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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

"Is Your Mission Greater Than Your Problem?"

By Pastor Reimar Schultze

“Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:23–24).

If a line of distinction were to be drawn separating those Christians who finish their course from those who don’t, which side would you be on?  Are you finishing the course Jesus gave you following your conversion?  Are you still on it, or have you been sidetracked by unexpected problems and disappointments?

So, then, what course are you on?  What is your compass heading?  Is it still the same that Jesus gave you, or are you often changing direction with the changing of the winds?

“Neither count I my life dear unto myself...”

Paul says, “My opinions don’t matter.  My feelings don’t matter.  Whether I am comfortable or in distress does not matter.  Whether I am elevated or degraded does not matter.  Whether people think well or evil of me does not matter.  Whether they receive me or reject me, whether I get paid or don’t get paid for the work of the ministry does not matter.  Whether I live or I die does not matter.  I have a course to follow which the Lord gave me at Damascus .  I have a compass heading he assigned me, and I have kept and will continue to keep it throughout all the rest of my life.  And there will never be a problem in the whole world big enough ever to sidetrack me from this course, for my mission will always be greater and more important than any problem.  I intend to finish my course with joy!”

Everyone born of God receives a heading.  For some, it may be 270 degrees; for another, it may be 312 degrees; and for some, it may be 005 degrees.  But each one born of God receives a heading, a course, a direction, a mission to pursue.  Each one born of God is a chosen one, chosen to bring forth much fruit (John 15:16, 7).  The Holy Spirit never births a child of God for which he has no purpose.  Never! 

Paul was shown from the beginning of his Christian life what he was born again for, “To bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel ,” and he was told it would be a road of suffering (Acts 9:15–16).  God told Paul that there would be terrific storms, potholes, afflictions, disappointments, heart-breaking experiences, shattered dreams and aspirations on this course.  And was it always true!  Yet, nothing could ever move him from his mission.  The initial rejection from the brethren in Jerusalem did not, the many stonings did not, the disappointment over John Mark did not, the later refusal of the church of Asia to accept him as an apostle did not, the beatings, the shipwrecks, and the imprisonments did not keep him from his mission.

What does it take for you to get off course, to abandon your divine mission?  What problem will cause you to change your compass heading?  Is it something as small as someone praying too loud and long at a prayer meeting that will take you off your heading?  Is it something as small as the church services being too long?  Is it something as small as being rejected by your peers?  Is it financial loss?  Is it bitterness, resentment, jealousy or lust settling into your heart?  Is it a backsliding husband or a cold wife that causes you to abandon your mission?  Is it the lack of attention from your pastor that overcomes you and causes you to suffer shipwreck?  Oh, oh, oh—how many will finish their course with joy?!

God gives every one of his children, every one of them, a divine mission that is greater than any problem he or she will ever face!  No one will ever be given a mission from the Lord which is smaller than the greatest problem they will ever come up against.  Isn’t that wonderful?

“None of these things move me...”

Paul said, “none of these things move me.”  Hallelujah!  Even though the Holy Ghost continued to witness in every city that imprisonments and afflictions awaited him, he was determined to not be moved from his divine mission. 

If there is a definition of Christian integrity, it surely is to be found here: it is a person who will stay the course, no matter what, determined to finish his course with joy.  And if there is a definition of a lack of integrity, it is a person who will not stay the course.  Oh, how many millions of Christians get off course every year by problems a hundred times smaller than being imprisoned, stoned, and rejected.  What is the measure of your integrity?  Will you be able to say on Judgment Day, “I have finished my course with joy,” or will you have to hang your head in shame?

Integrity in our mission is so important.  Without integrity, we have no anointing from God.  There is also a connection between the lack of the Lord’s blessings and the lack of integrity toward our mission.  And is there not perhaps a connection between the presence or lack of integrity and what we will pass on to our children and grandchildren?  Over how many Christian graves could be written, “ Mission aborted over petty problems!”?

