Tenacious might not be a word you use everyday, but one thing is for sure, everyday you do live with a sense of tenacity for something.
Does your tenacity serve the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God?
- stubborn, persistent
- tending to keep a firm hold of something
- clinging or adhering closely
- not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action, determined
Whether it’s how your kids behave, keeping your house clean, feeding your addiction, staying in shape, building relationships, fixing things, playing video games, building your business, watching sports, being lazy or a million other possibilities, you ARE tenacious.
The question is this: Does your tenacity serve the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God?
Saul, who become the apostle Paul, was incredibly tenacious. As Saul, he devoted his life to destroying God’s people (Acts 7:54-8:3; 9:1-2). He was determined, stubborn, and persistent in this pursuit, until God stepped in (Acts 9:3-31).
The Holy Spirit took Saul’s misguided, self-serving tenacity and turned it on its head into Christ-advancing tenacity.
Here’s a few examples of how Paul’s kingdom tenacity fleshed itself out.
- He reoriented his life around the mission of God. (Acts 9:18-21)
No longer was his life about himself, but like the disciples when Jesus called them to follow him, Paul literally and immediately reoriented his entire life and mission around the Kingdom of God.
- He knew where he was called. (Acts 9:15)
So often, our mission is unsuccessful because we don’t consider where we are called and we go about our lives with more of a sense of reaction than proaction.
Reactive mission vs. Proactive mission
While, there’s definitely some overlap between reactive and proactive mission, and the Lord definitely used both, generally here’s how they differ.
Reactive mission says, “God’s in control, so I’ll wait for Him to drop an opportunity in my lap.”
Proactive mission says, “God where are you calling me?”
Reactive mission tends to sputter randomly and aimlessly, while proactive mission has the specific calling of God fueling your steps.
Reactive mission is short-lived and struggles to endure into discipling relationships. While, proactive mission, has at its heartbeat a love for people and an intentionality to go with the Gospel and make disciples. It has high relational longevity.
Reactive mission leads to short and random prayers, while proactive mission, paints a prayerful vision from God of seeing a certain people groups grafted into his family. You can pray more specifically, more focused and more strategically. You wake up with a sense of purpose, because you know exactly who you are called to reach.
Jesus said of Saul,
“He is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (9:15).
So where are you called?
- Religious people?
- Corporate America?
- Injustices with the poor? Orphans / Foster kids? Racial discrimination? Killing of unborn children? Sex Trafficking?
How will you reorient your life & schedule around the mission of God to make disciples of the people you are called to?
- How will you create intentional rhythms for your life to regularly intersect with those you are called to reach?
- Think through how you can be more proactive, rather than just randomly reactive.
The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet. (Fredrick Buckner)