This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)
Our nation was built on the value of hard work. I was raised with this value, which was passed down from my father who received it from his father and so on. But, as often is the case with Kingdom thinking, it is backwards to the way God teaches us. The way we make a living for our families is different than the way we make a life in God.
Life in Christ is found through repentance, rest, quietness and trust. Because our culture pushes us to believe that the way to make a life is through toil and striving, we often approach our spiritual life the same way.
The question that is stuck in my head is can we make a life for our families the same way we make a life in God? Imagine a work environment where they value rest over sweat or quietness over diligence. It doesn’t make any sense. You would be out of a job very quickly. So, for now, I find myself living a dichotomous life, where in one part of my life I toil and strive and in the other I am restful and trusting.
Until we figure this relationship out, the key is to not allow the work environment to dictate your spiritual environment.
Last night we returned from a four day trip to the Islands. As I reflect on all the great things God has done, here are some highlights:
– 3 hour boat ride with 15 people in a boat shaped like a canoe, loaded down with food, sound system, and tents.
– Met and ministered with 60 pastors and leaders from 30 different churches from 5 different islands.
– Slept in a tent with Brent and Seth
– Bathed only once as it was a bucket bath in a makeshift shower (meaning behind a tree). But they heated the water for us so it was actually quite refreshing.
– Powerful sessions where 3 other speakers and I spoke on vessels of honor. I spoke on the topics of unity, forgiveness, sanctification, and works of service and one workshop with just the senior pastors where we discussed the importance of vision.
The Islands are very third world and extremely poverty stricken. The network that Brent has developed is hugely encouraging to these leaders and important in bringing spiritual and physical health to the Islands.
I will be back to Westside next week and will share more about the trip at our weekend services on the 11th and 12th.
If you ever come to visit the Earwicker’s and Seth in Uganda, just expect to not sit around. It’s been an amazing time of making new friends, talking with Brent and Seth about their dreams, and seeing a country that has been devastated by wars and poverty.
I arrived at midnight on Thursday and on Friday we ran some errands and I spoke to the youth group of Life Church in Kampala about the fear of God. On Saturday we visited the National Leader of Foursquare Uganda, John Kamanzi. He is doing a good work and faces many challenges, but he has hope for the future and a strong faith. Later in the day we spent time with Pastors Bob and Sharon Wagar from Life Church. They pastor a vibrant church in Kampala where Seth and the Earwicker’s attend.
So tomorrow I speak in the morning service at Life Church and then go to baptisms in the afternoon and then the islands on Monday, which is a 2 hour boatride.
Thank you for your prayers.
P.S. My suitcase arrives late tonight.