(Continuing with yesterday’s theme)
Do we all have the same mission?
It’s a b-i-g subject.
I think followers of Christ all share the same purpose. I could phrase it a dozen different ways but it all boils down to bringing honor to God, wouldn’t you agree? Honoring God covers a lot of areas.
But what about our individual “mission”?
My hubby and I have summer colds and didn’t attend church this past Sunday. I sat on the deck thinking about this post. I want you to know when I first wrote it, I used the word “purpose” instead of mission. But then I did a word search of the Bible and found when the word “purpose” is used, it’s almost always in the context of God’s purposes being fulfilled. When the word purpose is used otherwise, it’s never used in the context of each of us finding our unique purpose.
In the light of what Scripture teaches in general, that makes perfect sense.
Finding our own “mission” doesn’t sound much different than “doing our own thing”, “finding what makes us happy”, “fulfilling ourselves”, in other words, ME, ME, ME.
However, each of us, because of our God-given gifts, intelligence, and circumstances have unique missions depending on our stage of life, as Solomon states.
We might say that a mission is a kind of responsibility. In fact, I would say that it’s easy to know our mission when we are fulfilling the responsibilities that are right in our face. In fact, I think it’s the only way we can know.
Why would God show us a specific mission that only we can accomplish if we aren’t meeting the basic responsibilities right in front of us?
Conversely, it’s very difficult to know our mission if we haven’t been meeting our responsibility. Our mission and our responsibility are closely intertwined. If we fail to take care of what is in front of us, I think the subject of “mission” is a non-issue.
Besides, it is only those who fulfill their current responsibilities that will ever even ask what is their unique mission.
And should someone ask that question without meeting the need in front of them, I think God might well say, “Take care of that need first, that responsibility, and then you can ask that question.”
For example, I never even thought about blogging when I had small children. This is not an indictment against young moms who are blogging. I’m only saying that for me, there was no way I could blog and raise my children.
But I was heavily involved in various ministries. In fact, when my children were small, I had a very busy public speaking, and Bible teaching ministry. While God used my feeble attempts back then for his own glory, I am far more confident with my teaching now than I was then. And because I think I had my timing wrong, I found it all extremely anxiety-producing. Others put me in those positions but I went willingly.
If I had it to do over, I would have buckled down, studied harder, and used that knowledge for my family. My intentions were right, even though my timing was off, and my children turned out amazing. They are both wonderful people. But sometimes I think I shortchanged them because I allowed the lure of a “ministry” to overshadow my “responsibility”.
You see, when we do things “out-of-season”, they are never as effective as they would have been had they been done at the optimum time. I decided to read the book of Ecclesiastes all in one setting because it has so much to say about “timing.”
I think missions might well be like that. There is a time and place when our mission will best be fulfilled. It’s amazing how easy blogging comes to me. I’m doing what I love and I’m doing it at the right time. Missions come easier when the timing is right.
There really is a right time for everything under the sun.
God, because of who he is, sometimes still honors our efforts us even when we get our timing all wrong. However, I think we probably would’ve accomplished the same thing with less effort, less angst, and less fall-out if our timing was right.
What if Moses had attempted to lead the Egyptians out of bondage too soon? I mean it was hard enough as it was and Moses was insecure enough as it was; I shudder to think how long it would’ve taken had he started his mission before he should.
If Abraham had not rushed ahead of God’s timing and have a child by Hagar, God wouldn’t have had to “go silent” for thirteen years.
What would’ve happened to the New Testament church if Paul hadn’t spent those years in training? (In Paul’s own words from Galatians: “I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days — Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. — Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem,…)
The Apostle Peter got ahead of himself on a number of occasions. (Think of walking on water and denying Christ.) He thought he was stronger and smarter than he was. It wasn’t till after the Resurrection of Jesus and Paul’s admonishment of him that Peter got his mission right.
But before you get all worried thinking you’ve messed up your own timing, remember this verse:
“…I will make up to you the years that the locust has eaten…” (Joel 2:25, NASB)
You need to read the entire chapter to understand the meaning. Here’s a link that does a really good job of explaining this concept.
There is a best time for each of our unique missions but whether we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves, or behind ourselves, God still honors our efforts. It is for us, that God wants our timing to be right.
God bless and have a good day.