As the video hints, this is probably not a one-time answer. Your role in God’s mission will likely develop and change over time, depending on many factors. Naomi imagined a role for herself as an artist, painting portraits of trafficked women—a role she believed depended on acceptance to a certain art school. God honored her desire to contribute to the lives of victims of sex trafficking, but not in the way she initially envisioned. Your role in God’s mission may be shaped by your gifts, your desires, exposure, proximity, and time.
Some people believe that God couldn’t possibly use them in something they enjoy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Author Frederick Buechner famously said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your great love, and the world’s great hunger, meet.” Buechner did not become a Christian until well into adulthood, and he was not always a writer. He spent time as a soldier, a seminarian, a prep school teacher, school chaplain, and campus minister, and at times his writing career seemed to flounder. But he found great joy in words, and that, combined with his love of God, shaped his life.
Sometimes proximity influences our role. Being a part of God’s mission might include growing a neighborhood garden, caring for an aging parent, or nurturing small children. It’s always a good idea to ask God, “How can I serve you here?” knowing that our “here” can change with time. It’s even possible to be “on mission” with God in areas that are outside our natural gifting. Moses tried to convince God that he was not the man for the job of leading God’s people out of slavery in Egypt because he wasn’t very eloquent. God didn’t seem to mind at all, and judged Moses to be exactly the man for the job!
But the most important factor in knowing our role in God’s mission is simply to know God himself. As we focus our minds and hearts on knowing him, we can be sure that he will reveal to us our role in advancing his kingdom.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your great love and the world’s great hunger meet.” ~Frederick Buechner
“When we, as followers of Jesus, are available to the Holy Spirit and on mission with God, we can expect to be used in ways beyond our imaginations.” ~Jerry Wiles, President Emeritus, Living Water International