Good ideas abound! We will all pour out our lives for something. Pleasure. Pain. Family. Self. Others. Jobs. Busy-ness. Prayer. Purpose. The list can go on and on. We only get 24 hours in any given day to invest our time into something. My hope, my prayer for your life as well as my own, is that we would live into God’s purpose for our lives. My hope is that we live as undistracted as possible. My cry is that we would live into the dreams we have of the Kingdom.
In all of the ways we can invest our time, the most important will be to invest ourselves in the mandates that come from Heaven. There is a real commissioning that can only apprehend, or be apprehended in the Throne Room. God gives real assignments. He still calls and He still sends. This is what an apostolic community not only believes, but what an apostolic community lives out together.
We cannot do everything. We cannot please everyone. We cannot go everywhere. However, I believe there is supernatural grace for us to pursue God’s vision for our lives, both corporately and personally.
I. CORPORATE AND PERSONAL MANDATES
God has a purpose for you. He didn’t create you as an afterthought. He created you to be blessed and to be a blessing. He created you to know Him and also to make Him known.
13For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
We have been wonderfully created! Do you believe this? It’s time you did. You have been uniquely fashioned to bless the Lord and bring Him pleasure. You are capable of undoing His heart in a way that no one else can! You are special. You are important. He has ordained this to be so, so believe it!
God also has plans and purposes for nations and peoples and tribes.
11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Churches also were created uniquely and purposefully. There are corporate assignments that must be walked out. We can’t be everything or do everything well, but we can be our part perfectly!
God has formed Resound uniquely. He has fashioned us perfectly for our assignment. He has brought the right people together. As we have been reading through the book of Acts together, I have been finding myself caught up in the storyline of the Gospel as it continues through the early church. Different locations carry different assignments. Different people carry different gifts and anointing. It’s all for a purpose.
There are prophetic communities, pastoral communities, healing and recovery communities, teaching and equipping communities and also apostolic communities. Our Jesus is captain of the Host! He’s the General of Heaven. Certainly a frontline community cannot also operate as a hospital. And certainly a hospital cannot be required to rush into battle.
Resound is not the best hospital. We can bind up the broken, we can reset limbs, of course we are trained in triage, but we were not fashioned to be an ICU. That being said, thank God for ICU’s. We have a unique assignment by the Lord, and I’m ready to get back to it. We are have been called and commissioned to call churches out to the frontlines. We are an equipping ministry. This is who we are. Love can be someone tucking you into bed for much needed rest, or it can be someone pulling you out and with a swift kick in the derriere.
man·date – manˌdāt – noun
1. an official order or commission to do something. “a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners”
- an order from an appellate court to a lower court to take a specific action.
- a written authority enabling someone to carry out transactions on another’s bank account.
- a commission from the League of Nations to a member state to administer a territory. “the end of the British mandate in Palestine”
2. the authority to carry out a policy or course of action, regarded as given by the electorate to a candidate or party that is victorious in an election.
1“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,a
and oppress all your workers.
4Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the LORD?
6“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14then you shall take delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
If God has called you here, and I venture to say He has, or you wouldn’t be here, then your personal purpose will line up with the corporate purpose on this house. That just makes sense. It must! Sometimes we all need a little help figuring out what God is saying to us? It can be difficult to see at times how we fit into the family that He has placed us. Don’t run away. Don’t “shelf” yourself.
II. BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DISTRACTION
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Every so often, I try and take an assessment of my own life. For several decades I’ve been engaged in an ongoing conversation with the Lord. I’ll ask, “Let me overhear the conversation of heaven.” And once I hear it I say, “Lord, send me!” Over the years I’ve heard the Lord ask me the things that are on my heart. He’s allowed me to call Him into the next adventure, and this is Biblical.
As I’ve gotten older and different health concerns have surfaced in my life, my dialogue with the Lord has a different boundary. “What do I have the energy and the joy to take on?” This is not a bad boundary. It’s wisdom. As we get older, we get to live more focused lives. This is a good thing! It a good thing if we know how to focus. It’s a frustrating thing if we still haven’t learned our purpose, and we haven’t learned the discipline of editing out all the stuff that takes time and energy.
III. WRITE THEN RUN
2And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
What is the Lord saying for your life in this season? What do you have energy and joy to set your hand to in this particular time in your life?
What distractions do you need to cut out of your life right now?
How can you begin to run with the mandate of God for your life? What does running with the vision really look like for you?