“….go and make disciples………” Matthew 28:19

Did you catch that?  Read it again.  Don’t miss it!!

It’s a command.  There is no “if you feel called” or “if you don’t mind.”  It is simply put as “go and….”   Jesus had gone through the most horrific death imaginable.  After coming out of the grave of death, He walked among His followers for another 40 days before returning to His Father in heaven.  And He didn’t miss the opportunity to give one last instruction to His followers.  “Go.  Everything you learned from Me you should be able to now duplicate in the lives of others.”  A body of believers that is not actively mentoring is not taking serious these particular words from Christ, or doesn’t have a full understanding of the importance.

Mentoring is duplication.  It’s an art that is learned at the feet of someone else. Duplication is the reflection of an original.  It takes effort.  It is intentional.  Jesus intentionally choose His disciples and ‘did life’ with them daily.  He intentionally walked out of His way to meet the woman at the well.  There was intentional purpose in His going to see Lazarus after the burial. There was intent on choosing Judas to live among them.  Every intentional action had been previously thought out and planned.

Mentoring is intentional.  I recall a time when I was being asked to oversee a ministry. It was an area of ministry new to me so I had questions.  As I sought out details of my responsibilities I asked, “Who am I accountable to?  Who will be checking on me to make sure I’m staying on track and doing well in my own spiritual walk?”  The answer surprised me.  I was given a name and told, “If you need anything, this is who you can contact.”

If I need anything?  Here I am possibly about to say yes to one area of ministry that I was not trained in.  An area where I would be pouring into the lives of others weekly.  No doubt there would be things I would need.  But the answer left me with a feeling of being pushed aside.  The feeling of ‘if this area is covered, we are happy.’  Truth was they didn’t see me as someone who needed mentoring.  They trusted me.  But it left me thinking of all the ones who did need mentoring.  What if they were put in this same position?  What would happen to who they were to be ministering to?  Truth was, like anyone else, I am human with faults and need to be held accountable.  And in this case, I had just gone through some tough times myself and needed to know I was cared about as a person.  Not for my gifts and abilities, but for who I am every day as a person.  I needed someone to intentionally ask me how I was doing.

It’s ingrained in all of us.  That need to know someone cares.  You know, REALLY cares for you as a person. Not your gifts or talents.  But you.  Individually.  We all need accountability.  We also need the friend who will intentionally put aside time to talk with us.  That one who has walked the road already and is willing to mentor us in our new season until we are ready to intentionally mentor someone else who will come after us.

Intentional duplication.  If we care for others, intentional acts will follow.  Not the stopping to say ‘hi’ just when we see each other.  It’s the spur of the moment, ‘I was thinking of you…..let’s do coffee’ type of intentional.

The flower and note left on a friend’s desk.

Picking up the paper of our elderly neighbor.

Taking a meal to a family.

Seeking out someone just to say ‘hi’ and let them know you are thankful for them.

It’s all intentional.  And it matters.  Christ did it.  We all want it.

Let’s start a movement of mentoring…….INTENTIONALLY!




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Not On My Watch!

“Dad says we should call 911.”

Nope!  Not this time.  Although the words were coming from a young medical student who had his family practitioner dad on the phone, I had my mind made up.  I replied, “No.  We will pray this through!”  I had seen this demon before.  Just hours earlier my husband had been discharged from and overnight hospital stay.  It had been two weeks of close calls with his life.  All symptoms pointed to a stroke.  And all tests showed nothing was wrong with him.  Despite the fact that the ER monitor registered his rates as 179/93, the doctors could see nothing triggering these episodes of symptoms.  And we were back home watching the symptoms start again.  I refused to call 911.  Not this time, Satan!  Not taking him today!  Not on my watch!!  Within minutes of prayer, he was up again and walking around.

It’s the slogan that often makes a good story line for a would-be hero.  The Marine, policeman, city leader, or whoever the good guy is in any particular story.  But what about the church?  Dare we speak those words into a situation?

A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a ladies retreat where my daughter was the speaker.  In one of the sessions, the same statement was emphasized.  And it has stayed with me. Yet what would it look like to really live out, “Not on my watch!”?

Let’s break this down.  A watchman both sounds the alarm and is prepared to defend.  He often will practice drill in order to keep his senses sharp.  We see this in Nehemiah 4.

“Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built.  And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.” 

Did you catch that?  Each of the workers were going along tending to their daily duties and yet remained on the alert to defend their family and community.  Their duties were rebuilding the city’s broken wall.  They realized that part of seeing to the needs of their families also meant making sure their city was protected from intruders who perhaps had evil intent.  And they were doing this as a team of workers.  Together.

Isn’t that how we should approach our relationships in Christ?  Working together.  Taking care of our families by also defending those connected to our families through the body.  Nehemiah gave a charge to the workers in verse 20, “Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there.  Our God will fight for us.  Another “AHA!” moment!  When they heard the shofar, they were to come to attention, stop the work of building, and run to the aid of their friends.  The enemy was approaching and their community was at risk.

Standing in the gap for each other.  Protecting our families even while going about our daily lives.  It’s that state of mind where we remain alert in the spirit, listening for a possible spiritual shofar blast.  Times when you get an uneasy feeling and know you just need to pray.  Or when you recognize the pattern of attack, such as constant symptoms with no explanation, and you know it’s time to make sure the enemy realizes you have had enough!

One time I heard an audible voice call out to me in middle of the night.  Just one word. It was the name of a young man whose life was drowning in drugs.  I was immediately awake and praying for this precious soul.  Often God had placed this young man on my heart for prayer.  But this night I felt the urgency.   Later I learned that while I was praying, he was angrily speeding down the highway.  He did not come to Christ until a year or two later, but no doubt a tragedy was averted that night.

Once, after my husband had gone to lay down and rest, I was drawn to go in and pray for him.  I literally started crying and asking God not to take him.  I prayed until I felt a peace, then left the room.  When he was up a little later, he explained that a dark figure had crawled in the room and within minutes something was choking him.  He was being choked by the demon when I entered to pray.  Not on my watch!  The Spirit had sounded the shofar.  I used the sword.  We won the battle!

And there was the time I woke up to my eight-year-old daughter screaming from her room.  She had been battling with nightmares and that very night we had decided to anoint our doorposts and pray.   She awoke from a dream and saw red eyes watching her.  That made me angry!  How dare he defy my authority over him!!  Not on my watch!!  The commands starting flowing out of my very being.  He must go!!  That was the last night she battled the night terrors.

“When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”  Isaiah 59:19

A standard.  A standard is an object, such as a banner or flag, used for different occasions.  It often marks a rallying point in battle.  Flags raised as a standard usually are meant to represent the head of a state or a royal family and carries their emblem.  It’s presence speaks of power and authority for the one it is raised above.

Let’s put that together.  When God raises a standard, He has just initiated a shofar blast in the spirit in order to rally the watchmen to action.  And He has informed the enemy that He is giving the warriors His authority to break the back of the demonic forces.  It is then up to the warrior to choose to use that authority during his watch.

So what is happening to those around me during my watch?  Am I at alert while going about my every day life?  A soldier staying alert usually takes training.  Am I taking time to train in my spiritual weapons?  Am I dressing for battle?

I don’t know where you are today or what the enemy has thrown your way.  For me, he’s trying once again to take out several believers around me.  But he should know by now what my response is —-  NOT TODAY SATAN!   NOT ON MY WATCH!!!



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