Why are you running away?

There is a story in the bible about a man named Jonah. God spoke to him about his next step, Jonah chose to try and run away from God because he didn’t want to embarrass himself. In the end, he got swallowed by a fish, spat out at the place he was meant to go and found out that out of his obedience he saved thousands of men and woman.

I have to admit there have been times I have been challenged to potentially embarrass myself and make myself look super silly and not wanted to. With the question….”What if I pray and they don’t get healed?” or What if I tell them about Jesus and they make fun of me” or one that was at the start challenging and the end always fruitful “What if no one stops to hear us sing”, Yes, all of us I am sure have been put in some sort of position where God is challenging us to step past our doubts or discomfort and realise that He wants to say “What if they get healed?” “What if they decide to follow Jesus?” What if they stop and hear what I have to say?”.

God continues to raise us against our comfort zones to prove He is God and He is bigger than everything and He wants to use us.

When we use to do street live at the train station in Japan to invite people to church, I can tell you it was challenging. But over and over again we met people who wanted to come to church, know God and hear that He created them beautifully, that they matter and that they are loved. I met one girl who stopped because I was just joking around “freestyle rapping” but she saw freedom and joy, because of this moment she came to church,  wanted to know Jesus and now has that joy for herself, going to India on a missions trip and helping those who need it most!

Never underestimate what God wants to do, don’t let fear or embarrassment stop you, don’t run away but see God do something great through you!

 

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Why I gave up my religion

We walked into the basement of the venue….late, my husband and I got off at the wrong train station and then we walked over 20 minutes to where the church service was being held in Yokohama, Japan. I didn’t really want to go in the first place. I had not been to church properly for over 2 years and my plane ticket to Japan was suppose to be a ticket from people asking where I was on Sunday or if I wanted to go to church this week. Yet, here I was walking in late to a service in the middle of the city in Japan.

That day I gave up my “religion”. The realness of Why we were there and Why I had felt such a draw to Japan was in this very moment. As soon as I walked in the room with band playing, my heart felt home. And I knew THIS IS WHY. I had crossed the open sea and God was waiting for me.

Religion comes in a lot of forms. I think as a Christian I have to be careful that I don’t fall under the mistake of following a religion but living my beliefs and realities with Christ. Growing up knowing “right and wrong” and just trying to live right won’t be enough, and we will always eventually fail and feel guilty, instead I started pursuing Christ, reading his word, discovering what He wanted for me, acting out of obedience and love to what I thought was my next step towards greatness and every time falling more and more in love with Jesus and less and less with “Religion”.

It’s not about following “rules” (religion) but about following Jesus (life). God doesn’t want us in pursuit of following rules and doing everything perfect, He wants us to discover his huge love and passion for us no matter where we are at and from that everything else will follow.  I wasn’t sharing Christ with others because I had to, but because I wanted them to discover him. I wasn’t showing up early  to set up at church because someone expected me to, but because it was a privilege and I was excited to, I wasn’t reading my bible and worshiping God to tick it off my list but to genuinely hear from Him. The church is suppose to be there for us to gather around our passion for Jesus and how He can transform lives, don’t go to show face, don’t go to make yourself “fell good”. Go to discover, go to be around people who will build you up, go to build up others, and number one find your relationship with Christ, worship, read his word and don’t be afraid of failing but be ready to fall in Love all over again, because there is nothing more refreshing that new love.

What an incredible journey, adventure and fun I have with Christ. Discovering everyday a little bit more of what he has in store. Even now I find myself looking ahead with great anticipation and expectant to see more happen in my life. It is sweet and beautiful and sometimes scary, but  living with Christ is the best and surely when I gave up my “religion” and started a full on pursuit for Christ, everything became more fruitful and I didn’t just grow fuller but my fruit could help others too.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.