Why do we need to be concerned for the nations?

With our own country in such turmoil, the temptation is to look in rather than out, writes Elim Missions Director Iain Hesketh.

No doubt you will know our four priorities as a Movement are disciples, leaders, churches and nations. What has happened in recent years concerning Elim’s influence across the globe is unprecedented in our history and there are great opportunities opening to us.

So why do we, as Elim UK through Elim Missions, need to be concerned with the nations when there seems to be so much to do in our own country?

As I write this we are in the throes of political chaos; our Prime Minister has survived a leadership challenge but still faces much opposition from within her own party as well as constant personal jibes and political challenge from the opposition. This is aside from the perception that we as a nation seem more divided than ever, with an increasing distrust of our politicians. When crisis happens there is a temptation to look in rather than look out and look up.

Why do we need to be concerned for the nations? Well, simply, because our God is concerned for the nations! It is the paradox of living the Jesus way – the more we focus on the things of the King and his kingdom the greater the space and openness we create for God to do what only he can do.

The more we simply look out for our own interest the more we slowly but surely begin to die.

How can we, as disciples of Jesus, navigate what lies ahead? The same way that those who have gone before us did – we must be resolute in the sure and certain hope that the resurrected Jesus is Lord of all creation, and that the triune God is working out his purposes on earth. The days that lie ahead for the UK may be uncertain economically and politically, but this might just be the catalyst for us, the people of God, to awake with urgency to the mission of God – which is the worldwide worship of the one true God.

Worship manifests itself not in the songs we sing but in obedience to Jesus and his commands (John 8:42; 14:15, 28; 1 John 2:4-6). The songs we sing are an important expression of the adoration and awe we feel for our Saviour, but to reduce worship to singing songs is a mistake.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matt 22:37). Jesus is referencing Deuteronomy 6:5, but this passage goes on to encourage God’s people not only to live according to the ways of the Lord but to pass them on to others. Our worship isn’t simply about ‘me and Jesus’ but is to lead us to have a greater movement towards those who don’t know him.

I don’t agree with everything John Piper says or writes but I agree with this: “Mission exists because worship doesn’t.”

What is our mission, if it is not to invite as many as possible to join in the anthem of worship to the C reator of all things? And I mean worship in the sense of our whole self given over to his lordship.

How do we do this? Discipleship. That is why I’m so excited about the present work of Elim Missions through Elim Global and have great hope for the future, as we embrace the beckoning of the Spirit with a new urgency to be disciple-making disciples in all nations.

From Asia to the Americas, Africa to Oceania and Europe to the Middle East, there is a rising tide of disciple- making movements, unbound by building and budgets, who are captivated by the call to follow Jesus wherever he may lead.

Some of you reading this will be awakened to a call to leave what is familiar in order to respond to the beckoning of the Spirit. Others will never go overseas but will be stirred again to do mission right where they are.

You may never go overseas but you have the means to support the work of your Elim family overseas through giving financially to Elim Missions via our Pound by Pound scheme. See elim.org.uk/nations for more details.

However, we can all pray for Jesus to be made much of in the world, so that every nation, tongue and tribe may know him and walk in his ways.

I look forward to sharing with you in the coming months more ways that we as Elim UK can get involved in what God is doing across the globe.

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