To know God and make Him known.
New video from Youth With A Mission (YWAM). 9 years ago I started my YWAM journey and I count it an incredible honour to continue to be working with them now.
Whilst browsing theresurgence.com I came across this video from the 2010 Desiring God pastors conference.
John Piper, to whom I owe much, explaining the heart of C.S. Lewis and the impact Lewis had on his life. Fascinating viewing. It unpacked for me many things that I had felt about Lewis but could not put my finger on.
At the beginning of the year, I was encouraged by Carl Beech, to weigh up whether I was making my decisions out of courage, or out of fear. And you know what? That thought stuck with me.
The question is a personal one and really is between each of us and the Lord. For me, travelling, living out of suitcases, teaching in countries where perhaps people are hostile to the message of Jesus, my own fears may not be the same as for other people.
So where is my fear? What about, ‘Will Jesus come through with finances for me?’ Nah, YWAMers are known to live by faith, right? But looking at some of my decisions, I know that I can make a call based on whether or not I can pull it off financially, regardless of what I believe Jesus is saying. Where is the courage there?
I’m reading a book right now (for the second time, it’s just that good) called ‘Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England‘. It’s the story of a small group of MPs who, despite massive opposition from their parties and against the press and popular opinion, sounded the alarm bells about Hitler and Nazi Germany and fought for their cause with strength and much courage. They weren’t liked. Their message wasn’t appreciated. They were called ‘warmongerers’ and they clashed against the mood of the time. But they knew their job, their duty, and they courageously put their careers (and sometimes even their lives) on the line to get the work done. Without them, I shudder to think what would have happened to England and Europe as a whole.
Carl got me thinking, and on this subject I’ve been dwelling for a while, and will be for a while to come. How are we making our decisions? Out of courage, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ who is King over all? Or out of fear? Fear of man, our shortcomings, our limitations. Here’s what Carl says:
For the past 5 years I have more or less been living in the United States (yes – Hawaii is in the US, and has been for over 50 years). My tastes and influences have inevitably been shaped by my location. Aside from wondering if I’ll actually survive in a part of the world that doesn’t understand the importance of fresh Ahi I also consider that many of my theological influences have been rooted in my choice of location.
By far and large the single greatest influence on my Christian faith has been YWAM Maui, and specifically the School of Biblical Foundations and Missions (SBFM). Through the sacrifice of many people who serve as missionaries to students coming through the base I have been discipled in the ways of my faith. The importance of truth, as revealed through Jesus and the Bible have been embedded in my life. The spiritual disciplines have been enforced. Critical thinking and reason are celebrated here. A rich faith that has space for questions and reasoned thinking (which is, in part, obedience to the Greatest Commandment) has been promoted.
In short, I am thankful to Jesus for leading me here and to the faithful leaders who are now good friends and colleagues, for taking the time to invest in me. The New Testament’s analogy of discipleship being like taking a new-born from milk to solid foods (see 1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2) makes so much more sense now that I’ve been around small children. The process is never clean, constantly frustrating and most of the time the kids don’t know what’s going on! But thanks to the patience of many I have progressed and several changes of attire later I can say that, yes, slowly, maturity has been gained.
As well as leaders here on the island I’ve been introduced to the teachings of, and in turn influenced by, great men and women of the faith such as: Francis Schaeffer, Ravi Zacharias, Norman Geisler, C.S Lewis, G.K Chesterton and more. I’ve stumbled upon people like Mark Driscoll, Timothy Keller, Dinsesh D’Souza and found there contemporary voices lighting up a dying world. Os Guiness and Nancy Pearcey, with people like Chuck Colson are continuing the message of the importance of truth. For these and so many more I am extremely grateful.
Over the next few weeks I will be examining some of these people – and others – in more detail, sharing some of what I have learned so far. I’m looking forward to it!