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failure3Jesus came to his own, and his own received him not (he was sent to be rejected, God knowing he would be rejected because His people, Israel, were still blind and not ready). So to as many as received him, to them he gave the authority to become sons of God. [Jn 1:12]

Jesus often referenced this by saying, “I’m sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Later, Peter would also be sent to Israel, to feed and shepherd the converted, not win the lost ones.) MAIN TRUTH HERE: Church people say there is no failure in God, and scripture suggests that God always gives His people the victory. But my bible also shows me that just because God sent you doesn’t mean you will succeed! At least not always on the first go round. Sometimes embedded in the core of your call and commission (and hidden from you) is your penultimate rejection and failure. We can’t always judge the validity of the commission by the fruit of the mission.

Jesus didn’t get much fruit in Israel, but instead plenty of contradiction and rejection. I experienced the same thing in the baptist churches I was sent to, plenty of contradiction and rejection, and very little fruit. That doesn’t mean I was not sent, or that I messed up. It means it was a Jesus Mission, doomed to poor numbers and high frustration from the start!

And Jesus Missions are just like Jesus’ mission: short lived! There is no glory in a Jesus mission, only failure, and in the end, a cross. A shameful, painful conclusion to a launch that held such promise of great things. BUT, if you can remain faithful on your Jesus Mission and submit to the cross, glory WILL come…AFTER! On the other side of every Jesus Mission is a resurrection, and a second coming!

According to Rudyard Kipling, success and failure are both impostors we should treat the same. Don’t let an impostorĀ define you! Instead, know who you are and expose the impostors in your life for what they really are! When God sends you on a Jesus Mission (a suicide mission, a D-Day mission, a 300 mission, a charge-the-hill-knowing-you-will-be-killed mission) it’s because He 1) trusts you; 2) values the message He has put inside of you, His treasure in an earthen vessel; and 3) prioritizes process over props and spoils and results.

So, if you’re on a Jesus Mission, know that 4) your faithfulness to the message is the true mission, not spectacular results. Know that 5) if you’re faithful to the message your mission will be brief. Know that 6) your cross is not the end of your ministry, just your mission; you’ll be back! Know that 7) your resurrection won’t convince everybody, you’ll still have many doubters. And finally, know that 8) you won’t get total vindication until the Second Coming, when every eye shall see!

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