I’m sharing the majority of a devotional I read the other day from Oswald Chambers. Jesus Christ did not say, “Go and save souls” (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Matt 28:19-20)
Oswald Chambers said, “Yet you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples returned from their first mission, they were filled with joy because even the demons were subject to them. But Jesus said, in effect, ‘Don’t rejoice in successful service— the great secret of joy is that you have the right relationship with Me’ (see Luke 10:17-20).”
As we discussed yesterday, in order to have a relationship with the Lord, we must spend time with Him. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” (John 15:5) As we’ve discussed several times, as Christ followers, we are all His missionaries right where we live and work.
The missionary’s great essential is remaining true to the call of God, and realizing that his one and only purpose is to disciple men and women to Jesus. Remember that there is a passion for souls that does not come from God, but from our desire to make converts to our point of view. The challenge to the missionary does not come from the fact that people are difficult to bring to salvation, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim, or that there is a barrier of callous indifference. No, the challenge comes from the perspective of the missionary’s own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. – Oswald Chambers
Our Lord unwaveringly asks us “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt 9:28). That question, and it confronts us in every individual situation we encounter. The one great challenge to us is— do I know my risen Lord? Do I know the power of His indwelling Spirit? Am I wise enough in God’s sight, but foolish enough according to the wisdom of the world, to trust in what Jesus Christ has said? Or am I abandoning the great supernatural position of limitless confidence in Christ Jesus, which is really God’s only call for a missionary?
If I follow any other method, I depart altogether from the methods prescribed by our Lord. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'” (Matt 28:18-19).
I have been praying that pastors be convicted to disciple their flock if they aren’t doing it (and many pastors are not). I’ve also prayed that until they submit to that conviction that they be given no rest. As we are all called to be His missionaries, we must all be willing to disciple all those we come across. I pray that we all receive godly conviction by the Holy Spirit to see and take every opportunity that comes our way to disciple others. We don’t go forth alone, because He promises to be “with you always, even to the end of the age”.