This week we have some visitors from the states. A gentleman who is like a spiritual Father to us, a young couple contemplating joining us on the field sometime in the near future, two gentlemen whom are also considering bringing their families and joining us for a season, and a brother who is laboring in Iraq to see the gospel go forth. They are all precious people and their presence has tenderized my heart in a major way.
I am continually amazed by what the Lord is doing on the earth right now. The amount of young people, young families, that are considering moving to the middle east and laying down their lives for the sake of Christ. It is deeply moving and a marvelous thing to encounter. What is causing so many to sell their belongings, say good bye to the world they have known and sown into for years and years, pack up what they have left and move to a nation that is hostile towards the gospel and speaks a foreign tongue? Why? Why are so many considering doing this and some already doing it?
It’s because He is so beautiful. He is so very beautiful.
I have to tell you, with each passing day, my longing to see His face is growing stronger and stronger.
The last few weeks have been emotionally tiring for me. The Lord is reminding me, once again, how quick and fleeting this life is. I’m terrified at how easily I can slide into the comforts of this life, even living in this foreign nation away from all that is familiar to me. It terrifies me how quickly I can forget and begin living my life as if there wasn’t a Jewish Man seated at the right hand of the Father, with hair like wool, eyes like burning fire, a sword coming out of his mouth, and scars in his hands and feet. He’s there, right now, patiently waiting for the day that He is going to split the sky and come once and for all for His beloved. I can’t believe how easily it is for me to forget about Him and start living for this life instead of the one to come.
This is what our friend shared on today. He was reminding us to “see” and not just “look”. He was reminding us to see what is beyond this earthly life and fix our eyes on that which is eternal. He shared out of 2 Kings 6 when the Arameans surrounded Israel with horses and chariots and Elisha’s servant ran to him and said, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” Elisha told him not to be afraid and he said, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha then prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened so that he could see. The Lord answered Elisha’s prayer and when he looked again he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
I long for eyes that see beyond the physical. I think of Hebrews 11, “the hall of faith.” Abraham had eyes of faith and was looking for a city to come, a city whose builder and maker was God. His hope rested upon the fact that this life was but a vapor and there was coming something greater and far more magnificent than anything we could ever experience in this life.
I desperately want my eyes fixed on that which will last forever and not that which is quickly fading. But it’s my tendency to drink from the wells of the temporary. To draw courage and strength from things that are really weakening my spirit and dulling and numbing my conscience. It is my tendency to find rest in that which is not life giving but life draining. Not because I’m doing terrible things, but I’m not drinking from the fountain that never ever runs dry.
You see, there really are so many things that present themselves as harmless to us, but in truth they are robbing us of life, true life. There is no verse telling us not to do them, but what is happening is we are little by little selling our birth rite for a bowl of lintel soup. Our eyes are blinded to true things and all that we can see is what is right in front of us and it becomes our everything and He becomes a side dish that we sometimes eat from but often just take a taste and let it grow cold.
To sum this up, I need help from the Holy Spirit. My flesh is weak but my spirit is willing. I feel a cry of desperation for my eyes to be opened. For me to see with eyes of the spirit and not eyes of the flesh. I don’t want to see the same things that these blind and hardened Muslims see as they walk around me. I want to see Jesus, the beautiful Man who is high and lifted up and whose name is above every other name and the One who is more powerful than any other god. I want to see Him.
These are just the ramblings of my heart. No coherent theme really, just the gushing out of what I’m feeling and thinking on.
As I hear the call to prayer in the distance that has become so normal in some ways, tonight I feel the groan inside. I want to live differently than those that are around me who worship a false god. I want to see differently than them. Or else, what am I here for? What was the point of me moving across the ocean to a land that is not warm to the name of Jesus Christ, why did I bring my children here? I want, I need to see beyond this life because that is where my hope lies. This life, I will blink my eyes and it will be over. Lord help not to live for it but for that which will last forever.
“Turn my eyes away from worthless thing; preserve my life according to your word.” – Psalm 119:37