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.

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