You might have read my last blog post that went something like this: “Kenya was hard.” This is true, Kenya was hard. There was a lot of spiritual warfare happening there. And while Jesus and I came out on top, I have been looking back at the time with fear and looking to the future with a sort of dread. “If I go back out there, won’t this just happen again?”
That’s been the questions lingering in the back of my mind since April. And now, I go to Sri Lanka in 17 days and it’s no longer in the back of my mind. I am starting to think more and more often, “When I go back, how will it be different?” This morning, I go to a local church here in North Dakota and I start the morning by confessing this fear to Jesus. “Jesus, I’m afraid of going to Sri Lanka. I’m afraid I’m going to be attacked the same way I was in Kenya. I’m afraid I’m not good enough for this. I’m afraid of my language skills.”
Then, the guest pastor gets up and starts talking. His topic was about transforming culture. This title starts putting up red flags for my linguistics mind. “Wait a minute,” I think, “Culture is good and important and people have different cultures. It’s not a bad thing to have different cultures.” And then this guest pastor says the same thing. But then he declares that Jesus sent us out into the world to turn it upside-down like the men in Acts 17:6. To change culture to match the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 6:10). That it is our job to make a place feel more like Jesus when we are in it. And I can’t disagree with that. And I felt empowered. And I felt convicted. When I was in Kenya, I did not make rooms feel more like Jesus when I was in them. I was too distracted from the warfare to notice that I wasn’t.
So, I can go to Sri Lanka and take Jesus before me. I can go to Sri Lanka and decide that whatever happens, Jesus is my center. I can go to Sri Lanka and look through the lens of Jesus and be the thing most like Jesus in a room.
You can go to work and be the thing most like Jesus in a room.
You can go to a dog park and be the thing most like Jesus there.
You can go to the grocery store and be the thing most like Jesus in the building.
Because you can take joy. You can take Love. You can take healing. You can take invitations to greatness. Jesus, through his Resurrection and Ascension gave followers of the Way that power. And not only did He give that power, he kinda demanded we use that power. To go into a new culture and make them long for the Kingdom just by being like Jesus.
The Lord did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7).
I’ve been doing a lot of healing this summer. A lot of realizing just how powerful a relationship with Jesus can be. That He *can* replace people. That He *is* enough to meet all my needs. All my needs. All of them.
So, I look at what I’ll be doing in 17 days and I don’t fear it. I’m excited about the opportunity to show Jesus off. Will it be hard? Maybe. But I now know I’m up for the challenge.
Here’s another good read:
3 Tips to Boost Your Prayer Life