A clear mission and purpose gives the believer powerful spiritual direction for continued growth and fruitfulness. The Christian who walks aimlessly each day, wondering what to do, will seldom reach satisfying spiritual heights.
A. A Sense of Mission in the Old Testament
1. Caleb had a strong sense of mission. When Joshua declared that they needed to go fight for Canaan, he was ready.
- What did Caleb say about his physical strength, 40 years after Moses had sent him to “spy out” the land of Canaan (Josh. 14:11)?
- Why do you think God blessed him with such robust health (Num. 13:25-32; 14:24)?
- What did Caleb see as his mission (Josh. 14:12)?
Caleb had spent more than four decades in the hot, dry wilderness. Some would have been content to settle in a valley and take it easy. Instead, Caleb was ready for more conquests, even if it meant taking land from fierce enemies.
- What was Caleb’s real secret, according to Joshua 14:8 and 14:14?
- Could the same thing be said about you? Why or why not?
2. God promises spiritual victory to those who keep their focus on Him. For example, King Jehoshaphat once found his army surrounded by invading enemies.
- What did Jehoshaphat do when he heard the negative report (2 Chron. 20:3-13)?
- What can you learn about prayer from his example?
- On what did Jehoshaphat choose to focus (2 Chron. 20:12)?
- Describe the outcome of his faith in God (2 Chron. 20:14-25).
- Although God sometimes allows us to suffer, what does He promise to those who are fully committed to Him (2 Chron. 16:9)?
In order to receive all that God has for us, we must look at our circumstances with eyes of faith. Our spiritual enemies—lust, pride, fear, worry, anger—are powerful, but God is greater. He will slay our giants if we obediently follow Him and depend upon His strength rather than our own.
- What giants are you facing?Describe some practical things you can do to keep your spiritual eyes on God, especially as you face those challenges.
B. A Sense of Mission in the New Testament
1. Jesus remembered His purpose in the midst of all the excitement about His supernatural power and wisdom.
- Read Luke 4:43 and 19:10, and describe Christ’s mission.
Anticipating Jesus’ rise to earthly power, the disciples on several occasions tried to manipulate their way into positions of prestige.
- What did the Lord tell them He was going to face (Matt. 20:18-19)?
- What may have side-tracked Jesus if He didn’t stay focused on His mission?
2. The apostle Paul also knew his mission in life.
- What was his ultimate goal (Acts 20:24)?
- Why was it important for him to have a clear objective (2 Cor. 11:23-28)?
C. A Sense of Mission in Your Life
1. Every believer has been given the Great Commission: Take the gospel to the world (Matt. 28:19-20).
- Why were the disciples given divine power at Pentecost (Acts 1:8)?
2. We are also called to do our work, family activities, hobbies—everything—with the specific purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ. We are here to honor God in word, deed, thought, and lifestyle.
- Read Colossians 3:17. Then choose three things you will do in the next 24 hours, and describe how you can do them in a way that honors God.
As a further challenge, you may want to set long-term goals for yourself. Begin by asking God to guide your decision-making process in the areas listed below. For best results, the goals should be practical, specific, measurable, and realistic.
Remember, as believers, the purpose for setting goals is not to be the best person you can be. Instead, the goal is to glorify God through your life.
- Spiritual Growth and/or Ministry
Closing: When our mission to glorify the Lord is clear, we cultivate the kind of stamina and perseverance needed for a God-honoring life. There are dangers and difficulties ahead, but the Christian with a focused mission will continue pressing onward and upward.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to glorify You and further Your kingdom. Please help me have a strong sense of my mission. Enable me to live as You did, focused on the Father’s will and not on my own agenda. Amen.