April 08, 2011

True Story

The Lord has been moving things in my world even when I have not been aware of His actions. He has called me to go out of my comfort zone once again and follow Him.

It all began with a very simple decision to obey God in what He tells me to do through the Bible.  I had struggle off and on about continuing to go to church because I felt so many I had visited were filled with hypocrites.  Not only that but some of the deepest wounds I carry to this day were done by people who claimed to be Christians.  So for a time I thought just listening to the radio broadcasts of sermons on Sunday morning was good enough.  Obviously during this time I was not very faithful in reading my Bible either.

So why do I bring this up?  Because God saved me from myself and the lies I had chosen to believe.  I started feeling convicted by several sermons I heard on the radio that all seemed to be talking about how important it is to get back into the word.  At first I thought it was an interesting coincidence but then it just wouldn't stop!  Even songs I heard all seemed to have a theme of surrender.

So I started reading my Bible again and that was when God seized my heart and squeezed it.  Not enough to harm it but enough to make me feel again.  I had been wounding God by believing when He said in the Bible to go to church it was to be a chore or a discouragement.

The next thing I did was confess that there will never be a perfect church until Jesus returns.  And that I am not suppose to be going to church to see what I can get or what it can do for me.  Church is not a fast-food restaurant!  And it shouldn't be a place of entertainment.  In fact, real church is suppose to make me uncomfortable.  Its suppose to make me see that I am not the only one struggling with sin and sorrows and pain.

When God helped me see these truths I decided to obey Him.  I remember thinking, " If I say I love God then my life should reflect that.  And when you love someone you do what makes them happy. And obeying what God says in the Bible makes Him happy." So I started going back to church.

It took a little time for me to find where I could be the most help.  And it was during one of these visits that God brought a dear friend into my life.  At the time she only knew Jesus for about a year when we met and was hungry for deep study of the Bible. I was thrilled to find someone who wanted to study seriously so I agreed that we should begin a study together.

And we did.  For several months met nearly every week to have Bible study.  Just the two of us.  And I was amazed at how much God has shown us about himself. So much more than either of us could have ever discovered alone.

One week this friend introduced me to K.P. Yohannan's book Revolution in World Missions.  In the book it talks about how Yohannan came to know Christ and has committed his life to serving Jesus. He shares how God led him into the mission field and how Christians can have the most impact in sharing the gospel.

As the weeks went by I had gotten about half-way through the book when I was approached one day by a leader in my community.  He told me that there was a mission team being put together for the summer and that they needed someone to lead the team.  I was not expecting him to ask me if I would seriously consider becoming the mission team leader and not only escort the team but translate and educate them about the culture and the people we would meet.

I was stunned.  I had been over seas before a few times but never did I carry sole responsibility for others.  I was told that there just wasn't anyone else available to lead.  I had an immediate concern and told him point blank that I don't have the funds for such a trip.  It was explained to me that if I said yes I would have to ask for support.

So I thought about it for a week or two and realized that the lack of funds was my only real concern. I could not think of any other reason why I shouldn't go.  So I finally said yes.  The experience will certainly stretch me in every way.  I will have to rely upon God more than ever before and I have no doubt it will be an intense mission.  But I also know that I am never truly alone.  God is with me wherever I go and He is already preparing the way ahead of me.

All this because of a simple choice to obey.  I guess we really can believe what the Bible says, can't we? ;)  
  Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God."  


Tracy said...

What an encouragement to my own faith to read your words! It's so encouraging and exciting to hear how God works; it's rarely what we expect. I'm looking forward to what you'll be posting after your trip this summer and to reading about how God brings the money in so that you can go.


Tracy: You and me both! :) God's ways are not our ways. They are so much better!