Let God Get Our Goat!
Let God Get Our Goat!

Let God Get Our Goat!

David Livingstone was a missionary to Africa. He not only brought the Gospel to that vast country, but he also lived it out. Mr. Livingstone felt God asking him to penetrate further into the Congo to bring the Message of Jesus to tribes which had never heard it before. Upon arriving at one of the interior tribes, the custom was to first call for an audience with the tribal chief before entering. To not comply with this custom could cost someone their life!
This entrance test would require Mr. Livingstone to wait outside this tribe’s gate with all of his own possessions lined up next to him.
The tribal chief, as a sign of acceptance and entry, would then take whatever his heart desired from among the missionary’s possessions. Then, to complete the exchange, the chief would then give David one of his own possessions. Then and only then, would Mr. Livingstone be authorized to enter and share his message of the Gospel. So there this missionary stood. The scene resembled an orderly garage sale – complete with his Bible, his writing pad, his clothing and shoes, a blanket, and at the end of the line was his goat.
One thing we need to realize about Mr. Livingstone was that his weak stomach required that he drink goat’s milk on a daily basis for his ailment. The drinking water was often questionable, so goat’s milk was the safest answer to his health problem. Once he had prayed that God would heal him of this infirmity, but until that time, he seemed sentenced to drinking goat’s milk every day.
After what seemed like a very long time, the chief came from His tent and made his way towards this man of God he had heard so much about. The chief was decked out with ivory and gold as he walked toward the gates, being followed closely by his advisors and priests.
The chief surveyed the possessions of this great missionary. Secretly, he was praying: “Oh Lord, let him take anything he wants … but please do not let him take my goat! Lord, You know I need its milk for my very survival. Lord, please blind the chief’s eyes to my goat!”
Whether it was that God heard or chose not to answer, or that God had other plans, it was not revealed to Mr. Livingstone. The chief promptly walked over to the goat and pointed at it and immediately one of his advisors whisked that goat away.
He stood there stunned. It seemed as if his life had come abruptly to an end. In a few moments, the advisor that took the goat returned. In exchange for the goat, he handed Mr. Livingstone a stick and then left.
“A stick–” he cried, “this is ridiculous! Here he takes my life sustenance, and in return, I get an old stick!”
A man standing by noticed the confusion, and Mr. Livingstone’s disappointment and quickly spoke: “That’s not a stick, my friend, that is the chief’s very own scepter. With it, you will gain entry to every tribe and village in the interior. You have been given safe passage and great authority as a gift from the king!”
It was at that moment that he realized what God had done. From that point on, God’s Word spread to thousands and thousands of people. On a side note, God healed Mr. Livingstone’s stomach as well!
God will only start with what we give Him. Why not give Him everything regardless of how big or small we think it might be? Remember, a young boy’s surrendered lunch basket of fish and bread enabled thousands to be fed in abundance! May we never be afraid of letting God get our goat!

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