REAL KINGDOM LIFE
I was taken aback many years ago as a youth on Central Station in Sydney when an earnest young Christian filled with fervour accosted me with, ‘Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour?’ As a Believer I could somewhat relate to it. But thought that any normal person would wonder what the ‘witness’ was on about and what planet our ‘witnesser’ came from. Today I would wait for Holy Spirit to present an opportunity or say nothing until I could sense that He had opened a door. Jesus did not respond to need. He did what His Father was doing.
What does ‘missional’ mean to you? I hope not some contrived venture where one feels obliged to accost people who are happy enough as they are and are in no need of a serving of institutionalised christianity. I have ‘done time’ in this mode - out of a misguided sense of duty and a misapplied sense of obligation. We may have been persuaded that in so doing we are ‘demonstrating our love for Jesus.’ Maybe. A life in Jesus is not something that must be proved. It just is. Effective mission occurs when it is less ‘mission’ and more the spontaneous overflow of His spirit and life overflowing us. This will never happen if we are living in religion. But it will occur without contrivance if Christ is our life and we are filled with His Spirit of Sonship. Then all we need do is be ourselves!
‘Out of you will flow rivers of living water.’ But only if Jesus is your life. In Christ you will be alive in God. As you encounter people your manner, your words will be a seed - if it takes root - of infinitely multiplying life of the kind that does not fade or die.
This does not mean that we cannot be organised. Earlier this year I participated in trip to India organised and financed by a very good friend. Three of us went. Our ‘mission’ involved teaching and healing. We taught on the reality of Christ our life, of Jesus in us together with Father and Holy Spirit and we demonstrated that Jesus was real because when we prayed for the healing of the deaf and the ill, many of them were healed. So what does missional mean? It means showing people that Jesus is real. That He is among us in Spirit and that He does to ordinary people, through ordinary people what He did when He was here in Palestine.
I have learned much from an apostolic pastor in India. Church planting to him is not planting institutions. It is planting Jesus and harvesting sons of God. The power of Jesus can be unusual and comical. We call such miracles ‘signs.’ People rely on their animals in the villages. In one of these Jesus healed a buffalo. A church ‘plant’ begins with a healing, a miracle and even a dead person raised as I have personally witnessed. This occurs through the ministry of a pastor of faith - an ordinary person with leadership ability who is fastened onto Jesus and who can explain His simple gospel of life. Jesus heals and restores through such persons of faith. People begin to gather in such homes because there is a real presence of Kingdom life.
We need to be able to show people that what we have on offer is more than an institutional life. We can demonstrate a real Jesus who lives in and with us. Our mission in India was not only to assure people that God was personally in them and with them. It was to encourage ordinary folks to engage in an extraordinary witness to a real Jesus who does today what He did yesterday - heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons.
The world is becoming increasingly chaotic, more desperate and more violent. People need to see that there is a real solution in the person of Jesus who is King over every circumstance. In mission we can do more than multiply institutions. We can do better than model forms of godliness without power. We have a Jesus who is real and who is multiplied in you!