One of the things that I love about short term missions is continually feeling like I am in God’s sanctuary. It is like I feel His presence more, maybe because I am in a heightened state versus being comfortable and complacent. I feel his protection more, maybe because there is more that I am fearful of outside of my comfort zone. Being surrounded by Christ centered people is not my normal, so for everyday to include praying together, encouraging one another, and studying the Bible together is refreshing.
Now it is gearing up to go back to the battles of reality. I am praying for God to have used this time away to strengthen me. I am praying that I remain in a state of relying on Him and not returning to complacency. I am praying that when I no longer am surrounded by biblical encouragement, I will recognize Christ’s encouragement through His Spirit instead of through others. I am praying that my focus will remain on Christ’s priorities, not on the priorities that the world tells me I should have. My identity is in Christ. I am who He says I am and therefore I pray that the approval of others will remain meaningless.
Upon leaving home I took on the battle for my identity and asked Christ to teach me of my identity in Him, now the battle will be clinging to His truth amongst the everyday warfare. As the enemy wields lies, I need to counteract and respond with truth.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:6-10
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17
It is almost time to return home, not in my own strength but in His.