It’s just for a few years…

prayer-on-my-knees42
“It’s only for two weeks.”

We were having a team dinner, preparing for a mission trip to India. Each of the seven of us had been able to serve overseas on short-term mission trips before. Every one of us was expectantly looking forward to what God had ahead. One team member said someone told him they would pray for him. As he thanked them, they went on to say, “that you will come to your senses and not go.”

We had a hard time understanding that thought process. Yes, some people are afraid to fly. While some embrace the thought of new, to others, the thought of anything unfamiliar is frightening. And that’s okay. People are afraid. God helps us overcome.

But to pray that someone won’t go support brothers and sisters in their work for Jesus – we couldn’t wrap our heads around that thought process. I still can’t.

And honestly, we really couldn’t quite understand anyone not wanting to go on at least one short-term mission trip.

Our partner addressed the unfamiliar. The uncomfortable.

“So what if you don’t have hot water or your electricity isn’t good. It’s just for two weeks.”

That really resonated with me.

I was reminded of 1 Peter 2:11 where we are called “sojourners and pilgrims.”

And of Hebrews 13:12-16 “So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
(NLT)

And I thought of Paul in prison. Singing.

He knew – it’s just for a few years.

Near the end of his life he told Timothy, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
1 Timothy 4:6-7

He endured. He ran well. He fought hard. He poured himself out for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was beaten, imprisoned and stoned.

It’s just for a few years – “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”

    Poured out.

Can I say that?

A short-term mission trip to stay in a comfortable bed, eat good food and serve with people I already know and dearly love isn’t sacrifice. They are the ones living sacrificial lives. It isn’t always a kind place to people who are sold out to Jesus. And my friends there are totally sold out to Jesus. They pour out their lives in service of the Master. Some of them literally.

But they get it. They know it is only for a few years.

Do you feel that passion? That call to live like we’re only here temporarily so discomforts don’t matter? If so, kneel with me, imploring God to utilize that intensity to add to His Kingdom.

If there is no yearing within, be bold enough to ask Him to give you a vision of now in the scope of eternity.

How can I pour myself out for the glory of the kingdom of God? What is my sacrifice of praise. Where can God use me today that will send me to bed tired tonight?

It’s just for a few years.

green-swirls

We love it when you share!
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPrint this pagePin on Pinterest

Above the waves…

BeFunky_stormy_sea_by_alexlinde-d3y6mgd.jpgTonight Hillsong United was awarded the song of the year at the 50th Annual GMA Dove Awards.
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
is a powerful song and I’ve found it to be my anthem this year, singing it, praying it, wondering just how I would be living it.

    “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior”

That can be a dangerous prayer.

    Be prepared for the answer.

Scary isn’t always accompanied by adventure. Sometimes it is just accompanied by more scary.

Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)

I’d say that was deeper than his feet would have wandered on their own.

And it was scary.

But before we get too hard on Peter for sinking, remember that this was about 3 o’clock in the morning. It was dark out there. First-century-in-the-middle-of-the-sea-dark, not light-shining-from-the-streetlight-dark.

The disciples couldn’t see Jesus very well. The rest were all sitting in the boat, still shaking over a potential ghost sighting.

And Peter was out on the water, in the presence of Jesus, calling out.

And I guarantee you his faith was stronger because of it.

Trust without borders?

Those waves may not look the way we think. I like adventure, maybe even with a little scary thrown in. But what about when there is no adventure? When the waves just look like…

    sinking?

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters.”

“Lord, save me!”

      “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
      Hillsong

      You call me out upon the waters
      The great unknown where feet may fail
      And there I find You in the mystery
      In oceans deep
      My faith will stand

      And I will call upon Your name
      And keep my eyes above the waves
      When oceans rise
      My soul will rest in Your embrace
      For I am Yours and You are mine

      Your grace abounds in deepest waters
      Your sovereign hand
      Will be my guide
      Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
      You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

      So I will call upon Your name
      And keep my eyes above the waves
      When oceans rise
      My soul will rest in Your embrace
      For I am Yours and You are mine

      Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
      Let me walk upon the waters
      Wherever You would call me
      Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
      And my faith will be made stronger
      In the presence of my Savior

      I will call upon Your name
      Keep my eyes above the waves
      My soul will rest in Your embrace
      I am Yours and You are mine

“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
“These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:30-34 NLT

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

We love it when you share!
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPrint this pagePin on Pinterest