~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Peter DeWitt. You can hear the whole sermon, Commissioned! (part 2), by clicking here.
Bobby Conner has said there is a roar of revolution – a revolution of unction for function! This coming move will be about action. It was never the plan of God to establish the kingdom of God with mere words but with Christ-centered works. Not just mere doctrine but God inspired deeds. There can be no revolution with content people. So God has been busy fanning the flame of discontentment within the hearts of His people so we will not settle for less than He has for us. So what you feel brooding within your spirit is a Divine dissatisfaction. The seed bed for true revolution is dissatisfied people, reaching a place of radical reaction, responding to the lack of action. It’s high time to awake and arise! In other words, it’s time for measurably more!
We don’t want to be out-of-commission Christians. The Great Commission is the Christian job description. All Christians have the same job description. You cannot get transferred to a different department in the Kingdom of God. We do not want to compromise the Great Commission, but we also do not want to get into condemnation about the Great Commission. When we read the Word and see that we don’t yet line up with it, we can get into condemnation. Condemnation can actually be a cop-out – an excuse in which we claim to be victimized by the person or the Word of God that told us the truth – all so that we don’t need to stay in the tension of potentially needing to change. But, as we embrace the tension that exists between the Word and where we are at, the Word will start to do the work!
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh.” You are the temple of God as a born-again believer!“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Jesus removed all your transgressions from you. He can’t see you with your sins because they are not with you! Old things have passed away! All things have become new! “Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” When we got born-again, the Holy Spirit took up residence on the inside of us. This was a major change; we have received a new nature! We need to understand our new nature and what the desires of our new nature is!
Imagine that a “VIP friend” of yours is coming to stay with you and your spouse for the weekend. Initially the weekend was great but by Sunday, it was almost like they were happy to leave. After they left you thought to yourself “what happened?” Later, you find out your friend only really had two things they wanted to do. One was to see you, and two was go see as many of the museums in town as they could. Here you had invited them into your house and had really not taken them out of the house the entire weekend! So, dinner out on Friday night was great because there was no expectation that you were going to take them out on the first night when they had just arrived. But, by mid-day Saturday, they had started to be a little frustrated because they knew they wanted to see a number of museums. By Sunday they were ready to go home because they just were not getting to do what they came there for.
So it is with the Holy Spirit if we do not know His prerogatives! If you don’t know the prerogatives of the Holy Spirit – His desires in being the VIP guest of your heart – you will struggle to catch traction in your walk with Him. There will be tension in the house.
In Genesis 1:2 we see “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Why was the Holy Spirit having to wait – having to hover? The Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters waiting for the word of God! The Holy Spirit can only respond to the Word of God! Then in verse 3 we see “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” As soon as the Holy Spirit heard the Father speak He was at full attention and ready to do whatever God said! And we see that as soon as God spoke “let there be light” there was light! When the Holy Spirit hears the Word of God, the Holy Spirit acts!
The Holy Spirit is hovering and waiting for the Word of God to be released in this earth! Initially, the Holy Spirit was partnering with the Word of God to make the earth. Then, Holy Spirit was partnering with the Word of God to bring Jesus to the earth! Now, He wants to bring the earth to Jesus! THIS is the pulse beat of the Holy Spirit. As the guest of your heart, this is what He wants to do! When Holy Spirit comes into your heart, He wants to bring the world to Jesus!
Consider, for instance, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. The first thing that happens after the Holy Spirit has His way with 120 believers is that thousands are saved! Why? Because the Holy Spirit came and He has one agenda! The Holy Spirit only responds to the Word of God (Jesus), and He was listening when Jesus gave the Great Commission!
We have to understand we have a new nature with new desires. The old things that used to motivate you are gone and all things have been made new! Now all things are of who? God! So, since all things are of God, we have to know what God wants to do! He wants to bring the earth to know Jesus! When we talk about the Great Commission, we are not talking about something that you’re not. There is nothing more core to your new nature as a born-again believer than this pulse beat, this heartbeat of God. In John 14:2-3 we see hear Jesus, the Bridegroom, talk about the beautiful mansions He is preparing for His Bride -the church! So, Jesus went to prepare a place for us, but then sent the Holy Spirit to us to prepare the Bride for Him! The Great Commission is a bride- preparation mission. The Holy Spirit has been sent to prepare the Bride of Christ!
