Mission Modification

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21)

People look forward to retirement.  They save for it, plan for it, make special arrangements in their life for it.  Retirement is an “aah” moment for most.  Not so with me.  I mean, I wanted to retire from full time ministry.  I knew the time was right to retire from full time ministry.  But enjoy it?  I can’t say that I did – for a while anyway. I remember thinking to myself, “is this all there is?”  I missed the women.  I missed traveling and speaking.  I missed meeting new people.  I missed preparing studies and messages.  I missed it all.  I was sure retiring was what God wanted me to do, so why wasn’t I thrilled about it? 

It took a little while for me to listen to God’s voice and realize that God wasn’t turning me into an elf on a shelf.  Over time I realized that he was merely changing the direction he had for me.  He still wanted me to use me to bring his word, but that was to happen without standing in front of a gathering of women.  It was to happen sitting at the computer on my desk.  And before I knew it, blogging became a new avenue of ministry for me.  And I must say that I am as excited when I write a blog, as I was when I was teaching or speaking.

Sometimes God changes our direction and surroundings.  He does it because he has a plan – a perfect plan.  The apostle Paul experienced this kind of alteration in his ministry.  Traditionally, we account to Paul three missionary trips.  Biblical scholars, by studying his routes given in the bible calculate that he traveled over 10,000 miles – all by foot.  He did this for approximately 14 years.  And then suddenly, God changed the direction of his mission.  In fact, God changed Paul’s entire life.  Paul found himself being arrested seven times and imprisoned three times.  The great outdoors with dusty roads was exchanged for cold damp prison walls with chains. 

And how did Paul handle the alteration of his surroundings?  From one prison cell he sang praises.  From another he shared the gospel of Christ with his captors.  And from another he wrote sacred epistles filled with God’s truth.  Paul learned the secret of mission modification.  He refused to allow the word of God to be bound.  Even in chains he was never shackled from doing God’s will.  Even locked in a dungeon, he was never disabled.

Paul learned this great secret – refuse to be defined or bound by circumstances.  We are each given a mission by God to live a life in which we share Christ, love people, help others.  Our life is our mission.  Refuse to be limited by changes in your life.  There is no limit to what God wants to do through his child, no matter where our journey takes us.  If we live our life to the fullest of God’s will, we will never be chained, shackled, or hindered from doing the will of God, and making his gospel known.  And……we will never find ourselves retired from doing it either.