A Christian seeking significance, meaning, or purpose is a contradiction. It would make more sense for Winston Churchill in the midst of the Second World War to think, “I really wish I had a task, a mission, something to do.” As Christians we don’t get to live where we want, we don’t get to proclaim what we want or how we want, and we don’t get to determine the response to our message or how we should respond to those responses. We get something infinitely better, cosmically bigger, and eternally glorious. We don’t need to find our own mission, Jesus has folded us into His.This mission isn’t elective Christianity for God’s nerdy children, but essential Christianity for all His children.
Contrary to any impressions you may have gained on your high-school mission trip, Jesus does not send us as an affluent and indulgent father might send his bohemian child to venture the world aimlessly in an attempt to discover himself. Jesus doesn’t just send, He instructs. He tells us where to go, what to do, and how to do it. We don’t make or discover our own mission, He gives us one.
His mission is not ours, but our mission is His. We don’t saunter up to Jesus and co-opt His mission, saying, “I’m here to help, and here’s what I’m going to do.” We are not co-redeemers. Jesus’ mission was not just to proclaim the gospel, but to be the gospel. Our mission is not to be the gospel, but to proclaim the gospel Jesus is. We don’t saunter up to Jesus; He comes after us, calls us out of darkness, and makes us messengers of light. He makes us ambassadors such that when we herald the gospel, the glory of Christ is set before souls calling for a response of submission or rebellion. We herald something so glorious that an opportunity for great salvation or great sin is set before them (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). When we proclaim the good news, we must also share the bad news – that they abide under the wrath of God, and that should they reject this message, the wrath they will have to endure will be even greater (Matthew 10:15). This is so because as ambassadors sent by the King they are not responding to us, rather, God is making His appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Jesus’ mission is over, under, and through ours. He is over our mission calling and sending us. He is under our mission sustaining and empowering us. And He advances His kingdom not because of us, but through us.
His mission is not ours, but our mission is His. He is over, under, and working through our mission.