Marks of the Mission

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Ephesians 6:10-18 Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything , to stand. Stand firm then,with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity. but a spirit of power, of love and self discipline.

Luke 1:76-79 You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and the shadow of death; to guide our feet into the path of peace.

I Peter 2:9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light!

My sister sent the following to me when I was in the hospital with my husband after his knee replacement therapy. I had been whining to her about his grumpiness as we began the physical therapy portion. She wrote 2-6-14:

Hurting people hurt! Don’t take it personally. Put on the armor God gave you and let it glance off of you instead of going through you. Use that shield of faith. It is a working, moving active piece of equipment. Put it on your arm in front of you. You’ve been training that muscle in your arm. It can handle the weight and wield it like the warrior you have been trained to be. The victory is yours! It has already been ordained. Run into battle with confidence for you are running under the shadow of the Almighty God. I expect you to pick up your shield and use it. This is not just words on a page. It’s a call to arms. You are in a battle. “Buck up” as Dot Lott once said to you.

At the time Dot Lott made this comment to me, I was a student teacher under her supervision. I had just received word that my college supervisor would be visiting that day to observe my work in Dot's classroom. I panicked and was on the verge of a full blown anxiety meltdown when Dot told me firmly in response to my tears….. which shocked me because she is usually soft spoken and gentle……"Buck up, Sherry!”  History repeats itself except now I am in the hospital and my sister is my coach. My sister continues: 

I expect to see you stride victoriously out of this just as you expected the same of me when cancer came knocking on my door. You have been trained and prepared for this your whole life. You will succeed. Our God is ABLE! He creates champions!

The following is a description of the  current mission in my sister’s own words inspired by the Spirit that dwells within her:

I am being called to go behind enemy lines in the world of despair, disease, and darkness. I am being sent in to rescue those who are on the brink of despair and pull them back up into the light of God’s love, a place where God’s love overwhelms with peace and purpose and beauty, to a place where they can rest and heal and be restored.God has been preparing me for this my entire life.God graciously granted me a wonderful time of rest and peace and waiting these last few years. But now it’s time to put on the full armor of God and march confidently into battle knowing that God has equipped me with the exact skills and experience I need to accomplish His purposes. As David strode confidently on the battlefield of the Philistines to face Goliath so I stride onto the battlefield of life to face disease and despair. I run confidently into battle because I am not alone. God’s army of saints and angels run beside me. The prayers of the saints prepare the way for great victory for the Kingdom of God on earth. God has laid out brightly colored clothes of rejoicing for me to wear. He has prepared my armor as well. He has placed the belt of truth around my waist. He has prepared for me a special breastplate of great beauty. It was forged in the heart of God and tenderly shaped to fit me perfectly. He has covered me with HIS righteousness. He is making me a new person, better and stronger. I am being transformed. I am God’s temple. God is calling me out on a new journey. He has uniquely prepared me for this journey. We may get a little wet, but He’s going to show me how to walk on the water. And dare I say I feel a little sense of excitement! God is good!!

The title of the devotional for June 16 in The Word for You Today is: “Give it Your All!” I felt it was very applicable to my sister’s mission. I quote: 

Esther, a Jewish girl married to a pagan king, broke with the long-standing tradition, marched into her husband’s throne room, spoke her mind, and rescued her people from annihilation. One girl saved a nation because she was willing to put everything on the line. Are you feeling inadequate today (I feel inadequate most days) ? Are you thinking, “Someone else should be doing this job instead of me (I have on occasion thought in that manner)?” Then read these words written by clergyman Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one; but still I am one. I can’t do everything; but still I can do something: and because I can’t do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.” How many people did it take to rescue the dying man on the Jericho Road? One Good Samaritan. How many people did it take to confront Pharaoh and lead the exodus out of Egypt? One man, Moses. A respected leadership expert writes: “God has put a dream inside you. It’s yours and no one else’s. It declares your uniqueness. It holds your potential. Only you can birth it. Only you can live it. Not to discover it, take responsibility for it and act upon it, is to negatively affect yourself as well as all those who would benefit from your dream.” Poet John Greenleaf  Whittier wrote, “ For all sad words of tongue and pen; the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” In your twilight years, will you look back and feel like you’ve spent your life struggling to fulfill other people’s expectations? (I have found, in my 60 years of life, I can’t please others consistently so I intend to strive to please God by what I choose to do with the life He, in His mercy, has granted me). Or know that you lived it to the fullest by striving to fulfill your God given dream (I am walking on the path I was ordained and prepared to travel before God formed me in the womb. I am yoked to Jesus and I am only stepping when He steps and stopping when He stops. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If it feels heavy, then I know I am trying to carry the burden on my own)?  

I am changing daily…growing in Christ… is the most exciting adventure of my life! I feel currently the Lord is clearing out the weeds of the past and preparing my soul for something new. I am learning to “Dare Greatly” as spoken by Theodore Roosevelt because I can hear my Savior beckoning me to “deeper waters and higher ground.” As I quote the 26th President of the United States of America, I have changed his gender references to make it equally applicable to the females, as well….   “It’s not the critic who counts, not the one who points out that the strong one has stumbled or how the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena-whose face is marred with sweat , and dust, and blood; who, if they fail, at least fail while DARING GREATLY, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

No one fights alone! My sister has a loving family that rides into battle with her and members of the Body of Christ who also have answered the call to Arms as Prayer Warriors. The Lord, Himself goes before her and we follow singing His praises and carrying His Light in our souls to lighten the darkness of our earthly home  and share hope with those living in the shadow of death.

John Stetzer