Friday, November 18, 2011

My Trip to London

One of the common saying in the Tube station
Well my journey to London has ended and many of you have prayed for me through it all.  I wanted to take some time to thank each of you and to share a bit of that time with you. 

For those that were not aware, I left on Nov 4 and returned on the 14th.  It was many things to me.  I can honestly say I am not the same girl that I was when I left.  My eyes are a little wider to the realities around me.  The state of the world and the direction humanity is going is all pressing on my mind. 

Many asked me prior to going, "why London".  I simply say, because God impressed it on my heart.  I sensed this call, and just asked God to clearly lead me if that is what He wanted me to do.  I asked God to have a particular woman to ask me and she called within days to ask if I had considered going on the mission trip to London.  I just had to laugh.  So when asked, I simply say it was because that is where the Lord wanted me.   If I truly believe He is my Lord and that He purchased me by His sacrifice, then who am I that I should ever say NO to His desire for me.  Who am I that I should not obey His commands.  If I love Him, I will be able to obey Him.  My love for Him will drive me to obey!!

Now on the other side of the trip, you may ask me if I know why the Lord called me there and my answer would be multi-faceted. 

Perhaps the Lord wanted me to OBEY.  Perhaps He wanted to teach me to TRUST HIM! 

I believe primarily He wanted to change me.  He wanted me to see the world through His eyes.  He wanted me to love on people He brought into my life.  The relationships that were established were for His glory and for His fame.

But for the most part I don't know exactly why.  I know this side of heaven, I may never fully know or understand.  It may be seeds were planted, or seeds were watered.  It could be that believers needed encouragement.  It could be that there were those random people on the tube or bus needed a stranger's smile.  It could be that there was a young woman that needed to know she mattered to someone.  She needed to know that there are people that will listen and perhaps in doing so, she would meet Jesus in the process. 

God really began opening my eyes in ways I do not know I have ever seen before.   I went to see worship at temples of other gods.  One striking insight that I had was when we visited a Gurdwara temple and a Hindu temple as we watched the practices of those we would encounter, I was overwhelmed to watch as these people ritualistically bowed in such reverence to worthless gods. But us who proclaim to serve the ONE TRUE GOD, would treat Him so irreverently and with such casualty. Although He doesn't demand it, He does deserve our utmost devotion, respect, admiration, obedience and LOVE! (and so much more) What a stark revelation and insight that it brought along with much conviction and heart ache.  But then an other realization was that man wants to be able to be right and if you give him a list of things to DO he will feel better.  But the resistance is in relinquishing authority and allowing another to make you right is where religion and relationship become the great divide.  The true measurement of true Christianity is in the surrender and acknowledgement that Christ makes us right by what He did, not by what we do.  Our action is faith, acceptance and obedience.

I began to see just how offensive "religious" Christianity really is.  I have for some time been concerned over this matter, but the glaring reality of it came crashing in on me as I visited the British museum.  I was gazing over much of the church history that is so much a part of England's history.  I began to see how Christianity has been historically hi-jacked for the sake of its perceived power over the masses.

You see the entire basis of Christianity is a "relationship" with God our creator by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, through the faith/believing in Jesus as our savior/messiah.   (Jesus is not about controlling the masses but setting them free of the grip of sin in their lives.  He is about TRANSFORMING us into a beautiful image of Christ in each of us that surrender to the work of His hand through obedience to His WORD)   Historically, rulers looked at the uprising of this power in Christianity, as something to squash or if they couldn't squash it they sought to utilize this power to their political gain.  However, the true power is not gained through rules and methods, it is ONLY truly gained by a living daily relationship in Christ through faith.  It is not to be used, manipulated or grasped.  It is for our individual freedom.  No one can mandate it, regulate it, or Lord over it except God himself.  One Queen be-heads her own sister because of it.  Too often, Christianity is embraced not for the sake of a relationship but because of the POWER it would bring.  This is true for many modern churches of today.

This sign was part of the renovation to the city of London in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. Quite interesting!
Looking around, I can see scripture prophecy being fulfilled.  Is the end of the age at hand?  I don't know, but it is closer today than it was yesterday.  Every day takes us closer and closer to the end of time.  Will Christ return in my lifetime?  I don't know.  He may call me home tomorrow, and that will be MY personal end of time.  But is it possible that the end of time is close at hand?  Yes.  In London, it was as if EVERY people  group was THERE.  In 2012, the Olympics will be there and truly every people group will be represented.  There is a movement and a sense of bringing a REVIVAL (REBIRTH!)  to London therefore the world.  It was something I sensed while I was there.  There is an eager anticipation of what God is doing and what He is about to do and many sense that London is at the heart of it.

Revelation 3 talks of a church that believes itself to be rich and requiring nothing.  Then it goes on to say that the church doesn't realize it is naked, pitiful and wretched.  (  15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. )  It makes me think of much of Christianity that believes that by their programs, their rules and their "good behavior" they are in need of nothing.  But it is our pitiful state and our constant awareness of how messed up we are or would be without Christ that will save us and does continue to save us, transform us and keep us EVER reliant on HIM!  AND then we would truly be able  to boast in Christ alone.  All the work that is done in us would be for His credit and not our own by our good works, deeds and own self Righteousness.

