SOAP: 28 February 2014

And he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”

Genesis 24:56

These words are spoken by Abraham’s servant after the servant met Rebekah. Met might be too weak a word, since Rebekah had revealed something of her character in their first meeting — she had watered the ten camels he had with him and I hear that camels drink a lot, so one may rationally conclude that this woman was hard-working and kind to strangers. Regardless of the word, the servant knows what he needs to know and is ready to be on the road home. This dude is a man on a mission.

God will sometimes give me a “mission”. He gives a very particular vision for one thing that wants doing and sets me on the track of doing it. For the record, He does this for all of His servants.

There’s something to be learned from this servant and how he accomplished his task, though. See, he took what he figured he would need to get the job done. He took some of Abraham’s wealth with him and had it ready to provide as proof of his claims regarding Abraham’s riches. He came with a clear notion of what he was on about. There is no record of him bothering God with regard to this task until he was in position to accomplish it and when God gives him success this servant gives credit where credit is due and worships God on the spot. Finally, this dude is “on a mission” in the sense that he is not prepared to waste any time. When Rebekah’s mother and brother start trying to extend the servant’s visit, he shoots those ideas down with a quickness.

What lessons do I take from all of that? Quite a few, actually.

First, each and every Christian alive is on some mission or another. Jesus commissioned all of us to go and preach the gospel. Abraham’s servant took proof with him, have we? What I mean is, does my life include the fruit of God’s Spirit? If I do not have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control then it is debatable whether or not anyone will believe that the God I claim to represent is real. If God has no real benefits to confer on His followers then there is nothing to prove that He is any different from all the non-gods out there.

Second, I need a clear notion of what exactly God has me doing. If my only specific mission from Him at the moment is to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God then I need to be all over that mission. If I have a different and oddly precise mission from God then I need to be busy about that. Jesus said, while He was on Earth, that He had to be busy about His Father’s business. We, likewise, need to be busy about our master’s business.

Third, I need to get my marching orders from God and then work to get myself ready for what He wants me to do. That may mean preparing my mind by studying — Paul spent years doing just this before he was sent out. It may mean something else. But I need to be getting myself ready for whatever God has instructed me to do so that I am positioned to do it. If I think God has told me to buy a new car (strange example, but go with it) then I should be reading reviews and checking test ratings and weighing the pros and cons of each vehicle that could be considered so that when I pray to God about which car to buy, I have already done my due diligence. There is no record of this servant setting the conditions of how he would know which woman was right for Isaac until he was actually in a place to meet the women of the town and potentially find the woman he had been sent to find. If I feel like God is calling me to go plant a church (He’s not, but if He were) then I need to be getting myself and my family in a position where we are ready to go where God sends us when God is ready to send us. If I’m not ready for action when the time for action comes then I’m going to miss my opportunity. Also, when the work is done (including in the process of being done, since the servant worships God for the success of the mission before he’s on the road home), I need to praise God for what He has done, is doing, and will do. If God sent me on a mission then He will ensure the success of that mission.

Last, I need to not waste time. If God says, “Go.” then I need to be ready to go with a quickness. If God says, “Stay here.” then I need to be ready and content to just chill until God tells me otherwise. These things become more difficult when a person marries and when a married couple begins having children, but more difficult is not impossible and even the impossible is doable for God. When Jesus called His disciples, they immediately left what they were doing and followed Jesus.

So, whether on a specific mission or on the more general mission of preaching the gospel to everyone, every Christian is on a mission. Are we; am I taking on that mission like Abraham’s servant: with proof of the Master’s attributes, with a clear idea of what the mission is, with all readiness to perform the task, and with all due diligence and quickness to obey?

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