie Ludy's books?
    Right now I am going through "Sacred Singleness" and "Set-Apart Femininity." Both have encouraged me and caused me to draw closer to God as I seek His direction. They both talk about living a vibrant life, set on fire for God. Leslie Ludy has a heart for orphans and knows exactly where we are coming from.
    I just thought you may find them encouraging as well :]

    I'll be praying for you Abby!

    In Him,

  2. Thank you so much, Devin! It's good to know that I'm not alone in this :)

    I'll look up Leslie Ludy; it sounds like she has some good things to say.

    I'll pray for you and keep you updated on my own journey!

    God bless,

  3. There are two principles that guide me:
    1. Charity begins at home. There's lots to do in our immediate surroundings , town, village.

    2. I'm not in charge of the world. God is, and He knows what He's doing. I'm just a tiny dot in the universe.

  4. Thank you, Duta! You're absolutely right. While we can make huge changes in this world, we certainly aren't in control of the whole thing! This sort of ties in with a blog post I did on my personal blog: http://differenthomeschoolgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/bit-of-earth.html

  5. Abby, I believe if you are living a Christian life, praising God and asking His help for all His children, and yielding yourself to His will, He will let you know in an unmistakeable way (to you) if you need to change your plan.

  6. @ Judeann: Thank you so much for your words of wisdom! Nearly everyone I've asked about this seems to be coming to the same conclusion, and it's getting easier for me now!

  7. abby; Jesus said to go into all the world & preach the gospel. it sure sounds like you have that desire, & He'll give you the desire of your heart. i went to israel in 1973 with the intention of leading souls to the Lord, & Jesus gave me the privilege of leading several jewish people to the Messiah. if this is your calling, then no one can possibly close the door that the Lord has opened for you. go where the Lord leads you, & you'll be the happiest woman in the world.
    God bless, mike

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Mike. It is greatly needed and appreciated!

      God bless,


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