In the military, chain of command is very important, because when one leader falls, the next one must step up. After the mission is defined and the orders are given, obedience is not an option.
I remember in Vietnam being given orders that required 30 or 40 well-equipped Marines but only having 18 or 20 who could go on the mission. If I had said, “I can’t do this,” or, “I don’t have enough equipment,” I would’ve been removed from leading the mission.
The orders were given. The call was to execute the mission.
Every Christian is under orders to execute the mission of Jesus’ last command. This command is one I hope you know by heart, for it is to be the driving force in all that you do.
“‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” –Matthew 28:19-20
For every Christian, these orders from our Lord and Savior are memorable. There is no wiggle room for any of us who are God’s people.
Yes, we all have different roles in Christ’s body. The eye is not the hand, but whether I am plowing, sowing, reaping, or whatever, my call as a Christian is to play my part in making disciples.
Sometimes, we as Christians tend to think that all we need to do is what feels comfortable or what is convenient. If you choose not to live to fulfill your mission—despite being indwelled by the One who gave this command—your life will be a colossal waste.
If you think that you must be what the culture says you can be or be politically correct at all times, your life as a Christian will be lived with your cup half full. Only when you desire to honor Christ, please the Father, and depend upon the Holy Spirit will you be a living reality of what it means to follow Jesus.
There are three main motivations to obey Jesus Christ in doing our part to make disciples:
- All authority in Heaven and on Earth belongs to Christ. Nothing will touch me unless He allows it to, and even then, God has the power to cause it all to work together for good.
- Jesus said to obey everything He has commanded. That means that the highest and best use for my life will be obedience to His will. When you choose daily in your heart to obey God—no matter the circumstances, cost, pain, or suffering that results—there will be no regrets on Earth or in Heaven for you.
- Jesus also said He is with you always. When God asks me to do something, He intends to get involved. You and I are never alone. When we’re asked to risk it, all of God Himself is with us.
Between saying all authority in Heaven and on Earth belongs to Jesus and that He is with you always lies the orders to obey. Our Lord never sends us out apart from His presence. May we move forward and engage people for the Lord’s purposes.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act.”
Our choice to remain passive speaks to our Lord and to our world. We need to choose to obey the Lord and become passionate about using our lives to honor Him in all that we do. When we do, He will be fully with us and His power will be fully in us.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.