Over the last few months my main question to God has been, 'God what are you doing…? I thought… (insert xyz)'.
Everything I had planned, outlined, or thought has been shifted around in some way, shape or form over the last 6 months and I wasn't ready for it. What I realized is that, I was holding onto some things so strongly that I was not giving God too much space to do what He wanted… a lot like Jonah (and bringing me to England was like putting me in the belly of the whale.
This is definitely not where I wanted to be exactly… it's cold, wet, and dark. It's not that I was ever purposely disobeying God but I was avoiding what He was saying in fear of what people would think... which is disobedience… you with me?).
But, I had been limiting the movement of God based off of not only myself, but also the box other people put Him in. I had been limiting the movement of God because of the fear I had of 'breaking the norm'.
As a missionary, communicating to the 'western world' is one of the most difficult tasks I face. I don't have a fear of the dangerous people I'm usually ministering to (drug dealers, gang leaders, convicted felons, etc.) I don't have a fear of getting on a plane and going to a new place. I don't have a fear of figuring out where I'm going to live or some times what I'll be eating.
But….. when it comes to sending an update or newsletter to people of 'western culture and world standards MAN DOES MY CHEST GET TIGHT.
Every time I sit down to write or post something, I think:
Seriously, I hate sending newsletters because I've been so concerned about the responses. I've felt like I have to justify my decisions or actions because I know that somewhere, there is someone who doesn't agree (Like how the Pharisees in Mark 3 were 'watching closely… so that they might accuse him… I've felt like I have the Christian 'Big Brother' out to get me).
And, to that someone, I need to explain why I've chosen to do the things I'm doing in some way that they'll understand.
(Take note: while I do receive negative feedback or misunderstanding, the reality is that my main support team is incredible and supportive.)
The truth is, I don't have to do any of that. Holy Spirit has been calling me out about it for the past couple of weeks now.
I've been so concerned about making other people understand my lifestyle that I've 'modified' or 'dumbed down' what God has said or done.
Holy Spirit is saying, 'my word should always be enough'.
Holy Spirit has been revealing to me so many beautiful things about Jesus. I mean He...
Spoke to women. According to Jewish tradition, women were considered second-class citizens during Jesus' time. Jesus broke tradition many times by engaging women in conversation, such as his encounter with the woman at the well in John 4: 1-27*
Healed and spoke to Gentiles.
Ate with "sinners", including tax-collectors, prostitutes, and the socially "unclean".
Jesus often associated with people considered unclean. He healed a leper by touching him, Matthew 8: 1-4, & a boy with epilepsy, Luke 9: 40-44. His choice of friends lead religious leaders to accuse him of being "a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors & sinners," Luke 7: 34.*
Jesus was the ultimate 'rule breaker'. It obviously wasn't to just go around breaking rules. It was bringing heaven to earth, revolutionizing a culture to become more like The Kingdom.
Jesus always did what He saw the Father doing; and this is what Holy spirit is demonstrating to me by saying, 'My word should always be enough.' I hear very clearly from the Holy Spirit and when I hear him I have conviction.
I'm not running around the world mindlessly playing games. I hear. I pray and fast. I trust. I move. So, even if the things I'm doing are completely outside of everyones scale (including my own) of what my life should look like… the bottom line at the end of every day is this:
I'm accountable to God and not man for my obedience and,
obedience is sweeter than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22
Am I trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?
Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
My desire to 'people please' has clouded my view of the truth as to what God really has for my life - to minister to the NATIONS-; and, my fear of judgement (from man) has kept me from saying anything about it. I've tried to 'settle down' in one place for more than a couple of months because I know that it makes people uncomfortable if I'm doing anything else. But, the reality is, I'm not called to comfortability. I'm not called to settle down (at least for now). I'm not called to people please. I'm called to radical living in obedience to God.
I'm not going to be silent anymore.
It's time to start fearlessly sharing my God given dreams and directions.
Side note: My fear has even gone as far as not even doing any 'fun things' for myself in fear that people will think negatively of me as a 'missionary'. Which is ridiculous and sad and Holy Spirit has totally broken that over the last couple of months. But, this is a REAL FIGHT for a lot of people in the mission field.
Do me a favor and send your missionary friends some love, a donation, anything and tell them to go treat themselves. Remind them that God created them to enjoy fun and NICE things and they have the freedom to enjoy them! Remind them that they aren't a slave, but a friend to God.
In the last two months, someone paid for me to have my nails done and when it was time to have them done again, through a divine connection, someone offered to do them for free (may I add, in a high-end salon where it would have cost about $50 USD!). That's what I call living like a princess of the Most High. So, yea, God loves that stuff.
Be freed of fear of rejection, of slander, of resistance, and of judgement
And, be freed into radical obedience.
* The starred items were modified passages from the following article: How Did Jesus Depart From the Jews' Traditions? by Janet Mulroney Clark, Demand Media