Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Missionary's Confession

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

I confess that as one involved in missions for over 15 years, both in America, India and Haiti, I have always taught the major reason the church is on earth is for missions – to fulfill the Great Commission.  I have encouraged people to give more, pray more, and go more so we can get this job done and hurry the return of our Lord.  (See Matthew 24:14)

But now, I no longer believe our primary commitment should be to the task of world evangelism.  Instead of committing to the task first, we must first be committed to the Task-giver.  Instead of giving our all to the Great Commission, we must, first, give our all to the One who gave us the Great Commission.

Actually, I always believed this, but assumed it was understood.  Yet, it’s too easy to forget the Person and focus only on the project.  When challenged by images of lost millions suffering in poverty and spiritual darkness, we must never forget there is a God who knows the name and number of hairs of each of those poor suffering souls. Missions was the passion of His heart long before our heart began to beat.

If we forget that, missions become a heavy task described in terms of obligation and responsibility.  But when we remind ourselves that missions IS God’s heart, God’s idea, and He cares more for the lost than we ever could, we shift this overwhelming burden off us and onto the only One big enough to bear it.

Missions is our participation in what God is already doing, in fact, has been doing for over 6,000 years.  Reaching the lost is God’s mission and we have the joyful privilege of walking and working with Him as He accomplishes it through us.

He will do it through you as you pray for missionaries and the lost.  He is doing it through you as you write a check to support one of God’s sent ones.  He will do it through you as you go on a short term trip or change your life radically.  However He chooses to use us, it is our privilege to participate with Him in what He is doing.

Participation may involve sacrifice, struggle, and sorrow, but we don’t accept these costs out of a sense of duty, but as an expression of love.  I am tired of being committed to a task.  I want to go back to my first love and be committed to a Person.

 I have been exhausted from carrying the responsibility for world evangelization on my tiny shoulders.  I am ready to put it back on the strong shoulders that bore the wooden cross and bore the sins of the world.

I have found this does not actually change what I do, but it changes everything about my attitude and perspective.  It is now a joy to join my heavenly Father in doing what delights His heart; sharing the Good News about the great things He has already accomplished to reconcile the world to Himself.  I get the privilege of praying, giving and even going to let God fulfill His dream through me.

Let us focus like a laser on giving our all to the One who gave us the Great Commission.  And I guarantee we will be more effective in our efforts doing the Great Commission.

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