I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. I pray that God refreshes you and gives you readiness to persevere in what He has for you today.
My desire is to be a blessing to you in helping you know God more and make Him known so I've made these Resources available to you and have the Missional Living blog tab for practical ideas of how to live on mission right where you are. Currently I am writing my way through Judges sharing glimpses of God's heart and character for a weekday devotional. To check out the entire series so far head on over the the Judges Devotional.
I got to speak tonight at a church in town about our ministry and our trip to Cambodia last summer. I feel so honored whenever I get to talk about how incredible God is. Seriously, how amazing that the God of the universe shows us what He is like, and amazing that He uses us to be proclaim-ers of His glory. He doesn't need us, yet He chooses to use us. Wow!
So I'm not sure if you know about Cambodia, but I believe it is the most evil place on earth. Parents sell their daughters for sex to foreign men every night. Svay Pak is where we took students for a missions trip. It is the most notorious city for the youngest girls. Even as young as 3 years old are being sold by their parents. Awful.
God is there. All of Him, His grace, hope, love, He is there. He is rescuing, redeeming and restoring. Here's stories of me being surprised by hope in this devastating place.
Tonight I met a lady who lived in Cambodia for 3 months 20 years ago. She said the evil that exists today didn't exist then. Does that shock you? It does me. 2 years ago in Svay Pak, 90 % of the girls were being sold to foriegn men for sex. Agape International Missions went into this village and the Lord used them to bring radical change. Now 50% of parents sell their children. Still a ways to go, but a ton better than 90%. But to think that 20 years ago it didn't exist at all.
How can a country, a culture, get to there in just 20 years?! (The history of Cambodia is sad. Dictator after oppressor taking over. The Khmer Rouge came in and killed everyone having kids kill their parents and now those kids are the parents of today.)
But really it's just is a little wake up call for how far we can get from what God desires for us in so little time. There is a downward spiral effect to sin. James explains sin well, it starts as just a little flame but becomes a raging fire. And all sin begins with temptation. In Judges 14 we see Samson dive right in.
"Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, "I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife." His father and mother replied, "Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the right one for me." (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)" Judges 14:1-4
Samson went 4 miles into enemy territory. Why!?
But really, why would any of us willfully enter temptation?
Marrying a Philistine lady was contrary to God's law (Ex.34:12-16, Dt 7:1-3 and 2 Cor. 6:14-18). But he was head over heels for this girl and apparently feelings trump God's Word in his life. He wouldn't listen to godly advice and apparently was at the point that he didn't care what God thought. Have you been there? I have. Samson was living by sight not faith, or should I say living by his emotions, controlled by the lust of the eyes, concerned only with getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
Samson's sin doesn't mess up God's whole plan, he just doesn't get to have a fun role in all of it. "When God isn't permitted to rule in our lives, He overrules and works out HIs will in spite of our decisions. Of course, we're the losers for rebelling against Him, but God will accomplish His purposes either with us or in spite of us. Samson should have been going to a war instead of to a wedding, but God used this event to give Samson occasion to attack the enemy. Because of this event, Samson killed thirty men, burned up the enemy crops and slaughtered a great number of Philistines, and slew 1,000 men." (Warren Wiersbe)
So where are you today? Is there something you should be running from? Is there a place you shouldn't go? It will take you somewhere you wont want to go and make you someone you wont want to be. Run to Jesus instead.
Sorry to be a bit on the depressing side today. But over on the Missional Living tab there are some awesome stories of how God is changing lives. A bit more inspiring. :)