Beyond Self-Fulfilment

It’s true that only a relationship with God can fulfil the deepest part of our souls. But following Christ is more than about your own fulfilment — it’s about making disciples and bringing glory to Him.

There is truth behind this saying, yet Christ does far more than make our lives completely fulfilling. Repentance and redemption are more than transactional requirements for a good life. God is far greater than a quick fix, and his ultimate plan for re-creation and redemption is not a mere afterthought to a happy life. In some ways, a relationship with Christ intensifies our longings as God shapes them into visions of what he wants us to desire.

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Featured Article: The Story of the ICOC in China

In anticipation for the Chinese New Year, read about the history of the ICOC in China! It’s an amazing story of God’s faithfulness and power.

One of the peculiarities of the mission team—17 disciples in all—was that, although many were ethnically Chinese, very few spoke Chinese, much less the notoriously difficult-to-learn Cantonese used in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, by faith the team began building a church and learning Cantonese.

Within a year there were over 50 disciples.

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3 Ways the Holy Spirit Helps Us on the Mission

We are not alone in the mission. Before Jesus ascended back to his Father, he told of an advocate, a counsellor and a helper that would come and help his disciples. We have that same help today. That help comes from God himself, the Holy Spirit.

It’s easy to feel daunted and afraid when we see the size of the mission field and the size of the task. Indeed, the task itself is not an ordinary one, but it is the task of moving people’s hearts back towards God. It’s a supernatural work and it is impossible to accomplish these things by human effort alone.

The presence and active help from the Holy Spirit makes the Great Commission not simply just a task given to us by God, but also a cooperation between us and God to complete His purpose on earth.

We should be encouraged by the Bible and how it describes the Holy Spirit helping us and working for and with us on the mission. Here are three:

  1. The Holy Spirit will convict the hearts of men.

In John 16:8-10 it says:

When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness…

This is the supernatural part of our work on the mission field. It cannot be done by human effort. When someone is convicted of their sin and sees the destructiveness of their ways it is the Holy Spirit’s work. Praise God that He should be the one to do this!

  1. The Holy Spirit will teach us what to say.

Ever at loss with what words to say? This is probably the greatest dilemma that every disciple faces while on the mission. Our words can be so powerful and helpful, but at the same time so destructive.

Proverbs 16:24 says:

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

A rightly spoken word of encouragement, admonishment or even rebuke could change the tide in the spiritual war for someone’s soul. Jesus promises us that the Holy Spirit will teach us what to say. Jesus promised this to the disciples in Luke 12:12:

…for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.

Paul also shares this incredible blessing in 1 Corinthians 2:13:

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words

  1. The Holy Spirit will teach us to pray.

The most important work that we must do on the mission is prayer. Our weakness and our supernatural task calls us to rely on an almighty and supernatural God. Sometimes, in our weakness we are at loss as to what to pray. The needs are so much and our weakness is so deep. Paul comforts us with this promise in Romans 8:26-27:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.