Your Mission Might Not Be What You Think


Your God-given purpose is often contrary to the direction the world wants you to go in.

I like movies when the good guy accomplishes his mission. For example, in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo miraculously succeeds in destroying the Ring. In Apollo 13, a mission gone awry is completed with a daring and thrilling journey back to the safety of earth. And in the movie Rudy, Rudy overcomes multiple obstacles to fulfill his dream to play football for the University of Notre Dame. I like these films because I love it when a mission is accomplished in glory.

When I think about a mission of glory, could there be anything more absurd than the cross? Nothing seems more “anti-glory” than God coming to earth to save His creation from sin by allowing Himself to be murdered. It’s definitely not how we would have written God’s script. If it was up to us, we’d craft His story like a Hollywood movie. We’d blow up the bad guys, shoot lightning from heaven, and descend in a cloud of fire.

Even the Jews would have rewritten Jesus’ script. They expected a Warrior-Messiah coming to save them from their oppressors. But that is not how Christ served up salvation on His mission. He did it much differently—and we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Isaiah 55:8 says, “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts.”

According to Isaiah, Christ’s mission was consistent with God’s character of being upside-down from the world’s way of thinking. Therefore, because Jesus’ mission was accomplished in an unlikely way, it makes sense that our personal missions will be accomplished using unlikely methods, too. God may ask you to use your skills, talents, and passions in ways and situations that you wouldn’t expect.

Here are some ways that your mission may not play out the way you anticipate:

Opposite of the World’s Ways

When you begin your personal mission, it’s important to keep His ways in mind. For example:

The world says, “Be the top dog! The one who is worshipped wins.”

But God’s Word says, “If you want to be great in my kingdom, you have to be a servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

The world says, “Repay those who hurt you.”

God’s Word says, “Do not repay evil for evil” (Romans 12:17).

The world says, “Look out for Number 1.”

God’s Word says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

The world says, “Get all you can and keep everything for yourself.”

God’s Word says, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).

The world says, “Make friends with influential people for self-promotion.”

God’s Word says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should not only look to your own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

The world says, “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”

God’s Word says, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

The world says, “It’s all about me.”

God’s Word says, “It’s all about Me.”

If you want to accomplish your personal mission from God and experience fulfillment, you must go against the world’s ways. There will be times when following God in your mission will be uncomfortable and unpopular. People may not understand you, just as they didn’t understand Jesus. But when you obey Him and leverage all that you have and are for Him, you can go to bed each night with a deep joy that no one can take away. You will be aligned with the heart of your Creator.

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