Friday, June 1, 2012

3 Crucial Reminders about Remembering God on a STM

As a goer on a short-term mission (STM), a lot is going on in your mind when you arrive on location – did my shampoo explode in my suitcase; the sites are breath taking; excitement and nervousness; or even frustration from the journey it took to get there. There is an endless list of possible thoughts and emotions. The point is, in the hustle and bustle of traveling and doing, are you focused on the fact that you are on a STM?

First, upon arrival, pause and take a moment to focus your heart on the Lord. Being intimately connected in your heart and mind to God in each moment is vital when doing His work. Unfortunately one overwhelming reality of a STM is the issue of time, and the possibility of its distraction. The problem is that when a schedule is in place, people are then constantly thinking of what the next task is, but God meets us in the moments we are in. He meets us in the present tense – in the here and now. This means, that while time is active and moving, and the schedule ticks on, we must be aware we need to be fixed upon the presence of the Lord, praying and conversing with him continually.
When we seek Him in continual prayer, we are abiding in Him by giving Him the entirety of our situations. We offer Him the space to work freely, acknowledging His greatness and the power and control of His hand. We ask for our daily bread and the essentials, putting faith in His provision, and praise Him when our needs are met or when glory is deserved. Essentially, we are surrendering to God, and humbly seeking Him and worshiping Him for all He is and what He can do, for He is the center of all.

Second, remember you are in an ongoing spiritual battle. A STM means going and fulfilling the work he commissioned to us, make disciples of all nations. A STM is sent forward because of that call and the motivation to advance the kingdom for his glory. By responding to this call, we are declaring that God is our master. Remember that by doing such, we are stepping forth into a battle; into the thick of all that is of the world.
Realize the severity of the spiritual move we’ve made, disrupting the darkness, and bringing forth the light of God to the unreached, we go forth into enemy territory. Be prepared for spiritual warfare, and in faith, and with prayer, rely upon God for the protection we need with steadfast dedication. If our hearts harden, and become prideful or overconfident while serving Him, maybe even distracted, Satan is gaining ground because our hearts are being consumed with ourselves, and not relying on God for our needs, which are many.

Third and finally, take the time daily to meet with God while on your STM. In fact, meet with Him multiple times a day – as you transition from event to event, before travel, before speaking with people, while speaking, or any chance that you have. Keep the conversation going, inviting God to be part of your time. Also, try not to constantly be asking for things, but worshipping Him for His power and might, for His plan, for His greatness and mystery. Thank Him for Jesus and the gift of salvation, and be praying for hearts to soften, for safety while you’re involved in physical activity in that place, and for focus. Be praying for spiritual protection because Satan can come into your work to tempt and distract. Be on your guard, and ask specifically. Our God is a God who hears and acts – He is omnipotent and powerful.

Often we are inclined to think that God’s presence will be close at hand on a STM, but like regular life, we know we can’t make any assumptions about His closeness to us if it’s something we are not pursuing ourselves. So, focus your heart on the Lord when you arrive. Remember you’re in the midst of a spiritual battle, and take time to meet with him daily. You’ll find Him and discover what His will is for you and your involvement in the advancement of His kingdom.

Article by Crystal Mann

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