Commissioned for the Great Commission
People occasionally ask me about the subject of commissioning—especially young people. They want to know who should commission them, when they should be commissioned, and, spiritually speaking, are they already commissioned. My answer to them is always the same: “If you don’t know if you’re commissioned or not…then you’re not.” I mean, sure, we humans have our rituals and ceremonies for commissioning, which are all fine; but the truth is, it’s God that actually commissions His people. And when God opens doors that no man can close (Revelation 3:8), you will be released through them like an arrow.
In Isaiah 49, God commissioned Isaiah to call the people of Israel back to Him so they could be His servants and bring Him glory.Servant throughout this passage refers to Israel, to Isaiah, and prophetically to Jesus. And since this is a living word, which means it is for us today, we can put our name in there as well. The Lord is commanding the nations to listen. God is commissioning us for the Great Commission!
Listen to me, all you in distant lands [nations]! Pay attention, you who are far away! The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name. He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”
I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”
And now the Lord speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:1-6 NLT).
The Messiah had been rejected by His people, so He turns to the “isles” of the nations, whom God gave Him for a light and for salvation. So, listen to this! In reality, beloved, there is no rejection; only favor. If you’ve been rejected by “your people” like Jesus was, the voice of God can turn to the nations and command them to pay attention. Wow! All things truly do work together for good (Romans 8:28). And, remember that wherever you turn, you are surrounded by a shield of favor (Psalm 5:12). Learn to walk behind that shield and become a magnet for the favor of God! Isn’t it wonderful to know that there are plenty of nations for everyone? In fact, I decree and declare that there is no such thing as competition in the Body of Christ. There are plenty of souls for everyone—millions waiting to receive arrows of truth.
God says to His servant, “You will bring me glory.” Now, glory is the revelation of God’s power and attributes, sometimes accompanied by visible phenomena. Because this is a word for us today, if you quiet your soul and listen carefully, you can you hear the Father saying: “You will bring Me glory.” Oh, my goodness! What an amazing time we are living in! Just think: God is going to use us in mighty ways, causing the nations to glorify Him. Alleluia!
Weapons of Our Warfare
Isaiah goes on to proclaim: “For the Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7 NASB).
Flint in this passage indicates a smooth, hard rock. We might liken this to arrowheads made of flint 3 million years ago, being hammered and shaped into effective weapons. Oh ouch, I think I felt that—smile. God wants us to be set like flint, not giving in to discouragement and certainly never ashamed in our pursuit of Him and our proclamation of Him to the nations, fulfilling the Great Commission. He is going to give us both strength and resolve in our commission.
The sword is the Hebrew word chereb. It is not a normal sword per se, but is a knife or tool used for cutting stone. It corresponds to a teacher in the church, which is you and I—a double-edged knife. So the sword, which are the very words of Christ upon our lips, have power and authority inherent within them. Beloved, we don’t need a brandished weapon to show God’s authority in the earth. We only need to speak the words of the Messiah, letting them fly, and letting them penetrate truth to the core of our hearers.
Did you know that in days gone by, arrows were occasionally shot with burning material attached to them, causingfire to ignite wherever they hit (Psalm 120:4)? So, imagine spreading revival fire each time we are shot out like arrows to the nations. The Master has handcrafted each one of us for a specific purpose and a precise time, making sure we’ve been carefully polished and are ready to soar. Just think: Jesus was hidden for years before being fully revealed in all His glory. In fact, we don’t even hear of the years of His life from 12 till the time He was about 30 years old. He was hidden, waiting in the quiver of God, for a specific purpose and a particular time.
Archery Lessons of Life
I recently took my first archery lesson, and Holy Spirit taught me a lot about how we are arrows in the hand of a warrior. When I first arrived at the field, I was immediately reminded of how distractions can take us off course. One of the gentlemen who was coaching the archery lesson tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Excuse me. Are you afraid of blood?” I responded, “No.” He then told me that a woman on their team had been trying to catch arun-away balloon for a child and she ran into the corner of a truck…with her head. So I quickly walked over to help. There was a large gash in her forehead with blood running down her face. We spent some time cleaning things up, restoring peace, and tending to the wounds of her head and her heart. I recalled Jesus having a ministry of interruptions as well. (Of course, distractions sometimes are from the other guy too, so we need to be discerning.) But the bottom line was this: sometimes new beginnings get real messy, real fast. But despite all the interruptions, we must remain set like flint.
