The Siaya Mission: Salvation belongs to our God
Jesus, when leaving the earth, told his disciples to go make disciples of all nations…(Mathew 28:19-20) But why would he do so? I mean, why tell us to do something that he can single-handedly do?
While we seek to answer this question, I’ll share my experience in our Christian Union’s annual mission in Siaya. You’d probably agree with me that traveling is fun. It’s one of the things that I’d do any time. In fact I’m too flexible in traveling, that sometimes it’s a struggle because I can forego other important things just to go to some new fascinating place in the company of awesome people. The trip to Siaya was one of those.
I’ll admit, the over-riding interest of going to Siaya was probably because it’s a long journey to a place I haven’t been, and not really for the reason of sharing the Gospel. I possibly couldn’t get more selfish!
We went the whole way. Upon arrival I realized just how much I needed to adjust. It dawned so heavily on me, how the task at hand was weighty. I refocused. This gave me an understanding or rather a perception of the great commission I didn’t have before. Forget about the sermons and trainings on missions I have sat down to listen to. This was probably what I needed.
Salvation belongs to God. I cannot overemphasize this. It does belong to him! It’s easy to think or assume that you have a share in the role of reconciling the world back to God especially because you go and talk to people about Jesus. But then I realized just how my understanding of the mystery of salvation was poor, that I couldn’t even be in the capacity convince anyone of their need for salvation. Not only so, changing the heart of a man is only divinely possible. It can only be the work of God and him alone. The few of us who went for the mission were only vessels. God is not limited, he’s is able to save the very same people he saved without necessarily using us.
This was enough reason to humble me. All along I’d meditate on the hymn ‘I know whom I’ve believed’. This verse was very profound:
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
Perhaps prayer is the thing that is done most by people in the mission field. Indeed, prayer is important.The Lord is Sovereign. We do not pray to bribe God or twist his arm into doing what we desire. My reason for prayer was because I needed God more than anything else. I needed to walk within His plan and will. It would be mundane to go share about God’s love while my heart is far from Him. I needed to commune with him. I am in need of salvation just like the souls that are not yet born again. For I am prone to wander. So praying was a way of showing my dependence on God, and not necessarily to decree and declare things. Because the Lord is sovereign, he knows what I’ll say even before I open my mouth to pray and his will prevails in all circumstances.
It is possible to be disqualified from the race even after doing all the preaching and mission work. And so I took time to intercede for my own soul as well. So that after I have preached to others, and gone for all the mission work there is to do, I’ll not be disqualified from the race.
As I thought through the question of why God would invite us to go make disciples of all nations, I could only come up with one conclusion: It is a privilege. How else would you answer it? He has chosen to overlook our sinfulness, our weaknesses and our blurred understanding of salvation, and invited us to be coworkers with him. This thought blew my mind off! Imagine he even overlooked the fact that my interest for going to Siaya had been in the journey and not really the work at hand at the beginning… And so I chose to only depend on him even as we carried on with the mission, and to do all for his glory.
In Revelation John saw a multitude of people from every nation, tribe and people…(Revelation 7:9-10) Seeing people come to Christ constantly reminded me of this verse. Indeed, we shall gather in His presence as people from every tribe, nation and tongue on that day, proclaiming that salvation belongs to God!