May Christ shield me today
against poison and fire,
against drowning and wounding,
so that I may fulfill my mission
and bear fruit in abundance.
I want to focus on just a tiny bit of what is being said here in this part of The Breastplate about mission. In some circles a lot is made of mission statements and vision statements, and all of these things are good for getting focus to come forth, if it isn’t already clear to you. Most of us see this as a corporate thing, or a business idea, and not as a viable concept to have in your personal life. So is this concept of mission a viable one for an individual? I think it is clear from the Life of St. Patrick, and many of the famous leaders throughout the history of God’s people everywhere that they lived their lives with a clear sense of a call and an intended sense of mission and direction.
This question leads to a lot more about the nature of God and how He reveals things to us. God is intentional. He purposes something in His heart and then announces it, and then does it. And since we are made in the image and likeness of God, would it not follow that we are intentional beings as well? “But what about God’s will?” you may ask. I think that it may work like this. God wants someone to take care of a problem, let’s say He wants a certain group of people to pray for the city they live in. So He gets you to start praying. Once you get a head of steam going in the right direction you invite a few friends to join you, and there you have it, another movement of prayer has begun. So first it’s a plan in God’s heart, then it’s a plan in yours, which leads to action.
Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
There is sort of a myth around that God has a plan to fool you into going to some disease-ridden cesspool of a country to slog away for the rest of your life in obscurity. Actually, if God really wants you to go to the poor and destitute, He will give you a desire in your heart to do just that. You’ll be begging Him to send you to that place for His glory. One way of understanding the scripture that states that God gives us the desires of our hearts is just this understanding. He gives you a desire to do something for Him specifically. More than likely, though, your desires to run a business or have a happy, healthy family, or go to school are already the desires of God for you. Just imagine Jesus with a big, fat, happy grin on His face as He stamps a big red “YES” on your request. So, as Paul said, if God is for you, who can be against you?
Let’s do it again! Let’s pray The Breastplate!