In my last post, I reflected on the theme of God's sovereignty in the first four chapters of Daniel. This is one of the concepts I think we often know, but the implications escape us. Yet as we seek to understand scripture we must seek both meaning and application. Application in many cases may be understanding how a bedrock truth should effect the way we think about common areas of our lives as followers of Christ. For example, as I was reading these chapters, I felt that there are some powerful implications for missions found in Daniel's presentation of God's sovereignty.
The fact that God is sovereign over every nation, means that He is the rightful King of all peoples. He is the King of those who recognize Him and He is King of those who have never heard of Him. As I have heard it said, He is not merely a tribal deity. He is the one and only God of the Universe. The proper response of His subjects is humble and joyful submission to His loving and gracious rule. In fact, this is what Daniel pleaded with Nebuchadnezzar to do:
"Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity." Daniel 4:27
True missions is not a mere making of converts. Missions is calling rebellious citizens to the King's palace that they might experience and live in the fullness of life and joy found in Him.
This same idea hit me this summer as I attended the World Changers project in Savannah. I was praying with Carrie and the summer staff one night when Keyla, who is from Puerto Rico, began to pray in Spanish. As she was praying, God showed me a blindness I didn't realize I had. I knew He was God over the earth. At that time, He reminded me that when I go on mission, I am not introducing them to a foreign King, I am telling them of their God. He already is God of the nations whether they know Him or serve Him. My role is to be an ambassador of the King and call them to recognize Him.
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20