Ever been reading your Bible and a phone rings, a baby cries, a doorbell chimes? Ever find your prayer time interrupted by similar things? Ever plan to do a particular ministry and find yourself bombarded with demands of equal or more pressing priority? Ever start to share Jesus with someone and chaos rips into the conversation?
Take heart; interruptions, impediments, chaos, and confusion are mere tactics to undermine your mission as an ambassador for Christ.
In Ambassadors On Mission, The Priority Of Prayer and Proclamation, author, Dr. Dan Crawford*, shares how Christians are “first and foremost” called as ambassadors for Christ–not warriors against Satanic forces of evil in this world. As ambassadors, our main priority needs to be prayer and proclamation. He emphasizes the fact that we are, indeed, embattled in a war with the spiritual realm, but we are not at all comfortable in most warzones. He writes:
“…Christians are not primarily warriors by nature, but ambassadors on mission. Warriors fight and defend their country–often in other countries. Ambassadors represent their king in another kingdom. Warriors are military. Ambassadors are diplomatic. Nevertheless, ambassadors, while representing their king, become engaged in warfare.”
To go to war, we need to prepare. With every single thing we do in ministry, we need to be mindful of Who goes with us into battle and why we are there in the first place.
Most of us don’t recognize we are in a battle until we are caught in the crossfire of a particular warzone. As Christians we are often eager to do all kinds of good things for people: Feed the poor. Help the devastated. Dig wells for the thirsty. Provide dental clinics, and go on mission trips to help rebuild areas devastated by hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, floods and earthquakes–and well we should be. We need to give more and be even more generous to those less fortunate than us. But what good have we done if we fail to meet the main priority of sharing Jesus and watering our proclamations with prayer?
Prayer needs to go before our work and service, be present as we minister, and bathe our efforts to ensure God uses whatsoever we do and say for His glory–not ours. Our every effort and ministry should have a core priority: share Jesus at some point during our service. How will people know we are ambassadors for Jesus or ourselves, or our churches if we do not tell them the motivating objective for our ministry to them?
Remember, we may “walk in the flesh” but “we do not war according to the flesh”. Dr. Crawford emphasizes, once again, that our strength is in the Lord, in the sustaining power in His might. We’ve nothing to fear and have everything we need to equip us in every battle we face. I reviewed Dr. Crawford’s book for Hannibal Books Publishing a few months back and you can read my review (HERE) . It’s a great little 119-page volume that brings home the main emphasis we should have as ambassadors for Christ. I hope you’ll get it and give it a read.
In the meantime, I go back to the first paragraph of this post and ask: Do you have situations interrupt your efforts to pray, to read God’s Word, and to share Jesus with others? Do you recognize when the devil and his minions are trying to thwart your calling as a Christian? Are you armed, or are you vulnerable?
[*Dr. Dan R. Crawford is senior professor of evangelism and missions, chair of prayer, emeritus, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX., and author/compiler of 18 books including God’s Formula for Genuine Happiness, and Mud Hen in a Peacock Parade.]