The Book starts with God creating man and inviting him into relationship and the Book ends with the invitation that’s been reverberating since the beginning. Only now the invitation includes restoration for our broken treasonous souls…
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say,
“Come!” And let him who thirsts come.
Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
This is the one thing. It’s the one thing that He’s been doing from the very beginning…inviting us into relationship with Him. It’s the one mission that He gave us…invite others into relationship with Him.
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not
believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:
In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly,
it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick,
and they will recover.
He gives us all authority to demonstrate His love and His goodness so that people may believe and put their faith in Him and become His disciples too. What a mission….so cool!
Not just that, but we’re not even doing the heavy lifting on this mission. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”. The Holy Spirit is already at work saying “Come!” to every person on this planet (John 16:8)…we just join Him in what He is already doing. We don’t have to make it happen, it’s already happening. We are simply obedient to point and say, “Yep…that’s Him, isn’t He good.” Or when the brokenness of this world is rearing it’s ugly head in someone’s life, we have a chance to say,
“There is someone who has rivers of living water and all who are weary and heavy laden can come and drink freely and find rest.”
“Come and meet Him…he’s never far from the brokenhearted…He’s so good.”
How amazing! Nobody in the world could have a better occupation then being a believer who is on mission with the One they love.
So, why aren’t we knocking this out of the park?
The fact is that the Western church is not making disciples…we’re making gourmet coffee on Sunday morning, we’re putting on some pretty awesome weekly shows that could rival any concert or stand up routine, we’re getting really good at product placement, and we’ve learned how to gather mega amounts of people into the same room…but we are not making disciples…we’re not introducing new people to Jesus and the ones who know Him aren’t maturing in Him. (Pew Religious Landscape Report, 2015)
We are off Mission.
The problem isn’t that we’ve learned how to make coffee, the size of the church, or fog machines…the problem is that when we are not properly fueling mission, these things begin to become the mission.
How do we get back on Mission? There are some complexities to that answer, but we can also make it much harder than it needs to be. The fact is that we have forgotten how to Abide and that is the fuel for mission.
Do we know how to be with Him, simply for the sake of being with Him…not to prepare a sermon, not to find an answer to an apologetic argument, not to find one more promise to claim…just being with Him because we want Him.
We don’t want to abide, simply to get better at Mission. But we will naturally be on Mission when we truly abide.
We’ve got to take time to be with Him. I’m not talking about a checklist of reading a prescribed number of chapters in the Bible and praying through a list to fulfill an obligation. I’m talking about doing whatever it takes to get into His presence daily. Of course reading the Word and prayer are a part of that. But the goal is Him.
When we abide we’re drinking deeply of His waters of life, we’re offloading all the stuff we’ve been carrying around legitimately and illegitimately, we’re repenting and receiving and enjoying Him.
Some days this may be happening in the space of 5 minutes…other days you have pockets of extended time that you’ve carved out, but it’s happening on the daily.
Out of this daily abiding, we will naturally be on mission…we begin to love the things that He loves and begin to see the things that He sees. We begin to sense the Holy Spirit in all of our spheres of influence saying, “Come!” and we join His chorus that started way back in the beginning.
We have one mission.
And that mission is accomplished in partnership with Him.
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”