Typically we don’t view ourselves as missionaries of the Gospel. Citizens of heaven. Believers who are not apart of this world, given a life-long missional task by God that impacts the souls of men.
Since the beginning, God has saw fit to use men and women to fulfill His purposes which ultimately lead to Him being further glorified. In God’s sovereignty He is able to use people of all walks of life to bring His purposes to pass. Which is quite incredible when we really meditate on how fallen we truly are. When we think about the massive difference between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness. That fact that He is able to direct our paths despite our fallen condition is a testament to the awesomeness of God’s power. Throughout the entire bible God did extraordinary things using ordinary men and women. He performed the supernatural through natural men and women. From the moment Adam ate from the tree in the Garden God already had a plan to redeem man back to Him, using the very same fallen creation to bring us the Savior who is Christ Jesus. Our God, is a God of action. The men and women God used in the bible were people of action. We need to really understand this. It needs to grip our very souls. As Christians we need to really*** get this***. Once we do, we must never forget it.
I stress this because there seems to be an imbalance being exhibited from within the faith as it pertains to action and prayer. I’m constantly reminded of this whenever I see things like the “National Day of Prayer”, where different faiths come together to pray, or national prayer events that are created to end “fill in the blank”, sprout up. If you’ve come from a more Pentecostal Charismatic background then you’re familiar with the heavy emphasis on prayer and fasting in hopes that God will do something supernatural in someone’s favor. Perhaps you’re seeing a heavy emphasis on prayer within your local church for God to move on a specific issue. You may even place a heavy emphasis on ensuring you have a strong prayer life. Maybe you rise early in the morning to commit yourself to coming before God in prayer for a certain length of time. For the Christian, at some point in time you’ve probably even had someone ask about your prayer life. When it comes to prayer there are all kinds of books out to help increase the believer’s prayer life. Books to maximize our prayers, help us learn how to pray and how to use prayer to bring about change in our lives or the lives of others. For believers it is apparent that as a whole, we’ve come to realize the importance of prayer and we should. Prayer is how we exercise our relationship with God. Prayer commands a low view of man to be realized and a high view of God to be exercised. Prayer constantly reminds us of our need for God. It causes our hearts to truly seek after a close, intimate relationship with Him. Prayer, is how we request for God to intervene in our lives, submitting ourselves to His complete will.
However, it appears in my view, that prayer has now become the movement and the cause of Christ has taken a back seat. This is the imbalance. If our mission is to go out, preach the Gospel and make disciples, then as a body of believers we’ve been incorrectly balancing prayer and commission. For all of the books on prayer that rest in many Christian homes, where are the books to equip and train believers to go on mission for Christ? How many do you have? How about your local church? What are they doing to equip and train members so every believer may be sent out to share the Gospel effectively without fear? How do our lives look in light of things we oppose? Are we just praying for God to eradicate these things or are we taking an active stand, pleading with God to steady our steps as we move in order to bring Him glory? How do our lives look in terms of the work? Do we migrate to the more passive things such as food drives yet fail to commit ourselves to leaving our country to go on mission? Do we run from the opportunity to share the Gospel in neighborhoods that don’t look like us? How often do people ask about your “mission life” instead of your prayer life? How many believers are inviting you out to go on mission? Has anyone ever asked about your mission life? There’s a good chance no-one has. Why? Because we simply don’t view ourselves as missionaries of the Gospel. Citizens of heaven. Believers who are not apart of this world, given a life-long missional task by God that impacts the souls of men.
It seems many of us have convinced ourselves that God does not use men and women to bring about change for His glory. Matthew 9:37-38 certainly contradicts that belief.
“37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
Here, we see Jesus telling His disciples that they should pray for God to send more laborers. Why? For starters, there aren’t many laborers to begin with and second, because it is through men and women that God completes His work. All throughout the bible we see God using people for His purposes. What we don’t see, is God’s people praying, staying stagnate in apathy, minding their own affairs, while God supernaturally intervenes and acts on those prayers apart from using people. The people God used throughout the entire bible were praying people. Abraham who negotiated with God to spare Sodom if any righteous may live. The young David who slew Goliath with complete faith in the Lord and later became King. Moses who freed God’s people from Egypt. Joseph who interpreted dreams by the spirit of God and saved Israel from the famine. The Apostles in Acts 4:29-30 who prayed and soon after their place of prayer shook and the spirit filled them. Esther, who also once saved Israel (Esther 4:48-58). Let us not forget our King. Christ Jesus who came, died, was buried, arose and was the complete atonement for our sins once prayed sweat that was like drops of blood. Not only do we realize these individuals were people of prayer, seeking after God, but they were also people of action. In prayer we should hope God moves upon the hearts and minds of men to fulfill His purposes, for our good. But imagine if all these notable bible figures did was gather, pray, then return home to their normal, daily routines. Where would we be today?
Somewhere along the road the cause of Christ became more about prayer than action. Prayer has seemingly become the movement when in fact prayer should be recognized as an everyday essential weapon and way of life for the believer. It should not be viewed as a method to get God to act apart from our God given duty. Equipping, training and sending has taken a backseat. Evangelism has taken a backseat. Standing up for the faith has taken a backseat. Defending the Gospel, has taken a backseat. We’ve reduced the cause of Christ to social acts of kindness and reduced the radius for the Gospel to co-workers we’ve befriended. But where are we when Christians are receiving maltreatment in our own country? Are you standing up when God is blasphemed in our own nation? How are you taking action to help the persecuted church across the globe? Do you have a social media account yet don’t use it to actively share the Gospel, but share it for worldly things? Do you even have a social media account that you can use to share the Gospel with people all over the world? What does your week look like? Are you too busy to share the Gospel with those who are on their way to hell? Are you active in any specific causes as it pertains to salvation? What are you doing on a weekly basis? A monthly basis? A yearly basis?
Action, is precisely what every Christian is called to. In fact, Christ commissioned each of us to “action” for the purposes of spreading the Gospel. My hope is that we will all conduct a self audit to ensure we are in fact, on mission, committing ourselves to action to the very cause and mission of Christ. And to not neglect the responsibility Christ has commissioned us to. We should be mindful that we will all have to stand before God and given an account on how we did, or did not commit ourselves to this responsibility (Romans 14:10-12 , 2 Corinthians 5:10).