As we look back over the past couple of weeks, we are amazed at the spiritual battles raging across our Region. The urgent prayer requests from our field have been coming across my desk at an increasing rate (several are listed at the end of this post). But…with those requests have also come multiple praise reports! God is at work…we just need to continue walking towards Him with indefatigable resoluteness.
I wanted to take a moment to share a challenge that has been on my mind the past few days, inspired by scripture and thoughts from Lloyd John Olgilvie, “God’s Best for My Life.”
What is my Jerusalem?
What Christ has committed to us, plus our commitments to obey, equals our Jerusalem. Luke 9:51-53
There is a Jerusalem for all of us for which we were born and to which our life is leading. Jesus set His face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) knowing that there He would have to face the cross and die for the sins of the world.
There at the crossroads He had to make a commitment. One road led back to Nazareth, the other to the frowning fortress of His enemies who were plotting His demise. He could have returned home and lived a safe, secure life, instead, He set His face to Jerusalem and the cross for which He had come to earth.
What do you imagine His face looked like, set for Jerusalem? I imagine – Determination, faithfulness, trust, and INDEFATIGABLE commitment to do the will of God. An unchangeable resoluteness to follow through with His mission.
We all have a Jerusalem. And then little Jerusalems along the way.
Our Jerusalem is whatever prayer has discerned is the Lord’s will for us. It is a symbolic city of reality rather than a wish-dream and easy religion. It is COMMITMENT instead of COMFORT. But we can set our faces to our purpose with joy and not grimness.
Because Christ has gone before us, and now goes with us, we have His victorious presence to give us raw courage. Once we have committed our lives completely to Him, then we are able because He is able. His strength flows through us as we attempt great things for Him and by His power. After He has control of the nerve center of our wills, He can use us to do the otherwise-impossible. Just as Jesus went to His Jerusalem believing in God’s vindication, so too we can live out our commitment knowing that He will have the final word.
What is your Jerusalem?
Here are some major prayer concerns for our region at the moment: (Links to the articles for more information)
- PRAISING GOD that Free Methodist Missionary Phyllis Sortor was released from captivity last week in Nigeria.
- Our Regional Director, Dr. Mark Louw, wife and daughter, are on their way to S. Africa. Mark’s father has been admitted to the hospital and is not expected to leave, except to his heavenly home. He is a believer, but it is never easy for the family during times like this.
- Cyclone Pam. This Super Cyclone (Category 5 with winds gusting to nearly 200 mph) is bearing down on the islands of Vanuatu. Our missionaries there are preparing for the worst – praying for God’s intervention.
- One of our team members here in Manila has been admitted to the hospital with what appears to be an inoperable tumor in her abdomen, wrapped around her Aorta and Renal arteries. She has a husband and two young children. Please pray.
- Lead Pastor in Myanmar and his wife travelled this last week to Thailand, for what appeared to be uterine cancer. We are praising God that initial reports are that it is not. She is recovering in the hospital in Bangkok.
- Missionary in Tonga diagnosed with Dengue Fever. Word is as of yesterday that she is in the recovery phase of this potentially deadly illness. Please continue to pray.
- A flu virus has been attacking numerous members of the campus here at APNTS. Connie was struggling a couple of weeks ago – and has recovered. I (Todd) came down with it nearly 13 days ago and am still battling the residual respiratory issues, several others are struggling with it. Please pray for protection over the team here in Manila.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and partnership with us as together with you, we serve here on the Asia-Pacific Region.