I have learned so much this summer and when thinking about how to write a blog post on everything I learned would take up pages so I’m just going to share a general overview of what God taught me through his word and through experiences. This summer I learned a lot about the battle between the Flesh and the Spirit. Romans 8 talks about how the flesh, or your sinful nature, is hostile to God but how those are in Christ have the Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave is living inside of them. So the same power of God lives in you and gives you his strengths and fruits. He gives you a spirit of confidence, love and self-control. He gives us all his peace, patience, all his joy, all his goodness, all his kindness, all his faithfulness, gentleness, and boldness. Its not 50 percent of God living of us or 85 percent but 100 percent of Christ dwelling directly inside each and everyone of us who is in Christ and through this we are transformed into a new creation and because Christ lives in us the flesh is crucified. Our identity is no longer in the sinful nature of the world. We still sin and are by no means perfect but we have been made righteous through the sacrifice of Christ and are heirs to his throne, adopted as a son into his family. “ At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7). And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.(Romans 5:5) So since the Holy Spirit of God lives inside of us we are no longer slaves to the sin of our past, present, or future we are free in Christ to live the abundant life promised to us and when we trip and stumble to the lies of sin and of the enemy we have confidence and freedom that we are washed clean by the sacrifice of Christ and never slaves of sin but slaves to righteousness. The Spirit intercedes for us with groans that are too great for words he intercedes for our good and if God is for us who can be against us and since the Holy Spirit is in us we can have confidence in our prayers and be assured that God is all ways with us. That when we try to something ourselves and in the flesh we will fail but when we trust in God inside of us his Will will be spoken and acted out among and through us. I may be weak but your Spirits strong in me and my flesh may fail but my God he never will. We are dead with out Christ but when we receive his Spirit we receive the new life a life of fulfillment and peace. I am weak and broken in the flesh and apart from Christ but in Him and his Spirit inside of me he gives me strength and sustains and provides for me and all who call earnestly on His name. The same God who sustains all the starts in all the billions of the galaxies and allows the smallest of cells to function and reproduce everyday loves us enough to die on the cross for us, give us his Spirit, adopt us into his family and make us heirs to his Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, and nothing can separate us from that love we may be hard pressed on every side but not crushed ; persecuted ,but not abandoned; perplexed but not in despair. The world in its sin and brokenness may not understand us but in Christ we gain fullness and peace. To live is Christ and to die is gain. We must die completely to ourselves, to our sinful and fleshly nature, to gain to full real life that is in Christ Jesus. So we are to trust God to lead us to where he Wills us to be and seek him with all or heart, soul, mind, and strength and he will lead us to where we need to be God cannot be faithless to his name he will glorify his name and be faithful to himself. He is who he says he is. He is, He was, and he is to come. God answers prayers and glorifies his name. His plans for us are greater than we can even imagine so I’m going to allow my flesh to get out of the way and trust him and I am confident, confident, that he will allow his name to be glorified and he will use me in a way that brings him glory and honor. He was dead and rose from the grave and is alive. I want a guy like that on my team, who else do you know who has pulled that one off. And I am in awe and pumped up that he lives inside of me and has chosen me. He has taught me so much more and showed me that he has a lot more to teach me I’m so excited and the best is truly yet to come.
Oh my goodness! I don’t even know where to begin, but it’s safe to say that the Lord has been moving mountains on Journey 2011. From the very beginning of the trip God placed Jeremiah 33:3 on my heart and has remained faithful to answer me: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” What he has been showing and teaching me throughout this journey is truly amazing. I have seen his redemptive hand provide for and love abandoned children, I have seen his faithfulness and provision shower over the leaders and communities we have visited, and I have seen his love overflow from the schools in Kwambekenya and Gnaamba. The overlying Truth God has presented me with is that he relentlessly pursues his children. I’ve heard this basically my entire life, but have never experienced it this deeply. It’s as if he has brought me all the way to Kenya to silence all the distractions in my life to see him clearly and experience his love. Everyday I have had a new experience of Jesus lavishing love on me. Whether it’s through a child sharing their favorite scripture with me, singing and dancing with a classroom full of students, or sitting silently before the Lord, Jesus has showered me with love that I have never experienced before in my life! Seriously…the creator of the universe is pursuing an intimate relationship with me! It’s been the craziest, most beautiful experience of my life. His love is truly unfathomable.
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17