OK, so since my last post where I talked about my trip to New York, God has been increasingly showing me that this is definitely the mission trip for me. My heart for business has just been growing as I continue to fall more and more in love with Jesus, and learn what it practically looks like to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27).
One of the big things I have been learning to let go of, is my performance mentality. The fact that I need to do something in order to earn the affections of another. God loves me no matter what I do. In fact, during one worship service, I felt the Lord say to me "I love you. There is nothing you could do to make me love you more. There is nothing you could do to make me love you less. I love you perfectly just as you are." Plain and simple - He loves me, not based on what I do, but because of who I am. And who am I? I am His beloved adopted daughter (Rom 8:15). As parents love their children, so God loves me, and thinks happy thoughts about me. Psalm 139 is full of verses that remind me of how wonderfully I am made. Before I was born, before I could do anything, God loved me and had good happy thoughts about me.
This understanding has enabled me to genuinely start loving others. Not to see them changed, not to see them "convert" but simply to see them as the Lord sees them and let them know they are loved, honoured and appreciated simply for being who they are. It doesn't matter if they change their actions or not - my job solely is to love and serve as best I can. The enormity of this struck me in class yesterday as we were talking about Daniel from the Old Testament. Here was a guy who had been taken from his homeland as a prisoner of war, went through a 3 year training process to be part of the kings court, and because of the wisdom he received from the Lord, Daniel was discovered to be 10 times better than all of the king's top magicians and enchanters. Not exactly the desired position of a man of fine Jewish pedigree. On top of this, Nebuchadnezzar is considered to be one of the most brutal evil kings ever - historical records back this up. One day the king had a dream and called upon Daniel to interpret. Daniel recognized that this dream does not bode well for the king and he began his interpretation of the dream by stating, "My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!" (Daniel 4:19). Wow!!!! Talk about an attitude toward an evil leader that is countercultural to the typical "norm" Christian society holds. I know that my typical response would be something along the line of "tsk tsk, you should have served God, now you are getting what your deserve....JUDGEMENT!!!!" But Daniel saw the great man the Lord had created Nebuchadnezzar to be - and wanted even this wicked king to succeed in all he did. Daniel understood that God does not anyone to perish (2 Pet 3:9) and this Old Testament prophet truly understood what it meant to demonstrate the love of God. The amazing thing about Daniel is he ended up serving 3 different kings from 2 different empires. When kings change, and especially empires, usually the whole cabinet of the prior ruler is dismissed (or worse) but Daniel continued to be each king's chief advisor.
This is a powerful illustration for me as I go to New York. What would it look like if I go serve these incredibly powerful people with absolutely no agenda? To just love them. What will happen when they encounter the truly unconditional love of the Father? These are people who know what it is to work hard and receive their value strictly from their success. If they suddenly cannot perform as they once did, they go out the door with yesterday Wall Street Journal. These are people who have no grid for unconditional love, because in their world everything is conditional and performance based. Also, shockingly, the business world is one of the least reached people groups in the world, because their need isn't apparent. What would happen if those whom the world considers to be incredibly successful had encounter with the unconditional love of God? If we learn to see them through the eyes of the Father and love them purely as children? No conditions, no expectations, just complete, irrational, God inspired love. Amazing things happen when people encounter the love of God - and He is the only one who can work in their hearts, our job is just to live in a way so people can really see what He looks like. What would it look like if revival broke out amongst those who actually posses the power and influence to change economies and had the ability to solve the problem of poverty instead of reacting to the affects of poverty? (Don't get me wrong - I think it is the explicit calling of followers of Christ to help the orphans and widows and poor.) This may sound like I'm contradicting myself with this last statement, but really I'm dreaming with God about what it could look like if I learn to really love.
My view is changing. I'm learning to love, at any cost, with no conditions. My desire is to go and love the unlovely (be honest - do we really view the financial influencers of the world loveable? Business, especially Wall Street, is generally viewed as a dog eat dog, cutthroat world - not exactly the most loveable people). In Matthew 19:16-30, Jesus has an encounter with a rich young ruler, who walks away because it is too "costly" to follow Jesus. Jesus tells his disciples it is literally easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:23-24). However, in verse 26 Jesus goes on to tell His disciples that while this is impossible in human terms, we serve a God who makes all things possible. All of us are saved by grace, and each salvation is miraculous, and has absolutely nothing to do with our ability. So I'm super excited to see what God shakes up what I deem to be "impossible" as I go to New York and reach out with agendaless love to the orphans in suits.
If you would like to partner with me in the miraculous things God will do in New York, I would absolutely love it! I want all of my friends and family to have a share in the testimonies and miracles that come from people encountering the unconditional love of the Father. The dates again for the trip are April 8-15, 2013.
The first way you can join with me is in prayer. If you can let me know you are praying that would be tremendous as it is amazing to know that I have people standing with me. I will continue to post to my blog as prayer requests come up, and will start a Facebook event where I can easily post little updates. Please make a comment so I can add you to the event (if I haven't done so already) or so I can email you updates if you are not a Facebook user. I review all comments before they are posted, so any "comments" of this nature will not actually appear on the blog.
The second way you can partner with me is financially. The trip costs a total of $1,800 and is broken down into 3 payments as follows: $200 by December 7, 2012, $700 by January 22, 2013, and $900 by February 26, 2013. If the Holy Spirit is leading you to partner with me in this manner, it would be a tremendous blessing. It will also enable you to take ownership of what God does on this trip! Should you wish to join with me in this way here are the avenues in which you can make a contribution:
Mail a cheque to my parents. Please comment below and I can give you their address. As noted previously, all comments are screened before being published on the blog, so such comments will not actually be posted. Such donations enable me to use the funds at my discretion and are not tax receiptable.
Online school donations: https://www.ibssm.org/a/donate/secure-form?student_id=214845&target=tuition
(non-receipted, can be used for missions or expenses)
Online mission donations: https://missiontrips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/1372
(US tax receipt, only used for missions, excess can only be transferred to another student's mission)
Thank you again for walking through this journey with me! Sorry for such a long winded post - but in case you didn't pick up on it, I'm super excited about all Papa God is teaching me about love!!!!!
Until next time!!!!!!