God's Marching Orders (Part 2 of God's Mission Protocol)
Updated: Feb 22
("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 2)
I attended a women’s retreat at my church on Saturday. The night before, I heard God tell me that I would speak at it. However, I questioned this because I wasn’t on the schedule to speak. I got there early and as the worship team was practicing, God began to speak to me. God had a message for women and I already knew that it wasn’t by accident that the theme chosen for this retreat entitled “Let Go” was based around dandelions. Every table had a centerpiece that looked like a dandelion. The T-shirts that were given out had dandelions all over it. But my favorite part was the keychains we were given that had actual dandelion seeds displayed within. The goodie bag that I ended up grabbing had two keychains in it. Although this was probably a mistake on their part, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t by accident for I was blessed that it allowed me to give one to my daughter who instantly wanted it turned into a necklace.
If you remember, God started this theme through my daughter the day before Mother’s Day. Pulling into our driveway, I was discouraged when I looked out onto my backyard full of dandelions which I saw as weeds, to which my daughter then shouted with excitement, “Yay! A whole field of them.” She loves to blow them, which is actually why we have so many. God began to show me in that moment that it was simply a matter of perspective. The next day, Mother’s Day, God spoke, specifically to mothers and women, continuing this theme. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go back and read/watch “A Matter of Perspective,” for God wasn’t done speaking to women through this theme.
How many of us, male or female, due to the lies of this world and of the enemy, see ourselves as useless weeds? It is all a matter of perspective and one God longs to change within us.
Here is what God had me write down before the retreat:
Every woman is My daughter. I have a purpose for each and every one. ALL My daughters have unique talents and gifts that I long to unleash. Arise women of God, My treasures. If only you knew how I really see you. You are an integral part of My Kingdom. Satan has tried again and again to rob you of your full identity but it is time to rise. It is time for you to enter into the fullness of your identity in Me. Half of My Kingdom is made up of women, therefore arise and see your importance, your value. My Kingdom does not exist without you, and let go of the idea that you make up the weaker half of My Kingdom for that was never My design. Male and female, I made them - ALL in My image, and do I have a weaker side? Is there a flaw in My image - NO - a resounding NO. It is time to crush the lies of this world and the enemy under your feet. Arise My Queens. Arise and shine and testify for your Risen Savior. He longs to reveal your story to you, stories that will empower future generations. Arise. Arise. Arise. Arise and experience Me anew. I love you. You. I’m talking to you. I LOVE YOU! Amen and amen. Believe. Believe and take possession of what is truly yours - My Kingdom and your purpose within it.
After I was done writing, I went to the restroom where I told God that if He wanted me to share this word with the women at the retreat that He would have to make it happen, since like I mentioned, I wasn’t on the schedule to speak. The moment I came out of the restroom, I ended up having a conversation with one of the ladies in charge and almost like clockwork she invited me to share during the worship time. It was a big step of faith for me to stand up in front of these women and share this prophetic word in person, but I am so glad that I was invited to do so because the words God gives me are not intended for just me. We are meant to be vessels for the Holy Spirit, for God’s glory to flow freely through us.
Towards the end of the retreat, during the final prayer time in which we prayed for the women around our individual tables, I ended up getting another prophetic word for the lady sitting next to me. As everyone prayed, I wrote it on a notecard and handed it to her. As she read it, tears filled her eyes and she expressed several times how much she needed to hear those words. I loved being able to be a vessel for God to speak truth through into her life. What a wonderful ministry. The next day her mother expressed how much it helped her daughter and how excited she was to share these words with her parents. She thanked me after which I told her that they were God’s words. She said, “Yes, but you allowed Him to use you in order to get those words out.” That’s the point, isn’t it? We are meant to be vessels that God works through in order to minister to others, in order to shine Christ’s light to a hurting world, to a world who needs a definite perspective change.
It became clear that God used these series of events to set the stage for what He had to say the following day, on Sunday. For, the whole rest of the day on Saturday and even Sunday morning, all I could think about was how much I blessed this lady. Every time I thought about this moment, I got a warm feeling deep inside.
