MARCH 11, 2014
Submitted by: Anthony
As with most types of technology and social trends, I’m behind the times. I’ve always been an old man in more ways than one. So, this will be my first blogging experience, and after a half hour on Google researching the subject, I’ve come to realize two things: 1. There are three main ways to harvest timber, and 2. It’s important to spell things correctly when using a search engine.
This may be my first time blogging, but it’s certainly not my first mission trip. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of going on a ton of trips (both short-term and long-term) from as far away as Cambodia, as crazy as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and as Irish as…Ireland. I used the word “privilege” because it is exactly that. It’s a privilege to partner with God Almighty to bring the kingdom of heaven down here on earth, to be a part of something immensely larger than yourself.
When the Jews entered the promised land, every tribe was allotted land and all of these lands together comprised Israel. The tribe of Levi, however, received no region. Being that Moses was from the tribe of Levi, God set the rest of his tribesmen, the Levites, apart as priests. They were in charge of all of the religious ceremonies, the sacrifices, and the teaching of God’s ways. They didn’t receive anything because God Himself was their inheritance, and He was reward enough (Deut. 10:8-9).
Anybody who’s ever been on a mission trip will tell you that they were always more blessed than the people to whom they were reaching. This phenomenon happens for many reasons. One of the biggest is in having to consecrate yourself ahead of time and to make sure you’re right before you go. You spend time in the Bible. You examine your heart and repent of any sin in your life. You spend lots of time in prayer. If you don’t do these things and go operating outside of God’s intended lifestyle, you may find yourself naked and bleeding, wondering what in the world just happened! (See Acts 19:13-17)
The strongest times in my spiritual life have always been when I was actively involved in ministry. It makes you a super-Christian of sorts, or at least a super-version of yourself. It’s like you’re on Jesus steroids. When church members return from a mission trip, they bring that energy back with them. It can revitalize a church with energy and boldness. It can even solidify some who were wavering in their faith. It also gives you perspective on things you once thought were universal truths, but actually turn out to just be your cultural upbringing. You get to see there are other ways of doing life that are – though dramatically different from yours – equally acceptable. I Peter 2:9 states we are God’s modern-day priesthood, called to go and declare His goodness.
It’s pretty cool that in our going, we receive the fringe benefit of being blessed ourselves.
For the King and His glory,