“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10
So this is it, the last post in this series called God’s Heart for the Nations.
Thus far in this series, God’s Heart for the Nations, we’ve seen thatmankind is not at the centre of God’s plan and the Bible is not about us. And we have also seen that the Bible is not simply a collection of 66 books. It is actually one book telling one story with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. We learned how God’s blessing and His purpose for that blessing connect and we saw how God reaches the nations by blessing His people. We have learned how God reveals His heart for the nations in the Psalms and Prophets and that Jesus was and isthe Saviour of the world, not just the Jews. We saw how Jesus made it clear to his disciples that His purpose is global and included all nations and we learned that the book of Acts makes it very clear that God’s message is to reach the ends of the earth.
Every disciple of Jesus Christ should be committed to the process of developing a lifestyle that reflects and participates daily in the mission of God. One of the blessings of salvation is that we have been freed from the slavery of living for self so that we might live engaged in His mission (2 Corinthians 5:15). Our natural inclination is to develop self-centred faith. It is essential that every follower of Christ develop themselves biblically, spiritually, and practically in relation to the global mission of God to the ends of the earth.
Intimacy and Mobilization
Conventional wisdom has told us that the way you mobilize people toward missions is to get them on a mission trip. I cannot count the number of missionaries to whom we have spoken that point to a short term mission trip as the turning point for them. But, if that is the foundational motivation for missions, it may suggest that the primary motive is man’s need, and that we are persuaded to be involved through experiences. But consider what we see about knowing God in the following Scriptures.
Psalm 46:10 is that verse to which we often come back as the basis for God being known and exalted in all the earth. He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Knowledge of God is essential.
Hosea 6:6 tells us that God desires knowledge of Himself over burnt offerings and steadfast love over sacrifice. True knowledge of God is the supreme motivation for any sort of service.
Philippians 3:7-11 records Paul’s motivation for the work he did. He says that he counts everything as loss in comparison to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord.
A biblically based pursuit of knowing God will result in a life committed to His mission. As you passionately pursue the knowledge of God, He will infuse His heart, purpose, perspective, and mission into your life.
In the first post in this series, you saw that God does all things for His name, renown, and glory. This is His ultimate mission. He is the one that motivates, directs, and empowers His people to accomplish His mission. When this passion becomes the driving force in your life, them mission trip experiences and information about the needs of a nation can lead you to make wise decisions, not decisions based in guilt or momentary excitement.
To mobilize may be defined as “to assemble or marshal into readiness for active service.” In the missions’ community, the term is often confused with missions’ recruitment. If you are not going someplace, you can always be a sender, an intercessor, or a giver. But our readiness for active service is not about selecting a title or role in the mission’s subculture created by the Church. Rather, our readiness for active service is demonstrated by a biblical lifestyle transformation. We have been liberated from the slavery of living for ourselves. We are mobilized when Christ is the passion of our lives and the cause of Christ guides our life decisions.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have gone and the new has come. This is the biblical transformation referred to above. And the new things include the proper motivations for service.
Romans 12:1-2 says much the same thing. We are living sacrifices, which is our spiritual worship. This means that we die to our old passions and motivations and are alive to new ones, which come about as our mind is renewed so that we may discern rightly the will of God.
Mobilization flows from who we are in Christ. Spiritual disciplines are the spiritual exercises that we do in order to walk by faith in the reality of our new life in Christ. One of the first steps in developing a global context in this new life in Christ is to integrate a global perspective in these spiritual disciplines. We have already looked at the spiritual disciplines in another series of blogs.
Plot Your Course
The next step is to examine your current position in terms of God’s global mission. When you think about God purpose or His mission, do you think in terms of your own context? Do your thoughts extend to the next town or the next county? What about another country? Or a specific people group? I hope they do, for the sake of His name and His fame.
We would like to speak to you about this. If you have any questions, give us a call or drop them into the comments section below.