John 17:18 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
John 20:21 Jesus said to them again… as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
2Corinthians 5:20 Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Don’t always look for A GREAT STRATEGY but GOD’S STRATEGY which is discovered by looking for the hand of the Lord at work.
God calls all of us to live sent lives! Every day, God sends us into the world to engage in His mission. Every day is a mission’s trip; we are “ambassadors of Christ…calling people to be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are sent to participate in redeeming people and filling the earth with His glory through His church (Ephesians 1:21-22, 3:10-11, 21).
An important key in being an effective everyday missionary
An essential key to being effective in God’s mission daily is noticing where God is already working and joining Him. It isn’t doing things FOR JESUS but RECOGNIZING and JOINING HIM in what He is already doing.
Two approaches to everyday missions that can both be wrong
- Coercive Evangelism: Walk up to a stranger and talk about Jesus regardless of whether or not they are interested in hearing about Him.
- Evangelism by Osmosis: I need to be a friendly, helpful person when I am around others, and evangelism will automatically happen.
What is the major problem with both these extremes in our mission? They both depend on OUR INITIATIVES and EFFORTS. This isn’t how Jesus lived on mission. He only did what He saw His Father doing and joined Him in His work.
John 5:16-30…”My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”…(19)… “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner…(30) “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge.
John 8:26-32…He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”…(28) So Jesus said… I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
The Woman at the Well
An outstanding example of this from Jesus’ life was the encounter with the woman at the well (John 4). He was resting by a well because of physical exhaustion while the disciples went into town to get food. He noticed and interacted with an immoral woman, which led to her giving her life to Jesus and bringing many others to Him.
There are three things Jesus did in this story and others that we seek to emulate in living sent lives.
- BE A NOTICER: Jesus, in an exhausted state, noticed the woman and interacted with her. As He did, He noticed and heard things from God for her. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of our lives that we forget to notice people or what’s happening around us. Therefore, at the end of this encounter Jesus said to the disciples, “lift up your eyes and look on the fields, they are ripe for harvest” (Jn 4:35). The Bible often indicates that Jesus paused and noticed someone or something. Some of His best work was done on His busiest days by simply noticing and responding. Spiritual noticing is like a muscle. It becomes better developed with more use. Before you walk out of your house, into a store, a meeting or a restaurant—pause and ask God to help you notice where He’s working.
- TURN ASIDE: When God called to Moses from the burning bush, it says Moses turned aside and approached the bush (Exodus 3:3). Moses gave attention to what he noticed and God gave him his new assignment from that place. We can notice things but then not give ourselves to turn aside. We get distracted and cannot move towards what we are noticing; therefore, we miss what God is doing.
- JOIN HIM: Obedience is a crucial Kingdom key. God is always inviting us to say “yes” and take steps to join Him. Join Him and see what happens! Even though we may make mistakes and sometimes miss things, in that willing act of joining Him, something is released in us and through us.
Another simple practice
The great song “Way Maker” has meaningful lyrics that express the truth about God who is always at work, echoed in the bridge,
“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working. Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working. You never stop, You never stop working. You never stop, You never stop working.”
Author David Fitch said, “If we truly believe God is at work in the world, we must take the time to pay attention, listen, and discern what God is doing in the lives of those around us.”
Prayer walking is a great practice to help you discern where God is working in your neighborhood or other areas. We like to say this; “prayer walking helps us gain God’s insight as we pray onsite.” It is very simple, as we walk around in our neighborhood praying to God (in an unassuming way) He will help us notice where He is working. It is walking around praying and listening to God.
How do you prayer walk? Just walk and pray! Be normal, just like you are taking a walk, praying to God quietly under your breath as you are listening to Him. Remember that prayer, above all else is communicating with God. In this context, you can engage people you meet by saying “hello” or stopping for a conversation. As you pray, pray that God blesses and affects homes and people. Listen to thoughts and pictures God may prophetically give you about people or places and pray into them. Pray what Jesus taught us, “Your Kingdom (the active rulership of God) come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Prayer walking can be simple. Do it yourself or do it with 2-4 people. Ask God to show you what He sees or feels and pray into it. Walk and pray for 30-60 minutes. If you go out with more than one group, gather back at the end and compare Spiritual notes that God may have spoken to you and give testimonies of encounters.
Let’s put these spiritual practices into motion and see what God will do in our everyday sent lives.