At the same time, six members of the team are traveling to Laos to spend time with Joe and get a feel for the ministry they serve in Luong Prabang. They will spend Wednesday, Thursday & Friday with family. Please pray for what God has planned for this growing relationship.
Today's journal entry is shared by Alex Cheng, Travel Team member from 2008-2010 and now full-time missionary at our sister church in Taipei, Taiwan.
Deuteronomy 25-27; Galatians 5
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. — Galatians 5:16-18
IDENTITY CONFIRMED THROUGH SONSHIP & SERVANTHOOD
It is through love of Jesus Christ that your true identity as a son or daughter and a servant of God is revealed: we have been redeemed into a divine line of royalty. When we live in our ministries of being reconciled with God the Father, He in return gives the greatest gift by beautifully exchanging our lives now released into the power of the Holy Spirit... that where we were once living in darkness we can now walk in His light... and that where we were once shackled by our sin and old fleshly nature, we have a newly found freedom in Jesus. It is through this very freedom that our identities become confirmed, and we no longer need to invest in how we can love ourselves to the point of self-elevation and personal feeding, but rather use our God-given freedom to pour out love to others, which when we do fulfills the second greatest command of God. With that said, though we walk now as sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, we will still battle in the spirit our fleshly nature when our attentions diverge from our identities in God back to what we may think we need.
As many of you are thousands of miles removed from all that is familiar, you will come to realize that the Lord is sending you on this mission for multiple purposes. The obvious ones are your assigned responsibilities laid out for you by the team to carry out the purposes of God using us to expand the orphanage in their outreach and ministry... but the other more significant mission is the one that God is doing in your heart, as you have stepped out from the person you once were in Hawaii into someone whose reliance on Jesus will exponentially grow as He takes you out of your element and by faith into the unknown. Certain parts of your flesh may roar, questioning your role and purpose, longing for loved ones and a place that you call home, or—even as you might see others sail in their anointing—wondering why God even called you here in the first place, as you see the faith of the kids of India teaching you a lesson or two about who Jesus truly is.
Bottom line is, through commissioning and sending you out, God wants to show you who you really are, and aspects of your faith may arise and reveal to you things that you were never aware of, or old habits may seem magnified more than before. It’s in this very place that the Lord is reminding you that your identity is not in all those things to which you once held so tightly. He wants to remind you that by walking in the Spirit and—right here, right now—laying down everything that isn't of Him that needs to be removed, will He fuel and empower you for what it is that you’ve been called to on this mission trip. It is now that Jesus wants to teach you how to really let it all go and crucify once and for all what might have been hard to reveal in your former life. And with that He will not only open your eyes and ears, but will resound within You a new Spirit which will change you eternally by giving you fresh encounters, new revelations, and most of all the heart of Jesus Christ. It will be then that God will personally tell you why He has you called here to India, and why it is so vital that you be here.
Father God, I pray that now in this time you reconfirm everyone's hearts here as Your beloved sons and daughters! And by reminding us of this greatest gift, we are empowered knowing that we have everything we need in order to carry out the next steps of this assignment with an overflowing heart of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I ask that you continue to break us, mold and make us, and that we fully invest into the mission of here and now that you have set right before our eyes... and that our focus be on how we can glorify You with all our hearts as we take the next step.
Brother Alex Cheng