Living on Mission – Character and Fierce Pursuit
Our character has a deep impact on our fierce pursuit of God and others. Christlike character is winsome and attractive, while un-Christlike character can be off-putting and offensive to others. The lack of good character sometimes causes us to run away or hide from God instead of running toward Him. The lack of character also distances us from others when we are made to pursue them.
As we focus on increasing the following character traits this week, let’s look for ways these could be of use as we fiercely pursue Him and others:
Buoyancy is that irresistible quality that puts a smile on the face of perseverance and allows you to follow the move (wave) of the Holy Spirit in all its forms. Our non-Christian friends are drawn to us because of it; and without it, evangelism becomes perfunctory, tedious and often abandoned. It proves we are “for” them and that we are not simply enduring them. (John 14:12-14)
Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do and then doing it. We gain wisdom through our experiences with evangelism, and we are wise to apply patience to this process. (Matthew 4:18-19)
We know that patience is the ability to endure. In evangelism it involves enduring through the process of persuading our unbelieving friends to follow Jesus as King with their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. (John 3:8)
Let’s add these to character traits from previous weeks:
Intentionally building character means that we resolve to develop Christlike character: that is, we actively engage in putting certain character traits into our lives. In evangelism, being intentional means developing relationships with non-Christians. (Matthew 16:18)
Being gracious stems from having our lives and relationships with others marked by God’s grace – His steadfast, unconditional love. In evangelism, this means that our thoughts, emotions and behavior toward non-Christians are marked by graciousness as we seek to bring them to Jesus and commit to serve Him as King. (John 1:14, 16-17)
To be focused on something simply means that we concentrate on it. Evangelism depends on focus, and the task of evangelism becomes much easier when we develop a credo (guiding belief) based on our unique personality, natural talents and spiritual gifts. (John 4:31-34)
Pure in Heart
To be pure in heart means to live with a single-minded purpose of living for the praise of God rather than for the praise of fellow human beings. In evangelism, God uses the pure of heart to clean out wounds resulting from sin, to help others see God at work. (Matthew 5:8)
Let’s practice Living on Mission and consider how these Christlike character traits might impact our witness and our Missional activities as we fiercely pursue others, and how closely we must abide and fiercely pursue God in order for them to grow.