“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The other day I drove one of the girls who I disciple home. We had been shopping for supplies for an event, and she tried to pay me for part of the supplies. I assured her that we would cover it, and that our donors give so that we can do things like that. She listened amazed as I explained about our donor team. She exclaimed, “Wow, that’s amazing! We should send them thank you notes!” I agreed, laughing internally, as I thought about all the notes I still needed to write.
Later on, I was humbled and filled with thanks again for our team. But on top of that, I was reminded of the weight of the privilege of having a donor team. Our partnership with donors requires sacrifice, perseverance, faith, communication, initiative and gratefulness, in addition to (usually) a shared love for the Lord and advancing his kingdom. In some cases it’s even an evangelistic outreach. It takes effort to maintain it, but even more to get things started. Ministry partner development is no small thing.
But sometimes when I think about a funding summer (or even just a short period of focused funding), I’ve found myself almost minimizing what we have to do. When people ask about summer plans, I’ve said things like, “Oh we’re just doing funding this summer” (as if it’s not as big of a deal as anything else we could do). Or even worse, I can get overwhelmed and skip immediately to focusing on all the challenging aspects, forgetting God’s part.
Unfortunately, I know I’m not the only one aware of this struggle. I’ve noticed that many of our past seasons of intentional funding have been some of the most challenging spiritually, physically, mentally, etc. for our family. Personally, I’ve faced greater temptation to perform, be anxious, envious of others and discouraged. Yet as we approach another summer of funding, I’m trying to be more aware of some of my biggest temptations and intentional about fighting back.
Priscilla Shirer recently shared, “Anywhere you can see the enemy’s signature – division, envy, lack of peace, etc. – you can know that he is at work. He may be invisible but he is not fictional. So, lay down earthly weapons and use the armor and artillery that…SHUTS. HIM. DOWN. Eph. 6:10-20”
I want to say, “No more!” No more letting Satan steal the joy of connecting with partners and sharing about our ministry and life. No more forgetting God’s promises and provision. No more impossible expectations and wearing out.
Instead I want to actually live like faith, joy, peace and strength from God is surrounding and keeping me and my family – because it is! Practically speaking, it might be planning for rest, taking walks with the family, check-ins with the husband and time alone. But most most of all, it’s consistently soaking up the truths found in Ephesians 6:10-17:
What about you? Do you notice any added spiritual warfare as you do funding? What are ways that you fight back?