Most of us reading this “Facts” are hard after knowing Christ. We work at taking regular time to meet with him. Well and good. This certainly is pleasing to him and necessary for victory and fruitfulness.
But there is another dimension and depth to knowing Christ that can only occur if we are in mission with him in accomplishing what is dear to the heart of the Father. Christianity, American-style often borders on a spiritual narcissism that focuses on my need for spiritual fulfillment; my incessant need for joy, my quest for happiness, my fulfillment in selectively choosing a field of Christian service that makes me feel fulfilled. In a word, my spiritual quest is all about me.
By way of contrast, Jesus’ passion, and very sustenance was about the glory of the Father through accomplishing his will: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.My food…is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work…” (Jn. 4:34; 17:4). Thus united in heart with the Father, he could proclaim, “ I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:10). One in intimacy, and one in mission.
Paul, who was called and compelled to evangelize and suffer across the Roman Empire for Christ’s cause cried out from his prison cell that the passion of his existence was (1) knowing Christ at the deepest possible level: “…I want to know Christ”, and (2) accomplishing his mission: “ Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” (Phil. 3:10a; I Cor. 9:16b) Thus, the relationship with Christ and the mission for Christ were inextricably fused together in the heart of Paul. And so it must be with us.
As Rick Warren famously stated, “It’s not about you.” (See Psa. 115:1) Therefore, we need to resolve to passionately pursue knowing Christ for his glory and selflessly give our lives for his mission. As we do, I suspect our spiritual lives will take on a depth and richness not previously imagined!
Therefore, God gives us opportunity, may I suggest three areas of mission as we dedicate ourselves to spiritual maturation through obedient intake of the word of God and a life of prayer (Eph. 4:13; Jn. 14:21, 23; I Thess. 5;17):
Commitment toward the accomplishment of Christ’s Great Commission. (Matt. 28:18–20)
Devotion to a community of Christ’s followers. (Col. 3:12-14)
Compassionate involvement with the least among us. (Matt. 25:31–46)
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill