Updated: Feb 22
("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 8)
A few weeks ago I started to struggle with a lack of peace, discouragement, and doubt. This last Sunday, God finally brought me peace and clarity as to why. But first, He set the stage.
I opened Facebook Sunday morning to see that a friend had shared an older song written by Rich Mullins called “Step by Step.” I took the time to listen to this song because this was one of my favorite songs when I was younger and truly beginning to get to know the Lord. I would sing this song over and over as a prayer to the Lord. Shortly after this, getting my daughter ready for church, my husband mentioned that she looked like a ragamuffin, a comment that also instantly made me think about Rich Mullins, for his published testimony is called “The Ragamuffin Gospel.”
On my way to church, I found myself listening to a broadcast that talked about Billy Graham’s life, mainly his last days. They mentioned that he had said near the end of his life that he was ready, that he knew he had accomplished all God had wanted him to do. They then quoted some of the things that his children said at his funeral, things that I hoped people would say of me someday.
When I got to church, God spoke. He said:
Why downcast My daughter? Have I not done enough to prove My voice? Why are you listening to the world? What lies the world will feed you Susan, multiple, numerous lies. The enemy is attacking you, Susan. Remember he knows your buttons. He knows what confuses you and causes you to struggle. Those numbers Susan, pesky numbers. CARE NOT My daughter. I am in control of all of it. Shine. Testify. Never stop no matter what this web of lies feeds you. I am your news feed Susan. I am truth. Look ONLY to Me and you will have all the confirmation you need. Susan, Satan is trying to slow you down. He is trying to stop you before you even begin BUT greater am I then he and I won’t let anything stop you. That internal resolve inside of you Susan is My Spirit. I know you feel it, that nothing can really stop you, just delay you . . . Be empowered Susan. I am greatly at work. GREATLY AT WORK. I never fail and I will be glorified through your life TO THE VERY END. Step by step I’ll lead you to the very end. You will follow Me all the days of your life and when the end comes, like Billy Graham, you will be ready. You will be ready My love because you WILL have accomplished My plans for you and you will know it. You will have experienced it and lived it. I will be faithful to you Susan and to My promises to you. Hold fast. Don’t give up and all will be revealed.
Susan, both of these men left behind a legacy. You will do the same. I revealed to you the end from the beginning to reveal My faithfulness. You WILL accomplish My will for you. No matter what comes, no matter how much you are attacked, doubt, cower, or disobey, you have and will overcome and find victory. I promise. Well done good and faithful servant. You WILL hear these words. So, relax Susan. Take a breath. Let me breathe new life within you and realign you with My perfect will. Step-by-step Susan. From the moment you first cried out those words to Me have I not led? Will I not continue to lead? Step-by-step Susan. I will continue to guide you EVERY step of the way to the very end. I am faithful and My plans for you far outweigh your waywardness, every time you give into the enemy. Stand strong Susan. Resist him and then return to Me. I will take you back and realign you EVERY Time.
Susan, though your life will be blessed you will endure trials and hardships, everyone does. It’s what you do with it that matters. Cast your cares upon Me, the Giver of restoration and life, and we will get through this journey together. Step-by-step. Step-by-step. Step-by-step I will lead you and you WILL follow Me all the days of your life and into eternity. Believe. Believe and rejoice.
My people, what are you so afraid of? Do not be surprised at the painful trials upon you as though something strange were happening to you. It will not be mountain tops only. I never promised this. I did however promise adventure, abundance, but this includes time in the valleys as well. These valleys have a great purpose. So, what will you do with them? Will you shrink in fear, cower, moan and complain, or seek My face for the reasons and the answers? What will you do with struggles? Remember My loves that these times have value and great purpose for they bring you from glory to glory. They transform you into the image of My Son. Give into discipline My people and remember to see it for what it is - LOVE. I discipline those I love and I use Satan to do this. But remember, he only has the control I give him. He has NO power over you other than what I release to him. Therefore rejoice. Rejoice and remember that all and everything is for your good and My glory - MY GLORY. My glory is the reason for EVERYTHING - everything that has happened to you and that will happen to you. So again, I ask, what will you do with it? Choose to embrace Me and My ways. Choose to believe that I WILL guide you step-by-step. Step-by-step. Step-by-step. Step-by-step I will lead you into eternity with Me after lives well lived and purpose fulfilled. I am faithful. I am faithful. I AM FAITHFUL.
