Have you ever been on a short-term mission trip? Wasn’t it fascinating? For a few days you explored a foreign country with a group of believers and were focused on ministry. You laughed together as you ate strange foods and tried to speak the language. You wept as you witnessed extreme poverty. Maybe you even suffered through sickness, harsh conditions, or actual persecution.
As nice as it was to return to the comforts of home, there was also a letdown. You were back in the “real world.” There was a peace you felt when you did Kingdom work, and then it faded. You returned to a routine in which you felt like much of what you do has no eternal value. But what if it was possible to prolong the excitement and peace? What if life could be one continuous mission trip? Is this even possible in the “real world”?
Not only is it possible, it is what God wants for us.
Do you remember the verse that many of us heard when we first believed? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
The life God has for us is one of abundance. It is meant to be full, not repetitive. He wants us doing things that have eternal impact. He wants us busy expanding his Kingdom in one way or another, today and every day. This doesn’t mean that every Christian should quit his or her job and move to a foreign country. But it does mean that we need to figure out how to make each day count for his purposes.
Paul said it like this: “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
Don’t most of us do the opposite? We busy ourselves with “civilian pursuits” and occasionally jump into the battle when we feel compelled. Kingdom service is something we visit on a mission trip, day of service, or prayer meeting. Being entangled in the civilian lifestyle has become the accepted norm. It is even applauded so long as we can point to some occasional Kingdom activity. But doesn’t Scripture tell us to live differently? And wouldn’t your life be more “abundant” if you could figure out a way to be on the battlefield every day?
You may be looking at your life and assuming you have no options. Isn’t a person with bills, family, and responsibilities destined to be “entangled in civilian pursuits”?
Absolutely not. You and I were made for more.
Platt, D., & Chan, F. (2013). Follow me: a call to die. a call to live. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale.