One night this summer, the teams gathered in the chapel on the S.I. base for a “Servant Challenge.” As the rain pounded down onto the metal roof, we lifted up songs of praise to our Creator. We spent time reading His Word, and in one-on-one prayer with our Father. The evening was to end with Jesus’ example of serving, washing another’s feet. I wasn’t really looking forward to that. It seemed too intense and intimate, and definitely outside of my comfort zone!
As we moved to that part of the night, I looked up from my prayer journal and saw Heather. Heather was (and still is!) one of ‘my girls’. We had met, really, two years earlier, on our 2008 D.R. mission trip. After we returned home I led a small group of high school girls (Audrey, Heather & Makenzie – love mis chicas dulces!). They were all heading off to college so it was our final time to be together. Instead of being weird, partnering with Heather back in the place our friendship started was a beautiful and fitting end to this part of our journey.
During this evening of serving, there was also a challenge. A challenge to live all-out for Jesus. In ways that would be stretching and new and take our everything. As Jesus met me through song and the Word and prayer and foot washing, the idea of serving in the D.R. full-time stopped being a nice, abstract flirtation and started to take deep root in me.
And then, one of the interns shared something written by a young pastor in Zimbabwe. This pastor was martyred for his faith, and among his belongings was a moving, Holy Spirit filled prayer. With the rain still pouring down, the interns’ voice rang out. My heart soared, and right then I started saying Yes. Here is what we heard:
I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made—I’m a disciple of his. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must keep going until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
May my banner be clear as I serve our Savior!