Going to Indonesia this year can definitely be labeled as an adventure. From the five days it took to get there to: sleeping in airports, riding around on motorbikes, punching a monkey in the face, hiking through cow fields with huge donation suitcases and a surfboard, eating street food, getting a parasite, shell hunting, making new friends, being on a spider boat in the middle of the Indian ocean for a week, star gazing, surfing, getting cut on the reef, being followed by two guys with machetes, gawking at triple over head, barreling waves, almost running out of money, starting new business endeavors and falling in love with the country all over again.
HOWEVER, all of this is just a plus (and sometimes a minus) of the adventure, the true meaning, purpose and reason I do what I do all comes down to being led by the Holy Spirit daily and building relationships with people. This year that took on so many different forms. We started the trip as three (Suzanne, Malia and I) then Christina from Germany joined us. We made it a point everyday at 9 o’ clock to come together have a group meeting and pray for people we’ve encountered on our journey. These times were breakthrough. I don’t know if you’ve ever had intentional daily meeting times for a month and a half really digging into deep questions and breaking things off of your close brothers or sisters but it is intense. I have never felt so encouraged, built up and strengthened, as well as frustrated, emotional and confused because there were so many new questions we were pressing into that I never understood or thought I understood, but I felt free.
Freedom is a word that holds so much meaning to me. It was the word that saved my life and brought me down on my knees to surrender everything to the king of kings. It is a word I fight for and I speak over many people, but it is a total different freedom than the freedom found in the world. It is the freedom to live life in the skin God intended you to have when he created you. What does that look like? I still haven’t fully figured it out and I think it will be more of a lifelong quest to answer what true kingdom freedom looks like, but I love the way I heard Erwin McManus define freedom in his teaching off of Isaiah 43:
“A lot of times we think freedom with God is a lot easier than captivity without God. But the reality is that freedom is always harder than slavery. Because when you are a slave others tell you how to live, how to act, how to be, how to exist, they manage your time, manage your energy, manage your life. You belong to them. Even though there may be hardship there is incredible security, predictability and stability. When you are FREE not only now are you free to create, you have the weight of RESPONSIBILITY to choose. Israel thought freedom from God was freedom from struggle, freedom from problems, freedom from responsibility, freedom from faith. So then they began to glamorize captivity.”
Erwin was speaking of how God saved Israel from a life of slavery with the Egyptians but then, when things hit a dead end, the Israelites wanted to go back to captivity because it was a known and comfortable cycle. They didn’t want to bear the responsibility of freedom because it required work, faith and uncertainty. From an outsiders perspective it seems so stupid for Israel to want to go back to a life of slavery, but I had to ask myself is this something I do? Where in my life do I relinquish my freedom because captivity is easier and comfortable. Where have I traded my freedom for chains of slavery? Where have I given up my faith and tried to do it on my own or the easy way, not letting God intervene.
Freedom is a free gift, it means that although we have a past (like Israel), we are still given a chance to have an abundant life, we have the opportunity to create a life where we live in relationship with the creator of the universe. We have the responsibility to live up to a different standard than the worlds standard, to live a life of joy, happiness, adventure and overwhelming love. That even in the rough patches (because life will not always be easy) that we can cling to our anchor of freedom from God and stand firm in faith and not turn back into captivity. It is a kingdom freedom.
This is what God tells us:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end-
Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your savior.
I paid a huge price for YOU: all of Egypt, with rich cush and seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade creation just for you.
So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.” -Isaiah 43:5-7 MSG
God is for you. He is for me. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31).
Lord I pray you continue to reveal to me true, kingdom freedom because it is the only freedom I ever want to know. Help me stand up for what is right, help me to break off the chains of slavery and live in your promises. Help me to rely on you and not on my own comforts. I will no longer stand for little compromises that slowly bring me back to bondage. I know you paid a high price for me, Jesus blood was shed so that I may live an abundant, free life, don’t let me take this for granted my heavenly king. My heart longs for you and to see freedom brought to the nations, to Indonesia, to Hawai’i, to my family, to my friends, to me. Remove the veil from our eyes, help us live a life worthy of the debt that’s been paid for us. It is so scary to think one day I could stand before you in heaven, surrounded by your glory, brought down on my knees in worship, repeating the words “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”, and then hear you utter, “why did you choose slavery.” From this day forward I will live a life of passion, of generosity, of servant-hood, of love and of freedom. I declare it in the name of Jesus! Thank you for your promises Lord.
My next post will be more about the adventures in Indonesia and the cool things God did there. This is just a pressing message I had to speak out! Cheee Heee ALOHA!