May 24: On a Mission
1 Chronicles 14:1–15:29; 2 Timothy 1:1–2; Psalm 83
“We’re on a mission from God.” Whenever the Blues Brothers delivered this line, they were met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception. While they had a different “mission” in mind, their famous line summarizes Paul’s ministry, and their reception is strangely related to a pressing problem in our Christian communities today: we’re hesitant to receive those who tell us they’re on God’s mission.
When we hear this “line,” we immediately begin to ask questions inside our heads: Are they offering a critique? Making a threat? Telling us they’re pursuing a ministry role in accordance with the gifts God has given them, or that they want to be directed toward such a role?
Nearly all the godly people in the Bible were appointed directly by God or His messengers to a mission, and they were given very particular (and often unique) gifts to fulfill those missions. So when someone says they’re on a mission from God, we should respond with, “Tell me about it!” Consider passages like 2 Tim 1:1, where Paul addresses Timothy and the community he leads, many of whom never met Paul:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.”
Apostle means “sent one.” Paul was on a mission from God, and it’s because of Christ, the anointed one’s promises, that he embraces this calling. God called and gifted him to do His work and share His message. Who are we to say that God doesn’t commission people today? Of course, we should always be cautious and discerning; those in leadership must have proven their godly character and their ability to be used by God. They must also be confirmed by other godly leaders. Once this has been confirmed, we should encourage those called to a special mission. We, as believers, are called to work alongside them—to encourage them and help them serve what God, specifically, has appointed them to do.
We stumble when we think the Church is ours to lead; it is Christ’s. He is our leader and guide, and it’s by His Spirit that we will have the discernment necessary to do what He has appointed us to do.
How can you help those who are on a mission from God?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Then sent Hiram the King of Tyre messengers to David, and Cedar trees, with masons and carpenters to buid him an house. Therefore David knew that the Lord had confirmed him King over Israel, and that his kingdom was lift up on high, because of his people Israel. Also David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David begat more sons and daughters. And these are the names of the children which he had at Jerusalem, Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Eliphelet, And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia, And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphelet. But when the Philistines heard that David was anointed King over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David. And when David heard, he went out against them. And the Philistines came, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. Then David asked counsel at God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines, and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up: for I will deliver them into thine hand. So they came up to Baal Perazim, and David smote them there: and David said, God hath divided mine enemies with mine hand, as waters are divided: therefore they called the name of that place, Baal Perazim. And there they had left their gods: and David said, Let them even be burnt with fire. Again the Phillistines came and spread themselves in the valley. And when David asked again counsel at God, God said to him, Thou shalt not go up after them, but turn away from them, that thou mayest come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And when thou hearest the noise of one going in the tops of the mulberry trees, then go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. So David did as God had commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands: and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations. And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. Then David said, None ought to carry the Ark of God, but the Levites: for the Lord hath chosen them to bear the Ark of the Lord, and to minister unto him forever. And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of the Lord unto his place, where he had ordained for it. And David assembled the sons of Aaron, and the Levites. Of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, and his brethren six score. Of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty. Of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty. Of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred. Of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore. Of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore. Of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve. And David called Zadok and Abiathar the Priests, and of the Levites, Uriel, Asaiah and Joel, Shemaiah and Eliel, and Amminadab. And he said unto them, Ye are the chief fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, and your brethren, and bring up the Ark of Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye were not there at the first, the Lord our God made a breach among us: for we sought him not after due order. So the Priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the Ark of the Lord of Israel. And the sons of the Levites bare the Ark of God upon their shoulders with the bars as Moses had commanded, according to the word of the Lord, And David spake to the chief of the Levites, that they should appoint certain of their brethren to sing with instruments of music, with viols and harps, and cymbals, that they might make a sound, and lift up their voice with joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel, and of his brethren Asaph the son of Berechiah, and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah, And with them their brethren in the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel the porters. So Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were singers to make a sound with cymbals of brass, And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Mikneiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps upon Sheminith Jenazzeah. But Chenaniah the chief of the Levites had the charge bearing the burden in the charge, for he was able to instruct. And Berechiah and Elkanah were porters for the Ark. And Shebaniah, and Josphaphat and Nethanel and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer the Priests did blow with trumpets before the Ark of God, and Obed-Edom and Jehiah were porters for the Ark. So David and the Elders of Israel and the captains of thousands went to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from the house Obed-Edom with joy. And because that God helped the Levites that bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, they offered seven bullocks and seven rams. And David had on him a linen garment, as all the Levites that bare the Ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah that had the chief charge of the singers: and upon David was a linen Ephod. Thus all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s covenant with shouting, and sound of corner, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a sound with viols and with harps. And when the Ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out a window, and saw king David dancing and playing, and she despised him in her heart. 1 Chronicles 14:1–15:29
- Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. To Timothy my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 Timothy 1:1–2
- Keep not thou silence, O God,: be not still, and cease not, O God. For lo, thine enemies make a tumult, and they that hate thee, have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and have consulted against thy secret ones. They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation: and let the name of Israel be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together in heart, and have made a league against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarites: Gebal and Ammon, and Amalek, the Philistines, with the inhabitants of Trye, Assyria also is joined with them: they have been an arm to the children of Lot. Selah. Do thou to them as unto the Midianites: as to Sisera and as to Jabin at the river of Kishon. They perished at En Dor, and were dung for the earth. Make them, even their princes, like Oreb and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes like Zebah and like Zalmunna, Which have said, Let us take for our possession the habitations of God. O my God, make them like unto a wheel, and as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth the forest, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire: So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afriad with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy Name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled forever: yea, let them be put to shame, and perish, That they may know that thou, which art calleth Jehovah, art alone, even the most High over all the earth. Psalm 83