We had a guest speaker in church that day from the ministry whose conference I had just signed up for a week before. The first thing he said was that we can know about a famous person, that we can read all about them from different sources, but that we really don’t truly know them. We just know what we read about them. He then mentioned that the same can be true of God. We can know about God. We can have a head knowledge about God by reading the Bible, but at the same time we may not really, truly, intimately know Him. I then thought about how likewise, we also cannot truly make Him known if we don’t personally, intimately experience Him. Unless this head knowledge of God becomes heart knowledge.
His first point was that to love God we must love Him with our time. He then read Matthew 22:37-39 where Jesus says the two greatest commandments. He says, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
I went through five pens that morning writing down what God told me to write. One by one they kept running out of ink. With that said, as I looked at these pens on the floor, it only took this guest speaker bringing up famous people and then his first sermon point for me to know in my heart what God was showing me.
This greatest commandment that Jesus was giving really comes down to, or starts by, giving God our time. We love God by giving Him our time. None of these three things are even possible without giving God our time, without abiding in Him and truly getting to know Him. We cannot love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, without spending time with Him and experiencing Him. A story from my life then came strongly to my mind, mainly a phrase God had said to me earlier this year within the message “Let My Glory Flow Freely Through You.” It was “Susan, your stories come forth due to such time with Me.” At that time, after using several pens that kept running out of ink, God used this symbolism to talk about our need to constantly be filled with His Spirit, that we are like pens and the Holy Spirit the ink. We need to go to God daily in order to be filled with this ink so that He can use our lives to write amazing stories. Back then God said to me:
“Susan, let MY glory flow freely through you.”
I responded, “Am I not Lord?”
He answered, “You are Susan but make sure you continue to do so. It will become easy for you My little one who is eager to get things done, to ignore or rush time with Me. Do not skip this step. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added onto you. I know you are excited Susan and I have called you to boldness and to testify by any means possible, but this doesn’t give you permission to skip time with Me, for Susan, your stories come forth due to such time with Me.”
Oops! I messed up again. I was so eager to get that message written and video made two weeks ago that I skipped time with God. Afterwards, like I mentioned, I struggled with a lack of peace. But why shouldn’t I have? For this, I see now, only opened me up to the enemy, giving him access to my mind and to those buttons he loves to push.
Step by step God promises to lead us, to use us, but we have to pause and truly sit at His feet. For, the second greatest commandment, to love our neighbor, is likewise only possible if we sit at Christ’s feet on a regular basis. We cannot truly be vessels for the Lord in other’s lives without sitting at His feet and being filled by Him. Martha once tried to “love” her neighbors by serving them but Jesus pointed out that Mary, her sister, was choosing in that moment what was best, sitting at His feet. As God once said to me, “You have to earn the right to be a Martha by first being a Mary.” You have to earn the right to be used by God to love and serve your neighbors, by first sitting at Christ’s feet.
And one of the best ways that we can love and serve our neighbors is to testify. It is to share the Word of our testimonies with them. It is for God to use our transformed lives to change them. It is to make Christ famous again through our stories, our lives. God longs to use our stories to minister to a hurting world. But He can only do this if we remain like pens filled with His Holy Spirit ink.
Forgive me Lord. I was too eager to get things done and forgot that my testimony that You want to use for me to love my neighbors arises from such times with You. I allowed the lack of peace and emptiness that followed to invite the enemy’s attacks and discouragement. The best way to make Christ famous again is first by truly getting to know You and experiencing You. Then and only then can I truly love my neighbors by giving them the Word of my testimony, by giving them Christ through my life and story.
Jesus is the Word. He is the One who offers us an abundant life through Living Water that never runs dry. If we are running dry, like my pens were, we need to go to the Well, to the Word. His story is the only story that truly offers love to our neighbors.
The guest speaker finished by saying that we will all stand before the Lord someday. He then asked, “What do you want to hear from Him?”
We make Christ famous by giving birth to the Word of our testimony. But we cannot give birth to the Word of our testimony without such times with Jesus. We must experience Christ in order to truly make Him known. We exist to know God and to make Him known. It’s that simple. Why do we complicate things so much? It’s easy to do, especially with Satan’s help. But our God is faithful and He will use everything we do, and everything that the enemy brings against us, to bring us from glory to glory so that when we stand before Him some day we will hear those blessed words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Thank You Lord. Amen and amen.