speaker: Paul Washer
You must not pursue mission to find Jesus; you must pursue Jesus and missions will follow.
God works on broken, frivolous, tiny, sinful, weak individuals…
The greater the depth of your brokenness and weakness, the more you will see His power.
I myself have seen the power of God. I have seen multitudes converted, I have seen the miraculous, I have seen God do mighty things but when I am alone in the dark with Him I know what I am. And it’s not because I have reached some level of piety that has escape my brothers. But it’s because God always works through broken, tiny, weak and sinful individuals like myself.
If you’re ever going to be of any use in missions, it’s because God is going to take you and He’s going to be faithful to break you into a million pieces and to grind you into your weakness that you did not even know existed.
God said,” If I am a father then where is my honor?”
Your greatest need for missions, your greatest need for godliness is to know the Lord. Wise men are not supposed to boast in their wisdom and strong men in their strength, wealthy men in their riches. The one to boast is the one who knows God. Your greatest need, the churches greatest need and the world’s greatest need is to know God, not merely as an intellectual pursuit but to know Him, to grow in their knowledge of Him, because the more you do the more you will be enabled to honor Him if you’re heart has truly been converted and the more you will be able to love Him and glorify Him.
Oftentimes preachers will stand up before a group of people and tell them what to do but very rarely will a preacher tell them how to do it. A preacher will say something like this “All of you need to love God more than you do.” And the people walked out and say, “Of course. I should love God more than i do.” And they go back to their homes and they pray about loving God more than they do but they fall into condemnation because they know they don’t love God as they ought.
How can we be able to start that journey of loving Him more than we do now?
Yes we could do like what everybody do today…we could draw a conference and get everybody sight up for few weeks about God and missions and everything else and then after all the strange fire is burned off, nothing will be left but smoke.
A mission is driven by a passion for God, a love for God, a desire to honor God. But how can we create that in ourselves? Well, let me use a human analogy. I have been married for many years and I love my wife now more than I love her at the first. Well how is that? I love her more because I know more of her, I know more of her excellence, beauty, virtue and it brings forth out of me a greater love in spite of the imperfections and error and the quirks of her personality. I do love her more because I know her more. Now apply this same relational principle to God. You know that if you love God more, if you have the greater desire to honor Him, you would be given more to missions and the proclamations of His glory throughout the world. So how can you increase that love for God and that desire to honor Him? Only to the degree that you know Him.
If there is no relationship, there is no communion.
We were made for Him and we will be restless until we rest on Him. There is an intimate communion, fellowship and a walking in God and that must be our main pursuit. Study your own life for a moment. Isn’t it much easier for you to set up with the boys even when those boys are 16, to set up with the boys around the table and talk theology all night? Isn’t it for the most part easier to do that than it is to tarry in the presence of the Lord alone in prayer all night? Say, it is!
Isn’t it easier to read a good book saying something in 37,000 pages than he could have said it in 2?
Isn’t it easier on the flesh to stay up all night working through one paragraph than it is to stay up all night with Him? That in itself is evidence that we are not fully and completely redeemed. That there’s still something left in us that awaits a redeeming work, a glorification.
Religious activity even the work of the missions is nothing in itself. I have found that my flesh has the unique ability to turn almost everything into an idol. I can love knowledge more than God. I can love correct thinking more than God. I can love missions more than God. I can love evangelism and preaching about evangelism more than I enjoy going across the street to witness to my neighbor.
In all our activity, is God in them? Is God center? Is the personal intimate relationship with Him the thing that is driving us?
I want to go back to something. One of the ways to which I knew I was going to marry my wife is that I just wanted to be with her. I knew that my heart was right because I wanted to be with her. I wanted to talk to her and for her to talk to me. We could walk honestly down the path and doesn’t have to say anything for hours. I just wanted her. She wasn’t wealthy. She didn’t have a lot of money. But I did not want anything from her except her!
Do you remember when He governs your life as a new believer? Or you just don’t mind because the only thing you thought about was Him. You don’t have the great aspiration of being used, no desire for greater ministry? You just wanted Him! Do you remember when you got into the Word and it wasn’t because you had a sermon to prepare or you needed to learn some things or there were some doctrinal problems or you knew that to progress as a useful servant you had to continue on in the things of the Word of God? Do you remember when you just got into the Word because you wanted to hear something from God? Because you just wanted to know about Him?
Do you remember when you prayed just because of Him? Most of you, I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet but I would dare say this that most of your prayer life is nothing more than intercessions, maybe the least of all prayers. Intercession. Interceding. What about communion? What about just walking and talking and thinking about Him? What about private praise and worship? What about waking up at night and you can’t sleep and you know that it’s a sign and you almost go “He has awakened me.” Then you will say, “Oh brother, how many times God had awakened me to intercede for the nation.” That’s not what I’m talking about. He had awakened you to just say, “Come my love, walk with me. Past at midnight watch with me, tarry with me.” I find it interesting in the book of Mark how Jesus Christ ministers a great while all throughout the night and then the great while before daylight He gets up once again and He goes out to a solitary place to be alone with God.
See, we can light so many fires. We can do so many things in all our activity. But is God in it? Is it for Him? Is it a heart burning for Him?
Malachi 1:11 says, “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations’, says the Lord Almighty.”