After I received all of the equipment I needed for target practice, I realized I did not have on the right clothing. Since the event had come as a surprise to me, I was not prepared. The long shirt I was wearing kept getting in the way of the sheath as I went to draw out arrows. This reminded me of how important it is to always be ready in and out of season and always dressed in the full armor of God as we “step into the field.”
Humility was a key to learning that day. Standing beside seven- and eight-year-olds who could hit the bulls-eye every time was really good for me. It reminded me that we all have an “inner child” still wanting to fulfill the dreams of God and that we’re never too old for that. I think dreams fulfille ddepend a lot on how much we truly want something and then moving forward with childlike faith. Have you noticed that the more spiritually mature we become, the more childlike we must be?
As each participant took turns shooting arrows, timing became extremely important. Each person needed to be listening to the master archer so that friendly fire hurt no one. Everyone was respectful of the other person’s boundaries and waited fort heir appointed time, determined by the one in authority.
As practice continued, I actually missed the entire target! I mean missing the bulls-eye is one thing, but when our arrows come nowhere close to the target, we realize how important it is to be able to laugh at ourselves and keep on trying. When the teacher released us to go and retrieve our arrows, everyone waited for me to go out into the field and find my one, lost arrow. Doesn’t that sound just like Jesus? Pushing “pause” to find that one lost arrow,l ost coin, or that one lost sheep?I noticed that even though I had all the equipment I needed, and I had been taught how to hold the arrow, how to stand correctly, and how to pull back on the bow, I still did not have clarity of vision. Having had Lasik surgery on my eyes a couple of years ago, I simply could not see the target clearly without help. I realized that I needed my long-distance glasses to bring things into focus. It’s the same way with our God-given visions. We need the Helper to give guidance, direction, and clarity in setting goals to hit. I mean, come on, if we can’t see the target, we’re not aiming at anything. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to hit nothing.
Holy Spirit showed me the straight and narrow way of the arrow. Arrows are not like boomerangs as if to change their mind and return, only going about in circles…around the mountain for 40 years. Commitment, accountability, and covenant are crucial for arrows in thehands of a warrior. Yes, there may be some residue as we are released, some guts left on the arrow as we fight on a victorious battleground. And that’s only because arrows of truth must penetrate in order to be effective; and that can get messy. But we never ever quit or change our mind. If you were just about to shoot an arrow at a huge giant coming straight at you, hmmm…say…Goliath for example, and just as he was about to kill you, you changed your mind and shot the arrow in a different direction, what do you think would happen? You would be completely annihilated. Not pretty.
Sharpened, Polished, and Ready to Soar
I believe in this hour the Lord is looking for those who have been sharpened and polished by the Master. They are ready to soar straight as He pulls them from the quiver of life and shoots them like lightening out into distant lands; out of their comfort zones and into the Great Commission. They will not be a people who are ill prepared, but those who are flaming with the fire of God in their bellies and the words of God on their lips as they hit the bulls-eye every time. They will be people who are useful for the Master, bringing God glory in all that they do.
As you’ve been on the practice field of life, the Lord has resolved to test His steadfast love in you! He has resolved to see if you could maintain that love and imitate it as ambassadors of Christ, as arrows in the hands of a Mighty Warrior. He has been overseeing your lessons to make sure that love is your greatest aim in all that you do, for without love we fail to bring Love glory (1 John 4:8).
Of course, with practice comes the testing. This will happen until what the psalmist said of Joseph’s testing in Genesis will be true of us: “Until the time that [God’s] word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him (Psalm 105:19 NASB).
But God is always faithful, and everything He promises will always come to pass, thus thrusting us into our destinies as we bring glory to His name! The apostle Paul reminds us of this:
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:20-23 NLT).
Copyright © Paulette Reed Ministries.