I love the Latin phrase missio Dei — which means “mission of God.”
In the first chapter of Genesis we see that the missio Dei, the mission of God, was to reveal Himself to man, to make Himself known in all His wonderful glory and goodness.
Genesis 2 introduces us to Adam and Eve, whose fall caused that mission to be broken. There was no longer the fullness of revelation that enabled man to see things as they were intended to be seen. Then in Genesis 3 we see Adam and Eve covering themselves in shame and being driven out of the Garden. They were running from God, no longer intimate and walking with Him.
From the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation the Bible reveals the mission of God, showing us clearly what God’s purposes are for His people.
When the church doesn’t understand the mission of God — when it becomes diminished, ignored and perverted — the church loses its power. When the mission of God is set aside, the church becomes introverted and takes on a form that God didn’t intend for it. Then the church continues building on itself, becoming a type of the Tower of Babel that just keeps going up until its weight causes it to crumble.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” Is that really what He said? No! He said, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end [uttermost parts] of the earth” (ESV). He knew that this mission of God was meant to bless those in Jerusalem but then it should spread to others.
If you limit the mission of God to being only what He has blessed you with, you will shortchange your own blessings. You will block the flow of what God has for you because His blessings are meant to come to you and then flow through you to others, to the world.