Once we seek and experience God's passion for the nations, going on mission with Him to the nations through prayer, personal involvement, and missions giving becomes a matter of obedience.
First Chronicles records another glorious song of King David. It was first sung in happier circumstances than the struggle of Psalm 22: the day David followed the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, his new capital. In an ecstasy of praise, David exulted in God's greatness and shouted with joy:
Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim His salvation day after day.
Declare His deeds among the nations,
His marvelous deeds among all peoples.
(1 Chronicles 16:23, 24 NIV)
Holy passion, if it be true, is followed by purpose. Once Christians experience God's passion for the nations, going to the nations through prayer, personal involvement, and mission support becomes a matter of obedience. For the love of Christ constraineth us, as Paul said (2 Corinthians 5:14). A young Southern Baptist mission mobilizer puts it this way: "It's easier to mobilize obedient believers. Some who I have taught are now going to the nations! Now my passion is to see a church-planting movement among an unreached people group."
In an aimless and cynical era, Americans yearn more than ever for a purpose greater than themselves. Many young Christians have found the greatest purpose of all: God's purpose. They are embracing the kind of revolutionary commitment expressed by the "268 Declaration," a manifesto developed by the "Passion" conferences that have attracted multitudes of teens and college-age Christians. It states in part: "Because God is seeking worshippers of all peoples, I desire to magnify Him among the nations. I actively commit my life and energy to participation in His global purposes in my generation."
Equipped with that kind of clear, biblical purpose, young Southern Baptists are moving out to the nations through intercession, mobilizing, advocacy, volunteering, missionary service — and singing God's praises like David of old.
They are being joined by growing numbers of boomers and older Christians who also have discovered — or rediscovered — that God's global priorities transcend their personal agendas. Some are becoming passionate mission advocates in their churches; others are launching into second careers or retirement to go personally to the nations.
Perhaps most exciting of all, rapidly expanding ranks of local Southern Baptist churches are accepting their biblical task and enlarging their vision beyond their own communities. In addition to supporting and praying for missionaries, they are taking the initiative to become full strategic partners with the International Mission Board, missionaries, and other Great Commission Christians in reaching the unreached.