It is easy to get caught up in considering what we should do for God, do we not? Millennials and Generation X are consumed with “making a difference” and “changing the world”. And that is an honorable endeavor if we are convicted by the Scripture and calling of God and if we are concerned about meeting people’s greatest need namely salvation. Now, we know that it is God alone who saves and it is God alone who softens and draws hearts to repentance, but he chooses to use us as the mouthpiece for His mission.
But sometimes we get so caught up looking at the big picture that we are unproductive in the day-to-day.
God is not concerned about what you can do for Him. He does not need you to accomplish His work.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”
– Acts 17.24-28
Rather, God – because of His great and unfathomable love for us – chooses to use us to accomplish His plans. He has a plan for saving people from every tribe, tongue and nation, and He wants to use us to be a part of it. God is primarily concerned about making disciples out of people from every tribe tongue and nation. Jesus said that that must happen before He will return to bring about the end of the age:
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
– Matt 24.14
Jesus gave very clear outlines for how we will know that the end is coming in Matthew chapter 24. He speaks of the tribulation, of the marks of the end times, of the Anti-Christ, but in the middle of it all He says that every nation (people group) will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ before He returns. We see clearly in Revelation that some will be saved from every nation:
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’.”
– Rev 5.9
So if we want to join in the work of God, we must be about the work of making disciples of every nation. This only makes sense, as it was Jesus’ final instruction as He was leaving the world:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Matt 28.18-20
Notice that Jesus does not say, “Go make converts”. He also does not say “Go preach the Gospel”. He says, “Go and make disciples”. The job only begins when someone comes to faith. God wants us to be disciples and to help others become disciples. That is His primary concern, and if we want to be about His work, that will be our main focus. That means long-term investment in people. That means living life with people and pushing one another to holiness and good deeds. That means fighting the fight of faith on your own and with others.
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
– Heb 3.12-13
As long as it is called “today”, encourage believers of all levels and walks of faith to fight sin. We do this through evangelism, we do this through daily interactions and relationship, and we do this through intense discipline and accountability. Our evangelism message must include repentance. Our friendships must include Spiritual accountability and check-ins.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
– Heb 10.23-25
What does God have for you today? He wants you to firstly be a disciple. Know Him, love Him, spend time with Him, and ask Him where He is working around you today. He secondly wants you to make disciples. If you are a brand new baby Christian you can share your conversion story with those around you. If you have been in the church all your life and know the Bible backwards and forwards, you can teach the young and growing to know the Scriptures and to be faithful. If you are headed to the mission field in a month, you can still hold accountable and encourage those around you today. If you are on the mission field, just being there isn’t enough – get out and share! Make disciples.
Consider the big picture of your life and plan for the future. But hold it loosely, as God often changes the path, and follow Him boldly and without reserve. Enjoy Him today, listen to Him today, ask Him where He is busy today, and ask Him if you can join Him there.