Come Live, Die

by Norman J P
Posted on 1st February 2006

In reality, a missionary is simply a normal Christian coming from a normal church to do an extraordinary task. A friend once said, "I'm just a nobody excited about telling anybody about somebody who can save everybody."

When God does something awesome, He does it simply. You don't need an encyclopedia to figure God's ways, they are by faith. "Simplicity is the essence of all things sublime." We teach that mission's is a high calling that is possible with God. When God calls, He also equips.

But what does this all have to do with Come Live Die? It is easy. A dead and broken man feels no pain. To put it another way, the work of God will hurt in one major area, SELF. If we can lose sight of self, if we can truly walk in brokenness before God, we will be good missionaries. Self causes a lot of problems. Relationship breakdowns, offenses, misunderstandings, unreasonable requests, all types of temptations and sins, and avoidance of discomfort; all have their roots in self. If you can just get rid of self, nothing is impossible. As one philosopher writes, "We have met the enemy and it is us."

Another way of defining self is pride. We are told in the Bible that Lucifer was a supremely beautiful and talented angel who became puffed up with pride and attempted to usurp the throne of God. He was cast down to earth and was referred to by Jesus as the "prince of this world." If you look at the world we live in, everything is pointed towards self.

Jesus was not self-seeking. He was the greatest who became a servant. How different. He could have used His powers for self-preservation, esteem and pleasure. A perfect example of this is when He asked the disciples who people were saying He was. Simon Peter was commended as being one who received divine revelation and his confession would be the authority on which the new church would grow. It was only minutes later that Jesus began to predict the sufferings and death He would have to experience. Now Simon was listening to another spirit, not the Spirit of God. He began to rebuke Jesus saying, "This will never happen." He was tempting Jesus to stumble in the call He had. Jesus came back with the most stinging rebuke recorded, "Get behind me Satan, you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men." I wouldn't like to be in Simon's sandals when that rebuke was delivered!

Why was Jesus so strong? Because what Simon said was the purest form of Satan's doctrine, "Preserve yourself."

Dying to self is the hard thing in missions. When a person is at the romantic stage and thinking of the adventure and culture, death to self is not real. When the grief over loss of home, culture, language, family, friends and job is coupled with discomfort, heat, danger, sickness, misunderstanding and more, self begins to cry "Save yourself."

So what can we do about self?

- Recognize that self is there and will manifest itself

- Trust the Lord to bring into your life the way of heaven, selflessness

- Learn to accept insults, hardships and pain as servants to crucify self

- Look not at your own success, image or well-being, but seek that of others

Norman J P is the Executive Director of Elijah Company, Inc. who have set up a mentorship networt for missionaries. The 'Elijah Company Missionary Mentorship Network', as it's called, was created to provide resources for those on or going to the field. The bi-monthly articles sent out through the network are condensations aimed to encourage and instruct. You can subscribe to their service by sending a blank email to or for further details see their website at