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Your Mission – Should You Choose to Accept It
Most of us know exactly where that line comes from. Beginning with the original TV series in 1966 to the current $4B movie franchise starring Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible has become almost ubiquitous in our pop culture.
We’ve all locked in at the beginning of an episode or movie installment where the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team member plays a secret recording on reel-to-reel tape outlining their next dangerous assignment and the high stakes involved. As always, to keep the mission secure “this message will self-destruct in five seconds…” and the tape player goes up in a puff of smoke. From there the action begins.
Why do we take on the impossible?
Mission: Impossible endures because there’s something intriguing to all of us about facing insurmountable challenges. We are inspired by those who are willing to face them. Some may even see themselves in a fictional character like Ethan Hunt – someone willing to take on what seems to be an impossible mission and who never gives up no matter how bad things look.
Maybe you or someone close to you has faced impossible situations and come through because you kept going and never gave up. Or maybe someone has told you an idea or even a God-given dream you have is not possible – that it will never happen.
Sometimes all we need is someone to tell us that we can’t do something and it makes us even more determined to go out and prove them wrong.
What does Jesus say about the impossible?
In Matthew 19:26, Jesus reveals to us that impossible is a relative term:
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Just because something is not possible technically or statistically or even scientifically, doesn’t make it impossible. If God made the natural laws we see all around us, He certainly knows how to supersede them.
In Mark 9:14-23, Jesus’ disciples came to him for help – to pray for a desperate young boy who was deaf, mute and would frequently go into convulsions. They had tried praying and casting the spirits out of him, but nothing worked and the boy continued to convulse.
The boy’s father told Jesus he had been suffering almost his entire life and said:
“But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
“Jesus then said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
He then prayed for the boy, rebuked the spirit, and the impossible happened – he was healed.
Are you facing an impossible situation today? Like this boy’s father, if you can believe, you can change that impossible situation and move it into the possible.
Accepting your Mission: Impossible
Following Jesus and going on a faith journey is all about saying yes to what looks impossible.
Every great hero of faith in the Bible from Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Esther, to Nehemiah, to Mary, to the Apostle Paul was given what was seen as an impossible assignment. Even Jesus’ assignment was completely impossible for any human to accomplish.
When God told Abraham to leave his country and go to a new land that He would give to his descendants, He was asking the impossible. Abraham and his wife Sarah had no descendants and the prospects for this aging couple didn’t look good. But the impossible happened and a 90-year-old wife bore a 100-year-old man’s child!
Throughout your Christian life, you will almost always be faced with impossible situations and there will be many voices – and forces – around you telling you to give up. Telling you that it will never happen.
For a Christian, facing the impossible just comes with the territory. As a follower of Jesus, you’re already an agent of the real IMF – Impossible Mission Force, the Church!
And if we stay in faith and stick to the mission, we will witness impossible miracle after miracle happen throughout our lives.
Look at how clear and emphatic Jesus is about this in John 14:12:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the same (impossible) works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Your mission – should you choose to accept it…
Let’s highlight some great parallels between Mission: Impossible and your mission today as a Christian:
1. It’s your invitation. You are simply responding to an invitation and a call. In fact, everything in God’s IMF kingdom is God-initiated and just like in the movies, God will always give you the choice. “Should you choose to accept it”, you then enter the world of Mission: Impossible. And just like Ethan Hunt, you will receive countless invitations along the way. Learn like Ethan to say yes to every one.
2. It’s your transportation. In every Mission: Impossible movie, we see Ethan Hunt and his team being transported to some of the most stunning and interesting places all over the world. From Prague to New Zealand, to Shanghai, Norway, Turkey, Dubai, Mumbai, the list seems endless. Jesus said for those who sign up for His mission in Matthew 24:14 that: “…the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” If you’re willing to go, you’ll be amazed at all the places – both local and international – that God takes you over your lifetime before Jesus returns.
3 You get to do your own stunts. Just as Tom Cruise does all his own (almost insane) stunts in Mission: Impossible, you also get to do some (almost insane) miracles – the same amazing works Jesus did. The only difference is that you do have a stunt double – The Holy Spirit – to back you up and work through you.
4. You have a team. Ethan Hunt was never given a mission to carry out alone. He was always given a team to work with. This is so important as you say yes to God’s call on your life that you don’t attempt to venture out without being deeply rooted and established in your local church and working with the ministry team God gives you.
5. Things won’t go exactly as planned. In every mission, Ethan and the team have so many things go wrong. Often, the mission looks to be in total jeopardy. But they never quit, they always adjust, they think on their feet and they even make mistakes. In the end, because they let nothing stop them and they never quit, they always succeed in their mission.
6. The stakes are high and the lives are eternal. In Mission: Impossible Fallout, the IMF Leader played by Alex Baldwin, tells Ethan why he chose him for this next mission:
“You had a terrible choice to make in Berlin: Recover the plutonium or save your team. You chose your team and now the world is at risk. Some flaw deep in your core being simply won’t allow you to choose between one life and millions. You see that as a sign of weakness. To me that’s your greatest strength.”
Every mission God gives you and I is about saving eternal lives. Just as Ethan isn’t willing to let one life be lost even if it could risk millions of others, God does not want to see one life lost. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us the LORD is very patient with us as He waits for our missions to be accomplished and is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Our Next Assignment
The next assignment and exciting new chapter God has given us at Coastal Church is about to launch: Our School of Missions.
Coastal School of Missions is an 8-month Bible intensive to transform a new generation and impact the world for Christ.
Let’s pray and believe that God will use this new school to send out many highly trained and skilled spiritual IMF agents for their next Mission: Impossible.
*No animals were injured and no AI tools were used in the making of this blog.
**This message will self-destruct in five seconds…