I don't know if you have, but I've been enjoying the attention given to the USA Women's Soccer Team during this year's World Cup tournament. Since 1991, there have been 7 World Cups, and the USA Women have won 3 of them (and are favored to win again). They have never finished worse than 3rd, and have never been ranked worse than 2nd by FIFA (For perspective, the USA Men are ranked 30th in the world, and didn't even qualify to compete in the last World Cup). The USA women dominate the sport. In their opening match against Thailand, they won with a score that you might mistake for an American Football score, 13-0. Unreal.
There is a player on the team named Sara. Sara claims to love soccer, says she has dedicated her life to soccer, identifies as a USA soccer player, but does not (and will not) play in the second half of any game. She also rarely comes to practice or team meetings, and when she does show up, she seems eager to leave. Whenever the players are given assignments to "take home" - whether it is to study tape, practice specific skills, or be an ambassador of women's soccer in the community - she doesn't bother. Do you know Sara? Have you heard of her?
Of course you haven't. She does not exist. No one like that would ever be on the roster. You can't just claim love and dedication and expect to be put on the team to play. The women dominate because they are soccer players not just some of the time, but all of the time.
This is not a perfect analogy, but bear with me. Are you a Christian some of the time, or all of the time? Do you claim love for God, dedication to Jesus, and identify as a Christian, but only apply that love, dedication, and identity to parts of your life, part of the time?
In our summer teaching series, "Mandatory Moves," we are looking at ground that every Christian must eventually take if they want to be on mission with Jesus.
Jesus once said, "Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?" (Luke 14:31-32) He was talking about the quality of his disciples here, specifically asking them to examine the excellence of their commitment to him, because the advancement of the Kingdom is massively opposed. Jesus needs us to allow the Kingdom to steadily advance in us if he is going to advance the Kingdom on earth through us.
Whatever your profession in life, you are in full-time ministry. If we are going to move beyond us, beyond here, this is a mandatory move.