Imagine if you had a young teenager whose body was starting to change, and you told them nothing about puberty. They would almost be surprised at some of the new feelings and some of the new drives that they had in them. Some of you are about to go through a “spiritual puberty.” When you go through a physical puberty, you find a drive that you didn’t have before. Some of you are about to have a spiritual, Great Commission drive that you’ve never had before. This message is to alert you ahead of time to not be confused by it. You need to know what the Holy Spirit’s prerogative is. This is who you are now. There is no believer that deep down does not have the pulsating heart of God that is burning with passionate purpose to do the Great Commission! That’s at the core of the Holy Spirit and that’s who you have on the inside of you!
You may be thinking “I’ve had the Holy Spirit on the inside of me for about 30 years, and I just don’t have those sorts of desires.” If so, God is speaking to you today! In Ezekiel 37, God told him to prophecy to dry bones. God will never prophecy that you are dry bones; He’ll prophecy life into them! “Son of man, can these bones live?” Those bones became a might army! You are about to come alive to the Great Commission! If you feel dry in your bones about the Great Commission, I believe you are going to be surprised in this season as the Lord works a sudden work in you. You might just wake up one morning with a strong desire for the Great Commission! This is just as a parent may be surprised that their 12 year old son all of sudden realizes that he likes girls! The desire for the Great Commission is so natural for your born again spirit that it is going to get to the point where you think “how could I not want to do this?”
In Matthew 10:5-8, Jesus sends out the 12 and tells them to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. The apostles were successful in their mission, so how did the apostles manage to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons? They did those 4 things by the power of God of course! Now, they were actually commanded to do one other thing too: “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” So by whose power do they preach about the kingdom being at hand? God’s!
If I asked you, without those other 4 miraculous acts, “how do you go about preaching the gospel” I don’t know that many of us would immediately say “the power of God works through you!” Proclaiming the gospel takes faith! If we put any of the pressure for being able preach the gospel on ourselves then apparently we don’t think it’s by faith. The Great Commission is not a will-powered mission. It is a faith-powered mission! We think “all I have to do is share the gospel … even a politician could do that.” NO! We are so wrong to think that we in and of ourselves could ever cause the new birth! The Holy Spirit does it!
You can run, skip, jump, sing, speak, sleep, work, think, and even brush your teeth – by your will. But you cannot carry out the rebirth, baptize people in the Holy Spirit, disciple nations, heal the sick, cast out demons by our own will power! It’s the Power of God – the Holy Spirit – that carries out all of those things!
Like I mentioned earlier, if we need faith to carry out the great commission then we need to be clear about how to get faith! The first thing we need to know is that actually, as believers, we have already all been given the FULL measure of faith. That said, we are not all walking in the full measure of faith yet. Allowing all of the faith that is within us to be released requires knowing His Word. Romans 10:17 says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
We want to approach the Great Commission God’s way – not just “the logical way.” “In the beginning was the Word.” If you want to start anything in your life, start with the Word! That’s what God did after all! John 1 also says that “all things were made through the Word” and “nothing that was made was made apart from the Word.” So how does God make things? By His Word! So if we want to operate like God, how do we make things? By His Word!
In John 6:28-29, the people were asking Jesus “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” The Great Commission is the work of God, correct? So what shall we now (as believers) do so that we may do the works of God – that we may do the Great Commission? Look at Jesus’ response “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him (THE WORD) whom He sent.” The work of God is to believe in the Word whom He has sent!
How do we do the works of the Commission? Jesus said “don’t be confused! Don’t do it man’s way! THIS is the work of God – that you believe in His Word!” It’s a faith-powered mission! Faith comes through the Word and God begins everything through the Word! The work of God is to believe the Word! That’s the work! So, your homework is to do the work of God – to believe His Word! Memorization sows the Word into your heart. Meditation causes it to grow, and action causes it to explode! As you memorize and mediate on the Great Commission you will be amazed at the desire that starts to birth in your heart!