As I followed the mower around the yard yesterday listening to a sermon on crumbling foundations, I was moved again to consider deep in my heart the purpose of my life. My mind raced and I wondered what I’m truly doing for the Kingdom. Is there some other task Lord Jesus has in mind for me? Am I committing all of myself to Him and His purposes? Am I truly abandoned to God? Being in my forties I am finding that these type questions and probings arise within me again and again. The searching of my soul for significance and relevance is a deep search. Without Jesus I would be found empty.
As I mowed I received an email from my dear brother in Ecuador. I stopped to read the email. It moved my heart with strength and touched me deep in my spirit. This is a man moved by the power of God for the glory of Lord Jesus willing to truly abandon himself to the gospel. Even as I write this I know that he would never extol his own virtue or determination or courage or bring any glory to himself. He is truly sold out for the gospel and the glory of God.
We are all placed in different spots for different purposes; yet, each of us is called to pour himself out for the gospel. What risk do you face? What are you afraid of? What keeps you from giving yourself totally to Lord Jesus and to the task at hand He has for you? In true fashion, as I lamented my lack of impact in the Kingdom, Oswald Chambers by the Holy Spirit spoke to me this morning. (Through his devotional I mean. There was no booming voice from the dead or anything.)
“The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots…To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring…We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises…The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next.”
“The next thing” for some of us will be a simple phrase of hope we will speak to a friend or an enemy. To others of us it will be a word preached. To yet others it may simply be a smile in a dark situation. For others it may be a rebuke to a brother who is in sin. To others, it may be a long life changing journey to another continent to proclaim the gospel. It could be any of a million things because we are abandoning ourselves to God and looking with certainty to Him for His daily direction knowing that He is intimately involved in our lives and is working all things for His glory and for our good.
You are loved with an everlasting love; therefore He has continued His faithfulness to you.
Your brother in the Lord Jesus our King,
My brother’s email is below:
I write to the six of you to whom I sent an email about a week ago.
I have gone to the jungle and we live to tell about it.
The visit was extraordinarily intense. The powers of darkness were near a blinding veil.
But God worked in miraculous ways! In one confrontation, the chief took a knife and slammed it into the bed above my head, burying the blade an inch deep….just to let me
know that he was ready to do anything and everything his hand found to do in order to rule the meeting.
An odd occurrence happened when praying for the chief and his two wives….the issue was adultery and the atmosphere was impregnated with anger, revenge, and shame…a deadly combination. As we prayed, I heard whisps of air whipping in the room and felt the breeze from above. Thirty bats had come out–in the middle of the day–entered the house and circled our heads as we labored in the Spirit.
We talked openly about the death threat that was made on my life and told them to do what they meant to do if they believed it would solve anything. Anger raged, threats were renewed, and we prayed. I walked to the chief and told him face to face that I had no fear of him nor death. I took the large ivory-handled blade from my back pocket, unsheathed it and took the chiefs hand, placing the knife in his hand, I shut his fist around it, and wrapped my arms around him to pray. He hung his head and convulsed with weeping. I love him–and he loves me.
He was going to fly out with me and ride to Quito with me to receive his daughter who has been hiding in refuge from the village, living with us in Quito. However, a three year old girl was bitten twice by a deadly scorpion…and so we let her and her dad have the chief’s spot.
We are praying that she lives through the night.
We were stranded 8 hours, waiting for the sheets of Amazonian rain to cease their descent.
During this so-called postponement….a young man, Paulo, walked up to me and asked to talk. He had heard of Christ as a boy, but saw a Christian father—his own father—destroy their family through multiple affairs………in his estimation, the church was a shipwrecker of homes.
After three hours with him, he began to weep uncontrolled. I held him tight, he saturated my shoulder……..Oh yea, Shuar men don’t cry….but we saw two of them sob in confession this day. Paulo made a commitment to stand, to stand tall in Christ, and vowed to tell the world about the One who broke his fetters.
Nelson, formerly the arch-enemy of any evangelical influence for 25 years, is on fire for God. And that after 10 months, with little encouragement. He was the leader that students and I led to Christ last July. He has been totally healed from liver cancer!!!!!!!!!!
that’s all for now.
thank you so very very much for clinging to God in your prayer closet for this
pilgrim in progress.