The Father says today go out in your day and overwhelm the enemy with your joy. My kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy. Your peace and your joy will cause the enemy to be bread for you. I will take that which the enemy has sowed in your life and grind it to powder and make him drink the dregs of his own assault against you. This is what your joy does. Your joy deflates every ambition the enemy has against you. Your peace wearies the enemy and causes his hands to hang down and his heart to sink. Your sense of entitlement in My kingdom absolutely terrorizes the enemy. Your joy, your peace and your entitlement keeps him awake at night. Your audacity robs the enemy of his initiative till he simply capitulates and throws in the towel. Go forth today and weary the enemy with your patience and your joy. ~Father’s Heart Ministries.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 1 Corinthians 15
Oh beloved, it is true. This fool of a writer is beginning to be an old man. He is 50, a father of 6, grandfather of 1, and a teacher to about 100 students. Normal days are long enough for an international Christian educator, but to add a little spice to the sauce, tomorrow, I am off to Inner Mongolia tomorrow with 40 9th graders from our school. This is the umpteenth trip like this that i have taken throughout the world… Crazy, right?
- Crazy to be in the work we do.
- Crazy in Love with Jesus.
- Crazy to have lived in so many countries.
- Crazy to share life with kids.
- Crazy to believe that Joy will find a way.
- Crazy enough to believe we might just make a difference.
- Crazy enough to be looking forward to some Yak candy.
Yes, I am a fool. But there is a deep and magical wisdom in the foolishness of G_d. And He has put me into union with Him. In the natural, everything we do fails. Nothing works. Everything is broken. All we do is fail. The very things we try to put together are often the things that come apart the fastest. It seems, to keep trying to make any positive difference in the world, is just plain stupid.
I have lived in four countries in the past four years. And, I have been in 3 more than that in the past five. I am learning my fourth language (now Mandarin). My work in the past few years has had me personally responsible for well over 600 students in a number of different classes in different schools in different parts of Asia. I have preached the good news of Jesus Christ to students from every continent, and counseled and prayed people through some of the toughest trenches of their lives.
On top of this, though, the shadows of my past are long. And the wounds of my failures have not completely healed in many of the people that i have hurt around the world. Relationships that would normally bring great fulfillment to a family man are often a source of my greatest pain – and a drain to the normal energy one might have. The reality of sin and failure in my life has not just the effect of keeping me humble – it decimates my ego.
Further, G_d chose to give me incredible challenges in my new life. Some of the people closest to me are people who needed to be loved so intensely that it has threatened to utterly use me up. The fear and pain and need in their lives was deep. And so, again, intimate relationships that would have normally brought me strength, were a place where hope and just about everything else were faltering.
Beyond the relational issues, we have faced a number of sicknesses and I have been plagued with a yearlong battle with chronic nerve pain from a repetitive stress injury from riding motorcycles in the worst traffic in the world, in Jakarta. Oh yeah, add in the fact that our finances took a major beating with two international moves in 2015.
Said simply. This old fool is a bit tired and beat up. What keeps guys like us going? Why keep doing this?
The answer is even more foolish to those who in the world. The answer is Joy.
Joy is the real and overflowing emotional and spiritual strength that comes from living in close relationship with G_d. This same Person, Jesus, has already given His Life for me. He has conquered death. And He is very much in charge through the end of this chaotic age. And so now, in dwelling in a personal relationship with Him – I partake in the victory that is already won. Out from me (and can also from you) flows the energy of His Grace in infinite measure.
Can we see it? All the failure. All the pain. All the brokenness. All of it is real. And none of it is the point. No, all of the negative stuff in my life (and yours) is the stuff that gets us to understand and live in the point in time where things can be different. When we learn to live – right now – in intimate communion with Jesus, we begin to live a life that looks so different to the rest of the world that people actually begin to think we are crazy.
But may this old fool, preach for just a moment? Have you any idea what it is like to look into the eyes of a person you have just touched with the gospel and watched Jesus set them free? Have you ever seen the countenance of a student brighten when they finally discover that they have real and abiding Hope in this life – and the next? Have you ever experienced the joy in bringing water and food to those who just might die without it? Have you ever heard the whisper of His answer when you cry out in prayer, “Oh how I Love you child!”?
Tonight is your night beloved, time to live crazy.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: “Fire of love, crazy over what You have made. Oh, divine Madman. ~Prayer of Catherine Siena
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.