This is the Christian way of “opposing” someone. When you are trying to motivate people by urging them to see their riches and love in Christ, then you personally are pointing to their value and dignity as you appeal. But when you try to motivate people by threatening them, you will probably feel little respect for them as you do so, and they will (rightly) sense that you are not on their side. When we use God’s grace as a motivator, we can criticize sharply and directly, but the other person will generally be able to perceive that we are nonetheless for them.
What I’m meditating on this morning. May it bless your Saturday morning with the Lord. 🙂
“You are my portion, O Lord” -Psalm 119:57
Nearly seven years ago, when I first arrived at IHOP-KC for the Onething Internship, I was ready to take over the world for Jesus. I now find myself chuckling at my youthful zeal back then, all the dreams and aspirations I had and the belief that I can build God’s kingdom without His help nor the Body of Christ. Haha. Oh…man, I’m thankful for God’s rod and staff, they do comfort me so.
(Onething Internship Summer 2006)
At one of the altar calls during my internship, the Lord whispered to me, “let me first conquer your heart, then we can go conquer the world.” At that time it felt painful to say yes to that invitation from the Lord. I wanted to do so much for Him but He was asking that I lay my dreams down and trust His leadership over my life. I was scared, saddened and pained for I did not want to face my heart. God then showed me my heart in a vision, it was a collage of broken shards of glass, ugly in my eyes.
Each year I stayed here in Kansas City, I felt I lost more of my dreams and aspirations. I began to feel lost, weary and discouraged. I was afraid of what people from my home church would think of me. Yet unbeknownst to me, every year the Lord went deeper and deeper still in my heart, patiently healing the broken and pained places I wanted nothing to do with. Slowly, He took away the scales on my eyes until I saw what He saw when He was looking at me; not a broken, needy, oversensitive, rejected and incapable girl, but a daughter dearly loved, treasured, freed, restored and healed.
In a recent encounter, the Lord showed me a brand new heart He has given me. He said, “because you let me hold your heart, I’ve given you a new heart.”
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Since I’ve arrived at IHOPKC, I’ve wanted to return to Taiwan to minister to the youth there. Taiwan is a little island southeast of China. It has the most idol temples per capita, one of the highest abortion rates (per capita) in the world, and the divorce rate there is 70% in Taipei (the capitol of Taiwan). Yet despite such darkness, the light is shining so bright! You can just feel revival in the air. Many youths are coming to the Lord in this nation and many are coming into the kingdom still, broken hearted, depressed, struggling with all sorts of perversion and self-hatred.
Each time I had the opportunity to return to this country where I was born, I grieved for the youths and believers there. They are pushed so hard to perform in order to show that they love the Lord. There is such brokenness there that is not often ministered to nor talked about. Yet each time I return, I felt unprepared and oppressed by the spiritual atmosphere there. My fears and insecurities I struggle with would flare up each time I return.
Last summer, the Lord started to say to me, “Asia soon.” Dustin began to receive similar words from the Lord and from others as well. I received these words with mixed emotions. On one hand I felt excited yet on the other hand I felt fear of my inadequacy.
Then the Lord opened the door for us to visit Taiwan last October. During our time there, we were able to meet up with Kyle, the leader of Apostolic Prayer House of Asia, the ministry we will be joining. After hearing how the Lord wounded his heart when him and his team visited IHOP-KC last winter, my heart was moved and my eyes misty. As he went on about how the Lord started to bring emotionally broken young people to build the house of prayer, I noticed his eyes were tearing as well. Their heart to minister to youths in the context of the house of prayer, to disciple them and provide inner healing intrigued both Dustin and I for that is what we longed to do.
(some of the staff members of APHA at our house this January)
Yet even hearing all of that and loving what they felt called to, I still had my reservations. Can I live in Taipei again? Can I stand the smog, the pollution, the spiritual atmosphere, the culture, the lack of space? Can I leave my beloved adorable home we just finished? I was very doubtful. But the Lord started to prepare and change my heart.
In January, we met with Kyle and his wife Zana during their time here at IHOP-KC. We asked if they were looking for people to come alongside them and help them build their new house of prayer and they responded with an emphatic “YES!” They said that we were an answer to their prayers! As we shared our giftings and our vision, it felt more and more like this is what the Lord has been whispering to us about.
I then waited for more confirmation since I still felt uneasy about the potential move. The Lord was faithful to answer and give my heart the grace and peace I longed for. First, my spiritual mother Becky shared that while praying for me and this opportunity, she saw a vision of Jesus weeping over the youth of Taiwan. Then she saw me come alongside the Lord, put my arm around Him and carried His heart that was grieving over this nation. He then handed me a gold coin. She did not know that this house of prayer was started by 7Shekels, a Christian band (shekels are coins referred to in the Bible, they can be gold or silver). I felt that vision was a powerful confirmation from the Lord.
Despite this confirmation, I still felt uneasy inside about the potential move. Then one day, while singing on a Chinese set at IHOP-KC, the Lord spoke as we were singing the chorus to “How He Loves.” I was feeling unqualified and inept, He then quoted two verses to me:
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,” -1 Timothy 4:12
I felt tears fall as peace entered into my heart about this opportunity.
A few years ago, I received a word from Reverend Anton Cruz, a minister from India in it he said, “in seven years you will be in the front lines.” In a recent conversation with Kyle, the leader of APHA he said that when we come to Taiwan, we’ll be in the front lines. This July will mark my seventh year at IHOPKC. God is so funny sometimes isn’t He? I love these little mystery games He plays with us. 🙂
(the house of prayer we will be working at in Taiwan)
The whole point of my post is not to boast of how awesome my calling is, but rather to testify of the faithfulness of the Lord. Though we don’t know where He is leading us or what He’s doing in our lives or if He’s even there at all, it does not change the truth that He has good plans for us and He is our good shepherd and the overseer of our souls. He sees you and is taking care of you right now.
The other thing I have to say is that I used to aspire after platform ministry but through these years God has given me the gift of valuing what He values, my relationship with Him. There is nothing in the world that brings me more joy and peace than hearing Him speak to me and dwelling in His presence. Though you may be struggling right now and pained over where your life is or wondering if promises over your life is ever going to come to pass, trust in the goodness of the Lord. Simply speak out with faith, “I believe You are good and You are leading me” for this is the truth.
There is no such thing as Christian work. That is, there is no work in the world which is, in and of itself, Christian. Christian work is any kind of work, from cleaning a sewer to preaching a sermon, that is done by a Christian and offered to God. This means that nobody is excluded from serving God. It means that no work is “beneath” a Christian. It means there is no job in the world that needs to be boring or useless. A Christian finds fulfillment not in the particular kind of work he does, but in the way in which he does it. Work done for Christ all the time must be “full-time Christian work.