I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in. After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way. As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me. He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives. As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.
Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority. It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith. This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!! For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported. However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences. They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law. This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions. In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly… Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village. This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him. By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.
In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way. Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.
How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???
What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?
When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about. The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord. These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.
3 Lies that Make us Ineffective
- Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10) Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to. God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things. The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
- Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10) Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it. He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent. Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh. As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved. God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience. In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
- Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4) When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,” and “Use someone else”. God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.
Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord. When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it. These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives. The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go. The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way. The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense. We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us. In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth. Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.
I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come. Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!! We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things. James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us. There is no difference between us and this great man of God. Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him. For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible. Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.” We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!! You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!! Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!! Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!
Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you. Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!
The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
One week from today, my wife and I will have been traveling for five months. Now when we spoke about what God had called us to do, many people talked about us having an extended honeymoon. Whether they were joking or serious, I do not know. However, The Lord knows the reason He called us out immediately. So many people have commented as we travel that they wished they could do the same thing, but were so tied down it would be impossible. It seems that when people are young enough to travel and do the work of The Lord that they are discouraged by their lack of money. However when they do have money to travel, they are normally tied down until they are older, and their children are grown. After that, they do not have the life and energy they once did.
God called us out at exactly the right time. Many people think that mission work is all roses and honey, but it is not. For me, one of the constant things I have had to battle is not worrying about money. God has called us out to do this work, and I know that He has promised to provide. He has done this in many ways, but in the day to day it is hard to see where the provision is coming from. He has promised to provide for us in both our physical as well as spiritual needs. It seems like it is easier to trust The Lord for the spiritual things, because there is not much I can do differently to acquire these things. Yes, discouragement comes and attacks the vision, purpose, and the actions we are taking, but for me, this is easier to overcome. In the realm of the physical, I can see where money is coming from and where it is not. Should we write more blogs, make more videos, sell more things, (I actually own almost nothing now, my wife is richer in the world’s eyes because she has a car), ask more, pray more…? I do not know. But one thing I do know is that God is in control.
Recently, God opened a door for us to travel to Kosovo. As you may remember, only 15 years ago, there was a major war and genocide that took place here. The door that opened was obvious and had nothing to do anything we did. Because Kosovo is in a unique situation, the cost of travel from Spain to get there is about the same as if we went straight to India, which is the next place we know that we are going. Because of the money, we talked and prayed about if we got the right amount of money during one week’s time, we would see that as God sending us there. Six days passed and we received only $50 from some people in England. I was talking with The Lord in the bathroom how it did not seem possible that we could travel to Kosovo because of the added cost. Right now, we have no regular supporters and live one day at a time, and I did not see how we could bear this added expense. My spirit was overwhelmed by a word that I believe is from The Lord. As we have traveled, even before we left, we have prayed for three specific things: protection, provision, and open doors. I could see very clearly that this was an open door, but was disheartened because of the expense. The word I felt was from The Lord was this. “Why would we not walk through an obvious open door just because we did not see the provision?” I know in the eyes of the world, this does not make sense. However, this is the faith that we are all called to live by. We are to walk in obedience and not look at the circumstances of the world when our Heavenly Father is the One that gives us everything we need. It only takes a little pavement from the Heavenly Kingdom to provide for an all expense paid ministry trip around the world for two.
Now, I do not want anyone to think that this is a plea for financial support. It is not. If God speaks to you about giving to us, give. If He speaks to you about building up His Kingdom in a different way, than be obedient to that.
I want to encourage everyone that has a clear word from The Lord to follow that calling. Do not worry about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in the way of what He is saying. If The Lord has called you to follow Him in His work, He will easily melt the mountains like wax and make rivers come forth in the desert. It is not difficult for Him to move the obstacles out of our way. We cannot do it, but if we could, we would deserve the glory. All glory, honor, and power be to The Lord. As the Men and Women of God, we lift high His name and walk in obedience. He gets the glory when we are able to walk through impossible situations no matter what they may be.
I encourage you to keep on asking and keep on seeking the direction that God wants you to move and where He wants you to partner with Him in His Kingdom. When He speaks, be fully and completely obedient to everything He is calling you to do. The best thing about being in partnership with God is that He is the one that does all the hard work, all we do is walk with Him in obedience!!!
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back in fear or sin, but we are of those who press in and believe to the salvation, healing, and deliverance of the souls in all the world!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!