What does it look like to be a Great Commission follower of Jesus Christ? It’s probably a lot simpler than you may have thought. We’ve made being a Christian so complicated, when Jesus made it very simple. This is how John articulates what it looked like for Jesus to show up on planet Earth. In John 1:14, the Bible says simply that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Eugene Peterson translates that idea in The Message, like this in John 1:14: The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. What did Jesus do? He just showed up and moved into the neighborhood, and became one of the people that He came to rescue. I think one of the most profound realities when you look at the life of Jesus Christ is that He lived 30 years, and nobody knew who He was. One theologian has said it’s the greatest compliment to humanity that Jesus could have paid was to show up and be one of everybody else.
For 30 years, He just showed up. He just moved into the neighborhood, and just lived the average life, and yet it’s the testimony of His life that has absolutely reshaped the world. Look at the life that He lived, and think about rhythms of His life. As you read, you will see that these three mindsets, and five rhythms, will help us realize that being a Great Commission follower of Jesus is far less complicated than many have made it.
- The first mindset of a Great Commission Christian understanding the seasons of life. It’s important to understand seasons, because when we look at the rhythms of life we’re going to see that they’re not always the same. There’s an ebb and a flow. There are four seasons I think we all encounter. They are seasons of sowing and growing, reaping and resting.
- Sowing seasons are the seasons when you’re contributing, when you’re giving a lot. Sowing seasons are when it feels like a lot’s coming out of you; you’re contributing, giving, investing.
- Growing seasons are when there’s more happening under the surface than aboveground. Now, oftentimes growing seasons are not the fun seasons. These are the times where it felt like there was this long middle between when God made a promise and when God fulfilled His promise. Have you ever walked through a season of time where there’s a long middle between when the prayer got prayed and the prayer got answered? That’s your growing season.
- Reaping seasons are perhaps the most attractive seasons, because reaping seasons are the times in our lives where there’s more than enough. Those are fun. Reaping seasons are when there’s just fruitfulness all around you, and relationships are healthy, and finances are abundant, and there’s vision for your future. I love me some reaping seasons.
- Resting seasons are the seasons of our life when the activity seems to hit a lull; when it seems like this season is a little bit less visionary than the one in the past. They’re seasons where maybe we’re not even sure what God is up to. And those resting seasons are really important, because most of us are not good at resting. Most of us get afraid if we’re not actively working to get something done, but resting seasons are powerful because they teach us that even when we are not productive, God is still at work.
- The second mindset is that of overflow, and not deficit. If you think that being a Great Commission follower of Jesus is going to leave you more tired at the end of the day than you were at the beginning, then you might have missed the point when Jesus said things like this: “If you are tired and weary, come to me, and I will give you rest.” Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and I will give him a drink.” Jesus also said, “I’m the bread of life. If you are hungry, I can satisfy your soul.” And the beauty of the Great Commission is that when you yoke up with Jesus, you stand beside the one who has more than enough to supply you with everything you need to live a whole and flourishing life.
- thirdly, a Great Commission Christian thinks intentional, not additional. I don’t want you to think about adding things to your life; I want you to think about being intentional in the areas where you already live life.