At church, God spoke:
I love you, Susan. Your ministry is underway. It has been for quite a while. I know you want to see more My love but don’t take these small steps for granted. They are important in order to create a solid foundation. Even Christ started small, meeting with one person at a time. As He stepped out reaching those around Him, His influence grew and grew and so will yours. The power of one Susan. Remember the parable of the lost sheep and the prodigal son. There is power in one, the power to truly multiply. It is about true discipleship Susan. You could speak to thousands of people but only those individuals truly impacted will experience true lasting change. Better to invest in only one fully then thousands half-heartedly. It will never be about the numbers though the numbers will come. As they came for Christ, they will come for you, but your call to find that one to truly invest in will stand. If you are faithful with a little, I will give you more. Seek that one Susan. Never stop seeking. Investing in people is not a strength for you but you must try harder. I will strengthen you. I promise. . . Just keep stepping out in faith, investing in that one, and speaking My truth. All else will come to you. Doors will open My love. One by one they will open for you. I promise. . . SOON. (The word soon came strongly to my mind).
Soon. What a word, truly undefinable by My people. Soon. Oh, what power My people place upon this word. My people your definition of soon has always greatly differed from Mine. We see time much differently as I supersede time. I have always existed and always will, so what is soon to Me? It is simply a state of existence that I have always existed within. Therefore, know that its purpose is meant to awaken and empower, to move forward, not to stunt or to cause fear. Soon. Soon. I am coming soon. What will you do with this powerful statement? Will you panic or will you rise? Arise and shine. Choose to awaken. Choose to be empowered and to arise and shine like never before. I am coming soon - SOON. What will you do with that? It’s time My children. Wake up! I am giving you a wake-up call. This is My great act of mercy, therefore DO NOT TAKE THIS NEXT SEASON FOR GRANTED. The heat is on. (The high where I live today is supposed to be 104°). The heat is on. It is time to be hot. No more cold. No more lukewarm. It is time for hot, truly hot. Burn Holy Spirit, burn. Burn anew within My people. Light the fire within them. Give them a renewed sense of SOON. Soon Susan. Soon. Focus upon this word My people through My Spirit. Don’t let this word scare you but empower you and give you a great sense of purpose like never before. Soon My people - SOON! Let this word My people become a word of love. SOON - you want Me to come back soon and I am telling you I am, but to those that don’t know Me this word is dread. It is deadly. Think about this, think about others. Think about those who should dread this word. Wake up My people. You are Christ’s hands and feet and voice, so get busy. It is your time, your season and the heat is on. My people, what if Christ hid away? What if Christ stayed home and spent His time binge watching television? What if He had chosen to keep to Himself or had been afraid of offending others? What if? What if? Wake up! The heat is on. It is time to arise and shine. Arise and shine. Arise My people and start shining the light of Christ for this world to see. Your time is now because SOON is upon us all. Believe.
As I mentioned earlier, my pastor waited a week to talk about Pentecost for we were finally within these verses in Acts. With that said, my pastor began by talking about farewell orders and marching orders. People are given farewell orders as a warning that change is coming, that they need to get their affairs in order because two weeks later they will be receiving their marching orders which will tell them where they will be sent. My pastor mentioned that as the disciples spent time waiting, as commanded to do so by Jesus, waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit that they had been given their farewell orders. And sure enough, two weeks or 10 days after Jesus left them, the Holy Spirit came and they were given their marching orders.
My pastor then talked about how he and his wife were once given marching orders and they were a little bit surprised at the destination they were given in which to go forth and minister. My pastor then alluded to how they thought that the city they were given was small and in the middle of nowhere. With that, I knew God was speaking to me through this testimony for I have been invited by my brother to speak in exactly two weeks to both of his churches. These churches are likewise in small towns in the middle of nowhere and are of the denomination that I grew up in. At first, I had questioned God, for if it were up to me this isn’t where I would start, where my first speaking engagement would be. But to these thoughts, God sweetly replied, “Susan, are they any less important?” No. Oh how I am so glad that God loves.
As my pastor went on to say, “God has our marching orders for us. We think we know, but we don’t know.” Well, it is clear that I have been given marching orders. For again, in exactly two weeks from today I will be traveling out of town and speaking in two different cities and two different churches on the same day. This definitely is not something that I expected, but God warned me of that, to lay down my expectations of the way I think things should go.
The first point my pastor made was that God has a perfect plan along with perfect timing. He then mentioned that we are bread with leaven. We are sinful people yet God is still ready to use us. He will us sinful people by the power of the Holy Spirit. We, who are on this side of the cross, have been thoroughly equipped despite ourselves. So, I say again, I am so glad that God loves, that He loves that one and that He will reach that one through me, through sinful me. After all, Christ longs to shine through our brokenness.
