From my 2013 Journal.
I sat ho-humming through yet another yearly “revival” sermon on The Great Commission (Go/going, baptize, make disciples) ending with the usual admonishment that every believer was required to “go and do thou likewise,” when I stopped to take notice of the text. Were this Baptist preacher’s carefully crafted words meant to be taken literally? Though he’d be delighted if I witnessed to my neighbor, I’m sure his face would turn ashen if I, as a woman, volunteered to baptize a convert!
And how would he handle I Corinthians 1:17 where the Apostle Paul says, “God did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel”? Would this preacher berate Paul for not following orders? Or the Apostles who declared, God has called us to preach, not to wait on tables? Can you tell I was feeling triggered!
God has called me to something specific, and if I focus on that, I will fulfill His great commission for my life. Why do I keep questioning this? Because of the voices from outside. As I sat quietly listening to God’s voice, I sensed Him saying, “Read the rest of the passage.”
. . . as the Lord has assigned to each his task. (I Cor.3:5-9)
I have an assigned task. I can quit worrying about whether I should be doing other tasks. Just do the one God assigned me to!
Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. (I Cor. 7:17)
This verse refers to our position at the time of conversion: whether slave/free, circumcised/uncircumcised. But the wording implies that God is the One Who places us in our position. I want to be faithful and content in the place God has assigned me and, call me a heretic, but I don’t think that includes a literal fulfilment of the three parts of The Great Commission.
I am always so amazed at how many similar things you and I have thought about and asking if we are doing God’s will. I have struggled with this for a long time, til finally I felt God’s leading me just to do as he instructs me to do at the time and He will take care of the rest.
Thank you! I needed to read this and take it to heart.
I posted this with a little trepidation since it flies in the face of all I’d been taught. And I did not mean to imply in any way that we are not to BE witnesses–i.e. live our lives in such a way that others see Christ in us, and open our mouths when He directs to share what God has done for us.
People would beat me today for using my folks’ methods. Sad how their “recipe card” for life turns so many away now. I like your intuition from 2013! (In my case, those with people skills, who can witness at work, need me for the scripture references. God has given different gifts to each of us, yet only some of them get promoted.)