Weapon of choice
October 22, 2021
How does one compose a title for an email on giving to missions that compels people to read on instead of sending them to the delete button? I was asking myself that very question today when a friend named joy as "our weapon of choice". It clicked instantly, because last week as I was praying for finances to come in for the Canadian arm of an amazing initiative to send Arabic-speaking missionaries into the Arab (mainly Muslim) world, I felt an outpouring of joy come over me and sensed that people were going to give to this mission because the Holy Spirit has to resource His own work. Three important points here:
- The mission is Spirit-initiated (the workers worshipped and prayed and waited on the Lord until they heard His heart and His vision became theirs, then stepped out in faith).
- The mission is Spirit-led (the workers worship and pray and wait for every strategy and step).
- People invest in it because the Spirit releases the joy of giving what is His for His work. (That joy is within us and gushes up like a well. John 4:14)
This doesn't mean that any part of a mission is going to be easy - in fact, some things are very hard. Waiting is hard. Moving to another nation is hard. Getting the church to take interest in reaching Muslims with the Gospel is hard! Cross-cultural work is challenging, including - have you thought of this - that Christian immigrants to the West attempting mission work to Muslim immigrants find it a sea change to navigate Western systems of fund-raising. Giving may involve sacrifice and/or risk.
That's why, when we go to the armoury (bear with me as I use this military analogy), our weapon of choice is joy. We fight in the opposite spirit to the difficulties. "The joy of the Lord is [our] strength" (Nehemiah 8:10b). Joy that arises in us from remembering God and praising Him carries us when the struggle wears us down (Psalm 42:5, 6, 11 and Psalm 43:5).
"Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place." (1 Chronicles 16:27)
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)
"Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!" (Psalm 81:1)
Lift up to the Lord a mission initiative or organization you know is struggling to raise finances, a particular missionary, a congregation that is lacking vision for giving to missions - especially missions to Muslims, yourself if you are thinking you should be giving more.
CHOOSE JOY: Praise the Lord with this song by We the Kingdom: God So Loved
SPEAK LIFE IN THE SPIRIT over that initiative or organization, missionary, congregation and/or yourself. Pray for the Spirit of Life to gush up like a fountain from within them (John 4:14).
DECLARE they/we will shift from depending on works of the flesh for success into the realm of the Spirit where the Spirit initiates, directs and provides resources. "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
PRAY for those of us being called by the Spirit to fund missions to respond, not to pressure or guilt or intimidation, but to the abundance of the Spirit's joy in funding His own work.