These were the heads of their father's houses...mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their father's houses. But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them, ... and he (God) took them into exile. —Excerpts from 1 Chronicles 5:24-26
The men of the half-tribe of Manasseh had it all: success in battle, fame, and honor as leaders of their communities and families. They were witnesses to the amazing power of God during their time in the wilderness and in taking the promise land. Yet, when they arrived in "paradise", they left God and were attracted to the gods of the new land. Due to their rebellion, God exiled them. All their talents and gifts could not save them.
You are members of the tribe of Jesus Christ and have been called to minister in the amazing country of India. You are champions for God and have the opportunity to continue to do so. You have been separated from the rest of us, and given celebrity-like status for the privilege of serving. Some of you have been here before; foreign sights, sounds, and smells await the newbies. Whether veteran or rookie, India holds an aura of adventure, excitement, and intrigue.
I encourage you to be bold in your faith for God and to live out your identity in Him. Remember why you are there, and not fall prey to foreign gods and idols. India is a spiritual place, so stay grounded to Christ and to each other. Pastor Alex of New Hope Town calls it living the "L-shaped life". (You NHTers, please share what this is). May your walk into God's best not lead to exile.
Dear Father God, my identity is in you and you alone. Thank you for the opportunity of serving you here in India. I am here representing you and my gifts and talents will be used to reflect your love. Father I pray for protection against my natural tendency to seek idols and other gods. In all that is attractive about India, may I not run after them, but rather seek you in them. In Jesus' name, Amen.