In its simplest, God’s mission entails being called and calling others. When I reflect on the two summers spent in New York with City Project, these weeks represent 1) God calling me into his mission and 2) him sending me out to call others.
“And the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria’” (1 Kings 19:15).
In reading this verse, I’m reminded of God’s sovereign plan that is unfolding across 1 and 2 Kings. It is within these verses that I’m reminded of the faithful God I serve, acting according to his sovereignty. This God not only allows but desires Elijah to be in the midst of the work he is doing throughout Judea. And the insane truth is this still remains true today! God asks us to play a vital role in his plan for the world. But, the question at stake is, will we be a part of it? God’s desire that every knee will bow and every tongue confess will come to fruition, but will we find ourselves in the midst of his redemptive work?
1. Being Called
Personally, this question surrounded me throughout my time in New York as a City Project student. Through our partnership with Global Gates Ministries, I was introduced to the dire need of a gospel movement within the streets of New York. NYC is a diverse city where the nations reside. We spent a week praying fervently for and pleading continuously for God to show favor to those in need. Paul reminds us in Romans 10, that we, the church, carry the message of salvation, and it is our duty to be sent out and carry this message to those who have never heard it, for “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The Lord grew me immensely throughout my time in New York as a student. He showed me the power of obedience. Our time evangelizing was filled with unopened doors and not nearly the amount of successful conversations I had anticipated. Yet, I fought for a Habakkuk 3:18 response: “[Y]et I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” The Lord is good regardless of the number of people we spoke to or the number of doors that opened. He calls us to take part in his mission and choose to obediently pursue the hardened hearts of those who do not know him.
2. Calling Others
Serving as a City Project intern the next year in New York was significantly different than my time as a student. This week was in no way about me, but solely about calling the City Project students deeper into God’s mission. The harvest in New York is plentiful, but the laborers are few, and by God’s grace, I had the opportunity to challenge the students to step out in faith and labor for the sake of God’s name.
Throughout my second time in New York, I was continually reminded of the joy I felt as a City Project student. Seeing the students surrender their fears and apprehensions before an almighty and gracious God was awe-inspiring. Instead of hiding, they stepped out in boldness, trusting the Holy Spirit to move and work on their behalf. I was able to watch students’ hearts be changed as they experienced the power of the Holy Spirit and embraced their calling as ambassadors of Christ.
Participating in City Project will not only grow your knowledge of who God is, but it will grow your desire to serve him and embrace the Great Commission to its fullest. Sign up here!
-Rilee Blackwell (City Project Student)