God is moving in our hearts. Our new church family is doing a series called "On Location" and to be honest, it is rocking our world. Sunday, there was a portion from Exodus where Moses was fraught with fear, asking "What if they do not listen, or believe...? What if they say the Lord is not....? " and in God's mercy, He asks Moses what is in his hand? Obviously, it was his staff. God asks Moses to lay down his staff. For Moses, that staff was who he was, what he did, and how he influenced. Easier said than done. For sure. For us. For you too. Sound familiar? When he laid it down, all that he had known became a snake...and Moses ran. God says, reach out your hand...pick up the snake, take it by the tail...and in an instant, that snake was his staff again, but here is why -- THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE...
"Matt, what is that in your hand?" It's a comfortable life in Auburn, doing college ministry, near our family, loving our church, leading on the campus... all things familiar. "Lay it down." When I think back to what we have laid down, and see what is slithering on the ground, the feelings of isolation, cultural adjustment, and the fear-based questions like, "What if they do believe me or listen to me or say the Lord did not appear to you?" come rushing in... and in the moments we are tempted to run, God has been so, so gracious to remind us to wait on Him.
What would be better? To walk around carrying the "staff" of what what we knew, what we used to have, or how we used to influence people... or would it be better to lay it all down, consider our loss as gain, and wait on our King to exalt our gifts, talents, and abilities in such a way, that unmistakably -- THEY MAY BELIEVE.
I hope this is making sense.
We are on the front end (again) of surrender. We have been asked to move our lives here. We are now in the process of waiting on Him. There are moments where we want to run away from what looks like the snake on the ground, but God continues to remind us though His word -- Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord... Be still, and know that He is God.. AND HE WILL BE exalted among the nations and on the earth.
What great promises! Far better that He recreate what life, ministry, and genuine love for people in Hong Kong looks like through our lives -- that many, many, many, many, many, many people, would know the grace and glory of our God. Please pray with us towards that end. Why else be here? What else truly captivates eternity in the hearts of men?
Yesterday, we were in a vision meeting for Passion here in Hong Kong. Once again, I was humbled to be in the room with local men and women whose hearts beat for Jesus. Our team was encouraged greatly. In my heart, I got a snapshot of what could be, what should be, and in God's time -- I'm praying what will be. If the vision of why we are really here is a polaroid... then something became a little clearer.
In the meantime, strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. It is worth knowing, that in most instances after Moses laid it down, the staff is no longer referred to as Moses' staff, but as the staff of God. It is a demonstration of the difference between the ability of man and the power of God.