Why You Can Accomplish What Others Only Think About
Over the past few days, I have been praying for those in the path of hurricane Sandy that buffeted the north-eastern United States. One of the storm-related photos that has gone viral shows three soldiers standing at attention in the driving rain at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Although the photograph was actually taken in September, the honor guard remained on duty, even as they were pummelled by the fierce wind and rains of this past week’s storm.
According to the Society of the Honor Guard website, “The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In fact, there has been a Sentinel on duty in front of the Tomb every minute of every day since 1937. And the Sentinel does not change the way he guards the Tomb, even at night when there is no one around.”
“The guards …are completely dedicated to their duty of guarding the Tomb. Because of that dedication, the weather does not bother them.”
There is a part in all of us that aspires to be as determined, committed and resolute as the Sentinels guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But how do we progress from aspiring to actually demonstrating those qualities? First, we must become convinced of the value of our mission.
Become Convinced Of The Value Of Your Mission
God has plans of magnitude and importance laid out for each of us. His plan and your mission is important and of highest value. Psalm 139:16 says that His plans for us were written in a book before we were ever born. God says His plans for us are “great and mighty.” He has plans “to prosper us and give us a future and a hope, and not to harm us.” God has deposited specific things in us that uniquely prepare us to carry out our mission.
The Bible has many examples of men and women who were convinced of the value of their mission. Joseph was convinced of the value of his mission, for he persevered through many hardships. You see Joseph’s mission was greater than his personal comfort or convenience. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate in understanding the value of His mission. He persevered to the cross to fulfill it. No one else could have carried out His mission and no one else can carry out yours. So you must not only believe in the mission, but you must also believe that you have a unique role in accomplishing it.
Believe That You Have A Part To Play
A big part of coming into maturity in Christ, is knowing what God wants you to carry out in His kingdom and being prepared and available for His purposes.
God has a mission tailor-made for you. You are His “go to” person for specific jobs He wants done on the earth! Sometimes our day-to-day lives can keep our focus earthbound. But that’s a limited perspective.
Colossians 3:1-2 encourages us this way: “If you then are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (NKJV).
We have been raised with Christ and are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Look up! View the significance of your life’s mission from your seat in the heavenly places. You’ll see an array of possibilities that are not visible from ground level. It’s exciting and inspiring to take on a mission and in order to persevere to the end, but you must also consider the cost of your mission.
Count The Cost
I would imagine that in daylight hours of pleasant weather being a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an enjoyable responsibility. When there are no obstacles in our path, the mission and life are good. But we know full well that the path of “ease” will not be the status quo.
We realize that personal sacrifice is required for the sake of the mission and that we must harden ourselves to forgo both personal convenience and the right to complain. If we consider the cost at the outset of our mission, we will be more likely to overcome the inevitable challenges that will arise along the way. Challenges can bring out emotions which can either serve or hinder our mission. Let’s look at a way we can use emotions to serve our mission.
Be Emotionally Connected
Our faith is grounded in what God’s Word says and not our emotions. But our emotions are not bad in and of themselves. The question is: has the emotion been stirred by the Word of God and does it connect us to our mission? The psalms tell us of David’s emotions and experiences as the Lord delivered him from many enemies. David looked to God for strength and supply, and encouraged himself in the Lord.
Personally, any time I spend confessing the Word elevates my hope and belief in God’s faithfulness. My joyfulness increases, as well as my resolve to carry on – to set my face like flint to see my mission through to the end.
Set Your Face Like Flint
Setting your face like flint means having a determined attitude. It comes through engaging your will and committing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. You won’t quit; you won’t stop; you set your face like flint; and you are determined. Isaiah says it this way “… I set my face like flint, confident that I’ll never regret this” Isaiah 50:7 (MSG).
The determined don’t put time limits on their commitments. They are committed with no conditions. As they begin the mission, their mind is made up to complete it. Doing what is right one or two times or even a few times won’t accomplish the mission. Being consistently diligent, doing what you know you need to do over weeks, months, and years, will.
To Sum It Up
Picture yourself just as those Sentinels guarding the Tomb: face set like flint, unmoved by the wind and rain, committed, determined, disciplined to your mission, no matter what may come.
You have been thoroughly furnished by God for every good work. You are convinced of the value of your mission. You know that you have a part to play. You’ve counted the cost and are determined. And that is why YOU can accomplish what others only think about!
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