I grew up loving the early Mission Impossible T.V. shows. Action. Adventure. Twists. Double agents. Spies. Secrets. Impossible missions. And those classic scenes of receiving their mission from a tape or phone call that would end in a mini explosion: “this mission will self-destruct in 10 seconds.”
Perhaps the part that always surprised me, and still surprises me even in Tom Cruise’s MI movies, is that never once does an IMF (Independent Mission Force) agent ever reply “no” to their impossible missions. No matter the risk, the danger, the peril, the insurmountable obstacles and immeasurable odds (including scaling the highest skyscraper in the world to hanging from the wing of a military jumbo jet), they always go through with the mission. They always accept the mission. Makes me wonder if they should change the message from “should you choose to accept it” to “you have no choice but accept it”. But, I guess that removes the human element of volition.
Regardless of what the message should be, the agents accept the mission, knowing the risks and danger and just how impossible it is. They don’t just say, “yes I accept” and then sit back and talk about the mission each day with their fellow agents. They actually go out and act out the mission. They assemble the team, amass the resources, do the hard work of searching, traveling, waiting to find their hit or locale and don’t stop until the mission is complete. Their acceptance of the mission is not theoretical at all; it’s fully functional.
I wonder, could we as Christ-followers, those who have been given a new missional assignment of our own, take a lesson from these relentless IMF agents? And our missional message didn’t self-destruct, it is eternal. It’s called “the gospel”. Jesus left us with this equipping good news and then gave us His Spirit to continue encouraging and empowering us with it for the mission. A mission that necessitates and requires action, not just receiving the mission.
When Jesus transforms our heart through faith, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into his marvelous light. We are radically and forever changed. And, we are given a new missional reality. Essentially, we’ve said, “I am leaving behind my old mission for a brand new mission. I choose to accept this new mission and all that it demands of me, requires from me and enables me to give.” And, we must know we’re accepting it beyond theory but daily action.
However, if we’re honest, we know that our usual behavior shows we believe it more in theory than action. What mission are we following functionally? Actions speak louder than words. Based on our actions, have we truly accepted Jesus’ impossible mission to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him? If I’m honest, I’m excellent at ascribing to this mission in theory, not in practice. And, according to Jesus, what we practice proves what we believe. So, if we don’t practice, Jesus says we don’t truly believe.
Yikes! Can you relate? Bad news: the mission is impossible. Good news: Jesus knows it’s impossible, that’s why He came to die for us and then sent His Spirit to empower us to make possible what is impossible. It’s not that we can’t do it, it’s that we don’t.
It is impossible; that’s the point. We desperately need Him to accomplish what He’s tasked us to do.
The best part? He is for us, with us and in us to see this impossible mission accomplished!
I hope you know that we means me. Why do you think we struggle to practice the mission?
What are the things that hold you back from living life on mission everyday? Not just Sundays, Wednesdays, small group nights and community service projects.
Why are we content to accept the mission in theory primarily?
I really want your thoughts here.