Our Lord has told us how our love for him should manifest itself: “Do you love me?” he asks. “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). Our Lord is saying, “Identify yourself with my interests in other people,” not “Identify me with your interests in other people.” This kind of love has a specific character. It’s defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8: “Love is patient, love is kind . . .” It is the love of God expressing itself. Other expressions of love are merely sentimental. The love of God is able to stand up to the most practical tests.

“It was for the sake of the Name that they went out.” The Holy Spirit fills my heart with the love of God and sends that love through me to everyone I meet. It enables me to remain loyal to the Name, even though every commonsense fact declares that Jesus Christ has no more power than the morning mist. This loyalty is the supernatural work of redemption, worked in me by the Holy Spirit.

The key to the missionary’s devotion is being attached to nothing and no one except our Lord himself. This doesn’t mean being separated from the outside world; our Lord was always in the world, among ordinary people and things. His detachment was entirely on the inside, where he was attached only to God. Avoiding the world is often a sign of a secret, inner attachment to the very things we’re setting out to avoid. The missionary has no such attachments. His or her soul is kept concentratedly open to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. The men and women our Lord chooses to send out as his missionaries, though they are made of ordinary human stuff, have a dominating devotion to him, formed by the Holy Spirit.

Wisdom from Oswald

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried. He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R