Who doesn’t like the intrigue of a good spy story? The agent’s survival isn’t in question, as bullets always “just miss.” Adrenaline flows through the twists in the plot, and we are invited to share the hero’s sense of purpose. What is the satisfaction we have in God’s work? Is it the power we wield or the sense of accomplishment? Is it the satisfaction of standing firm, or is it the simplicity and purity of walking with Him?
In Matthew 28, Jesus sends us out with the Great Commission. Though countless scriptures can be cited to show that we are “sent” by God, every one of them is tempered with one essential thought,
“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NASB).
We are indeed sent, but we are not sent like those who travel alone. We are given tasks, but the formation of Christ in us is the real mission.
The Image of the Lone Servant
The goal isn’t working for God; abundant life means walking with God. Works happen along the way. Click To Tweet
There’s good reason why we might think of ourselves as secret agents for Jesus. For example, we remember Elijah running from Mount Carmel to Mount Horeb, in I Kings 19. Twice, he proclaims to God, “I, alone, am left.” Curious. Where are our thoughts in those weak moments when we imagine ourselves standing alone on behalf of God? For the record, God contradicts Elijah, saying He has 7,000 persons in Israel that have not bowed the knee to Baal. In God’s Kingdom, no one walks alone; no one works alone.
Working for God or Walking with God?
We serve a God who spoke the universe into existence. He doesn’t need our help; He desires our participation. The goal isn’t working for God; abundant life means walking with God. Works happen along the way. Fixating on our participation in the work invariably leads to error.
God spoke the universe into existence. He doesn’t need help; He desires participation. Click To Tweet
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ “ (Luke 7:21-23 NASB).
I spoke recently with a young Christian. He’d followed his conscience and made some tough decisions. In the days that followed, he second-guessed what he heard from God. I get it; I really get it. There’s not one of us that hasn’t worried we missed God’s will at one time or another. It’s an utterly agonizing feeling. But here’s the point; we aren’t sent out with instructions, alone. We walk with God. Every day and all the time, we acknowledge His presence with us, and He directs our paths, (Proverbs 3:6). We don’t always hear perfectly, and we don’t always get it right. Still, if we seek to do His will and do the best we can, He guides the outcomes and brings us where we need to be. Are we Secret Agents for Jesus? Yes, we do God’s work, but we are the mission. The work is God’s opportunity to form Christ in us.
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