Although the basic definition of the word “mission” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is simply “a task or job that someone is given to do,” we typically reserve the word for more than taking out the trash or giving the kids a bath. In the secular world, the term is primarily used for important, newsworthy tasks, such as military missions or space program missions. Most of us don’t regularly think of ourselves as being part of a mission; instead, we watch or read about others who have been, or are part of, important history-making missions.
If you are a regenerated son or daughter of the King of creation (a.k.a. a Christian), however, we need to renew our minds on this point. Every man, woman, or child who has placed faith in Jesus has been placed smack down in the middle of the longest-running, most costly, and most significant mission in history. And you and I are not just bystanders of this mission, we are crucial members of it.
What is this mission? In truth, it is one big mission comprised of millions of smaller missions. The one big mission is God’s own mission: to glorify God throughout the universe (Ps.106:7-8; Ez.36:22-23; Hab.2:14; Rom.11:36; Eph.1:3-14). The smaller missions are the various ways we glorify God in our individual lives (Matt.5:16; 1 Cor.10:31). Every war consists of battles, and every battle consists of small missions; therefore, the great mission to win a war depends upon the success of the smaller missions. In the same way, our great mission to glorify God is worked out primarily in the smaller missions He gives us every day.
The hard part for us, it seems, is to keep the great mission before us—in our minds and in our hearts—at all times. We are so easily distracted away from the mission by the busyness, or even the routineness, of our lives that we forget about our main mission. We try to go about the smaller missions without the larger mission in sight, and we sink into despondency and legalism.
What we need is to make a point of waking up every morning reminding ourselves of the great mission we are on, and go about our day recognizing the importance of every small mission we are given. We need to recognize that we can choose to glorify God by making sure He is our greatest desire; that pleasing Him through our joyful obedience is our meat and drink. We need to ask ourselves if we are actively seeking to love and encourage and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ for the purpose of bringing God glory. Are we practicing kindness, humility, patience, self-control, etc., in the home and in the workplace for the purpose of bringing God glory? Are we preaching and teaching for the purpose of bring God glory? Are we evangelizing the lost and giving to/sending/going as missionaries for the purpose of bringing God glory? Are we praying, ultimately, for the purpose of bringing God glory?
If you have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are on a mission, the one great cosmic and eternal mission. And don’t forget, if you are on this mission, God has given you everything you need to accomplish the smaller missions He gives you (2 Pet.1:3).
Andy Lack serves as our Pastor of Missions. He is married to Sara and the father of two energetic boys.