Have you ever noticed something out of focus? Perhaps, before the proliferation of cell phones, you used a 35-millimeter camera and had to turn the lens to bring an object into focus. Sometimes we need glasses to help us refocus—if you are nearsighted, for example, or farsighted. And most of us, as we get older, need glasses to help bring what we’re reading back into focus!
Sometimes mission is like that too. It’s easy to get distracted with this and that, while losing sight of what is most important—reaching people for Christ within the unique end-time framework of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14.
A Strong Sense of Mission
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born with a strong sense of mission—to tell the world Jesus is coming soon! And while we have grown tremendously throughout the world since those early years, there are still millions upon millions of people who have not yet heard the marvelous news we have to share. Perhaps now is the time, more than ever, for a mission refocus.
When we consider mission refocus, the Bible character of Joseph comes to mind. Thinking about his life and mission that developed as he went along, we can understand why it was important for Joseph to refocus at certain times in his life.
A Shining Example
Growing up as a favored son, Joseph thought he knew what his mission would be. But then he received some strange dreams that caused his brothers to take offense and that even his father questioned. And yet Joseph held them, along with the spiritual lessons his father had taught him, in his heart.
After the trauma of being thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph was thrust into a frightening new reality. Rather than focusing on his trauma, however, Joseph refocused on his mission and determined to “serve the Lord with undivided heart; he would meet the trials of his lot with fortitude and perform every duty with fidelity.”1
When thrown into the dungeon because of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph, rather than focusing on his sorrows, chose to refocus on God’s mission and was faithful, even in prison. “Joseph’s real character shines out, even in the darkest of the dungeon. He held fast his faith and patience; his years of faithful service had been most cruelly repaid, yet this did not render him morose or distrustful. He had the peace that comes from conscious innocence, and he trusted his case with God.”2
You know the story. Joseph was taken from prison to palace, and even there, as his mission refocused with his new reality, he remained faithful to God and true to His trust. Today God is calling you and me to refocus on His mission. No matter what our circumstances may be, God invites us to participate in reaching others for Him. All He needs is a willing heart and a determination, through His strength, to serve Him wherever He may call. “God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them.”3
1 Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1890, 1908), p. 214.
Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additional articles and commentaries are available from the president’s office on Twitter: @pastortedwilson and on Facebook: @Pastor Ted Wilson.
Photo by Matthijs van Schuppen on Unsplash