The believer needs to see his or her life in terms of God’s
eternal plan for success. He needs a vision for a
lost world for whom Christ died (John 3:16). He needs a vision to witness diligently, seeing the many on “the road to destruction.” He needs a
vision for the mission field, beyond the immediate surroundings or even nationalistic narrowness. One can go there personally by God’s call or support missionaries by prayer, gifts of money, and letters of encouragement. Beyond this it is necessary to
communicate vision to others.
“The Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He sought those “having no hope and without God in this world” (Eph. 2:12). He wants “all men to be saved and com to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim 2:3-6). He does not want any to perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9). He called on the disciples to go to the remotest part of the earth, to all creation, to preach this message (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15). How could any
true disciple not share in this vision, work in cooperation with the Spirit to seek to further it and to communicate this same vision to others?
Vision involves seeing
beyond the present and
discerns God’s eternal plan from Scripture. Oswald Sanders said, “
Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare.” The Lord said, “Lift up your eyes and
look upon the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35). What is the hindrance to a greater harvest? It is because “the
workers are few” (Matt. 9:27). Therefore, a true disciple will
more workers in the field (Matt. 9:38) while being one himself and making disciples to also become multiplying workers.
God has the whole of humanity on His heart. He directs workers to fields of His choosing. This may vary with
degrees of responsiveness,
timeliness, and the
suitability of the worker. The harvest
field exceeds at present
six billion souls and is steadily increasing. Little more than one billion are even
profession Christians, most of them nominal (in name only). One could scarcely project many more than 300 million evangelical, Bible-believing, converted souls. What a vast field remains!
The need is staggering. What can one disciple hope to accomplish in facing this task? Here are some suggestions:
1. Pray privately for
specific needs and workers on the mission fields. Use missionary letters and handbooks.
2. Support every effort to promote missionary vision in your church. Mission conferences, speakers, and special missions events can assist the
spread-the-vision work with international students.
3. Financially support missionary efforts with
sacrificial giving above and beyond the Biblical tithe (tenth of income).
4. Go overseas yourself at first on “short-term” missions. Short-term missions increase familiarity with needs and customs. You can distribute literature, build homes for the poor, help in medical or other humanitarian work in the name of Christ. You can expose yourself to local missions for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and prison ministry (visitation and correspondence).
5. Finally, if the Lord clearly calls to a definite place,
go yourself. It is
preferable to work with an experienced missionary there whenever available. It is
essential that you diligently master the language of the people to whom you go. Take the best language courses, especially in the countries where they are spoken, where you can saturate your mind with their use of words and customs. You will not be able to effectively communicate with the common people, or gain their respect, unless you learn to eat their food. They see this as a sign that you like them. Walk in their shoes and wear their style of clothing. Conform even to their customs of dress, even if not Biblically required (veils, coverings, discretionary clothing).
Have a sense of
urgency about all this. “Why do you stand here idle?” Be properly motivated. “The love of Christ constrains us” (II Cor. 5:14).
Never be interested in personal preeminence, acclaim, authority, or financial gain. It is utterly contrary to His Spirit.
Resolve to make God’s eternal plan for all the world and for your life your own plan and