Sunday, May 15, 2011
Call to Japan
When I first felt that God was calling me to go to Japan a month and a half ago, I was shocked because it was so contrary to what i had thought god wanted me to do, and what i had already planned to do. I was already set on taking summer school and staying at home because God had been showing me the importance of loving the people around me and being faithful with the little. He’s been putting an immense desire in my heart to love the people closest to me with all that I have and to faithfully steward that one ‘talent’ god has given me (as in the parable). In my mind, loving the people around me meant staying in Irvine in the summer. although I have always been a "go-go-go person, the lord has been teaching me the reward of stillness and so I had surrendered my desire to go to the nations, believing that in the right season, God would allow me to go.
It was during one of my prayer times where I was moved to pray for japan because I heard from a friend that they weren’t getting as much help as they should be, and even some people are scared to go to Japan right now because it was too dangerous.
“How can this be?” I thought. Japan is at its pinnacle of chaos right now and they are the ones that need the most help. why is that god’s people are not being his hands and feet, his salt and light to a people who are desperately seeking help and answers? I prayed, asking God to bring more laborers in the field, for His glory to shine bigger and brighter....and it was then during this time where I felt that God was prompting me to go to Japan--that I wouldn’t just pray for laborers, but that He wanted me to be the answer to my prayer.
A part of me wrestled with God even when he prompted me . I had already adjusted my mind and was set on staying in Irvine this summer, to be comfortable and to take classed in order to catch up on my double-major. To be honest, prior to this incident Japan was one of the farthest countries from my heart. Never in my life would I ever want to go to Japan. I wanted to be far away from countries that were immersed in materialism and technology, and I kept asking God if he would let me go to Africa or India for missions, or a small remote village where life was simple.
So during a missions team meeting I told God,
“lord you know my heart...but if You want me to go to Japan, please give me a supernatural heart for them so that I can know how much You love them.” Right after I finished praying this prayer, I started to weep in the Spirit and my whole body was shaking under His power and His love that was pouring into my heart. I began to feel God’s heart for them and how he longed to bring restoration and redemption into their lives. From then on God continued to move my heart more and more for the country.
****I want to make a quick distinction between being overcome with emotion and being in the power of the spirit. When I say that I am “weeping in the spirit” it means that this is a conviction that is prompted by the spirit. It is not merely a feeling engendered by my own human means or effort—it is a heart revelation directly given by god. it is supernatural and cannot be created by our own natural means. My heart was moved supernaturally by the Holy spirit, and this weeping in the spirit is the same experience that I had when God called me to stay in my home church; against my own will and heart, I literally weeped in the spirit for an entire week over my church and its people, and this was the first time I actually knew and felt how much god loved my church.****
However, despite the fact that God had showed me his heart for Japan, I was going through a season of incredible dryness and darkness (as written in my previous blog). The past month has been the driest period I have experienced in my entire life, and I was faced with so many different temptations. I had lost all the joy I used to have in Christ, lost my desire to pursue Christ and began to question if I truly did wanted to go to Japan and if God really did call me. a thousand doubts and fears seeped into my mind, and I felt exactly like Moses when God commissioned him to go to Egypt to set his people free.
--But lord, I’m not right with you right now, and my heart isn’t in the right place. I am so hard.
---but lord, how can I share your gospel when I’m not fully living it out?
---but lord, I am so not ready...i think I might be more of a hindrance to the team and I don’t know if I can even be effective
--but Lord, what about my parents? what would they say about me wanting to go to japan?
---but lord, I don’t know if I heard you correctly. What if this is my own desire to go?
---but lord, I have back and health problems..
---but lord, is this the right season and the right time to go?
---but lord, I really cant do much... theres already other people going to japan that
you could use
needless to say, I felt like the most unqualified person alive, and didn’t believe that God actually wanted me to go to japan, nor did I fully believe he could use me. I was swarmed with fear and doubt, and in the midst of this darkness I forgot what it meant t o trust in Him. But even as I told God that I couldn’t go to Japan, my spirit did not feel at peace.
As the deadlines were approaching and the missions trip was coming in a month in a half, I had almost wanted to give up any prospect of going to Japan, deeming it safer and easier for me to just stay in Irvine this summer. I knew I had to make a decision soon and quickly.
this past Thursday I went to KCCC, and we were having our missions send-off night. It was here that I told him, Lord if you do not show me today what you would like me to do clearly, I will decide not to go.
But oh how God is so faithful, and when He opens a door, truly no one, not anything, can ever shut any door that He intends to open.
It was at this night where he spoke to me loudly and clearly, breaking my heart again for what broke His. After weeks of being completely unfeeling, unmoving, and completely passive towards God, he put in me a fresh fire and burden, reminding me again of his heart to see every peoples of every nation come to know him, that they might also be saved!
and as he was speaking to me, he gave me a grave urgency to share his word, and it was then that I realized the necessity and the importance of the gospel is so much more important, so much greater than any of my inhibitions and fears. It was here that God opened up my eyes to see that the root of all my problems was my immense lack of faith— I felt chastised by God because I remembered that one cannot please God without faith.
I told him,
“Lord you know my heart... and you also know that I have never been in this lukewarm state in my entire life, and this is the driest season that I have ever been in... lord im sorry that all I have to offer you right now is my broken worship. But if you truly want me to go, I am willing to lay aside all my fears, my inhibitions, my feelings of doubt and insecurity... for the sake of your gospel lord. because you are greater, you are worthier and i want to trust you. Right then when I made that final decision, I knew in my spirit that this was the way God wanted me to go. finally, after a month of wrestling with Him, I felt at peace.
Things turned out well with my mom as well, as I called her after this and asked her again for the third time if she would let me go to japan. she told me that although she did not personally want me to go because it was dangerous, if god wanted me to go she could do nothing to stop it, and that I was old enough to make my own decisions.
the righteous shall live by faith.
although I am still slowly learning exactly what it means to live by faith, I want to go to Japan with wholehearted trust in God’s perfect love, timing, and nature.
I want to be able to walk by faith, and not by sight. In my natural sight it seemed so improbable for me to go, but faith is not seeing; it comes through hearing. And God quieted my soul, allowing me to hear his whispers and his promptings and his heart, thus, I want to respond in faith.
lord to go where you go and say what you say,
to be your hands and feet, a jar that is emptied for you to use and fill however you may see fit.
here I am Lord, though incapable, though broken, though weak
Here I am lord, ready to do your will
here I am lord,