Laboring in the Consciousness of
God's Sovereignty in Missions
Introduction to the Series
By Rev. Thomas Miersma,
The truth of God's sovereignty is a vital and rich one in the scriptures. What is sometimes overlooked is that it is extensively taught in the Word of God in the context of mission work. Jesus' own utterances concerning His Father's will and His own labor were spoken on the mission field as He gathered His lost sheep.
Jesus also speaks of what He will do as Lord of lords from heaven by His Word and Spirit in the gathering and salvation of the church through the preaching of the gospel. He builds the church and no one else. Men are but earthen vessels, instruments to serve the Lord according to His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Himself is very conscious of the Sovereign will of His Father in all His labors.
The Apostles also labored very clearly in the consciousness of God's sovereignty in Christ over all their labors. It is striking how often they speak of it and the Word of God points it out in the context of mission work and evangelism.
This is noteworthy in the age in which we live. The Scriptures are concerned to show us the ways of God. They are concerned to show us how the Lord works in the gathering and salvation of His people. One may say in fact that this is the focus of the Scriptures when it comes to missions. It is not what man does, but what God does and is doing that is important.
We live in an age in which mission work, evangelism, and outreach are discussed as if they were primarily a work of man. Man's activity becomes the focus: "What we do." The result of this man-centered approach to missions and evangelism is that much that is contrary to the Word of God is introduced. For when we focus on man, we are inclined to also go off in our own wisdom and after our own imagination.
God certainly uses the means of the preaching, labor, and witness of men in missions and evangelism. But He uses the means He has appointed, in the way He has ordained, and He uses it according to His sovereign good pleasure.
Genuine mission work and evangelism, therefore, by the church and its members, requires an obedient labor according to the means which God has ordained. We are also called to humbly labor in dependence upon the Lord Who alone can make that labor fruitful unto the salvation of His elect and the gathering of His church.
We are to labor, therefore, in the consciousness of God's sovereignty. The following series of articles are intended, therefore, to go to the Scriptures and listen and learn from them the ways of the Lord in missions.
God's Sovereignty and Missions
The following series of articles were first written for the Standard Bearer. We labor in Missions as God's people in obedience to the Word. God's Sovereignty is not merely a formal doctrine but a spiritual truth in which we would walk as believers. Hence the title: "Laboring in the Consciousness of God's sovereignty in Missions"
The series contained the following articles:
For Further study
See also the following pamphlet