Monday, December 15, 2008

Finding Our Place in the Mission

The Lord Jesus gave us a command at the end of the Gospel of Mark It was "go!"

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go you into the entire world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

There are many ways to go. Mostly it's about using our particular God given talent or God given position to extend the Kingdom of God. Some are called to go where the rubber meets the road and proclaim the Kingdom, others are called to send and support via Finance or prayer or administration.

In my research for my forth coming book on Francis Xavier, "Man on a Mission" it is apparent there was a great team involved. Francis was called to go to the ends of the known world. Ignatius Loyola worked in Europe to influence and inspire others for mission and Peter Fevre was involved in training and getting others ready to fill gaps created by the growing Church in the East. And King Juan 3 of Portugal was called to help finance and send.

Many spend their whole life feeling guilty that they haven't gone to the ends of the earth in response to the call, when in actual fact; they are not called to go in the Physical, but rather they are called to use their God given talents to support the Francis Xavier's of this age.

Perhaps today is a good time to reflect on what your call is. Wait on the Lord to get your orders for the move of God that is beginning to form in the earth right now.

Are you one who will go, blazing trails for the Lord?
Are you one who will uphold and pray battling in the Spirit?
Are you one who will teach the new converts?
Are you one who will work to financially support the mission?
Are you one who holds the home base together?
Are you one who inspires others to become involved in the "Go"?
Are you one who will shepherd and care for the mission?
Or any number of other things unique to the mission.

When we are working in the part of the Kingdom that we are called to work in, we feel totally fulfilled and when you feel totally fulfilled you bear much more fruit. Thus the command of Jesus to go is obeyed.

For me personally, I always feel like a million dollars when I am going, trailblazing for the Lord, and inspiring others to go also. My wife loves to go as well, and as she goes she battles in the Spirit and opens new portals in prayer. Right now we are positioning ourselves to fulfil our part in a move of God, both in New Zealand and in the Nations as God leads.

What about you?

There is a move of God coming, its time to seek the master for orders. You don't have to feel frustrated any longer. Because you don't have to do every thing, you don't have to live up to people's expectations, you just have to do what the Lord asks you to do. And live like a Son. Remember Jesus only did what he heard from the Father. He doesn't expect anything more from you. When you minister in your own strength it's about you working hard to achieve something of note. When you minister in the Glory realm it's about resting in Him and making Jesus famous.

Romans 8:14-15 for all who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. For you have not received a spirit of slavery that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

Ordinary men ~ Extra-ordinary God

Apart from seeing the name on a few Schools or Church buildings, I never really knew who Francis Xavier was. It wasn't until I went to Goa in India in 2004 & again in 2005 that I was confronted with this spiritual giant, who raised the dead, healed the sick saw signs & wonders in every situation and nation he found himself in.Francis Xavier is an inspiration to all who aspire to reach the lost.

The secret to his supernatural ministry was an abandoned heart to the purpose of God. In most of his ministry he emulated his master in that he spent hours in prayer before the Father, and only moved or acted when he had instructions to do so.

Francis was saved at the age of 18 or 19 and from that time was abandoned to Jesus, but the ministry years, a 10 year window between 1541 & 1552. Were, very intense.He was often seen lost in the presence of the Lord , and taken into heavenly visitations, one such visitation happened while he was preaching in Malacca around 1549. He was caught up in a trance like vision and remained so for over 30 minutes while the people in the Church dared not move because the presence of God was so strong. He eventually came out and proclaimed victory and success for the Portuguese fleet which most thought had perished because they were many weeks overdue. Francis said not only have they survived but tonight they will return in victory. That evening the fleet came into sight. The crew shared how Francis had turned up on board and urged them on to victory. It was either Transportation or an Angelic look alike, either way Francis had seen the whole thing in the vision that opened up before him. (Life & Letters of Francis Xavier by HJ Coleridge 1874)

He was known as a man who raised the dead, there are at least 14 recorded instances of this miracle taking place in his ministry, some say there were many more. Raised a man buried and putrefying Francis Xavier was preaching one day at Coulon, a village in Travancore near Cape Comorin, perceiving that few were converted by his discourse; he made a short prayer that God would honour the blood and name of his beloved Son by softening the hearts of the most obdurate. Then he bade some of the people open the grave of a man who was buried the day before, near the place where he preached; and the body was beginning to putrefy with a noisome scent, which he desired the bystanders to observe. Then falling on his knees, after a short prayer, he commanded the dead man in the name of the living God to arise. At these words the dead man arose and appeared not only living but vigorous and in perfect health. Annals of Portuguese Asia by Faria Y Sousa. (1655) (Spelling as recorded in translation)

The mission of Francis Xavier was effective in reaching the un-reached because it came with demonstrations of Gods Glory. Francis would be the first to say that the supernatural gifts he moved in were not from him, but from the Master whom he loved and abandoned his life to. The supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the foundation stones upon which the church was established and upon which it stands. The miracles in Francis Xavier's life came out of relationship with Jesus and abandoned obedience to the purpose of God. When I questioned the Lord recently Ï said, "Lord you seemed to do anything Francis asked you to do" the Lord replied, "because Francis did anything I asked him to do."

Francis took Jesus at his word, which was, if he should go away it would be better than ever for his people, for God would walk with them more than in all the ages past. His promise was;

"It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I do not go away the comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him to you." John16:7

"He that believes in me the works that I do shall he do also". John 14:12.

Our Lord Jesus has gone to the Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit has come to take his place; to carry on his uncompleted task, to work in the midst of His church in signs and wonders and gift of the Holy Spirit The trances, visions, revelations, Miracles and supernatural manifestations seen in the Life of Francis Xavier are meant to be the normal experiences of every believer in the supernaturally founded, supernaturally filled, and supernaturally directed church of Jesus Christ.In the letters of Francis Xavier preserved in India & Portugal we have evidence of his own deep conviction that he saw himself of little worth. By nature highly strung and sanguine, he suffered from strong reactions; a man of broad horizons and boundless ambitions, he seemed forever tempted to depression and despair, and was often tempted to surrender every task he undertook. The real greatness of the man must surely lie in this, that he did what he did in spite of every discouragement, from without and from within. If Jesus gave him an instruction he carried it out with passion and zeal despite his circumstances. This zeal and passion led him in an ecstasy of love for his Jesus. It seems at times his heart would burst with the joy of knowing him. As he filled his soul again and again in these times of set apartness, the stage was set for the next season of miracles, preaching to the lost and serving the poor and sick wherever he found himself.

Francis Xavier was an ordinary human being, in a love relationship with an extraordinary God. His life serves as a reminder to us that if we ask Jesus to show us his will for our lives, and then only do what we hear the Holy Spirit tell us to do, We, as ordinary human vessels can turn our world upside down. Don't let the times of discouragement rob you of the whole purpose of God. But set yourselves apart to hear what the Father is saying and do it.

Ian Johnson

A word of encouragement from the life of Francis Xavier 1506-1552, excerpts from my forthcoming book "Man on A mission"His Amazing Glory Ministries PO Box 76-540 Manukau City New Zealand.

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