JD Walt at Seedbed.com in today’s devotional talks about why the average person doesn’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit…In writing about this topic he says, “People who aren’t living life in the big framework of the gospel don’t recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit, and as a consequence, they would not perceive a small assignment that might come their way. Another way of thinking about the big framework of the gospel is in the military concept of commander’s intent.”
“Commander’s Intent describes how the Commander envisions the battlefield at the conclusion of the mission. It shows what success looks like. Commander’s Intent fully recognizes the chaos, lack of a complete information picture, changes in enemy situation, and other relevant factors that may make a plan either completely or partially obsolete when it is executed. The role of Commander’s Intent is to empower subordinates and guide their initiative and improvisation as they adapt the plan to the changed battlefield environment. Commander’s Intent empowers initiative, improvisation, and adaptation by providing guidance of what a successful conclusion looks like. Commander’s Intent is vital in chaotic, demanding, and dynamic environments.” (Source: Harvard Business Review)
“One of the main reasons most people have no concept of receiving a “small assignment” from the Holy Spirit is that they do not have a clear sense of the commander’s intent. So what is the commander’s intent for the followers of Jesus? I’m glad you asked. He made it very clear just prior to his Ascension into Heaven.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)”
Here’s my question to myself: Am I consciously aware of these 33 words today?”
My thoughts and life’s roads go in a dozen directions daily. It is like the chaos of a battlefield many days. I have to be prepared to shift gears on a moment’s notice. I get calls that can take me flying in a different direction with little notice at all. Some of them do have, literally, life and death implications. As JD Walt observes. I have to be crystal clear about my focus, even fixation, on commander’s intent. Some things cannot wait until another day. Prioritization is necessary. Delay can be deadly. There are times when I glance back over my shoulder and thank God that I listened well enough to hear his voice in a situation and took care to build in extra time with someone or some task, that I stood my ground, that I set a boundary, even that I skipped a meeting. Do I make mistakes? Yes. Are there regrets at times? Yes. Do I feel God’s favor at times? Yes. Do I feel his discipline at times? Yes. By and large do I believe I am fulfilling the Commander’s Intent. I do. There are days I feel outnumbered and outflanked, but never outdone. God always has my back and there is always another day to start anew. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. And He’s got this!
Titus 2 feels some days like a beachhead.
“Beachhead- the area that is the first objective of a military force landing on an enemy shore; a secure initial position that has been gained and can be used for further advancement; foothold.” This is my base of operation. My secure initial position. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get attacked. It does. Regularly. But we continue to reinforce its spiritual structure and make it a safe place for women to come who need a refuge.
Yesterday’s small assignments included delivering boxes of nice new jeans from a church yard sale group to a youth facility and a bag of baby onesies to a foster family program, following up on arrangements for an interview between a writer for a Christian magazine and a young teen who is an up and coming advocate for individuals who need wheelchair accessible public spaces in our community, drug testing a mother who is working on getting her toddler son back in her custody, and comforting a mother who lost her son years ago in an auto accident and still grieves while helping her understand and nurture her own blossoming faith in Jesus, discussing upcoming volunteer wheelchair ramp builds with project supervisors, arranging furniture delivery with some teen boys to a disabled father and his son for Thursday afternoon, checking the status on a case of child molestation, checking the status of another case seeking negotiation of lesser charges, and planning for a youth group work day today at Titus 2. And don’t forget self-care, study, and worship….. Focus. Commander’s Intent. Am I consciously aware of being Christ’s witness in Jerusalem (Titus 2 and my home), Judea (Bay County and among familiar and comfortable places), Samaria (among unfamiliar areas and even in distasteful places I may go) and all the world (wherever he takes me and my influence)?
I am reminded of the memory scene in War Room of the deceased husband in the war room with the battle plans and the women’s prayer “war room” closets. There is no more apt metaphor for the spiritual life than battle. The minute you get serious about this Jesus thing, you are in the crosshairs of the devil’s target. But the good news is you are also in the invincible protection of the Almighty God’s loving arms forever!