Thursday, May 8, 2008

What disturbs you???

This was the question posed by Kay Warren at last weekend's church services. She was trying to get across to us that we should take what disturbs us most and take some action against that evil. That, perhaps, the reason something disturbs us so much is because God is wanting it to disturb us enough to call us into action against it- that at least one of God's purposes for our lives is to fight against that particular evil. I think that sometimes, as Christians, we are guilty of not doing anything because we know that the outcome has already been determined- God wins. The problem with that way of thinking is that we sometimes use it as an excuse to be lazy- especially when something isn't directly effecting our daily lives. We have to be aware that while, yes absolutely, our God has already won the war, but what about all of the battles in between? We have to be aware and remember that we are called to fight for the oppressed, the widows, the orphans and that when we die, we will be held accountable for our actions or our inaction taken on earth. So, while the outcome of the war has been determined, all of the battles in between, big and small, are still up for grabs. I really liked the Message paraphrase from Ephesians used in the service outline this weekend:

"This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels." Eph 6:12

This is not a one day fight- it's a fight to the finish. So, until Jesus returns to take us home to heaven, we have to continue to fight for not just ourselves or people we know, but God also requires that we fight for those who can't fight for themselves and we can use our passions to do exactly that.

I think that, for a long time now, I've had a misconception in my mind about what 'passionate' means. I saw being passionate about something as having a strong desire to do 'something' and that 'something' was enjoyable to you. And, I still believe that is one aspect of your passion; but, I guess that I'm realizing it can mean something else as well. My passion can also be seen as being something that turns my stomach and makes me want to look away. It can be something that breaks my heart and reduces me to tears. It's something that gets under my skin more than anything else. It's really weird to me because those are the things to avoid, right??? :-) Guess not.

It's kind of put a whole new spin on the way I've been thinking about Thailand. One of the main reasons I never wanted to go was because it was going to be my worst fears realized. They wouldn't be words on paper or actors playing out parts in a movie... this was going to be the real deal, materialized before my eyes. Human trafficking, child prostitution, sex slavery, exploitation of women and children at it's worst... these are the things that sicken my stomach and paralyze me with fear.

When I first told a few of my closest friends that I was going and what I would be doing, a few of them expressed concerns. They knew how much these things upset me and their fear was that I was going to come back from Thailand even more paralyzed by fear. And, up until now, I had completely forgotten this... but, I said to them, 'yes, I completely get where you are coming from. You aren't thinking anything that I haven't already thought of; but, I also really believe that oftentimes we have these overwhelming fears because Satan has placed them in our hearts. He's placed them there because he knows that this is where, or how, God wants to use us and he doesn't want us fulfilling our God-given purpose. The last thing he wants is for us to succeed and for God to receive the glory.' It's funny how I was trying to reassure them and, now, God is bringing those words back around to reassure me. How is it that I forget the very words that come out of my own mouth??? Fortunately God has a better memory than I do.

P.S. For those of you who haven't seen last weekend's service, I can't recommend it enough. Kay did an amazing job and you can see how much of her heart is in this cause. There's a short video in the first half of the service that was from Dateline and it aired a number of years ago. They were in Cambodia and they went into a brothel that had children and I just couldn't believe what I was seeing or hearing. I really don't know how anyone can not believe that evil exists in our world. Here's a link to view the service online if you'd like to do so....