Written by Ryan Smith
Wouldn’t you agree that it is easy to fall into the flow of life’s responsibilities and get distracted from living with purpose? Anytime I have prepared to step into a new season of life in Asia or back in the States in the last decade, I always envisioned just how missional I would be living but then find it a challenge to maintain the same approach after getting into the grind. Essentially, to live missionally is to embody the heart of God’s mission to make disciples of all nations that all have been given by God, wherever they go.
I think there is always a new energy about us when we step into a place we believe God has called us to. However, although our spirit is willing, our flesh is weak. We need daily reminders and times to realign our minds and hearts on what God has called us for. In other words, we need to work towards living with purpose, on purpose. There’s no doubt that this is closely, if not the most, connected to our time spent with God.
We cannot only rely on the busyness of our job responsibilities that may include vital ministry elements to guide our missional living, but it must always come from a personal and habitual interaction with the Living God. Scripture reading, prayer, and conversations about Kingdom work are essential in building a ministry, but we need to actually take a step back and think about why and to what God has called us as individuals to in the first place. After all, He cares about the health of our heart before He cares about what our hands and feet are doing.
Many people think that being a “missionary” is only for those who move to another country, and therefore are not truly held responsible for the missional life. Whether living in the U.S. or abroad, I have always been challenged the same to consider the people that are within the circles of relationships in my life and evaluate how well I am showing them God’s love. From the middle school student I see every Sunday morning to the guy on my basketball team or from the field worker on the other side of an email to the man that also brings his child to the playground in our neighborhood, I am being sent as a representative of light on behalf of the good news.
If you’ll make the time to generate space for His direction, God will show you who you are, how He’s made you, and guide you in fulfilling your purpose wherever you are. Also, although it may seem strange at first, take some time to write down the people that you come into contact with on a regular basis, from the most personal to the most casual of interactions. Finally, ask God for wisdom and boldness to lead you in these interactions as you walk in your missional life. Then, I believe you will see the steps clearer that God has laid out for you to live a truly missional life, no matter where you are.