One thing that im struggling with is hearing god clearly here in japan. I don’t know if its because theres something wrong with me, whether it’s the environment that im in, or whether its god choosing to be more silent so that I could learn how to trust him more…but not clearly being able to hear him when I need him most has been definitely a challenge to me. I was struggling with the spirit of fear as I was coming into japan… fears and doubts about this missions trip. I must confess that I was questioning god’s plan for my life—questioning him calling me to japan, questioning why i was put in this team, and questioning whether or not it was truly worthwhile to come here for only three weeks. will me being here for such a short period of time be enough to bear fruit? i am definately so far from being perfect, as i realize that my trust in god is still small.
Something that god showed me when this year started was that this would be the year that he would grow me in stature and character, and i was so excited when i first heard this. Little did I know though, that growing in stature meant the stripping and pruning of the things that are ungodly—desires that are not of him, my habits that are not of him, different mindsets, my sins....its definately not been easy though, but i know that this discipline god takes me through will in turn reap a harvest of righteousness. a verse that comes to mind that has been so comforting in this time of testing is hebrews 12--
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? ... Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our certain good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.- hebrews 12: 7-11
god disciplines us becasue he want us to be more holy like him, to bear the fruit of righteousness when we have been constantly trained and refined. this fruit of righteosness that we bear will result in a conformity to gods will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with god ( taken from the amplified bible). i definately feel like god has been disciplining me and training me to endure during this season of growing in stature and character. . i can see the ways in which he is shaping me to be more perservering, to be more patient, to be more loving, and to be long-suffering. all of these qualities and characterisitics goes hand in hand with the building of stature and charater... and will probably take you through the most painful journey to learn and obtain these characteristics. perhaps this japan trip will be the ultimate test of my character, a place where god wants to refine me even more quickly because he wants my life to bear a greater harvest of righteousness and holiness. During this time in japan, i have been clinging onto this praticular verse for comfort--
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight
lord help me to see with your eyes and love with your heart. not by my power or my own strength, but it is only by and through your spirit oh lord that these people in japan will be changed. oh lord i want to trust that your ways are truly higher than mine and your thoughts so much deeper than what i can even begin to fathom so i will not lean on my own understanding, on what i see and hear through these human eyes.
to go where you go
to say what you say
to serve how you serve
to love how you love
to do what you do
i will follow you.