A lot of us have watched movies about spies (also known as undercover agents). A spy is a person employed by a government or other organization to secretly obtain information on an enemy or competitor. So they have their mission and in order to carry it out, they take on an identity which they live out such that nobody they relate with knows they are spies. They blend in with other people, working a normal job, with a family….on the outside, your everyday folks but in reality, something else.
It occurred to me one day that we are like undercover agents. We belong to families, go through the different phases of life here on Earth, perhaps marry and perhaps have children, get jobs or run businesses, etc. but underneath it all, we are on a mission. All the things I just enumerated are done as we blend in because we are IN the world but it behoves us to keep our focus on our mission and not get caught up with these things because we are not OF the world.
As disciples of Christ, we all have a common mission – to establish the kingdom of God and to do His will here on Earth. Our Boss assigns to us different covers under which to accomplish this. So while at our jobs, our constant focus is on establishing the kingdom principles in our offices; shining the light of Christ into the darkness of the lawless culture around us.
“You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 AMP)
HOW DO WE ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
1. By living out the culture of our own kingdom right where we are – in our homes, at our workplaces, even on the streets. Culture is the way we do things. There is a culture in every office, not just in an ethnic community. If the culture in your office is to come late to work and sign in a false time of arrival, you propagate the culture of God’s kingdom (of which you are a citizen) by coming to work on time and, if you should arrive late, signing in the actual time of arrival. This is just a simple example but one a lot of us fail at because we are not conscious of our undercover status and our mission.
2. By manifesting the fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 AMP)
PITFALLS THAT CAN PREVENT US FROM FULFILLING OUR MISSION
1. Loving the world: It is easy to get caught up with the things on this Earth and begin to value them inordinately. Without really thinking about it, we can easily begin to live to acquire material possessions or gain accolades from men or have certain experiences that the world (system) says you must have to be deemed a ‘success’. Brethren, it’s a trap! If we get drawn in, we will be distracted from our mission. In fact, we will be drawn away from our Boss.
Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
(1 John 2:15-17 MSG)
2. Loving our family more than God: It is natural to love one’s family members, especially immediate family. The challenge is to not love them more than we love God. We know that we love them more if we disobey God in order to obey or please them. Jesus spoke of this and He used the strong word ‘hate’ but was not saying we should hate our family members (as this would be totally contrary to His nature and command to love). The Amplified version explains it well –
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]—he cannot be My disciple.
(Luke 14:26 AMP)
3. Loving our lives: We live in a country where prayers for long life are probably amongst the highest number of prayers offered up to God. Even people in their 80’s pray for long life! We also give thanks so often because “others have died but we are still here”. While I agree that we should give God thanks for life, I often wonder why we don’t see death of a Christian as gain like Paul did –
For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity]. If, however, it is to be life here and I am to go on living, this will mean useful and productive service for me; so I do not know which to choose [if I am given that choice]. But I am hard-pressed between the two. I have the desire to leave [this world] and be with Christ, for that is far, far better; yet to remain in my body is more necessary and essential for your sake.
(Philippians 1:21-24 AMP)
And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.
(Revelation 12:11 AMP)
Some of us don’t need to be faced with death to renounce our faith. If faced with possible loss of a job or loss of some earthly comfort, we will renounce our faith by compromising and doing things we know are offensive to our Lord. Let’s not let the fear of death keep us from accomplishing our mission because we will definitely die one day (or Jesus will return) and we will then have to give a report on the mission we were sent here to carry out.
Let’s shun distraction (every weight) and carry out our mission for God’s kingdom.