Yesterday I finished a week-long Kairos course on God the church and the world. I went into the course thinking I had a great world view, I prayed for missions, didn’t I? I kept up on world affairs, I have friends of other cultures and am comfortable in their homes and with their beliefs. I even gave to support missionaries. What more could there possibly be?
What a shock to discover that I wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as far as a world view is concerned. So here are a few of the things I learned and am still trying to assimilate.
I learned that there are over 6,000 unreached people groups in the world, people who don’t even know there is a creator God who loves them and a Saviour who died for them. Why is that when we have the internet, cell phones, jet travel and lots of money in our pockets?
When Watchman Nee first heard about Jesus, he asked, ‘How long have you known this?” When the answer was hundreds of years he asked, “Why haven’t you told us before?” Nee’s father spent his life searching for that message and died without hearing it.
I learned that when Christians in our culture improve their income (myself included), we usually eat better, dress better, renovate our houses and upgrade to a better vehicle, but seldom increase our giving to missions.
I learned that the countries that I have always considered our enemies, are ones Jesus died for and wants to reach. They don’t know about the great love God has for them. They think force is stronger than love and that they will win by killing Christians but they don’t know that, “the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.”
I learned that there are countries in the world that were once almost 100% Christian but now need to be reached again.
I learned that in our culture we separate salvation and mission but Luke 24: 46 & 47 say, “…it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem.” THAT IS ALL ONE SENTENCE.
But most of all I learned what a genuine world view means. It means seeing what the Lord sees, it means having an overwhelming love for ‘my’ enemies, it means being delivered from selfishness and greed and it means having a generous heart.
To say the Kairos course changed my life may be a bit of an understatement. It changed my way of thinking, my emotions, my ambitions, my goals. In short, it changed my ‘Christian’ beliefs. It will take time to transform my selfish ways but at least now I know what the Lord expects of me.
There is more to prayer than, Lord bless them. There are things I can pray that will change the world. I can pray for wisdom and revelations for Christians working with refugees around the world, with Ebola patients in Africa or working with aid groups to people in crisis around the world. I can pray that the Lord will give the Christians in refuge camps, in prisons, in dangerous situations, an overwhelming love for their fellow refugees, prisoners, sufferers and boldness to share God’s love.
Most of all I can pray that our affluent Christian culture will recognize that WE are the ones the Lord wants to use to accomplish His will.