While making my way through my Bible studies I came across Isaiah 42 and I think it speaks deeply into our identities as missionaries and Christians. Verses 1-9 read (ESV):

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

   my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him;

   he will bring forth justice to the nations.

2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

   or make it heard in the street;

3 a bruised reed he will not break,

   and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

   he will faithfully bring forth justice.

4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged[a]

   till he has established justice in the earth;

   and the coastlands wait for his law.

5 Thus says God, the Lord,

   who created the heavens and stretched them out,

   who spread out the earth and what comes from it,

who gives breath to the people on it

   and spirit to those who walk in it:

6 “I am the Lord; I have called you[b] in righteousness;

   I will take you by the hand and keep you;

I will give you as a covenant for the people,

   a light for the nations,

7     to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

   from the prison those who sit in darkness.

8 I am the Lord; that is my name;

   my glory I give to no other,

   nor my praise to carved idols.

9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,

   and new things I now declare;

before they spring forth

   I tell you of them.”

 This passage can help us put a frame around who we are as missionaries. In the first verse we are called servants, and that we are chosen, and that we delight God’s soul! That’s pretty exciting! We delight God… we delight His soul! So, first, take a moment to let this identity become a part of you. You are the chosen servant of God, whom He delights in.

God continues to say that He has put his Spirit upon his servant. Now, let that truth sink in. How humbling of a revelation, that we have not only be chosen to serve Him, but that we also have been given the greatest asset the world could ever know! Being possessors of the Holy Spirit speaks to the level at which God loves us, which is immensely! There is not a single moment in our lives when He doesn’t long to be by our side. And he accomplishes that very thing by blessing us with his constant presence.

The fact that God puts his Spirit on us doesn’t just speak to the strength which He loves us, but points also to the fruit of His Spirit being on us. With His Spirit upon us we are sent to “bring forth justice to the nations.” We are the promise of justice to the world. This is what our tagline in Extreme is all about, “change hearts, change the world”. A little later in the passage, God says:

6 “I am the Lord; I have called you[b] in righteousness;

   I will take you by the hand and keep you;

I will give you as a covenant for the people,

   a light for the nations,

7     to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

   from the prison those who sit in darkness.

This is the core piece of the promise. God says explicitly that he has made Jesus, and us, the covenant for the people. Really coming into recognition with this piece of our identity ought to spark a blazing fire in our bellies. God is a God of relationship, who moves in mighty ways with His Spirit when there is an active partnership between Him and His people.

A very important piece about this justice is that it is done out of a place of mercy. This justice comes softly to a bruised reed, and it doesn’t quench a low burning flame. There are people all over the world who are bruised and about to snuff out… it is our job to tend to them and light them back on fire. We give them new life with the word of God! Our call is not to run through the doors of their lives swinging our swords, rather we are the picture of a rescue mission. We carry the Spirit of the Lord to open blind eyes, free prisoners, and shine light. We carry the Spirit of the Lord to change hearts and change the world!

What the Lord declares at the end of this passage is amazing, and it’s what we get to participate in, it is a complete renewal of his creation. Our going out, healing the sick, bringing freedom to the imprisoned, and shining our light is the new work that God is doing in his creation. Our obedience to him on the mission field and our lives ushers in Heaven on Earth, an absolutely new work we have never seen before! WE GET TO BE A PART OF HEAVEN HERE TODAY!

What is there about this that is not exciting!? This is not just a project that we get to be a participant in… this is our identity. This is mixed into our very being. There is not a single cell, not a single hair, not a single nail on our hands that is not bathed in God’s glorious presence. We are justice. We are the promise to the world. We are the water for the thirsty. We are the food to the hungry. We are the healing to the broken. We are the key to the imprisoned. Let’s live in our identity, and step out in the boldness that we have in the blood of Jesus Christ to give what this world really longs for, a relationship with their Heavenly Father!

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Trevor Allen -

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