By: Staci Stallings
I love reading The Message Bible. I don’t know if that means my brain doesn’t wrap around the words in “regular” Bibles or what, but I can read The Message and come away in two minutes with more inspiration and uplift than two hours with a normal Bible.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love certain translations of certain verses, and some I even have memorized that way. But the Message puts it in terms I just “get” without any mental gymnastics as to what it’s saying.
For example, the Apostle Paul begins many of his letters with a variation on this phrase, “I, Paul, sent on a special assignment to give the Message of Jesus to the world…”
I love that! Don’t you?
“Sent on special assignment.”
What would it be like to truly believe that you were in that place of feeling like God had sent YOU on a special assignment? How would your life be different? Would you treat it with more diligence, more vigilance? What if you proclaimed to someone that you had been sent to them on special assignment from God?
How would your spouse (for example) react to that proclamation? Your kids? Your co-workers? Your friends? Would you have the guts to tell them that? Or do you even believe it?
I believe every Christian is exactly like Paul. We are all sent here on special assignments from God to bring Christ into our world. Through His Holy Spirit, God empowered each of us to use our gifts and talents to further the Kingdom.
But too many of us shun our gifts, hide our talents, and drown ourselves in busyness–believing there is no way that we’re special like Paul. What do we have to say? What do we have to give? Nothing, we believe, and so we follow that up by giving and doing nothing. We hear another in spiritual struggle and quietly step away because we don’t know what to do, we don’t know what to say. And in that moment, God, Who could have spoken through you, loses a channel of His love, a means of speaking His Love and Mercy and Grace into this hurting person’s life.
So why do we run? Why don’t we step into the special assignments Jesus sends us on?
1) Disbelief and fear. Topping the list have to be these two. We are afraid what others might think of us. We are afraid we will say the wrong thing and make things worse. We are afraid we will say something, and it won’t turn out well. So we say and do nothing at all.
2) No time. We have all fallen hard into the trap of busyness. We are so busy, we can’t take the phone call from someone who needs to talk something through. We can’t sit with our kids and listen to their struggles. We have no time for friends or family.
3) No resources. I think some of us fall into the trap of thinking that money or things will solve the problems of the heart, and since we don’t have the resources to help, we choose not to help at all. But one of the things I have learned from one of my writing groups on line is how very important and sacred just listening and praying for someone are. Countless times members have come on asking for prayers for everything from a spouse being unemployed to some simple something that’s been lost. No prayer request is too big. None is too small. If it’s important to you, it’s important to the group. No physical resources trade hands, but spiritually we are there for one another.
4) What will they think? Oh, how many times did this one stop me from following through on a special assignment. I was in the moment. I knew what God was telling me to say, but my courage left when the thought came, “I can’t say that! What will they think of me?” Satan loves to use that one because it tears both people down simultaneously. I finally found a way over that hurdle. I would simply say, “Okay, I’m weird, but…” That way I got my fear that they would think I was nuts on the table. I was honest about it, and that put Satan in his place real quick.
So what special assignment from God have you been sent on? Believe me, it’s not random. It is one of the assignments you were sent here for. If you think you can’t, have the faith of a mustard seed and ask God to help you. He will. After all, He’s the One Who knew enough to send you!
“One simple act of kindness can change everything.”
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