Day 17: “The Sent Ones”
If “sentness” is built into your new identity as a Child of God, then if you don’t “go” as an agent of Shalom of God to the world, you are not living out your identity and are missing out on the best God has for you.
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.’” – John 20:21
Author Allen Hirsch said: “Every Christian is a sent one. There is no such thing as an unsent Christian.” One of the greatest joys of being a Christian is that Christ has chosen to include us in His mission of reconciliation and renewal in this broken world. He saved us so He could send us, and in our sent-ness, we realize even more the extent of our saved-ness. We are a part of the family of God and also part of the “Family Business” – the renewal of all things for the sake of God’s glory and humanity’s flourishing. God is in the business of Shaloming the hell out of the world and He invites His kids to be a part of this mission. We have been sent out as harvesters in this great field of souls, participating with the Holy Spirit in sowing seeds of salvation into the ready soil of lives longing for Shalom and hungry for the redemption, reconciliation, and renewal promised in the gospel (Matthew 13:1-9; Luke 10:1-12).
This should be great news to our hearts, setting us free to live lives of joyful service to our great King who has loved us and lavishes us with His grace. Being sent by such a King like Jesus is a great privilege. The reality of the great mission of God built into our very identity should excite us and wake us up each morning with fresh vigor to love and serve our neighbors and faithfully proclaim the gospel in word and deed.
But one of the greatest lies the enemy tells us, that strips us of our joy and disables us from living sent lives of service to Jesus and His mission is the lie that we are not really in the family of God. We so often forget the reality found in the gospel of John – that “to those who believed in His name He gave the right to be called Children of God” (John 1:12-13).
Before we believed in Christ, we were like orphans – without a Father, without a home, without a future. But God has adopted us into His family, and now, because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, God is no longer our judge, but our heavenly Father who loves us just as much as He loves Jesus. There’s no judgment or condemnation possible for those who are in Christ (John 5:24; Romans 8:1). This is very hard for us to believe sometimes, and when we doubt this reality and fall back into a lifestyle of fear, we start acting like orphans again instead of children of God. Instead of going to the table of our Father the King, to enjoy His presence and feast on His Word, we run back to our dumpsters of sin and wander the streets aimlessly, wasting away our precious time on earth on things that really don’t matter. We naturally start drifting away from living sent lives of unselfishness and start living selfish lives of “at-homeness” consumed with our own agendas and schedules that cater to our consumer desires of comfort, security, and worldly prosperity. As these false shaloms we consume start to consume us, we forget who we are, why we are here and what we are called to do with our time, talents and treasures entrusted to us by our Father in heaven.
The good news is that God is a good Father who doesn’t leave His kids wallowing in their own mess… No, He is constantly orchestrating situations around us to disciple us back into our true identity which He created us to live out of. His grace appears to us day in and day out and teaches us to say “no” to worldly passions of our flesh as we faithfully live out of our true self in Christ. As we bask in the reality of the gospel and it increasingly becomes the reality from which we operate, we become “available agents of Shalom” in this world, who live free lives of joyful service to the kingdom of God. That doesn’t mean we are slaving away, working till we drop. Rather, it means we are available 24/7 to “do the Father’s will” as His Spirit directs. As we rest in the finished work of Christ, we have nothing to prove to anyone, so we are able to confidently say “no” to certain things and “yes” to others that fit in with our unique design and the particular role God has called us to play in this redemption story.
As our identity as a beloved child of God becomes the primary identity we operate from, our missional identity cannot help but grow. We become more and more about “our Father’s business” and less about our own self-absorbed agendas. We long for “His will to be done” in every aspect of our lives, and as a result, we are always on the lookout for ways He might call us to share with others, suffer well for the sake of the gospel as we serve those in need, and speak about the hope we have in Jesus (1 Peter 3:13-17).
1. Do you really believe “Jesus saved you so He could send you?” Or are you struggling to believe that God is really calling you to be on mission for Him everywhere in the world? Pray and repent for the areas of unbelief in your heart regarding the mission of God and ask for faith to believe in what God’s Word has said about you and your missional identity as a child of God.
2. Where is your harvest? Take some time to ask God to reveal to you specific times and spaces in your 24/7 where your missional identity has an opportunity to display the Shalom of the kingdom to others. How is your heavenly Father calling you to declare “peace” to the people around you in your everyday life? Sit quietly in His presence, listen for a few minutes and write down what the Spirit impresses on your heart.
3. Make a list of those around you where you live, work, or play who are still trapped in the chaos of this world and searching for their true identity. Ask God to let your true identity in Christ confidently shine into their darkness and bring great hope to their lives. Think of specific ways you can love and serve the people God has sovereignly placed in your life and look for every opportunity to share the Shalom of the kingdom with them (Galatians 6:9-10; Psalm 96:2-4; Philemon 1:6, Luke 10:5-6)