Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
Some of you may know, most of you will not know, I’m writing a book. I didn’t tell many people when I started mostly because as I started out it was something that I didn’t particularly want to do and certainly didn’t, and still don’t, feel qualified to write. And yet, this idea is something that God put on my heart. It started this last Christmas as I was looking for a gift for a friend. What I wanted to find was a hardcore discipleship-style year-long devotional with devotional lessons that accompanied a full Bible in a year plan. Turns out at every Christian bookstore in town and every online bookstore (including Amazon) there is a hole in our Christian devotional materials. And so, here I sit in the heart of Africa doing my darnedest to write what ultimately amounts to far less than a commentary, but is my prayerful attempt at an exegetical, expositional, and most importantly literal daily reading guide through scripture. Now, I don’t know if this thing I’m writing will ever amount to anything; I can’t even say it would or could be published, but I tell you all this because I want you to think about what it looks like to DO.
I just recently finished studying through the book of Esther. If you haven’t read it in a while, it’s only 10 short chapters and is such an awesome study. I want to share with you just a little bit about what God taught me as I walked through it. Esther and Mordecai had the kind of guts that make being a missionary look like a walk in the park. In Esther 4:14 we get this memorable word from Mordecai, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What faith in God it takes to say something like that! Here is the heart of Mordecai’s question - God WILL protect, and God WILL provide for, and God WILL save His people, do you want a part in it or not?
All throughout this book, Esther and Mordecai both did things that should not have been possible for them to do, and yet, they were nothing more than people. How can this be? How can it be possible for man to do more than man can do? ...GOD. We believe that God gives the increase in His kingdom and in our lives (1 Cor 3:6), but what exactly is He going to do in you if you can’t muster the courage to get off the couch? Nothing! And what was the reward to Mordecai for all of the courage that it took to do the things he did? Mordecai is forever remembered in God’s Word. Esther 10:3 “for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.” Shouldn’t we all long for this to be our legacy both in this world and in God’s kingdom? And so, the question must be asked, “SO WHAT?”
Here’s the “so what” - Do you wish you could love you husband or wife more than you do now? There’s nothing they will do to make it easier, it’s not their job, it’s yours. DO IT NOW! Do you want to serve more in your church? No one can make that happen but you. DO IT NOW! Do you want to break that addiction you are a slave to? No one else will do it for you. DO IT NOW! Do you desire to be in God’s word more, but you just “don't have the time”? No one is going to make the time for you except you. DO IT NOW! Do you want to “seek the welfare of others”? Don’t wait until tomorrow. DO IT NOW! AND PRAY, because it not you who gives the increase, it is God alone. Pray, pray, pray, and pray more because God has something big for you. Get off the couch and make room in your life for God to give the increase and it only comes through relationship with Him which comes through pray and His word (talking and listening, like any relationship). DO IT NOW!!!
I wanted to end this thought with something my pastor recently said in a sermon, “The catalyst for God’s will in you life is your will.”Make the choice today to have God’s will done in your life. “Father, not my will, but yours, be done.”