Stepping out in Faith will shift your focus towards God:
What I would like to share is a concept that I knew and understood, but now I understand it in a new way. As we get nearer to our departure date and continue taking steps of Faith, our focus becomes so much clearer for the things that really matter.
When we started this missionary journey some 20 years ago, I think if we were to be honest, we would have to say that the focus in our minds was more on “us”. Oh, we had a heart to serve and it wasn’t “all about us”, but none the less our concept of being missionaries was about “us” going into the mission field. Praise God that in His Mercy and Grace our focus has shifted.
In Romans 12:1
Paul begins the idea of sacrificing ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom. He says it’s a reasonable thing to do given what God has done for us. Most Christians I know would be very acquainted with this concept. Most Christians have heard the saying, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar.”
But recently the Lord brought to my attention what is possibly a more subtle yet extremely fundamental and important distinction. In this verse Paul refers to “your bodies”. Yes, it’s plural. The idea is that there are many of us all sacrificing our bodies. Consider also that the implication here is that there is only one altar. We are all on that same altar to the same Lord who is holy. It’s safe to say then that He not only accepts us individually as we have an individual relationship with Him through His Son, but that He accepts us together as we sacrifice our lives on the same altar.
Now look at Romans 12:4-5
I believe that our primary purpose in existence is to worship and serve God. The core function of that is found in relationship with God, of course, and as we serve Him. God also intends that we function together in serving Him. In this context it’s acceptable and reasonable to serve God as one body with each of us performing our role or function so that the whole body of Christ functions as it should.
As we head out into the mission field we serve as the hands and feet of this Mission To Japan, but as we go we are not the only missionaries. We are all missionaries. Mathew 28:18 makes it very clear that we are all to be involved in bringing the Gospel to all nations. Some of us go and some of us send – plain and simple. But the really awesome part is that as we invest in God’s Kingdom together we rejoice together, we pray together and we honor God by bearing fruit together.
So, as we head to Japan in the next few weeks, (Lord, it is happening so quickly now!), we are not severing ourselves from the body to be rejoined at some later time. What is happening here is the body is extending hands, arms and feet to reach a culture to whom God has called us to preach the Gospel, to disciple and raise up as we would our very own family. This is our reasonable and acceptable service because God loves us, died for us, was raised again and desires that all the body would have a personal relationship with Him as we serve Him together. Let’s step out in Faith together!
- We have housing in Japan to get us started! An officer in the US Air force who lives across from the base in Yokota and attends Grace Christian Fellowship in Ome is being deployed to Iraq for 6-8 months. He has invited us to house sit for him while he is away. This will help defray some living costs and make the initial transition so much easier. God is so good! Please pray for Jason for his safe return from Iraq.
- We have a date! - Well we have two possible: Sept. 15th or the 19th. Pray as we book final arrangements.
- We received our certificates of eligibility for our visas. Now we have a couple documents that we take down to the Japanese consulate to pick up our actual visas.
- Belinda, Stephen and I have all given notice at our jobs. Each of us has had opportunities to share our faith as we shared our passion with our managers and co-workers.
- The majority of our initial outgoing support is raised. We have commitments for about 60% of our needed monthly support.
- Big step of faith: We still need to raise about 40% of our monthly support. We are stepping out in faith to go. This is step of faith is crucial so that we can accept the invitation to house sit. Please pray that we would discover the rest of God's provision as we depart.
- We are having a dessert meeting at Tom Doty's house this Saturday at 7:00pm.
- We are being presented to the entire body all three services this coming Sunday.
- Logistics: Coordinating of travel, moving, vacating the apartment, so many details! Lord help us to prioritize and complete all the necessary tasks.
- Still - for God’s protection and covering. As we get closer to departure the enemy works even harder to try and dissuade our faith and efforts.
Starts Saturday Aug. 20th at 7:00pm and will go until about 8:30pm
His address is: 2822 Puesta Del Sol
This is in the San Roque area off Alamar St. Alamar is off State St.
If you have questions feel free to call my cell: (805) 886-9089
We are so thankful for all of your prayers, words of encouragement and support.
Keep praying, God is answering.