Dr. Craig L. Oliver
“If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart.”
- Neil Anderson
Did you know that we are all called to be missionaries every day? The average person has a mental construct of missionary work being abroad in the jungles of some third-world country replete with sleeping on dirt floors, eating little to no food, and keeping an eye out for wild animals with whom you may temporarily share living quarters. Let me challenge you, however, to actively renovate your paradigm concerning the work of the missionary. The work of the missionary, in the life of the believer, can occur in everyday circumstances. This is what I call being an “Everyday Missionary”.
“True prayer is neither a mere exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
- Charles Spurgeon
There are times within our individual contexts of life that we encounter extraordinary circumstances that require the intervention of the Good Hand of the Lord in our lives. There are moments in life that demand influence, fortitude, or strength that exceed our capacity. I firmly believe, however, that in these moments of our most exhaustive extremity that the conditions are perfect to engage the power wrought from fasting and praying. More than merely going without food, fasting and prayer reflect a humbled and submitted posture of the heart as illustrated in the story of Nehemiah.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In our current racial, social, and political climate it would be easy to degenerate into a mindset of fear, anger, and extremism. When we are constantly bombarded with information from the media that suggests that social justice and equality aren’t attainable for all it becomes easy to adopt a dismal outlook on our present circumstances. To adopt a mentality of such a limited and self-defeating scope, however, would be to reject the resilient and indomitable legacy we possess as a people. A mindset of the aforementioned vantage point obscures from our view the unfailing hope that we have as a people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds.
“I shall participate, I shall contribute, and in so doing, I will be the gainer.”
Each of us has a unique virtue and grace assigned to us by God that gives expression to His presence in the earth. We have an inimitable set of skills that comprise our imprint on the world designed to answer a specific need or call in the earth. These talents and virtues were given to us to actively engage them in service to our families, our communities, and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We all win when everyone actively participates collaboratively functioning as a single unit to accomplish the mission. A common quote often attributed to Gestalt psychology theorists is “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” which intimates that we are far more effective functioning collaboratively rather than the sum total of our individual efforts. Simply put we can accomplish far more working together than we can apart from each other.
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins; not through strength, but through perseverance.”
H. Jackson Brown
We have a choice that has been set before us. We can either be victims who are overwhelmed by the circumstances of our lives or we can be victors who triumphantly overcome in every context of life. Regardless of the hand that you were forced to play I want you to emphaticallyproclaim “iWIN” and allow that to serve as the impetus behind your perception of yourself.
Very often the difference between winning and losing is not strength to overcome adversity, but rather it is the mindset to persevere. Perseverance necessitates a mindset that is resigned to stay the course regardless of the opposition. It is the rugged determination that is resolved to endure even in circumstances that may be uncomfortable and painful because of the assurance of victory on the other side of the journey. Perseverance is dogmatically declaring “iWIN” in a context that appears to be the antithesis of that declaration. It is the mindset that is resigned in its decision to hold firmly to faith when the surrounding conditions appear to suggest that it would be easier to give up!
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It is my sincere prayer that as Christians we are not sitting around like the proverbial ostrich with our heads stuck in the sand oblivious to what is happening in our world. In times like these we must be cognizant and aware of what is happening in the world around us and postured with an appropriate awareness that serves as a catalyst for action. Our response must reflect the love and maturity that comes from our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the strategic trajectory that is rooted in an informed and balanced posture that seeks justice for everyone.
“Winning is a habit and so is losing.”
- Vince Lombardi
“i WIN” is a statement which articulates our audacious and tenacious faith that we will be victorious because we are connected to THE ULTIMATE WINNER, Jesus Christ and His redemptive work at Calvary. He defeated Death, Hell, and the Grave summarily demonstrating the superiority of His authority and power. The Bible declares in Romans 8:37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” The latter portion of the 8th chapter of Romans presents 4 prepositional truths that allow us to boldly proclaim that “i WIN” over opposition, accusation, condemnation, and debarment.
“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.”
- Zig Ziglar
“i WIN” is a bold and resolute declarative statement that we make in relation to the triumphant victory we have in Jesus Christ. Through our declaration we announce to the world that we will walk through life as conquerors over any and all circumstances regardless of what they may look like. “i WIN” exemplifies our posture toward the various circumstances that we will encounter that bespeaks our unyielding faith that we will be absolutely triumphant in every area of our lives. Through Jesus Christ and His redemptive work wrought in our lives we can be unapologetic in our declaration “i WIN”.
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