Monday, June 11, 2012

Big Decisions

Lord Jesus – I thank you for this time here. For this time away from everything, so I can be truly close to you and hear your voice so clearly.

Every Saturday is wonderful! I take that back, everyday is uniquely wonderful. But Saturdays are our day of rest, our day off. Today I did nothing. And I don’t ever get the chance to do nothing – but it is really nice to be able to one day a week here. So, I got up, laid in bed playing Sudoku on my phone and eating oatmeal. Then I did a really hard workout – started Insanity today and then went for a run and ran some stairs. Now I am at Starbucks.

If you did not read my last entry, here is something you need to know before reading the rest:
…And a prayer request for me. God has opened up a huge door for me to come back to Thailand in December. I would be on a MAPS assignment to Bangkok, in charge of a group of APSAI Students (APSAI is the program that I went to Bangkok with last year for a semester of my college to teach English, while still continuing my studies). I would be able to study Thai language again, continue to build on the relationships I made in Bangkok the first time, as well as new relationships with local Thai people and churches, and have the opportunity to lead a group of college students in devotionals and their spiritual walk. I would love this job! I pray that I can go. The timing is as perfect as ever, since I will have just gotten done with my student teaching and cannot get a teaching job until the next fall. HOWEVER, the trick is that at some point I need to get a paying job and start to save money as well as pay off my student loans…

While most people might say, ‘oh your young, travel and do missions when you’re young and aren’t tied down’, it scares me. I want to be financially responsible and get a job – but more than that I want to be obedient to God. So, I know if he wants me in Bangkok, He will provide everything, both finances for the MAPS assignment as well as to pay off student loans. I don’t know how or where it will come from, but I know He will work miracles. He always does. But that does not ease my nerves! So please pray that I will be obedient to whatever he calls me to do, and that he will miraculously provide money for me if I am supposed to go. Let the money come in quickly so I can focus on the trip and the spiritual aspect of it rather than worrying about the finances.

So, since I was worried about that here is what God spoke to me as I was reading my devotional about being “Equipped for Service”.

Romans 12:1-13 is a very familiar and favorite scripture of mine. My Bible study leader during high school, who is an incredible woman, encouraged us to memorize this passage. But when I read it this time, God applied it to the current ‘worry of the week’ and really confirmed that I should take this MAPS assignment.

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
            I know that I have been called to missions. I love it! When I am here, it feels right and I know I have been created to do this! So when I read this verse I know it is telling me I need to forget about my selfish desires back in America for a time, and come and serve. I need to lay myself down and pick up the cross and follow Him. And for some reason, He keeps leading me to Thailand. So unless He tells me otherwise, I am going to continue to pursue this APSAI position. As soon as I read this, I heard Him clearly saying that I need to offer body as a living sacrifice and serve him in missions in Thailand.

2Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

            Again, I felt him shouting at me through this and urging me that I am not like the world. I never will be, nor am I supposed to be. And while I have had it ingrained in my mind that I am supposed to graduate college in 4 years and get a job – that is not the plan he has for me. For me, I am supposed to keep serving in Thailand. As much as this excites me, again it makes me nervous. Nervous because I don’t feel like I am being responsible and nervous because I don’t have control. But, I suppose that is not up to me. So I will renew my mind from the things of this world for the rest of my time in Thailand, and I will do just what he commands. This way, I can test and approve of His perfect plan for my life.

4-For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is…serving, serve! If your gift is teaching, teach!...If your gift is giving, give generously!!

            So, my part of the body is to serve and to teach. I am called for this time in my life (and maybe forever) to serve the people of Thailand. And I am called to use my skills to teach them English and befriend them, and hopefully giving many the opportunity to hear of the Good News. However, the rest of you have also been given gifts to make the Church body function properly! So – what is your spiritual gifting? What is your ‘part’ in making the Church run smoothly and properly? Are you using this spiritual gifting? I ask this because many times in my life, I would have had to reply no to this question. But when I can say yes, that is when I am the most joyful and living life to the fullest because I am serving in the part that God has specifically made for me.
            I have been given the word humility over and over and over in the past year. So apparently God must be wanting me to work on this area. The opposite of humility is pride. So, even though I hate to be dependent on eopel, and I really don’t like to ask for help, and I really hate to ask for money, God has called me to be a missionary. Missionaries typically spend ¼ of their time iteneratiring and asking for financial support. Ha! So, I think once again, God is trying to working on my pride and keeping me humble. So, I also have to ask, who of you are called to give, and give generously? And not that I am asking you to give to me, but we must all do what we are called to keep the Church working properly. So I will rely on those called to give, and since those called to give are usually not able to go on mission trips, are reliant on me to spread the Gospel. They are both equally important – just different.

I must once again thank God for allowing me this day off and this refreshing day of soaking in His word. Thank you Lord for being a personal God and speaking to us and being specific. I pray that God blesses you as you read this and that you will be faithful to whatever ‘part’ of the body of the church God has called you to. 

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