An exalted mission is an ever-present tonic to the Christian. The mission will brook no lazy or chicken-hearted missionary. He stands up straight and checks his pulse at the tug of the apostolic chain. She who once neglected her body will now bring it under submission, for she is not shadow-boxing.
The mission demands much; it demands God. It puts us in immediate need of the Holy Spirit. The seven sons of Sceva find themselves out of their depth; hearsay has no power over the usurping devils in the human heart. We must have personal knowledge of him we preach.
The mission demands much—sometimes too much. It must not demand all. Then it becomes like a proud mustard tree, inviting foul birds to infest its branches. Mission may outstrip calling. Mission may outfly faith. Then we find ourselves, like Sceva’s sons, unable to provide the very power that our mission demands.
The apostolic missionary must take care that mission always submits to calling. Calling encompasses all of Christian life; mission, only a part. Calling is an expression of our relation to our Creator; mission is how we join him in rectifying a broken Creation. Mission is work; calling is not primarily work. We are called to:
- The fellowship of his Son (1 Cor. 1:9)
- Peace (1 Cor. 7:15)
- The grace of Christ (Gal. 1:6)
- Freedom (Gal. 5:13)
- His kingdom and glory (1 Th. 2:12)
- Holiness (1 Th. 4:7)
- Marvellous light (1 Pet. 2:9)
- Suffering (1 Pet. 2:21)
- Blessing (1 Pet. 3:9)
- Glory and virtue (2 Pet. 1:3)
Never let the mission become more important than your calling. Don’t let being a hero become more important than being a Christian. Answer your Creator’s call with your waking breath, and let the mission be your response to that infant helplessness of prayer.