I recently had a discussion with a close friend about a heart for missions.
God has been speaking to me quite a bit about missions. I certainly do not think myself to be an expert on the subject, but I do believe I know some things, and I’ll gladly share them with you.
I believe EVERY CHRISTIAN is called to be a missionary.
As leader of the Missions Department in our local church, I often find that people see mission trips as glorified holidays.
It’s as if the idea of mission work in Bali or Thailand or Uganda, (or any other place for that matter) is so much more appealing than going to your local township, or even praying for the lady in the Shoprite queue.
By no means do people have to justify or motivate their choice to go, or not go, on a mission trip, but I do think that MISSION is a lifestyle. Just as Worship is a lifestyle.
If you don’t practice praying for sick people at work/ in church/ in the street, how do you expect to build up enough “spiritual stamina” to raise a guy from the dead in Ghana?
One of the things which continually blow me out of the water is the fact that, besides being ALL powerful, being able to change and create and sustain by a mere breath or word, God chooses to use us, and co-labour with us. His grace subscribes us to a life of wonders and miracles and awesome stuff, purely because He loves us, and because He is a good God. However, this does not mean you get to pull up a chair and eat donuts with your feet on the desk.
Matthew 28 speaks about Jesus’s command to go and make disciples.
In verse 18, it says:
“Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: 19 Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.
I think that we are oftentimes so caught up with the “amount” of work that needs to be done, that we miss out on the most elementary part of it all — the call to GO!
A well-known saying states that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. To a certain extend, I agree with this — He uses those who are willing and gives them on-the-job-training. However, I also believe that we Christians have some work to do in this regard.
@John Piper says in his book Let the Nations be glad! that mission exists because worship doesn’t.
He elaborates, saying, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. Worship is the fuel and goal of missions.”
Which brings me back to my earlier comment about a Worship Lifestyle and a Mission Lifestyle.
Worship should saturate everything we do — it should motivate our action, it should initiate our response, it should conduct our words.
1 Peter 2 verse 9 says that we are Royal Priests.
A Priest’s job is to go into the Presence of God, hear from Him, and go back to the Nation, ministering the Presence and telling the people what God has said.
Thus, we are not only called to enter His presence, but also to take ownership, and rule with Him.
As Father’s children we share not only DNA, but also IDENTITY with Jesus — we’re from the same Blood.
As Christians we are called to represent Christ as Kingdom Ambassadors. Thus, when we walk like Jesus — functioning in identity — the devil is immobilized because we minister and claim the Kingdom wherever we go.
God is a King and He rules on earth and heaven. Scripture calls the enemy the Prince of Darkness, but nowhere is he referred to as a king. So, being the jealous deceiver that he is, he lies to Father’s children, hoping that they will not grab hold of their identity as Royal Priests.
I believe it is our responsibility to worship, to be worship-missionaries. Is this not exactly what Jesus did? He continually spoke of Father and gave thanks. Worship in itself can take many forms of expression, but ultimately I believe that worship is a response to identity. Worship is recognising who God is, and responding to that. Worship is like looking into a mirror, seeing Father, and seeing Christ, and seeing Christ in us as the hope of glory. So, it’s really like a mirror being reflected into a mirror. Soon enough, as you grow in Christ’s likeness you will not be able to discern the true image, because God’s heart will be reflected in you as your identity is really only a reflection of His’.
Thus, when we are called to go! and make disciples, we are really just asked to live as Royal Priests:
- Hearing from God
- Co-labouring with Holy Spirit
- reigning with Jesus
- living a life of worship
- responding to Identity
So, my challenge to you guys is, to shift your perspective of “mission”.
Perhaps it’s time that you ask God for a word of knowledge.
Perhaps that word of knowledge will lead you to the lady in Shoprite, or the dead guy in Ghana.
Regardless, we are called to entrust the Gospel to men who will make disciples, (2 Timothy 2:2) and to imitate Christ — to be His disciples.
So, in a nutshell –Missions is not such a mission after all.