By B. Williams
If anyone has ever said that being a follower of Jesus was boring, I don’t believe they know the Jesus that I know.
Through following Him, I have experienced that in Him are my greatest joys, passions come to life, repairing of my brokenness, miracles, and everything I’ve ever wanted.
If there is anything that I can say I learned in the year of 2015 it is that every good and perfect thing is Christ Himself. My pursuit of Him, this semester, took me to South Asia. Surrounded by millions of not-yet believers, I have never experienced Christ more. The more I shared with people, the more humbled I became. I met people who had found bibles in libraries, who had been dreaming of God, who were searching for someone to accredit all of the miracles they had seen happen in their life, people who squeezed bibles they had just received and hungrily read for hours without looking up.
On the other side, I met people who had heard the full gospel, from me or someone else, in all of its entirety and could not be less interested. People who so tightly gripped to the idols of this world, that they willingly accepted the emptiness and condemnation their idols had to offer.
The more stories I heard, the more people I met, the more miracles I encountered, the smaller and more humbled I became. Proclamation of the gospel had a lot less to do with me than I had so pridefully thought.
One night, I met a girl.
She immediately asked me about the family traditions that I had back in the States during Christmas. Complete open door to the gospel. In this very strict country, she had managed to find a Bible in her school library. She asked me about Israel- why was it a holy nation? What did being holy even mean? Then the real kicker, “How I do I become a Christian?” She accepted Christ that night. Jesus was going to have that girl’s heart one way or the other. He was bringing her to Himself. It had much to do with His Spirit wooing her and the sufficiency of the gospel, and very little with this sinner’s broken words.
Why in the world did He choose to bring her to Himself in my presence? Why did he let this prideful, sinful heart pray with His new daughter as she was ushered into His kingdom? The next day, I meet another girl. Despite language and cultural barriers, I fell in love with her personality. I had every intentions of laying out the gospel for her one day as our friendship grew. In my eyes, I had shared the gospel better than I ever had before. The words fell easily off of my lips. I shared every illustration with her that I had ever learned. Her question at the end, “That’s great, but do Americans get money for Christmas?” Needless to say, I was humbled once again by my lack of ability to bring people to Christ.
Those next couple of weeks I met a man who had been dreaming of a God he didn’t know, a girl randomly coming up and asking me how could she become a Christian,and prayers being answered moments after amens were said as English speaking Asians would approach us.
God was working in the ways I could not. It was God alone who allowed His spirit to go forth without a single word from my mouth. It was God alone who could save, not my “perfectly worded” versions of the gospel, nor my broken illustrations. God’s spirit and His story are the only things that are adequate in bringing people from dead to life. So why was I there? I began to wonder. If I’m so clearly not needed, why in the world am I walking around in the rain for 6 hours straight trying to meet english speakers?
I’ve encountered Christ. I’ve encountered His saving grace, His friendship, love, mercy, miracles, and community. My very first and last response to this should always be worship. What better way to worship my Father than to tell of His good deeds and sing His praises to the nations He loves? (Psalm 67). He’s given me a redemptive story. How could I hold that in? He has entrusted to me the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5).
In all that He has done, not only has He saved me but He also wants to pursue me in teaching me more about Himself, His love for all nations, and more about His gospel as I proclaim it. This is where I have found joy! The days where I didn’t love Asia, I prayed to be emptied of myself and filled with Him, and He broke my heart for Asia. Nothing in me is good, loving, or gracious without Him, but He loves Asia enough to break my heart for them.
He has made me a vessel of His love, because He loves me and He loves those around me. Worship of Him has propelled me to proclaim His story, not only in Asia but right here in America.
What does your worship of Him look like today?