“What is God’s unfulfilled dream?” The speaker asked. “To fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” [Habakkuk 2:14] “….And He wants us, His followers, to partner with Him in making this happen!”
As I sat there listening and looking at the world map on the wall, my heart swelled with wonder and gratitude. God is a big, big God. A God of the nations. A God who pursues us relentlessly since the day Adam and Eve sinned. He made a covenant with Abraham. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world. Now we are His beloved, advancing His kingdom on earth even as we gather the harvest unto Him. As revelations dawned, my spirit stirred within, and like Isaiah, I was moved to say, “Cleanse me, Lord. Send me, Lord.”
Several years ago, I was initiated into trekking in hilly terrains on overseas holidays. Even as I took in the breath-taking scenery on the trails, my attention was inadvertently directed towards the villagers I met. Men, women, and children who lived barely above poverty line, and whose lives the light of Christ had yet to illuminate. To them, I was just a stranger passing by, from whom they hoped to get a little tip or souvenir, maybe. To me, they were people with stories I wished I could unravel. Lives criss-crossed at those fleeting interchanges, leaving behind remnants of images soon erased from consciousness. Unbeknown to me, the Holy Spirit had sown a seed that grew steadily in my spirit over the years.
I continued to go to the villages, but I was with a group of missions trippers, not trekkers. I got to know the people a bit more. I had translators. I had the chance to share the gospel. It was for a larger purpose than myself, and I saw how God could use an ordinary vessel like me to make Him known in the nations. I saw His heart for the peoples, and His unrelenting, expansive love, and I grew deeper in love with Him.
Seeing people from different tribes and tongues worshipping God called to mind Revelation 7:9, ‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all trices and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,’. My desire to share the good news with people who have yet to know Him grew and I prayed for open doors to go beyond the short term trips. God heard my prayers and allowed me the opportunities to serve children and youths from poorer nations on longer terms. These experiences were, more often than not, challenging. Physically, the poorer living conditions required a certain level of adaptability. Emotionally, it could be quite isolating and lonely due to communication issues. However, spiritually, there was sharpness of focus on the Lord Jesus from whom much grace was given. Indeed, His grace was sufficient for me and the little suffering I had to endure made me identify with Him in a deeper way. Peace and joy reigned in my soul, and I could truthfully say it was a privilege to serve Him. The Lord was at the same time doing much work in me, moulding and breaking me, disciplining and loving me, so that He will increase while I decrease.
Passion to bring His glory to the nations continues to make me restless and draw me out of my comfort zone. These are perilous times. People are perishing for lack of knowledge of their Saviour. The Lord is crying out for them to be reconciled to Him. Romans 10:14, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” I may not be young anymore, but so was Caleb in the Bible. He was undaunted and He claimed his inheritance. It is never too late to pray and obey and go wherever He leads me. It is not about me but all about fulfilling my Lord and Saviour’s unfulfilled dream whilst I am still here.