~By: Susanna Kozlow~
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
I read this verse about the start of the "church" time and time again. At that time, Jesus had come, and His mission on earth was complete. He died and rose again for all the world to know He had come for a purpose, and His mission was done. In the Book of Acts, the church began, and the Holy Spirit would help those to continue what Jesus came for -- the glory of God here on earth and to spread the Gospel to all nations.
I recently attended a truly life changing conference. This was a conference I had attended before, and each time I came out saying the same thing, It was LIFE CHANGING. But this time, the conference made a change in me for other reasons. I understood "mission." I walk and talk "mission," so my lenses saw things, heard things, and understood things in such a different capacity. Everything around me has changed, and so I have changed as well.
You see, I am at a place of "busy" in my life. This is something Christians like to call a "busy season." That's when you are running and going with a strength in you that you didn't even know you had. This is a strength that God provides for you, and you wonder what the outcome will be, but you know God will only reveal it in His time. All in all, you say yes to what God tells you to do. You work out of obedience, even when things seem uncomfortable. Those who love you look at you with either admiration or pity. Either way, you seem like you are holding up and undertaking more than you were made to. But...GOD.
My life with Christ has always been busy, or so I thought. This time though, I am in a place of complete submission. I'm on MISSION, and that is all I know. It's a place where it is evident I would have never chosen this for myself, but God opened the doors. I didn't even like it when the doors opened. I thought it was a mistake. I sat in negotiations with my Heavenly Father thinking, You must have made a mistake, right?
On the night when Jesus asked His Heavenly Father to take His cup if He was willing, knowing He was going to be tortured and killed, He still said "Take my cup, BUT only if it is Your will, not Mine." (Luke 22:42)
I know this scripture all too well, and I pray all the time "Your will be done God, not my own." But then, I seem to be okay with saying, No, I'm not ready. No, not right now. No, this will take me away from my pretty comfortable mission field I like to be surrounded by. Nope, this is too hard, and I am not doing it. You must have made a mistake, God. (That's the most comical of them all, to think God, our Creator, makes mistakes!) These are words I have said so often, and I could hear myself say them as I write. But here is the thing, a life on mission yielded to Jesus isn't easy. It's not comfortable. And when we say no, that is disobedience.
God wants joy in us, not a rumbling complaining. Picture this: We give our children a job or chore, and they do not want to do it. They complain, they take their time, and we bear it for a bit. Then we, as parents, get to a point of saying,"That's enough. You are doing what I tell you, and you will do it with a smile." I picture my Heavenly Father at times looking at me and thinking, "Can you just have some joy?"
Yes, there are seasons of rest where we don't seem to be going against the grain of this dark world, but we don't stay there very long. Because we are ALWAYS ON MISSION as followers of Jesus Christ. If you have been at a place of rest for an extended amount of time, I can assure you that you have said "NOPE" to God at some point, because there are so many souls in this world that God wants. You taking an extremely long rest isn't going to fight against the darkness of this world.
If you are finding yourself in a season of "busy," and you can truly see that there is no way that you could possess this amount of strength on your own, then YOU ARE ON MISSION, friend. Look around you. Where has God placed you? There is an impact He wants to make through you wherever you are. If God put a Goliath in front of you, He knows there is a David in you. If God has placed you in a place where you can't seem to figure out what He is doing, but you abide in Him, then He knows there is a Ruth inside of you.
We follow a Christ who was the strongest and most impactful Warrior that walked this earth. I wonder why we think it would be easy and comfortable to follow in His footsteps. I don't know the answer to that, because I have had those feelings. One too many times I have uttered the words, God, it should not be this hard. It shouldn't be this time consuming. It shouldn't be like this.
In the Book of Isaiah, there are plenty of reminders about HOW God directs his people:
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11
I recently heard someone being interviewed about what God has asked her to do. She quoted something so amazing that has stayed with me: "It's God's business what He does with you. Your business is yielding to Him."
This spoke to me in so many ways, because YES -- We are yielded to Him, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we constantly pursue holiness. Constantly! When we do that, we will be put on whatever mission field God decides. It's not always comfortable. It's not always easy.
Jesus' ministry was to the masses and to His disciples. He went around and brought God's Kingdom to all and chose disciples to teach how to do just as He did. We must know to do the same. Each ministry is equally important. Here is the most beautiful part: YOU...AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST...ARE ALWAYS ON MISSION. Sometimes that mission field may not be exactly what you thought, or maybe it is. Maybe you are put in places that you wouldn't have thought, and maybe you prayed for where you are. All in all, we pray for God to use us. We pray for His will to be done and not our own, and when we do, we must be willing to GO wherever we are led to GO. And in those times of questioning, I assure you, His strength will be yours.
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:24
There is never a time we take a break from our mission, my friends. Our Heavenly Father, with all His love and grace, will give us the rest we need, when we need it, but we move forward in our race for Him. Jesus living in us means He decides what we do, when we do it, and how close to the fire we get. Some of us may bear much and some may not, but we are always on mission, running the race set before us with His strength and power, until we reach the end.