Look at what’s going on here. In most mission conferences, you have a man standing there telling you that there’s so many lost people all around the world and we’re God’s hands and feet and if we don’t do what we’re called to do then God’s hands are tied and there’s nothing to be done and the nation will be lost and God will be lonely and heaven will not be heaven. All of that, blasphemy. God will do His work, God is doing His work. God will be worshipped and glorified and rejoiced, but the question is, will you participate? Will you be a part of it? You’re not the catalyst. You’re not the great mover. You’re not the cause-behind all these. You’re invited into the privilege of this. Don’t you realize that we’re the most privileged people on the face of the earth because we are brought into a relationship with Him? Number one privilege is that we are brought into a relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, a privilege that we don’t speak on our part. And we are brought into the privilege of being instruments of the glory to God. God will do the work. He will get glory for himself but He invites us to participate in that.
Angels could sing that Christ died but we as believers could sing that He has died for us. Angels could rejoice in the Gospel, but we could preach it and proclaimed it to men, devils and angels. You are so privileged.
Have you sold yourselves for lesser things? Have you given your money for things that can’t fill you, that can’t quench your thirsts? Isn’t it amazing that we are the most prosperous, most protected people of God in the history of Christianity and yet you go into those silly little Christian bookstores of ours and 95 % of the books are written dealing with the problem of how empty we are? Why are we empty? For the same reason that He never was. He was persecuted, He was impoverished, and He was in anguished but our Savior was never empty because He had food to eat that we know not of and that it was to do the will of His Father.
You are to be given to the will of God, not just for missions. You see, sometimes we talk about missions in the same way the image of believers speak about the will of God. They come to me and said, “…brother I am searching the will of God in the Word.” I said, “…Then you realized your problem.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Is your life, the practice of your life given to the renewing of your mind in the Word of God.” And he answered, “No, I really struggle in that area.” But when you need to know the will of God in the specific instance in your life, you go to the Word to look for the answers, that’s not true, yes. You’re wrong! You put the cart before the horse. This (the Bible) is not a magical book after which you could throw it up in the air and turn to a certain page and discern the will of God. We discern the will of God because we have a lifestyle. Romans 12: 1-2, a lifestyle of renewing our mind in the will of God and that renewing of the mind reveals to us the will of God. It is a life-practice that resolves in the knowing of God’s will. It’s the same way with missions.
Missions is not some independent thing that we decide to joined up with. It’s not a work that we suddenly feel called to do. It must be an outflow of true spirituality. It must flow out of communion with God. It must flow out of a correct understanding of who God is and His works in the world and the glory that He’s getting for Himself. It must flow out of knowing this that everything outside of Jesus Christ is absolutely absurd! And that all things were made for Him, through Him, by Him, in Him.
I could tell you to run off to the mission field and you might just run off an empty husk driven by a romantic passion for missions. Then you’ll need stronger medicine than that to keep you on the mission field. What I encourage you to do is to run after Him, pursue the very thing for which you are pursued–to know Him. “Who are you? I want to know.”– that will be my magnificent obsession: to know my God. And then from that you’ll flow out the work of God and the ministry of God in your life.
(click this to watch the full video) —> How much do you know God?
Our life is not to be based in our life’s experiences but from the Word of God, from the sound teaching. But you need more than that.
I do pray this, that God creates such a hunger in you that you seek after Him in prayer, that you desire and long for intimate communion with Him, that you desire to see His glory, that you know that in all your knowing it is not enough, and that you seek His power.
We are so afraid today of certain heresies that we oftentimes ran in the opposite direction and create an opposite puller of heresy. When we talked about great revivalist, we talk about Wakefield, we talk about Wesley, but to be honest with you we won’t let those men in our churches today because they were not quite respectable enough and they were not very civilized and there were strange things that happened around them that we would not at all approve. Do not let your inheritance be stolen from you by a bunch of heretical TV preachers who speak about the things they don’t know and blasphemed God in return.
Know this that there is a God and He’s more than a doctrine, He’s a person. There is a Holy Spirit who manifests the person of the Father and the Son to the believer. There is a knowing God in prayer. There is a manifestation of God in your life. There is the miraculous. God still does swift through a congregation and lay them all on the floor not giggling or barking like dogs that are crying out for mercy because they’ve seen their sin. God still moves. And we should not only desire it, we should expect it. We should not be pleased when we preach the good sermon.
If you’re going to the mission field and if you’re going to stand in a pulpit, you’re not a life coach, you’re not a peace core worker and you’re not just a transferer of truth, you are a prophet or you are nothing. And every time you stand before men, you must stand before men as Ezekiel stood in that valley knowing that unless the Spirit of God moves upon dead men, nothing will happen. And you must be men and women sent from God. “I must leave Him and come to you. I must leave you in a few minutes and go back to Him. Or I’m nothing but a boy, a parrot who talks about whatever men of experience.”
Missions is an absolutely impossible work that demands, requires the power and the life of the Holy Spirit. And we, like many of the men we honored who went before us, should make it our constant prayer to cry out for greater and greater manifestations of the Spirit’s power in our life and preaching. Do not be afraid of that which has been given to you. It is your inheritance simply because others have distorted and twisted it.
Seek the Lord. Seek to grow in your knowledge of Him. Cry out for greater sense of His presence in your life. Cry out to God, “Make me like your Son.” And realize this, if you had any idea what you are praying, then you would not have the courage to pray. Because to ask Him to make you like His Son will bring about a life of being broken by Him, and grinding you and breaking you and disciplining you until He’s formed in you the very thing He desires.
You must have Him. You must be filled by Him.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!