I love the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. This is what I just read this morning.
“I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:3-8, NLT)
What grabbed my attention this morning wasn’t the mercy Joseph showed his brothers. (Though Joseph showed a lot of grace when any normal brother would have made his brothers face the consequences.) It wasn’t Joseph’s remarkable capacity to lead through strategy and systems to prepare for a great famine. (Though that certainly resonates with me because of my wiring.)
What grabbed my attention this morning was Joseph’s clear understanding of his mission. Joseph recognized his mission came directly from God.
Joseph understood that he didn’t need the pastor’s permission and an announcement in the bulletin to fulfill the mission. It was God’s mission, so he wasn’t waiting for the church and a bunch of paid ministers to carry it out. Joseph wasn’t trying to become Pharaoh. In other words, he recognized that he didn’t need to be at the top of the organizational chart to fulfill the mission. There were many challenging situations along the way, but he realized that life’s circumstances many times run contrary to God’s mission.
God has sent me on a mission too. I really do believe God has sent me to honor him with a healthy, vibrant marriage. God has sent me to raise and release four distinctly unique children into the wild. God has sent me to help churches (and leaders) get unstuck and have a bigger impact. God has sent me to be the church for people who are far from God and frankly don’t want anything to do with churchy people.
What has God sent you to do? Are you on a mission from God?