Elisabeth Elliot—A Model for Living on Mission with Christ!
Wednesday, July, 22, 2015 | 3:00 PM | by asmith
Elisabeth Elliot stepped through the “Gates of Splendor” on June 15, 2015 at age 88. Her mission work and inspirational communication motivated countless people to follow Christ in faithful obedience and share the gospel around the globe. I often listened to her radio program entitled “Gateway to Joy” where she taught that the essence of authentic Christianity is contained in the Hymn, “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.”
In January 1956, Elisabeth’s husband Jim and four other missionaries were killed by a group of Auca Indians in the jungles of Ecuador. This group of former Wheaton College students sensed God’s call to share Christ with an unreached people group. After months of friendly contacts the team approached the village but they were attacked and killed with spears. The missionaries were armed but only fired their weapons in the air because they believed they were ready to meet their maker and the Aucas were not. The story made international headlines but did not end with gruesome deaths; instead in 1958 Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint did the unthinkable and moved into the Auca village among the people who killed their loved ones. Elisabeth explained, “The fact that Jim loved and died for the Aucas intensifies my love for them. My reason for being a missionary was one of the few things I have never doubted. I must obey God and I believe this is what He meant for us to do.”
She lived among the Aucas for two years and wrote in her book, “The Savage My Kinsman,”“The Aucas are human beings made in the image of God. We have a common source, common needs, common hopes and a common end.” As a result of Elisabeth and Rachel incarnating the love and light of Jesus most of the Auca tribe embraced Christ as their Savior.
Elisabeth returned to America in 1963 to instruct and inspire the Body of Christ. She wrote 30 books including “Through Gates of Splendor” which told the story of the five missionaries’ dedication to reach the Auca and consequently motivated others to pursue the risky call of following Christ. She popularized Jim Elliot’s famed motto, “A man is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Elisabeth would often open her radio program with her motto: “The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” Let Elisabeth’s life example inspire us to trust and obey the Lord by living on mission with Him regardless of the circumstances!