Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be using my blog posts to flesh out some things that have long been on my heart. Today is mostly an overview with a more in depth look at the individual topics later on. Why are we here? The reality is that God has created us with a mission in mind, and the details of that mission will be different for everybody, but there is a universal part to it as well. We are made for Him, and we are made to help others find Him as well. That is the mission we all share. That said, not all of us feel like we’re in a position to really do that. We’re wrong, but we feel that way.
In Matthew 10:37, Christ says, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” He invites us to help in the harvest, and if we’re invited, then we are called and chosen. Our mission, then, is to answer this call as Mary did: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” How do we get there, though? Few of us will ever have the blessing of seeing the Angel Gabriel appear to us to spell out what our particular role in the mission is.
For me, I find it super helpful to look to the example of Christ and the twelve. The details of this is what I’ll really be fleshing out in the coming weeks, but Christ seems to have followed a pretty clear three step formation model for the twelve. Before we can go into the mission field, we should use the example they’ve laid out for us. Step one is the call and answer. We have to be listening so we can hear the call, and then we have to respond to it. There are a lot of things that will try to block out the call, and others that will make us hesitate to say yes, but fortunately God’s patience is greater than our cowardice. Once we give our yes, we need to sit at the feet of the Master and learn how He wants us to live out the call. This is the time of discipleship. Disciple literally means student, and so we are. While we’ll never know everything, when we have been given the tools by God to complete our mission, it’s only then that we’ll be sent and be apostles. Much like with disciple, the word apostle has a serious gravity to it, but a simple definition. An apostle is simply one who is sent.
Ultimately, this progression from called to disciple to apostle is the only hope for us to complete the mission. After all, if we aren’t formed, we can’t form others. It’s the idea that you can’t give what you don’t have. So often, we try to rush things, make them happen on our time. If we don’t take the time to hear God’s call and allow Him to equip us for the task, then we will only be able succeed to the limits of our power. Don’t delude yourself, your power is insufficient for the greatness God has called you to. Our best intentions will be warped by our brokenness, and we will find that we serve ourselves under the claim of serving God. Even in this process, remember the apostles always return to the Master to hear His call and learn from His wisdom. This is less a straight line, and more a cycle.