My pastor’s second point was that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are personal, but not private. I loved this and it made me think of my life. God has called me to be a testament and to share my life with you and even though most of what He says is directly to me, a personal message to me, it is clear that at the same time that it is not meant to be private. As my pastor said, “When God moves in your life testify, don’t hold it in . . . Not meant just to heap onto myself.”
John 7:37-39 NIV says, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.’”
My pastor mentioned that the original word that Jesus used from which this river would flow from meant “belly.” My ears perked up when he said that and what instantly came to my mind was a great theme from my life. When I was in college, the school gave us email accounts, along with a password. Although we could change this password to be anything we wanted, I kept mine because I thought it was funny. It was “gutpip.” To make a long story short, many years later, God used this silly password to teach me that the Holy Spirit truly was meant to be “power in the pit of my gut.” How awesome. God can make all things new, even old teachings that are not really new. We are all meant to have this power in the pit of our guts and as my pastor said, it is “not meant to be damned up . . . A secret blessing.” Instead, this power is meant to flow through us like a river of living water. All of this is just again another way of saying something else God used to talk to me about, His desire to “Let My glory flow freely through you.”
My pastor then brought up the fruits of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5. He said that this is “A List for others. It’s fruit for others to pick from my life.” As 1 Peter 4:10 NIV says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
My pastor than read Acts 2:9-11, reading through all of the different peoples represented at Pentecost, pointing out that different peoples heard God’s Kingdom declared THROUGH people THROUGH the Holy Spirit. If this isn’t a representation of what we should be doing and how we should be living, then I don’t know what is. What then came to my mind is my pastor’s current theme, “Acts 29,” pointing out that we are still within the book of Acts. This book only contains 28 chapters, but onto the next chapter. We are living chapter 29, or at least we are supposed to be. My pastor pointed out that the first Pentecost happened in 30 AD but that 24 years later in Acts 19:1-7, “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”
Years later, we learned from the apostle Paul that being baptized in the Holy Spirit was still needed and important and just now as I was looking up that verse, the last sentence really stuck out to me. It says, “There were about twelve men in all.” I know God is pointing out to me right now that there were 12 new men for a reason. That there is a reason to point out that they were not the original 12 apostles. This one little sentence points out that the power of the Holy Spirit was not just meant for the original 12 but for a whole new crop and a whole new crop even still, for those of us within chapter 29.
My pastor then brought up the Tower of Babel and how God dispersed the people and gave them different languages. God knew what people could accomplish if they worked together, but at that time they were working together to serve their own purpose, not God’s. However, now in Acts 2, we see God’s people speaking once again in one accord in one language, the Holy Spirit’s language, but it is good. Although different languages were heard, everyone was hearing the same thing, the Kingdom of God. The point that my pastor made is that in “One accord with one language, we can do anything.” Amen! God knows this and Satan knows this. This is God’s Wonderful Web of Wonder. This is God’s people unified, of one accord, speaking one language, that of the Holy Spirit. With this, we can do anything. And we will! We will defeat Satan! We will overcome him by the blood of the lamb and by the Word of our testimony, and we will not shrink from death.
My pastor then brought the need to have power with purpose. He talked about Peter’s first Holy Spirit speech, the first speech he gave with this new gift of the Holy Spirit, and how this talk was not seeker friendly. Again, that’s exactly how I feel. Nothing, absolutely nothing, at least prophetically that comes out of my mouth is seeker friendly. God’s messages through me are clearly for the Body of Christ. And if you have journeyed this far with me, then you know that God does not sugarcoat. In fact, God actually said that to me one time, saying “Susan, cry out. Don’t hold back. Don’t sugarcoat.” It isn’t very comfortable, I’ll admit, but God never promised us comfort, at least this side of eternity.
My pastor finished by saying after communion, after sharing a testimony, “There’s an urgency.” Again, amen! There is an urgency, one that God defined today with the word SOON. There is an urgency to be filled for purpose because Christ is coming SOON. We must cry out. We must not hold back. We must not sugarcoat. It’s time for a perspective change. It’s time to align our perspectives with the Word, with the mission, of God. Join me! We have our marching orders.