Have you ever looked up the word ambassador? To be honest I hadn’t ever.
To me that used to be some governmental term that went in one ear and out the other. The term was covered in classes or appeared in sentences and I just assumed I knew enough about it and that it didn’t pertain to me at all. I wasn’t a history buff and didn’t care to know what was going on around the world (don’t worry, I am trying to work on this as I am now an “adult” in society’s eyes).
So what made me interested in something that left little spark in my mind previously?
The B I B L E
There’s something different about seeing a phrase in the living word of God than in a textbook or history article. I no longer wanted to gloss over the word, allowing myself to not get the full picture of what the words on the pages meant for my life here and now.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
“ALL THIS IS FROM GOD, WHO THROUGH CHRIST RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF AND GAVE US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION; 19 THAT IS, IN CHRIST GOD WAS RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF, NOT COUNTING THEIR TRESPASSES AGAINST THEM, AND ENTRUSTING TO US THE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION. 20 THEREFORE, WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, GOD MAKING HIS APPEAL THROUGH US. WE IMPLORE YOU ON BEHALF OF CHRIST, BE RECONCILED TO GOD.”
In order for me to fully understand my role as ambassador for Christ, I needed to address my understanding of the title ambassador.
Ambassador: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment;
a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it on a temporary mission
So as the non-governmental terminology equipped individual that I am, I looked to simplify that definition.
Ambassador: someone seen in such a high manner that they are chosen, sent to a foreign place to represent a certain group of people.
Some key words that stuck out to me in both the formal definitions and my own: sent, chosen, set apart, temporary resident, foreign, special, representative, highest rank.
NOW ASK YOURSELF, HOW MANY OF THOSE WORDS HAVE YOU USED TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
We are told as Christians to be set apart, but we believe we can do that by still seeing this place as our home. Allowing ourselves to not feel foreign or temporary.
We believe we have all the time in the world, all the opportunities to live for Christ. We believe we can bask in all the comfort the world has to offer, and then serve the Lord when it presents itself as easy.
“Find your thing, stick with it, find happiness, seek a sense of home, be tolerant of all, don’t think of yourself as too highly, but be sure to make a name for yourself.”
Anyone feel the word telling you to live by those rules?
Oh to settle for that.
Oh to miss the mark.
Oh to find a place in this world, without finding our place in His.
If we are honest, I think we are scared to be told we are priests, a holy nation, a chosen people because we don’t want the responsibility and conviction that comes with living this highly. We want to recognition, the title, the praise of being “Holy” and yet not the struggle, work and change that it would actually take (don’t worry, you’re not alone in this).
Why are we scared though? What is holding us back?
Wouldn’t it be great to let the Lord refine you, fully and truly. To not withhold any part of your life. To present yourself as a living sacrifice and EXPECT Him to use you well. (Romans 12:1). To live boldly, for Him. To live in a way that won’t result in a tabloid saying “Ambassador accused of Misconduct overseas” or “Ambassador found guilty of failing to serve well”.
You see we were “appointed for a special and temporary assignment”
Have you allowed yourself to respond to the calling? To add this to your resume? Have you seen your life as a secret agent on a special mission? A project so weighty that there’s no time to sit on the task at hand. We are special, but not by what you or I have accomplished thus far in our lives. It is by the simple fact that I have chosen to follow the HIGHEST of HIGH Priests, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings that I can consider my life weighty. Therefore, my allegiance, my residency, my citizenship is now with God; no longer resonating most with the people of this world. (Philippians 3:20) While this at times leaves me feeling unseen, unknown and misunderstood in this life, there’s so much peace in knowing that is actually a good sign. A sign that I am working on living in such a way to make this life temporary in my mind. To yearn for a place oh so much holier than what we seem to be “happy” with now is something I am unashamed of.
Your assignment as ambassador is temporary though. There will come a time you will no longer be a foreigner. You will no longer have a special mission. You won’t be set apart. You will be with Jesus, with your creator, with your people, in your true home. While this time will be so beautiful and will be the completion of the Lord’s perfect plan for His people; it will also mean that you no longer have quite the opportunity you have right now.
When searching for marks of a good ambassador online I stumbled upon some of the following: abundant knowledge of their homeland and people, passion for their country’s causes and a want to grow relationships with both foreigners and their own.
So what would it look like to be marked as a good ambassador for Christ?
We must be knowledgeable of the words of truth, not the lies of the world. (2 Timothy 2:15)
We must have a passion for the Lord’s causes, His heart, not the causes the world finds itself so caught up in. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
We must want more than anything to grow our relationships with those around us, both believers and the lost! Doing it all not for our own selfish aim but rather for them to see Jesus through us. (Mark 10:45)
So, yes, it is a cool thing to hold the title Priest or Ambassador or Chosen but not for the status that comes with that title alone. The beauty comes from the task the Lord has left in our hands. The trust He has in His people, His representatives. Live well here my friends, but remember your special task as an Ambassador for Christ is a timely thing that holds much weight.
“and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:18-10
Thoughts from Katie Alexander, First College Coordinator