Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lacking

God has rescued me, I lack for nothing. My greatest need, salvation, has been provided for. I lack for nothing. I have a husband, family, and friends who love me. I truly lack for nothing. So why do I feel that something is missing -- that some vital component isn't present? God is perfect and has never failed to provide for me (although I haven't always realized it until later), so whatever is "lacking" is either supposed to be lacking for some greater purpose (and then isn't really lacking in the negative sense of the word), or it's probably my fault. If it's my fault, I need to pray. If it's something that's supposed to be lacking, I need to pray.

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I've spent some time praying about this, and I've tried to "step out of my life" in a sense, in order to get a fuller view of what my life really looks like at this point. What does my life look like to others, and more importantly, what does my life look like to God? I thought that maybe as an observer of my own life (it isn't possible to be one unless I look through Another's eyes), I could identify that missing component. And God has revealed it to me. It was never about lacking
anything, for what I need has always been provided. It was about simply refusing to ask for what I needed.

What I thought I lacked was the knowledge of how to best serve the people I'm living among. Because I thought I lacked this knowledge, I also lacked a clear direction for my life, or concrete target to be aiming for. Allow me to explain. I've realized that different areas of Taiwan need different things, in terms of missions that is. I always thought that someday God would call Ian and I to the South, because there are less churches there. It makes sense, right? While that still may be the case someday, I've realized a few things about Taipei. There may be more churches, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of work to still be done. In the South of Taiwan, missionaries battle with the usual idol worship, ancestor worship, and poverty. While all of these things certainly exist in Taipei too, there are other things at play. Materialism, unhealthy consumerism, and an identity crisis of sorts. Are we Chinese or Taiwanese? Which is better, Western or Eastern culture? Of course the South deals with these issues too, but I see a high concentration of it here in Taipei. And it's quite common in Taipei to meet a Christian who goes to church and then visits a fortune teller all in one day. Again, it's that blending of Eastern and what they perceive as "Western" culture. I know a lot of people that attend church and then go and spend thousands of dollars shopping at Sogo and buying LV purses (maybe it wouldn't be as terrible if they were also giving to the poor, but the ones I am speaking of don't). That's the good ol' materialism and unhealthy consumerism for you. I don't know what to say to these kinds of people. It would be easier for me if they were poor or didn't profess to be Christians. But the people I'm speaking of, these people that are not at all uncommon in Taipei, don't even know that they're severely lacking.

How do you tell people who don't believe they're lacking that they are indeed lacking? I know God will guide me and help me to show them. He will provide everything I need for this endeavor because with Him, I lack for nothing.

6 comments:

  1. You are right. God will show you the way. He will close some doors and open other doors. You just have to be ready to go through each door that He opens. God bless you. connie from Texas

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  2. When they see your life, they will be convicted something is missing. I think we witness just by living, right? I think many Christians can remember an example when a door was opened without having said one word (God did it, of course). People are watching. :) You pose a very deep question worth pondering. I'll be thinking on this.

    Blessings to you.

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  3. "It was about simply refusing to ask for what I needed."

    Hmmm. . .you've got me thinking. Have I ever asked God what I needed instead of asking for specifics? Good point, well taken. Thanks.

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  4. Hi Cahleen-

    I would start praying for God to give you a huge sensitivity and a love for those He puts in your path. Ask Him to enlarge your boundaries and to give you more of a heart for others.

    Remember that the grace He gives us is sufficient for today- He will gives us a new load for tomorrow.

    He will also bring people to you one at a time (usually) and if you have prepared yourself: by confessing your own sin, spending time with Him in His Word and in prayer and are asking Him to reveal His purposes to you...He will.

    Walk in obedience and walk in Joy!

    I am proud of you ;-)Can't wait to hear more about what He is leading you towards!


    Kimmie
    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

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  5. You ask, "How do you tell people who don't believe they're lacking that they are indeed lacking?"

    What we strongly stress is praying for those family, friends, neighbors, co-workers that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes. I believe 90% of the battle is done in prayer. There is very little we can say that will convince people they are lacking what it is we have. If 90% is prayer, the other 10% would be acts of love and kindness towards those we are praying for.

    We ask all those we work with to fill out a list of at least ten people they know and are related to in some way, and pray for them daily until the Lord prepares an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Prayer works, no matter if in Ecuador or Taiwan!

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  6. Connie,

    The trick is seeing an open door for the opportunity it is, and then preparing to walk through it (just like you said).

    Allyjo,

    The way we live is important. I have to be careful of that, because it's easy to get caught up in the materialistic thinking around me. I often find myself wanting to go spend my money on the latest fashions because I'm surrounded by so many fashionable people, but that's not what God wants.

    Tami,

    I'm glad you stopped by! I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good writing! =)

    Kimmie,

    You make an excellent point on the way in which we need to prepare ourselves. I don't often examine my own heart, but I should at the beginning of each day so that I'm able to go out on the field refreshed.

    Guy,

    You're right, and it's so simple! Prayer is the most important element, and it's not hard to do. So why am I so bad about doing it? It all boils down to my own lack of motivation and disobedience. It won't be so anymore.

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