Have you ever seen Star Trek Next Generation? Once all systems are ready, and the mission is clear, then Captain Jean-Luc Picard says ‘Engage!’ This can be related to the adventure of our lives as well.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then your systems are ready. The power is on, and the Spirit is ready to work in you to accomplish the mission. If you are a true Christian, then the Spirit is in you and working. Now, all you need to do is pray for the filling of the Spirit for the task ahead (Ephesians 5:18). No begging is needed; this gift is readily available to those who are willing to receive it. The key is to surrender control of your life completely to God (Romans 12:1-2). He wants all or none of you, not just a part. Salvation only happens once, but filling of the Spirit needs to happen constantly, like putting on the armour of God, because we have a bad habit of taking back control of our lives when things are seemingly going well. Part of being filled with God’s Spirit, is ensuring that your relationship with God is right by confessing all your sins (1 John 1:9). You do not need to re-confess past sins, but allow God’s forgiveness to help you move forward into true repentance, which is turning from those sins completely. When you are fully surrendered, have confessed all sins, and are ready to rely on the Spirit to move and empower you, then you can truly say ‘All systems ready!’
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave all believers their mission while here on planet earth. You are to make your first priority making disciples of those in your sphere of influence, where God has placed you. This business of making disciples involves relationship building with two types of people: (1) Not-yet-Christians who need you to introduce them to the one true God, and (2) Christians who need you to teach them how to live for the one true God. The first is called evangelism, which is to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are a genuine Christian, then you know enough to lead someone to Christ. Should you lack confidence, ask a more mature Christian to help you learn how to explain it better. The second is often called discipleship, which is the process of helping believers connect to the ‘vine’, which is Jesus Christ, and grow in their faith so that they can bear fruit. Every Christian should have someone that is ‘discipling’ them, and someone that they are ‘discipling’ or building into. Sometimes this person is a less mature believer, and other times it is a reciprocal relationship with someone in the same place as you. You must know your mission and make this mission your top priority. We often get caught up with family and job, thinking they are vital to survival, but we must remember that our mission from God is even more important than these as it has eternal consequences. Family and job are just temporary, but souls are eternal. When you know your mission and make it top priority, then you are ‘mission set!’
At the end of the commission, Jesus reminds His followers, ‘I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ We can now move forward with confidence. All authority belongs to Christ (Matthew 28:19) and the power comes via the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), so all that is left for us to do is to follow the command to ENGAGE. Like the crew of the Enterprise, we must continually monitor all systems so that the mission can be accomplished. Fuel must be constantly flowing into the engine to power it forward. Our fuel as Christians is time spent with God in prayer and in His Word. If your Bible remains closed, or you neglect to pray ‘without ceasing’ you are depriving your spiritual engines of the fuel necessary! Even engagement with the Sunday services (even if online is uncomfortable for you) is vital to your spiritual health. The second thing you must do to properly engage, is to build the unity of the fellowship of believers that makes up the ‘crew’ or family that we call the Church. If you are moaning that we cannot meet together yet ... you can still fellowship and build that unity. Get creative: meet each other on the street, phone each other (make sure to ask meaningful questions rather than just complaining about the government), send each other texts or emails to hold each other accountable. Find out how you can pray for the others. Discover what others are learning from the scriptures and the sermons. Keep each other accountable for confession of sins, and the building of godly habits. Once you have ensured that you are remaining fueled up and unified with the other ‘officers’ then you can truly engage with the mission. That means you must actually do something: MAKE DISCIPLES! Stop being preoccupied with your ‘station’ (job) and your friends, and make sure that your focus is on doing the mission. Being a Christian is more than just showing the love of Christ in our lives as we do our jobs and interact with people. We actually need to intentionally go and engage with people regarding the gospel, making disciples for Christ. Do not let your circumstances provide excuses to hide in your house and mope.