“And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses…and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old…Now therefore give me this mountain…” Joshua 14.10, 12
“Having collected a band of brethren, St. Columban asked the prayers of all, that he might be assisted in his coming journey, and that he might have their pious aid. So he started in the thirtieth year of his life, and under the guidance of Christ went to the seashore with twelve companions. Here they waited to see if the mercy of the Almighty would allow their purpose to succeed, and learned that the Spirit of the all-merciful Judge was with them. So they embarked, and began the dangerous journey across the channel and sailed quickly with a smooth sea and favourable wind to the coast of Brittany” (Jonas, Life of St. Columban).
Actually, Columbanus was probably forty years old when he left his teaching post at Bangor and, with twelve companions, undertook “to go into the strange lands, in obedience to the command which the Lord gave Abraham” (Jonas).
The remaining years of his life would be spent teaching, evangelizing, facing down wicked rulers, reforming churches, infuriating comfortable bishops, and creating communities of disciples. J. I. Packer reminded us that for Christians, called to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12), there is no place for the kind of retirement toward which people in our secular age look. There’s always something more to learn, and someone in our Personal Mission Field we can lead to a closer walk with the Lord (Finishing Our Course with Joy).
Like Caleb, Columbanus was not content to rest on his laurels. He was eager for a new challenge and ready to assume it once the Lord opened the way for him. We’re never too old, or never too long in ministry – even in the same place in ministry – to seek the Lord for greater challenges. Even if that challenge is “only” to improve and increase our prayers on behalf of the Lord’s people.
God will always have a mountain for you. In the spirit of Caleb and Columbanus, be sure to seek it from Him.
Have you discovered the Personal Mission Field Workshop yet? It’s a brief monthly workshop packed with teaching, resources, and ideas for working your Personal Mission Field and helping those you serve to work theirs. Click here to listen to or read our August workshop, “Tell the Secret.”
Resources for Shepherds
Two books can help you in praying more fervently and consistently for revival. And if you don’t believe the Church needs reviving, then these two books can help to convince you of that. Restore Us! explains why we need to join in seeking the Lord for revival. And Revived! Shows us both the promise of revival and how we can use the psalms in seeking it. Order your free copies of these books by clicking here and here. At those links you can also listen to an excerpt and check the table of contents of each book. These would be an excellent resource for leadership training.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to encourage believers to become more like Jesus. The work of shepherds is the same. But what does that mean? How can we encourage the people God sends us to serve? Our ReVision study on “Encouragement” is available free of charge for downloading here.
Don’t forget to visit the Resources for Shepherds page at our website, where you’ll find reviews, insights, and exhortations to help you in your walk with and work for the Lord.
From the Celtic Revival
Repentance was extremely important to Celtic Christians. They took every opportunity to teach and practice it, and as we see from this excerpt from the life of Gall, to help others practice it as well:
“When they were come together, Gall cleared his throat and poured out into their ears and hearts, mellow words entreating them to turn to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who would reveal to poor lukewarm human nature the approach of the kingdom of heaven. Then in the sight of all he raised the images of their gods and threw them into the lake.”
- The Anonymous Monk, Life of St. Gall, German, 8th century
Try that this Sunday.
Sign-up at our website, www.ailbe.org, to receive Crosfigell every Tuesday and Thursday and learn more from and about the great leaders of the Celtic Revival.
Click here for a free copy of our PDF, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction.
T. M. Moore.
It is our privilege to provide resources and opportunities to equip and encourage church leaders in building the Lord’s Church and advancing His Kingdom. Please pray that God will move many of those we serve through this ministry to share with us financially in its support. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Bispham, p. 15.