(This is the fifth in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ, and is continued from the previous post regarding the Diplomatic League situation)
Following the situation that arose when Ambassador Grew politely declined to sign the German Ambassador’s Diplomatic League speech (due to the United States not having diplomatic relations with Germany at that time), the German Ambassador asked if they could have a meeting. The German Ambassador wanted to talk things through.
Instead of drawing upon his experience and skill as an Ambassador in order to decide the proper course of action, Ambassador Grew cabled his authorities at the State Department to seek direction.Â (to be continued)
An Ambassador’s job is not to be a decision maker, but rather to follow the directions that he receives from his authorities in the country he represents.
Jesus, despite being fully God and man, spent many hours during the course of His time on earth in prayer. For example, before selecting his twelve disciples, Jesus spent the entire night in prayer! Luke 6:12-13, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.”
All through the three years of His ministry the disciples sought Jesus’ counsel, guidance, and direction. Once, Peter sought Jesus’ counsel (Luke 22:49, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?”) but didn’t wait for a response (John 18:10, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.”) and was rebuked by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, â€˜Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.'”).
When we, as ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ, are faced with a situation do we rely upon our own wisdom to “make the call”? I know from personal experience that it seems as if the areas where I feel myself to be wise and believe I have much experience are the areas in which I don’t tend to rely upon the guidance and direction of the Lord. And in those areas where I believe myself to be weak and have little experience are the areas in which I am quick to seek His guidance. Might that be some of what Paul was referring to when he said, “for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)?
Are we, as ambassadors for Jesus, proud of our “decision-making abilities,” or do we with humble hearts continually seek His direction?