But this I know for certain: that before I was abased, I was like a stone that had fallen into deep mire. And He Who is mighty came and in His mercy picked me up and indeed lifted me high to place me on top of the wall.
- Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
- Psalm 40.1, 2
Patrick’s Confession, written near the end of his life, is filled with glancing references to Scripture like the one printed above. He was a man saturated with the Word of God.
But that didn’t come easily to Patrick. He first had to be abased, carried off into captivity, and made to serve as a slave. But then God lifted him, set him on the Rock of Jesus, and made his way secure. Patrick became a devout student of Scripture, and it guided his ministry for nearly 60 years. He was secure in the Lord and in His Word, but his way was by no means safe or easy.
Secure in Christ and strengthened by His Word, Patrick was able to endure the many hardships, trials, and disappointments that confronted him in bringing the Gospel to the Irish people. Even in his old age, officials in Britain, probably jealous at his success, were looking for some way of scandalizing him and his ministry – which occasioned his reluctantly writing down his Confession in order to defend his calling.
Patrick’s life is a pattern for us: God lifts us out of our sin and abasement; He sets us on Jesus, and secures our roots in His Word; then He sends us in mission to reach and touch others with the grace of God. There will be trials and adversity along the way, but lifted, set, and secure, we can endure the hardship and know the fruit that comes when the grace of God we have come to know becomes the grace we are able to show to others.
But we’ll have to work at it. Daily reading and meditating in God’s Word. Persisting in prayer and seeking the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4.6). Knowing and embracing our Personal Mission Field, and preparing each day to go into it as ambassadors and witnesses for Jesus. Initiating conversations. Doing good to others. Living uprightly before the Lord. And enduring with joy in our hearts whatever scorn, hardship, or opposition may come our way.
God has lifted us out of the miry clay and set us on Jesus. Secure in Him, we can expect to know power like Patrick did to work our Personal Mission Field, sowing good Kingdom seed in all our words and deeds, tending to and encouraging our fellow believers, bringing the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Kingdom into all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities, and living for the glory of God whatever we’re doing (1 Cor. 10.31).
Pattrick knew that following Jesus would not be easy. But he also knew he was called to follow Him, and to show Jesus and proclaim Him to as many people as the Lord put in his path. His faithfulness sparked a revival of Christian faith that lasted nearly four hundred years.
Might not our faithfulness have similar results?
God did not lift you merely to entertain you. He has not set you on Jesus just to rest. And He has not secured you by His Word and Spirit only to have you feel good about being saved. Like Patrick, you and I have been lifted, set, and secured in Christ so that we might be sent in Him to the people in our Personal Mission Field. May the faithfulness Patrick demonstrated be found in us as well.
To whom is God sending you today? Have you drunk deeply of His grace, to prepare you for the trials that may be ahead? Are you looking forward to bearing fruit for Jesus, Who has lifted you, set you on Himself, and secured your place with Him forever?
Questions for Reflection
1. Have you mapped out and begun working your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video, download the worksheet, and get started today.
2. Do you have a prayer partner to support you as you work your Personal Mission Field? Whom might you encourage in their Personal Mission Field?
Psalm 40.1-3 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
I waited patiently for God; He inclined and heard my cry,
Lifted me up above the sod, set me on a Rock on high!
New songs in my mouth He gave; may He through me many save.
Lord, I know that, because of what You have done for me, I ought to shout aloud, giving thanks to You for Your blessings, both here and in eternity, which are so great that the human mind cannot comprehend them. Help me today, as I go out into my Personal Mission Field, that I may…
Your Personal Mission Field
Jesus has sent us to the world to bring near the Kingdom of God – just as He Himself was sent (Jn. 20.21; Matt. 4.17). By mapping out your Personal Mission Field, you can make every day an adventure of seeking and advancing the Kingdom of God. Don’t wait any longer. Watch this brief video, download the worksheet, and get started working your Personal Mission Field today. Share the video with some friends, and encourage them to take up this calling and challenge as well.
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T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.