Commission, Commitment, Communion
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
Did God ever speak to your heart, or give you an assignment in a dream or a vision, or just told you to do something or another? Arguably, such instructions are a commission. A God-given commission requires a solid commitment, and a lasting commitment requires intimate communion with God.
In our text—commonly referred to as the Great Commission—Jesus commissions his disciples and empower them with authority to go into all world and make disciples of all nations. This commission, according to the disciple Mark, would require a commitment “to preach the gospel to every creature . . . . cast out demons . . . speak in new tongues . . . lay hands on the sick” (Mark 16:15-18). When God commissions anyone, He gives them “authority and power” to fulfill the commitment. “Authority” is God’s permission to you to complete the commission; and, “power” is the ability that God gives to you to succeed (Acts 1:8).
A God-given commitment is a pledge or a promise that you make to God to do something. A commission without commitment will always be evident in stopping, stalling, being distracted, and just giving up without fulfilling the commitment. Luke 14:25-33 outlines what is needful and absolutely necessary to fulfill a commitment. First and foremost, commitment requires a determination to finish—go all the way; it requires submission to God, the authority of His Word, and even those over you in the Lord (Heb. 13:7, 17); furthermore, it requires a sense of responsibility and a willingness to pay a price of self-denial; moreover, it requires forsaking all and all else to fulfill your commitment. This passage of scripture doesn’t mean that you literally “hate” your parents, spouse, children, or even yourself, but it does mean that you must not put any love before your love for God and doing His will. As a word of caution: commitment is not “biting off more than you can chew” but it is “chewing what you’ve committed to bite.”
The thing that motivates and sustains you to fulfill your commitment is communion. Communion—simply put—is having an intimate relationship with God. The word in the New Testament for both ”communion” and “fellowship” is the Greek word, koinonia. Thus communion with God is fellowship, partnership, participation, and social and spiritual intercourse (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 13:14). You may think of communion as: “into me you see”—seeing into the heart of God and allowing God to see inside of you. Such intimate relationship with God will prove to be a compass and light that will fuel and energize you to stay committed when the road get dark or dim or difficult and rough. A God-given commission will fail without commitment; and commitment without communion with the One who commissioned you will always wane, get weak, be off-and-on, or just shaky. You have been called to the “communion” of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!