30 March 2015

I Said Yes

Two and a half years ago when the Lord took me into a vision about Japan, I could not have begun to imagine His amazing plan. Today, I sit in the small dining room of one of the many divine appointments He arranged four months ago. In two hours, we will set out to travel the 513km (about 1000 miles) to the mountains of Myoko ~ to the place that I will call home.

This journey began under a tent, in the summer heat, of the Missouri Boot-heel. It continued two months later, on the floor of my tiny apartment in Rockaway Beach, near Branson Missouri. 

The scene was an amazing array of butterflies and flowers with a background of tiny lights and varied bodies of water. I soon discovered I had envisioned early spring in Japan. Indeed, the warmth of spring, with it`s bright sunshine and gentle breeze, have taken the place of winter`s blustery winds, and now, welcome me to my new home.


Jesus told us to “Go. Preach the kingdom is at hand. Heal the sick. Cleanse the leper. Raise the dead. And cast out demons.” Because freely we have received (these things) and freely we are to give (these things) away.

“Go”, for some, is next door. For others, it is the uttermost parts of the world. What is for certain is that no matter who you are, your command to, “Go”, is a command to bring the culture of heaven into a place where a different culture has been functioning. 

The Lord spoke to Abram saying, “Leave your father`s house and GO to the land that I will show you.” I can`t even think about that verse without a giggle rising up in me. There are so few people who are willing to GO without knowing where. In their desire to be good stewards and obedient servants, they begin to dictate to the Lord of glory. 

Cloaked in a disguise of piety, they make comments like, “If it`s the Lord, everything will be in order, BEFORE I do my part.” or “Where God leads, He provides, so, IF/WHEN the money comes, I will know it is His will.”

These comments are laughable in my mind.

Jesus says that, “MY sheep know MY voice and the voice of another they will not follow.” If a new born baby recognizes the voice of his father, how much more one whose Father is God? And yet, how often do the sheep doubt their ability to know and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd?

Noah knew the voice of the Lord. He had never seen rain. Yet, he was so sure of the voice of the Good Shepherd that he built an ark. There is no indication that the Lord sent finances or supplies, or people to assist in the 120 year process. Because of his certainty of knowing the voice of the Lord, we have become heirs to the promise.

Abram knew the voice of God. He left his fathers house and started on a journey to a place that he would only be able to identify when the the Lord told him he had arrived. Because of his certainty in his ability to hear the Lord, we have become heirs to the promise.

Peter knew the voice of the Lord. He went against the current understanding of the church leaders with a revelation given only to him. Because of his certainty in knowing the voice of the Lord, we have become heirs to the promise.
Scripture often tends to skim over the personal price that these, and others in the hall of faith, paid, in order to walk in obedience to the Lord. 

Like today, I`m sure you didn`t have to look to far to find voices of opposition. They are those who are sure that God would not ask you to do what you claim, or at least, not in the way that you claim He requires. Even well meaning mentors, will occasionally insist that you should do what they would do, or have done, in similar situations.

The price is loss of self. 

When your life is no longer your own, you know it. Those are not just nice words that good Christians say. It is giving up all that you once called your own, foremost, your own opinions and thoughts about the direction this journey will take. You very quickly find that God resists the proud. You also soon find that indeed, He gives much needed grace to the humble. 

Suggestions of others must be rejected when they are out of line with the word of the Lord to you. This one situation makes people uncomfortable. After all, you should listen to them, as if they were the one who received the call. Ultimately, each man will stand before the Lord and give account for his life ~ each one of us will have opportunity to discuss with the God of all creation, what we did with the word He spoke to our own heart.

On that day, He will not be interested in what someone else said to us regarding His directive. He will only be interested in our love for Him. The ultimate question will not be a harsh judgement of, “Did you do what I said?” It will be a loving judgement of, “Did you love Me?” 

If we love Him, we will do His commands. 

It was for loves sake that God gave His only Son. It was for loves sake that Jesus came to suffer and die on our behalf. It was for loves sake that the Spirit raised Him from the dead. It is for loves sake that Jesus ever sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for you and me. It is for loves sake that I take my seat with Him, lay my head on His chest, and listen to His heartbeat. It is for loves sake that I say “Yes” to the call and “Yes” to taking this journey, His way.

I am honored that you have chosen to come along on this journey with me.  In the days and weeks, and even months ahead, I pray that you will be encouraged in your faith, but more, in your ability to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and to love as you are loved.

With His Heart,  


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