The first night of our fast was a sacred mix of worship, prayer, confession and a fire pit! There was an amazing sense of closure with hundreds repenting and trusting Jesus for freedom as they threw their written confessions into the fire. Many stayed long after the gathering had officially closed, enjoying God's presence and pouring out their praise. I enjoyed talking to numerous people who were fasting for the first time in their lives. We've never had so many people come out for the first night of a fast. God is stirring His people to worship and pray. Many are encountering Him in wonderful ways.
Scripture often places worship and commission side-by-side. God encounters His people as they worship. He changes them, and commissions them with fresh vigor. Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, he had a coal touch his lips, and he heard the Lord ask, "Whom shall I send, who will go for us?" His response was, "Here I am send me."
Worship is the fuel for mission's flame. It is also the motive for our mission.We do mission because our desire is for God to be worshipped by every nation, tribe and tongue. Today as we continue to seek God, let's turn our hearts towards mission. Our mission as a church is to glorify the Father in the power of the Spirit by proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus.
We are all on mission together. Every believer is a disciplemaker! We all acknowledge that we are unable to fulfill this mission without the power of the Spirit. This is the primary reason we come together to pray. We love the way God meets with us, heals us and sets us free, but we are mindful that a great prayer meeting is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The desired end of the prayer meeting is for us to be made bold for mission. (Acts 1:8)
We acknowledge that there are 2 halves to the Great Commission to make disciples of Jesus. The 1st half is discipling people towards faith in Christ. "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them..." I encourage you to write down one or two names of people who fall into this category. They may be in your work place, friendship circle or family. They are like Zaccheus in the Gospels. They may be interested in Jesus, but they need to be intentionally drawn into your life, engaged relationally and challenged lovingly towards faith in Jesus. Who is your Zaccheus? Name them and pray for boldness and opportunity with them. Lets pray that God would remove timidity and apathy from us when it comes to Gospel witness.
The 2nd half are those people who are already believers, who need to be discipled in obedience to Jesus. "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to obey all I have commanded." They may include your children, someone you are mentoring, someone you are training up as a ministry apprentice, or people under your leadership care. Who is your Peter? That promising apprentice that you are walking closely with? Pray for them, for growth in their maturity and ministry. Who is your Mary, Martha and Lazarus? That small circle of friends that you most enjoy spending time with. Pray that you would spur each other on to follow Jesus, and that your friendships would be honest, God-honoring, disciple-making friendships. Parents, pray especially for the Spirit's help in discipling your children.
Making disciples is not rocket science. It's a simple mission, doing life with a few people intentionally, like Jesus did during His life on earth. But it's not easy. We need the Spirit's power to do the Lord's work, the Lord's way. Which is why we fast and pray. See you at 6:30 tonight.