Ps 115:3 Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes.
I'm am consistently reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of this dynamic 'family' of Jesus Fellowship of Believers. The interaction I was blessed to have with the team members that were with me in the Philippines, (I really had a blast with them!) as well as the interaction with all of you who were "holding down the fort" back here in Wisconsin, serves a real reminder of what a great thing it is to belong to this fellowship! Your support...financial and spiritual, for the ministry and for Shofar improvements, have demonstrated the level of unity we have in the ministry here.
On the flip side of this, while in the Philippines I also had a real and deep sad awareness of those who have "retreated" and are merely filling a pew somewhere. Some of them have even participated in the Philippine work, yet they were not humbled and awed in the way that others have been. They have stood where I stood, and yet the never caught the 'fever'...the passion of serving Christ.
Some never got around to be missional, because they never learned to look beyond themselves and their immediate world of want and flesh. These folks are therefore only left to live vicariously out in the courses of those who express dynamic and fearless faith-filled lives. For many, their only glimpse of the 'front-lines' is consistently perusing our church web-sight!
I look back at my life and can't imagine having lived without the experiences I have had with God in the mission field. Such has stretched me, humbled me, and reminded me of God's sovereign providence. He truly is in control! I see it so close up while in the mission field! I am a better man, a more committed believer, and hopefully a more faithful pastor, because of what God has taught me out there. He has repeatedly...with great patience and mercy, reminded me that He can and does do anything He wants! And it doesn't matter if I push against His agenda...it will come to no end if that is not what He wants. And it also doesn't matter if I try to make it happen if it is not His program...because that too, is an exercise in futility!
I am so glad that I belong to a group of believers that actually lives out their faith in action. Because of my service to God and kingdom, as well as the physical and practical aspect of placing Him first in my life, I have come to trust in God like never before. I know I have not perfected this inside of me, but I'm growing in this with 'leaps and bounds' and I certainly give the 'missions road' a lot of the experiential credit!
Psalms 135:5-6 "For I know that the LORD is great, And our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does..."
"Whatever the Lord pleases He does..." Sound's like God hold's all the cards. He has a 'full house.' Grasping this very real characteristic of our God, does a profound work in a man's soul! When he comes to the point in his life where he fully understands the irony that it doesn't matter what he thinks...doesn't matter what he desires, nor does it matter at all what his plans are, it is there that he find contentment and joy. Yet for many there still is a vast chasm in their life....separating the "MY will be done," from the "THY will be done!" And life for these folks is full of angst, depression, unrest, and a general lack of contentment. And sadly, they inevitably vent such all over everyone else!
Today I rejoice in God and I rejoice in you, my brothers and sisters at JFB. Thanks for your prayers. It was a very successful missions trip! And I give the credit to God and to you. It's good to be JFB. It is good to know that God has it all under control...
Isa 46:10 "...everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish."