"For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: if One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – HCSB)
Mission – A friend of mine in a difficult marriage once told me that he and his wife had not been physically intimate for several years. They went to a marriage counselor, and as they worked on the troublesome issues of their relationship, his wife agreed to do what my grandmother might have called “her wifely duties.”
But my friend said this led to the physical, but not the intimacy. He could tell his wife was acting out of obligation and not out of love. Because the physical intimacy flowed from the fountain of duty, it became just another chore. My friend, who admitted he'd contributed considerably toward causing the marriage to crumble, said, "I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather not have physical intimacy than to have my wife feel like she's forced to do this."
It was a painful lesson for him, learning that physical intimacy flows from emotional intimacy, that it is the overflow of a deep, abiding love between two people wholeheartedly committed to each other.
You may be asking, "What does this have to do with being on mission for God?"
It's simply this: God wants you on mission because you love him. You move into mission because his love compels you to tell others about his love for you and his love for them. Your mission is the overflow of your intimacy with God.
Otherwise, your mission will, sooner or later, evolve into drudgery. You'll head out on mission because you have to do your Christian duty, or you'll avoid it all together because it seems too difficult and tedious.
And in the process, you're likely to teach others about a god who demands as opposed to a God who is love. (1 John 4:8)
So what does this mean to me? What if the husband above was God, who (so I will not be misunderstood) is perfect and does not do things to harm your relationship with him, and what if the bride reflected your intimacy with God? On a scale of 1 to 5, honestly assess what compels you reasons for going on mission for God (with 5 representing “fully compelled by love”).
Here's the thing: God isn't about a guilt trip, so if you score yourself deep in a hole, say, at -4, there is no condemnation from God. (Romans 8:1) Instead, turn toward him and ask him to draw you closely into a deeply loving, intimate relationship with him. (1 John 4:18)
For, then, his love will send you on mission, carrying the Good News of God's mercy and grace, and you will be a monument to his perfect love that casts out all fear and any sense of drudge-ful duty.
Editor’s note: Over the past three years, John Fischer has written these devotionals with insight and clarity, both as a ministry to you and as an act of worship to God. His ability to communicate biblical truths in a fresh, unique way has reflected his love for God and his obedience to Christ's commands. We will be forever grateful for the eternal investment John made through these devotionals. You can keep up with his activities at http://www.fischtank.com.
Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Southern California and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.
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