Can you have a missional mindset in the military? Here at Planting Roots we believe it is not only possible, but that God has planned it that way. Kasey kicks off this month’s discussion about how military women can impact the globe for Christ.
Serving Wherever God Sends You: Missional Mindset
by Kasey Raia Stout
A couple of my mentors always said, “God tells the Air Force, then the Air Force tells us.”
I hold this concept close to my heart, especially when I start to question WHY am I stationed here, or WHY am I going there?
My husband and I found out we will be PCSing to Altus, Oklahoma next summer. Thank God for my husband, who sees the bright side of any situation, almost to a fault. I try to be this way, but I will admit, I was angry with this news. This did NOT line up with MY plan for our careers, nor did it line up with when WE wanted to have kids. I’m sure you can relate to this sort of frustration.
It took me a couple of months to swallow my pride and surrender the whole situation over to God. Despite the fact that our next assignment was not overseas like I wanted. Despite the fact that the timeline I had in mind for having a family was not going to go like I planned. I knew I had to trust God. Even though as soon as I heard the news, in my head I knew I needed to trust God, it took weeks and weeks for this concept to move down into my heart.
God’s Purpose and Our Plans
This past week I read a quote by authors Jim Putman and Bobby Harrington, “a disciple of Jesus is saved for a purpose.” This statement struck a chord in me. God is not just aimlessly saving people from an eternity separated from him because he loves us. Instead, he offers us a life with purpose! God intends to use us for his plans and His glory! I am not sure about you, but that fires me up!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were
born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
It was no surprise to God that you joined the military or married a military person.
So how much more impactful is this verse from Jeremiah? God tells him that he knew him before he was born, and that he appointed him! Therefore, in the same way, it is no accident that you are stationed where you are, have orders to where you’re going, or retired where you did.
But, if you’re like me, it may take some time for your head knowledge to make it to your heart. A few things helped to speed things along for me.
How to Get Head Knowledge to Your Heart
First, I try to be honest with God. Tell Him how you are feeling. Trust me, he can take it. Only when I get those emotions out in the open can I process them in light of his truth. Journal, talk to friends, talk to your spouse, paint, exercise, do whatever it takes for you to process what you are feeling. Don’t be afraid to feel the way you feel, but always keep in mind you want this process to be productive, not aimless.
Next, I worship God for who he is and what he has already done. Sing songs of worship, pray to God, and thank Him for who He is. This acts as a great perspective check to remind you that God is God, and you are not, but you wouldn’t want to be God anyway with your faults.
Finally, I surrender the whole situation over to God. This is the most difficult step and might require multiple tries. If it doesn’t work the first time, repeat the first two steps until you can get to a place of full surrender.
Please note, surrender is CONSTANT. Just because you successfully and genuinely surrendered something over to God once, does not mean pride and sin won’t rear its ugly head again. Make sure you routinely examine your heart for any backpedaling in this area. It may even look like fear or worry about what is next.
Rick Warren often says, “Worry is really just a form of atheism.” How true is that? It is so easy to worry about an assignment or a PCS and forget who is in control and sovereign over all. No matter where you are or where you are going, don’t forget that God is orchestrating every piece of it! Not only that, but he wants you there. He has a reason and a purpose that only you can fulfill there.
Read: Proverbs 19:21, Ephesians 1:11-12
Reflect: How might God be orchestrating the fulfillment of his purposes for you in the place where you are right now? Or the one he is sending you to next?
Respond: What steps can you take today toward developing a missional mindset?
Lord, Thank you that you have placed me exactly where you have me. Thank you that your plans and purposes for my life are far greater than anything I could dream up for myself. Thank you for choosing me to play a part in your story. I ask that your purpose for my life would feel real and tangible, and that I would not get caught up in prideful desires, but instead would fully surrender each day to you. Thank you that I am a missionary for your Kingdom, and I pray that I can be Your love and light to a sinful world. I ask all of these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For more about developing a missional mindset in the military, read Simple Ways to Share Christ Wherever the Military Sends You.