Confusion to commission: do we accept God’s plans for us?


(Photo: Unsplash/Hans-Peter Gauster)

The story of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11 is a bit strange. Humankind is on the move but then a decision is taken, in unity, to settle and build a city with a great tower. God sees what is happening and the people are cast into confusion as they are scattered around the world.

At least four times in previous chapters of the Bible, God clearly commands people to be fruitful, multiple and fill the earth (Gen 1v28, 8v17, 9v1, 9v7). People, being created in God’s image as the pinnacle of His creation, are to bear His image, make Him known and reflect His glory in His world.

But the people had another plan.

They chose to stay put. To build a tower and to make a name for themselves. “We want to be safe and connected. We want to be in control of our own lives and destiny – we don’t need God!”

The problem was the people had rejected God and His plans and purpose for them. They rebelled against God and failed to embrace their calling to be His image bearers.

Do we as God’s people today better understand and embrace our calling to make God known by pointing people to God’s perfect ‘image bearer’ Jesus Christ?

A recent survey suggests that we do not!

Today, less than 33% of Christians believe that the primary purpose of Church mission work is to share the Christian faith among those who don’t know or haven’t heard of Jesus. That’s 1 out of every 3 followers of Jesus not accepting that our calling is to make God known in His world. Further, nearly half of all UK Christians (42%) told us that they do not feel confident explaining the message of the Gospel.

God has made His plans and purpose clear. We are created in His image (Gen 1v27) and commissioned to fulfil His mission and make Him known. Jesus reminded his friends that this is God’s plan that we are to bear or reflect God’s image to a broken and hurting world (Mt 5v16, Mt 28v19-20).

However, it would seem, sadly, that this story in Genesis 11, of people choosing confusion (for that’s what Babel means) over God’s purpose for them to bear His image, is reflective of many people’s lives today.

We may feel we have moved from confusion to salvation, but is it possible that we too often still experience confusion and uncertainty in life because we, as followers of Jesus Christ, have failed to embrace the purpose and commission that comes with our salvation?

Do our lives betray the reality that we are too often more interested in settling, building our own lives and ‘making a name for ourselves’ than allowing God to build and bring glory to His name?

Back in Genesis, God called people to be on the move. We too are called to not settle, but to bear His image. To make known His love, His mercy, His justice and His compassion. We reflect and bring glory to God when we care for the marginalised, the poor, the homeless, the unloved, the lonely and the confused. In this way His Kingdom comes, and His will is done.

At OM, we have seen people from all walks of life from all over the world make the journey from confusion to commission. In Botswana, we met Wawa, a young believer who worked as an assistant teacher in a primary school. He loved God, but he was unsure about his purpose in God’s plan.

Wawa said: “I knew nothing about sharing God’s love with others, but once I got involved in OM, I heard more and more about the least reached and the great need of God’s love around the world. There are countless opportunities to share what you believe, to get involved in different kinds of ministries, to learn, to grow, and to be challenged.”

As followers of Jesus, do we need to re-embrace our calling and purpose and encourage others to do the same? Is there a need for repentance and the fresh, daily filling of the Holy Spirit so that we are empowered to witness (Acts 1v8), make disciples and reflect God’s image to a broken and hurting world?

Let’s refuse to settle in a place of confusion, and embrace the high calling, purpose and Great Commission to which we are called.

Republished from Christian Today UK.





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