If you know me, you know people are important to me. One of the most important people in my life is my best friend, Christy. We met on my first day at university, and the rest is history. We’ve road-tripped to Canada, hiked in national parks, and done a lot of crazy, spontaneous adventures.
Christy mellows out my “Type A tendencies” and encourages me that it’s okay—good, even—to have fun. She embodies joy, allowing me to embrace and experience fun on new levels. I call her “the chaos to my calm,” and I love her dearly for it.
Something else I love about her is the way she boldly follows where Jesus leads, even when it requires tremendous sacrifice. Last year, she moved to North Africa to build a school and spread the gospel.
She lives in a country where she faces opposition for being a woman, for being tall and blonde, for being American. She lives in a country where she can’t talk openly about the gospel, and even on our weekly Skype calls, we have to talk in “code,” referring to God as “father” and the Bible as “our book.” She lives in a country where her daily life and work are an evident fulfillment of the great commission.
Many of us have heard the great commission before, and maybe we’ve even heard sermons about “going into all the world,” but reading Mark 16 through the lens of my friend’s life forever changed the way I saw it:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15–18)
I’ve heard sermons about this passage my entire life and listened to pastors encourage people to go into the world. I’ve heard sermons and thought of people like Christy who’ve left everything they know and love to tell others about Jesus, but I’ve begun to see the great commission in a different light.
It’s easy to think that since I’m not currently called to another country, I can “opt out” of the great commission. But as I take a closer look at the wording, there’s a single word that convicted me strongly.
Go into all the world. It doesn’t say “go into all the world outside of your country.” Colorado Springs is included in all the world, and although the Lord calls some of his people to live in other cultures and spread the gospel, he calls some of us to share the truth locally.
As I pondered on this, the question of “What is my all”? Came to mind.
I’m not in North Africa, but I am called to spread the gospel right here. I know that I’ve been called to different areas over time, and that those things will change again down the road, but right now, my “all” looks like leading Young Life College, like working as a Global Editor sharing the gospel with children worldwide, like aiming to live in such a way that points others to Jesus.
I want to encourage you to press into knowing the Lord more and into boldly asking him what your all looks like. 1 John 5 says that he is faithful to give us what we ask for, so I encourage you to ask him. His heart is for you to do what you were created to do, to be who he made you to be—and both of those things tie into the great commission.
The Lord was faithful to answer and show me what my all is, but I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t asked. The trajectory of my life has become more defined because I asked how my life fit into the great commission.
I don’t know what you’re called to or where the Lord will take you, but I do know this: choosing to live out the great commission is worth it because you can see the Lord work in ways you may not otherwise pay attention to.
So, dare to ask him, “What is my all?”
He’ll be faithful to show you.