イザヤ 51:5 わたしの義は近い。わたしの救いはすでに出ている。わたしの腕は国々の民をさばく。島々はわたしを待ち望み、わたしの腕により頼む。

Having been born and raised in Japan, I've always loved Isaiah's many references to “the islands.” 450 years ago, the islands of Japan indeed received the Gospel with joy, but that was squashed with what was arguably the most successful persecution in the history of the Church. (That is, in terms of how thoroughly the Church was suppressed.) Over the past 150+ years, a fresh crop of missionaries has tried to reestablish the Church in this nation, but to this point the visible results have been meager indeed. The islands of Japan are still “waiting in hope” for the arm of the Lord to break down the lies that keep people from entering the kingdom of God. The point is, as it has always been and ever will be, that human beings cannot work God's salvation. We can be instruments, but the salvation isn't ours to begin with. God gives it to us and allows us to share its availability, but we can't save anyone in our own strength. We can't even save ourselves! That's why evangelistic work, in every country and especially in Japan, must be done in humble, faithful dependence on God. As Isaiah and others tell us, His arm is not too short to save. (Isaiah 59:1) God has His time for Japan, and we must stand ready as His instruments.


This is of course of vital importance to me. My parents before me also labored, but saw relatively little harvest. Frankly, the only way to be faithful is to keep the focus on God and not ourselves, because the minute we fail to do that, the temptations to give up are overwhelming. It is not that we need new methods, it's that we need a fresh vision of our Savior and a fresh openness and availability to Him. He hasn't changed! There are stirrings across this nation that do inspire hope, but that's not always helpful when those stirrings are somewhere else. I need to be fully available to be and do whatever the Lord directs right here, and not be distracted about what is going on in some population center elsewhere. God has given me a magnificent vision for Omura, unmatched by any I have heard from elsewhere in the country. I need to keep my hope and expectation on Him to fulfill that vision, in His way and His timing, for His glory.


Father, thank You for all You are doing in me in these days. Help me not draw back from any of it, but be fully available physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, so that I may be a sharp tool in Your hands to cut through the lies of the enemy and set people free, in the Church and out of it, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


0 件のコメント: