Oaks of Righteousness

https://vimeo.com/68804392 Upon arrival in our 3rd community last night, Journey sat down and dug into Isaiah 61. I’ve read and discussed this passage more times than I can count on two hands, but the Lord was faithful to teach me something new and rich through His Word.  However it wasn’t until our drive into the rural areas of the community that I realized exactly what He was teaching me.

While driving into the community this morning, I was faced with the reality of brokenness within this community. Throughout our drive in, we drove passed street boys, many of which were sniffing glue to suppress their hunger pains. As I sat on my safe and comfortable bus, with my headphones in my ears, stomach full of food, and bottle full of fresh water, I couldn’t help but be heart broken for the children we were driving past. The Lord quickly and faithfully reminded me of Isaiah 61, and a few words of encouragement that Cody shared with our team last night.

“It’s easy to become an advocate for something before giving God the glory that He deserves.”- Cody Goshert

            In the midst of my hurt and discouragement, I had forgotten that this is just the beginning of a story that God has been writing since the beginning of time. My heart breaks for these children because my Heavenly Father’s heart first broke for this injustice. I know that the righteous anger I have towards injustice, and the passion I have to see these children freed from their circumstances is not from myself, but from Christ who’s Spirit dwells within me. Because I was created in the image of God, I know that His love for justice was also written upon my heart before the beginning of time. Therefore I know that any good work done or freedom brought through me is not myself, but rather The Lord.

I rejoice in this because I know that I am just a vessel. I find peace in this because there is no one higher, greater, or more able to proclaim freedom for the captives than the God of the Universe. I find hope in midst of deep sorrow and conviction because I know that He’s not done yet. The story doesn’t end here. God is drawing His children near to Him. He’s bestowing on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. He’s rising up a generation of believers in this community that will be called OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. They will be a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will restore, rebuild, and renew this city, all for the glory of God.

Even if Journey never sees the harvest of our labor in this community, we will still be faithful to play our role in scattering seeds of God’s grace and mercy throughout. I rest in this confidence because I know that He loves these people more than I ever will. He’s the one who makes the seeds take root and grow. HE’S the transformer of hearts, because HE’S the God of this city. I am simply just a worker of the field.