What Outrageous Assignment Has God Given You?

There is a children’s story entitled “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. The book cover depicts a babysitter and three children leaning into an unseen adventure. At each turn in the story, the group faces new challenges which grow in difficulty – tall grass, a raging river, deep mud, a dark forest and a blinding snowstorm. At each obstacle they face the question of how to proceed, and they come to three conclusions. “We can’t go over it! We can’t go under it! Oh No! We’ll have to go through it!”

I would contend that’s where we are today in our churches and indeed in all of our lives. We are living through a confluence of powerful, even disruptive trends; economic, technological, social and political. Add to those the impact of COVID-19, financial and material turmoil, persistent tension around racial justice, and LGBTQ+ inclusion in our societies and church. What do we do?

Like the children’s story, “We can’t go under it; we can’t go over it; we have to go THROUGH it!” What’s next is the key to how we respond to this period of significant cultural change. The scripture says to make a joyful shout to the Lord who makes all things new. In Revelation 21:5 we read, “Look I’m making everything new. Write it all down, each word is dependable and accurate.”

The world froze in 2020, and it is impossible to go back. The ground we once stood on no longer exists. All that has happened in the last 18 months may be era-defining but this remains to be seen. The changes we are experiencing right now may be confined to our specific problems, which we could solve, and then go back to how things were in 2019. Or we may have just left the past behind us and are now crossing a liminal line into something new. I sense we are crossing into something new, a new normal.

So, where is God calling us? What’s next? I am reminded that every new beginning comes as something else is ending. Ephesians 4:1 says, “In light of all this, here is what I want you to do ... get out there and walk, better yet run! on the road God called you to travel.” Where is God calling us? What is the new ground God is creating for us to walk, better yet run, down?

My prayer life this summer has been around these questions:
  1. How do we find spiritual renewal?
  2. How can we ignite a revival among our churches and people?
  3. What is God calling us to, what new adventure?
Sometimes we get to thinking that we create the movement or revival, but that’s not Biblical or true. It’s God who creates and stirs the movement and renewal of God’s people. We have the task of catching up with God and where God is going and then proclaiming it to the world.

I invite you to join me in prayer asking: “What outrageous assignment is God calling me to?”

Remember God desperately loves you, and God desperately loves the world and calls on us to build the bridges so others may know of God’s love through Jesus Christ.