But Paul kept his integrity.  He was stoned at Lystra, and was presumed dead, so that his body was dragged out of that city.  But when his disciples surrounded him, he came back to life and immediately continued his mission “confirming the souls of the disciples...” (Acts 14:19–22).  On Judgment Day, how do the Christians who have left their mission because their toes were stepped on, compare to Paul who had his head bashed in and his body pummeled with stones, yet kept his mission?  My friend, integrity is staying the course, making no excuses.  Do you have integrity?

Where did Paul learn that being stoned, being dragged out of a city as a dead man was no excuse for leaving the course?  From Jesus!  “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth” (John 8:59 – 9:1).

They picked up stones to stone Jesus.  They put a death-sentence upon him, but he walked off and healed a man who was born blind.  Shouldn’t a death-threat cause him to at least take a week off to get through this terrible emotional trauma?  No, a thousand times, no!  No problem was greater than Christ’s mission, so no problem could sink it.  Jesus kept on as if nothing had happened.  And was it not part of Christ’s mission to give recovery of sight to the blind?  Did he not say so himself (Luke 4:18)?

Do you have a mission?

Do you have a mission greater than any problem: marital problem, financial problem, social problem, personal problem or church problem?  If your mission is smaller than the greatest problem you could ever face, you have lost the mission God gave you.  God’s mission is always greater than any problem.

“But,” you say, “Pastor, I am just a housewife.  So what is my divine mission?”  First, let me say, cross out the word just.  There is no such thing as a “just this” or a “just that” person in the kingdom of God .  Any divine mission, no matter how seemingly small, is of great value and significance to him.

Further, you must realize that your mission contains many parts, just as Jesus’ mission did.  Healing the blind was part of Christ’s mission.  Healing the broken-hearted and setting at liberty those who were bruised were other parts of his mission.  Similarly, our mission has many parts to it.  Yet, any one part of that mission is always greater than all the problems we could face.

The main body of anyone and everyone’s mission is found in this verse, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Mic. 6:8).

Think of these mighty words, to do justly: to be honest, upright, and righteous in all your ways; to love mercy: this prevents harshness and a critical, judgmental spirit from entering your soul; to walk with God: to walk with God as Enoch, as Jesus, as Paul, to walk hand in hand with God, to have unbroken fellowship with Jesus every day; and to do this humbly, which is the only way it can be done.

That’s the common mission, and we all have it.  It is indeed greater than any or all problems you will ever face!  If you keep your eyes on that all the time, no problem can ever sink you.  None!  Can you see that anyone embracing this life is never a “just” anything?  But every one of them will be a great saint who will never throw mud, eat mud or touch mud wherever it is found, whether it is on television, whether it is in a church meeting, or whether it is at the work place.  In short, the main mission, the common mission, is to let Jesus live in your body the same way he lived in his body 2000 years ago!  If you keep that in mind when you encounter a problem, you will stay the course.

Oh, yes, you said you are a housewife.  No longer just a housewife, of course.  What are the other parts of your mission?  You know, of course: submit to your husband as unto Christ (Eph. 5:22), keep the home pleasing to that husband, and if there are children, be a full-time mother, realizing that no secular nor vocational calling can ever exceed the immensity of the mission to raise boys and girls into men and women of God who can pray down heaven and shake the gates of hell.

Now, shall I continue and give you the “small part” department of your special mission as a truck driver, an engineer, a college student, etc.?  I shall not.  You have the Holy Spirit to teach you.

“But,” you say to me, “I have failed miserably.”  Get up, and stop failing!  That is what God told Joshua.  Joshua failed at Ai, and he put his attention on the problem, bringing him into a dust bowl of self-pity for himself and his elders (Josh. 7:6–10).  What a way to fight a war, my friend, with your face in the dust.  Does God give up on such people?  Does he dismiss them?  Are they forever cast away?  Shall they never bear the laurels of victory in their golden crowns?  The answer is, no!  God told Joshua, Get thee up!

My friend, sanctify yourself, and get up, and get back on your divine mission, and you shall yet hear your Master say on that great day: Well done, thou good and faithful servant!