I was inspired this week by someone I love and greatly admire. After sending an encouraging message to keep the fight he wished me well with my mission. It made me think, everyone was commanded to take on the Great Commission and make disciples of all the nations. This means we all have a part to play and lord willing we will always have an opportunity to play any part that we can with our lives. Therefore, it is not anyone in particulars mission, it is all of ours and for the glory of God alone.
While working with the YWAM PE team this week I was able to give part of my testimony to a few classes of high school students. Giving this part of myself to others was one of the reasons I entered into a new life of missions and I was joyful to finally find a venue where I felt it was appropriate (big shout out to the YWAMers and their DTS students).
Part of this story is dark and sheds light on a part of my past, that as much as I regret, I am thankful God is using it for what I am doing today. Broadly speaking, I had two significant desires in competition with one another during that time. One required focus, dedication and hard work, while the other, I pretty much just had to show up. Most of the time, I took the easy way out and lost a shot at some incredible opportunities.
Desire (according to wiki) – is a sense of longing or hoping for a person, object or outcome. It’s a craving that causes a sense of excitement or enjoyment just by the thought of something.
Good desires give us strength. They look us in the eyes and say I’m not going away, I’ll be with you. They get us through cloudy days and weather the storm. Desires are our vision.
So what is the vision of the world and worldly establishments? I like this question, because worldly, while broad is all encompassing. It involves family, business (which includes schools or government by my consideration) and especially the church.
Irony and prophecy are fulfilled, because just like in Jesus’s time, the church talks often about the love of money and self-righteousness, but when you look at today’s churches, many visions include this kind of self-advancement as their main focus when it comes down to judging success. Whether it involves keeping on a pastor, continuing a study group or getting involved in missions. This self-advancement places the church before Christ and not Christ before the church.
From here I guess I’ll just list some scriptures and let the theologians discuss and handle the inner/outer details of them. All I want to say before I share these passages is that I am definitely not a theo (as much as I wish I was), but I have justified compromising myself by manipulating them.
Lust for power and advancement of your own name (Acts 8:18-21) When Simon saw that the spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money and said; “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy spirit.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money. You have no part in this ministry because your heart is not right before God.
The love of money (Luke 16:14) The Pharisees who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus, he said to them, “you are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.
What is great? (Matt 23:11-12) The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whomever humbles himself will be exalted.
I feel the message of this last one is to stay humble (even I can get that, eh), but I think about whom this message was spoken to. These were the leaders of their day, these were the people others looked up to and they were the celebrities of their time and the church.
Believe it or not my point is that desire is great. Just be careful for what your desires are and the purposes for wanting those desires. The only way we can truly know what we desire and why, is through prayer and having a constant dialogue with the Lord, for he is the only one who knows us better than ourselves. This requires courage, patience and persistence to follow his message and having a healthy desire for implementing The Great Commission.