How God Gave Me a Heart for the Nations - Radical

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How God Gave Me a Heart for the Nations

Early in my Christian life, the Lord taught me that separation from him is the greatest problem of humanity. Shortly after, he showed me that he delights in seeking and saving the lost. Finally, he made me understand that he wants to use his people to accomplish this purpose. The story of how God led me from a self-centered life to serve cross-culturally is a testimony of his faithfulness to make his salvation known in all the earth. 

In my last year of high school, the Lord gave me a new heart, and my life began to shift in a different direction. Being able to see and understand who Jesus is began a transformation of my affections, my actions, my mind, my will, and my sense of purpose. 

Before long, my eyes were opened to see the need for Jesus all around me, and he gave me a strong desire for others to know him. The Great Commission was clear. The command to make disciples was direct. Paul’s conclusion in 2 Corinthians 5 felt my own, and the ministry of reconciliation seemed urgent.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. (2 Corinthians 5:14–16) 

As a new believer, I was full of joy and love for the Lord. My thoughts about the future revolved around how God could use my life to reveal himself to others. However, despite my passion, there was still much to understand and grow. 

The Local Church

While in college, I had the opportunity to grow in my local church, where God allowed me to know him more intimately and love him more truly. Everything that I had seen and understood as a new Christian was explained and deepened in the context of the local church. 

From the pulpit, I saw others love and respect God’s Word, learning to do the same. I was challenged and encouraged as I saw lives joyfully surrendered to the cause of Christ. One of my pastors taught me—and modeled—that it was not enough for Christ to be the Lord of a part of my life, nor be given control of most of my life; he must be given my whole life. 

It was not enough for Christ to be the Lord of a part of my life, nor be given control of most of my life; he must be given my whole life.

The Church taught me to keep a close watch on how I live and to see my entire life—not only my service—as an act of worship. Over and over again, his Word broke my heart and built my character. It was at church where serving others equipped me with gifts and talents I never even considered. Later, God would use them in many different contexts. 

It was throughout those years in the local church that emotions became convictions, and the Lord filled me with himself so that I could be poured out for others. By the end of college, my desire to live so that others could know him had been fed, shaped, and strengthened. I knew I wanted to be among those who had not yet heard about Jesus. 

From this time on, God, who is faithful to his purposes, guided every step. After college, I went to seminary to study theology and missions. Everything that seemed unlikely from a human perspective, God made a reality. From the guidance received from pastors to the affirmation of my parents—one of them an unbeliever—God showed that the power belongs to him. Four years later, God opened the door for me to serve long-term among unreached people groups. 

The Process is Part of the Call

Ten years went by from the moment I gave my life to Christ to the time I arrived on the mission field. It was a period of time I did not know I needed, but that the Lord graciously planned so he could bind my heart to himself. As I moved forward, I never knew what would be next—I still don’t— but looking back, I can see he has been faithful and sufficient along the way. Obedience will always be a secure and joyful path. He has taught me to trust him, living by faith, not by sight. 

Before giving me a heart for the nations, God gave me a heart for himself.

Before giving me a heart for the nations, God gave me a heart for himself. I discovered that the more I knew God, the more I grew in love for him. And by loving him, my life leaned towards what he loves. When we are called from death to life, we are also called to seek and think about the things above. If we have been adopted as children, our purpose is tied to our new identity. All that we are and do is about glorifying his name, until the day when every tongue confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, and the knowledge of the glory of God fills all the earth. 

Daisy Báez-Castillo is serving overseas among unreached people groups. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she was captivated by Christ at the age of 17. She graduated with an M.A. in Missiology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!