A powerful missional life just doesn't happen by chance. It comes about because Christians make choices that lead them into that kind of lifestyle. These choices are not always easy to make and if the truth be told they are often extremely difficult.
As we look at Moses we can see 3 choices that he had to make that allow him to powerfully join God on His mission. These same 3 choices still face Christians today! To make the choice the way God would have you will lead to greater effectiveness in shining the Light of Christ but to make the choice contrary to God will cause you to become impotent and ineffective in missional living.
To choice God's way is not easy and will require you to have faith in God. The outcome of your choices may not always be clear but your conviction to follow Christ is not only clear but firm and your trust that God will work all things out for good is steady. Without faith you cannot please God - you cannot make the choices the way God would have you to make.
The Bible verse to help us navigate in understanding these choice is found in Hebrews 11:24-26.
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (NIV)
Let us take a look at the 3 choices:
Choice #1: Choose To Identify With God & Not The People Of The World
"By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter" (Vs. 24 NIV)
We all know the story of Moses of how Pharaoh, out of fear of having the Hebrew slaves grow so large in numbers that they might overthrow him, ordered that all the male children under a certain age be killed. We remember how Moses' mother hid Moses until he was to big to hide any longer but then out of faith put baby Moses in a basket and floated him downstream. We've heard about how Pharaoh's daughter found the basket and fell in love with baby Moses and decided to raise him herself thereby making him a Prince of Egypt. And in the palace of Pharaoh Moses was raised in the wealthiest country in the world. He had pleasure, prestige, power and property. He was living in the lap of luxury.
That was until he was all grown up and decided to no longer live in the lap of luxury while his people were living as slaves. He wanted to help his people. He wanted to find a way to ease their suffering. MOSES GAVE UP THAT IDENTITY OF BEING A PRINCE OF EGYPT TO BE KNOWN AS A HEBREW SLAVE.
As we intentionally set out to live a life on mission with Christ we too will be asked by God to exercise our faith to abandon our identity with the world and instead, be known as a Child of God. We will be asked by God to stop considering ourselves as a member of this world but instead to consider ourselves as ambassador for the Kingdom of God.
When we make this choice most of the people in the world will not understand why we would do that. Many people will ridicule us - make fun of us - and even malign our character for choosing it. They will consider us foolish and even traitors.
But we also need to keep in mind that how we view our identity will have a powerful effect on how we go about God's mission and how effective we will be in accomplishing His will.
Choice #2: Choose To Embrace Suffering Rather Than Pleasure
"He chose to be mistreated along with people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." (v.25 NIV)
Did you see that? Moses chose to be mistreated! That's amazing! Instead, of living in the lap of luxury with everything your heart could ever want. Moses gave it all up just to follow God and be obedient to him. That requires a growing faith to make that kind of Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
.And it's not just about giving up the pleasures of the world (Egypt) but more importantly to give them up in favor to being mistreated by others who don't believe in God. Moses could have enjoyed all the sinful pleasures that a wealthy life as a Prince of Egypt could offer. But he chose not to. Why? Partly because Moses realized that sin, though pleasurable, is only temporary but in like fashion he also realized that that the mistreatment he would experience was also only temporary.
In missional living we will experience the mistreatment from the people of this world. By choosing Christ and obedience to His mission we become an enemy to the world and the rulers of this world. We could experience all the pleasures of the sinful lifestyle this world has to offer. We could easily drown ourselves in debauchery and party until to our hearts content. But we are willing to give it up! Why? Because we know that with Christ's return comes the end of all of the pleasure of sin.
But it's going to require faith for you to make that choice! We can see sin and the pleasures that people get from their participation in it but we don't see Christ and all that he has offer yet. We have to believe and trust that Christ will be true to his word. THAT'S FAITH.
Choice #3: Choose The World's Disgrace Over Getting Their Approval.
"He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking ahead to his reward." (v. 26)
This is a choice of what's of most value to you! Moses felt that being disgraced and dishonored by those of the world was of more value than all the riches in Egypt. All the hate, all the name calling, all the beatings and even death was of worth more than all the treasures the world could gather together.
Jesus express the same sentiments on the Sermon On The Mount in what we call the Beatitudes. Read what he says:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11,12 (NIV)
According to Jesus we are "BLESSED" when we are insulted, persecuted and lied about all because Jesus. We are to rejoice when these things happen because our reward in Heaven because of it.
I'm not sure what you think but Jesus believed that our reward in Heaven is going to be far more valuable than all of the treasures of earth.
You know, when suffer for Christ we are in really company. Moses suffered, all of the prophets of the Old Testament suffered and even Jesus' own disciples died because of their choice to follow Christ. and not submit to the opinions and attitudes of the world.
3 Choices! Making these 3 choices will greatly enhance your missional living. It will help shine the Light of Christ brighter than you ever thought possible.
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