I finished reading Brennan Manning’s memoir, All is Grace,a few days ago and though there is much to be saddened by in his life story, there is a quote from one of his spiritual mentors that bears considering. Dominique Voillaume, wrote these last words in his journal before moving on to meet the Savior:
“All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfuly say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my live bill be useful through my words and witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that.” (All is Grace, Brennan Manning, pg. 107)
These words ring in my soul as I consider the true weight of what is being communicated. My concern is not and can not be with the results of my life, nor the health of my reputation, nor the cost. My only concern, and the concern of every disciple must be with Christ and Christ alone. He determines what to do with us, not I. Sometimes that may include benefits, fame or appreciation, but more often than not it will involve obscurity, misunderstanding, a seeming lack of results in the eyes of the world. But this is not my concern, it is His.
Though I can write this, to believe it when the rubber meets the road is much more difficult. To look foolish while sharing the gospel with an intellectual is one of my fears. To minister for a lifetime and watch my church shrink is another. To die in poverty because I followed my Lord completely and sold it all to give to the poor is a third. And there are many such concerns, but all of them betray the simple fact that I have shifted my focus to the usefulness of my life instead of keeping it centered upon Christ.
Might Dominique’s entry be a challenge to you and I as we seek to live a life with one concern and one concern alone: to glorify Jesus whatever the cost?