Convictions that Drive Missions

Conviction #11—We Are Called to a Wartime Lifestyle for the Sake of Going and Sending.

To send in a manner worthy of God and to go for the sake of the name, we must constantly fight the deception that we are living in peacetime where we think that the luxury of self-indulgence is the only power that can break the boredom. O, may God open our eyes to what is at stake in the war raging between heaven and hell.

The spirit of the great missionary, Paul, must grip us more and more. “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)

In wartime, everything changes. The luxury liner, Queen Mary, became a troop carrier, and instead of bunks three high, they were stacked seven high. Resources are allocated differently in wartime. And we are in a war far more devastating than World War II.

A wartime lifestyle presents itself not as a legalistic burden, but as a joyful acknowledgment that our resources aren’t entrusted to us for our own private pleasure but for the greater pleasure of stewarding them for the advancement of the kingdom of God (Acts 20:35; Matthew 6:33).

Conviction #12—Prayer Is a Wartime Walkie-Talkie, Not a Domestic Intercom.

In wartime, prayer takes on a different significance. It becomes a wartime walkie-talkie and no longer a domestic intercom. Jesus said to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he may give to you.” (John 15:16)

Notice the amazing logic of this verse. He gave them a mission “in order that” the Father would have prayers to answer. This means that prayer is for mission. It is designed to advance the kingdom. That’s why the Lord’s Prayer begins by asking God to see to it that his name be hallowed and that his kingdom come.

James warned about the misuse of prayer as a domestic intercom to call the butler for another pillow. He said, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)

Prayer is always kingdom oriented. Even when we pray for healing and for help, it is that that the kingdom purposes of God in the world may advance. Otherwise, we have turned a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom.

Let us pray with the Apostle Paul, “that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

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John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at © Desiring God.