I am with you

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

After two bewildering years, going back to basics could be the answer when things aren’t going according to plan, reckons Iain Hesketh.

The last two years have created so many disruptions that we have all had to learn to hold our plans lightly and be far more flexible in making decisions.

At times, I’m sure we’ve all had a sense of bewilderment at how we navigate the complexities of life, whatever circumstances we are in.

So what do we do when we don’t know what to do?

It’s not that there is a lack of vision for participating in the Mission of God, but when things don’t seem to be going as you’d hoped or expected what do we do?

Well, very simply, we do the basics and we seek to do them well.

The temptation is to try to do something spectacular to get yourself out of a rut but that can often lead to even more frustration.

We see this all the time in sports. When a player loses form, they often try too hard and end up getting stuck in a place where things just don’t go the way they used to.

The aim of the game hasn’t changed, but when things don’t click it can be so frustrating and often they believe it is game over for them.

For many organisations involved in International Missions, the last two years has felt like we hit a bad patch of form, and it seems like we have been looking for that spectacular moment that will move us into the next season.

Two years on, maybe we are left asking where do we go from here?

Christ is the anchor in times of uncertainty

The mission mandate and the hope of resurrection in Christ is the anchor which secures us in times of uncertainty.

When we don’t know what to do, what should we do?

Look up – Isaiah 6:1
Isaiah writes that in the year King Uzziah died, marking the end of a long, prosperous period in Judah’s history, he saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and lifted up.

Earthly rulers will fail, no matter how good they are. When we don’t know what to do, we look up and remind ourselves that the One we worship is not just the Lord of heaven, but King Jesus who is Lord of heaven and earth.

He is incomparable and we can trust him implicitly to bring about his will on earth as it is in heaven. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the leader of the missions.

Cry out and look around – Isaiah 6:5
I find it so important that, as Isaiah looked around at the people before him, he identified with them and didn’t stand in judgment.

His first response at the holiness of God was, “Woe is me. For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips...”

It is only when he has been struck by the magnitude of his own shortcomings that he can clearly see the plight of others. Have you and I used this time to allow a holy God to search the depths of our heart so that we might cry out to him for our own transformation?

Only when we realise our need of his gracious forgiving and cleansing touch, will our heart be broken for the people of the nations far from God.

Listen out – Isaiah 6:8-9
Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord. How was it that he heard so clearly?

He had an encounter with holiness – which could have crushed him, but it didn’t because God’s purpose was to cleanse him and then call him to participate in his purposes.

If Isaiah had stayed in the ‘woe is me’ moment he would have missed the ‘go with me’ moment of God’s call.

What do we know?
We know that all things belong to King Jesus (Colossians 1:15-20) and the nations do too, whether they recognise it or not (Psalm 22:28; 47:8).

We know that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) was given to all followers of the Lord Jesus, who are carriers of the mandate to proclaim the whole gospel of the kingdom to all nations until the return of King Jesus (Matthew 22:14).

One thing we can be confident of in the coming months is that the Holy Spirit will continue to beckon people to join with him in his mission both locally and globally.

Are you hearing the call to go to the nations? I’d love to talk with you.         

Iain Hesketh is International Missions Director of the Elim Churches, having led Encounter Church (Elim) in Birmingham for a number of years.  He is married to Rachel and we have two young daughters. 

This article was first published in the March 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.

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