This trip to London was intangible.  We didn't go and build a physical church, but we did go and encourage the brethren which is the true church.  We didn't go to an orphanage and love on babies, but we did encounter the broken hearted, abandoned and discouraged and loved on them.   We entered into the lives of those on the ground doing the plowing of the VERY hard soil of London.  We saw how desperately this city is in need of prayer.  We became painfully aware of the loneliness that surrounds those that are called to London to bring the good news of our Lord Jesus. 

The borders of this country/ this city is opened in law but not opened in heart to Christianity.  The heart of the country that sent forth Christianity to the world is now in dire need of the good news.  Please keep London in your prayers.  Many say that the USA is usually 10 years behind the trends of the UK.  If that is the case,  we need to be praying fervently for America as well.  The face of London and its history is being erased rapidly.

My Personal Devotion on How We Ought to Live

(The pictures in this blog are pictures of a phalanx formation.  This formation was one of the most successful military formations.  Perhaps the church could learn a thing or two about this) 

Becoming the Phalanx:

Here is something I long to share with you. It is from scripture and the references are there. In some cases it is my interpretation of the scripture so you can go and see it for yourself according to those references.

There is a call to action and a call to prayer. I think it is time for the Christians to rise up like never before. To begin to suit up for battle.

BUT Our battle is not against flesh and blood.   

Our weapons are not of this world. Our weapons have divine power. They are able to destroy strongholds, and blow up every argument and everything that pretends to be bigger than God. We are able to control our thoughts and make them line up with the word of God which is Christ. (2 Cor 10:3-5) We need to put on our armor daily, which is the armor of God. We need to be certain of our salvation by guarding our mind with the helmet of our salvation. We need to be certain of our right to stand before God because we are right with God through Christ's sacrifice if we believe it and receive it. We need to KNOW the Word/ the TRUTH which is Jesus Christ "word became flesh" & the way, the "TRUTH" and the life.   We need to be saturated in it and immersed in all that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is. It is our belt of truth. What we believe (truly believe) is our faith. That becomes our shield which will put out the fiery arrows thrown at us by our enemy.

But then we come back at the enemy with the word of God which is the sword. (Eph 6:13-17) Our salvation guards our mind, our righteousness guards our heart and the truth guards our gut or the seat of emotion if we will not act on our feelings but rather measure our feelings according to the word of God.

In Gen 15:6 and Gal 3:6 the scripture says that Abram/Abraham believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness.
How do we know that he believed God, because the scripture writes of his actions being that which the Lord had commanded him to do. That is obedience - appropriate actions that follow a command)

So our righteousness (being able to stand before God rightly) comes through believing God. Do not say you believe God unless you obey Him. If our actions oppose His commands we do not truly believe Him. Eph 2:8 By grace you have been saved, through faith.

Therefore if we choose to believe Him and His word, we must study the word so that the Word of Christ will dwell in us richly Col 3:16
But do not merely study the word or just listen to the word, so that you deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS James 1:22 In other words, don't just listen, DO IT!!!!

The way we will be able to do this is not by our own merit, ability or determination. We will be able to do this as we dwell on Him, and invite Him to be Lord of our lives. As we surrender to Him and allow Him into our lives we will grow in LOVE for Him and the Love will enable us to obey Him. It will motivate us. John 14:15 (If you love me, you will obey me)

We purify ourselves by obeying the truth and that enables us to love others deeply, and as we crave spiritual milk we will grow up into our salvation. 1 Peter 1:22 - 2:2

But as we reveal our love and devotion to one another in the body of Christ, ALL the world will know we are His disciples John 13:35

You see in Christ the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Eph 2:21-22

So once we are maturing in our salvation, being fully convinced by His word we then need to GO and make disciples of every nation, immersing THEM in all that GOD is as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We need to teach them to also obey His commands. Matthew 29:19-20

You see I believe we are to daily choose to dress in the armor, to love one another in the body.  Our shields are to lock together as we stand arm in arm.  We go to battle in the spiritual realm together.  Many will be able to seek refuge and heal in the safety of our temple that Christ is building up.  But people: we have to choose to get on our armor every day.  We have to choose to walk in unity with the WHOLE body.  A house divide will not stand.  The church is SO divided that it cannot stand against the real enemy for warring within its self.  We need to recognize the tactic the enemy has used on us all and stop allowing him to do it.  We need to wake up, wise up and become the sanctuary we are intended to be for the weary soldiers that are on the front line.  They are our missionaries, pastors, pastors wives and children.  They are our teachers, the person that sits beside you on the pew.  The person who cannot even bring themselves to the physical church.   They are the hard working single parents trying to keep their heads above water.  And yes it is you or me sometimes.  We need to allow Christ to join us together as He intended and stand once and for all against the REAL enemy.  The destroyer.   The one that comes to steal, kill and destroy.  The one that hates us deeply.

I can just see those weary sojourners seeking a place of rest and healing under the umbrella of those shields of faith.  As each of us warriors stand over the weak and fallen.  Providing them an opportunity to be strengthened.  And remember when they seek this sanctuary, not to be turning on them and piercing them with your own sword.  Let's become the healing place for the weary.