"Vision, Clarity, and Being 'All In.' "
Personally, this is the blog post I have been most looking forward to write. I was affected by everything that happened last week. God is at work in Dubai (see post #1); the Compassion Kit Parties are remarkable ways to show and tell the love of Christ (see post #2); the Compassion Kits are phenomenal tools to present the Gospel (see post #3); and the follow-up plan is done with acute discernment and with excellence (see post #4). But for me, all of these things were highlighted, if not dominated, by a spirit of the men (and families) God has called there doing these things. It was/is a spirit that rebuked me. It was/is a spirit that challenged me. It was/is a spirit that encouraged me. It was/is a spirit that I believe allowed me to see the fruit of what I was seeing while there. It was/is a spirit that I long for. It was/is a spirit I don't see much in the lives of pastors and church leaders. It was/is a spirit that I don't see much in missionaries around the world. It was/is a spirit that I haven't had but hurt to possess.
The spirit I am talking about is a spirit of passion to see the kingdom of Christ advance with violence.
I saw it in the eyes of the guys we worked with. I heard it in their words. I watched it in their daily routines. I envisioned it as I heard them dream. I saw it in their wives. I saw it in their kids. I saw it happening before my eyes.
As a matter of fact, one night I was having coffee (Starbucks of course...what else is there?) with the visionary of this deal and asked him, "what gets you out of bed in the morning?" I was expecting to hear something like, "I don't want these people to go to hell" or "I want Jesus to get the glory He deserves for all mankind." Though these are definitely things he wants, that is not what he said. He said, "Man, I want to see the kingdom of Christ advance across this region." When he said that a light went on. "That's it" I thought. That's what I have been seeing in these guys and their families but haven't been able to put my finger on it. These guys have totally given themselves to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ where God is massively at work in Dubai, UAE.
They have big dreams.
They have a HUGE vision.
They have massive plans.
Their dreams, vision, and plans have unmatched clarity to them.
Here's the thing, however: I know alot of people who dream big and cast a vision and make clear plans on paper. But I haven't seen many people actually try to outwork their vision and plan and dreams. There is a HUGE difference between having a plan and casting a vision and dreaming a dream and then just hoping it all comes together and actually going to MAKE SURE it all comes together.
I fear that I have seen, in my own life and in the lives of countless others, good ideas and big dreams and great visions stay on paper in the hopes that God will bless and do the work for me/them.
Not these guys. They are resolute. They are "all in." They are determined to make their vision and dreams a reality and work with all of their might to see the kingdom of Christ advance while God is pouring out His waterfall of blessing there. As one of them told me several times, "There is no Plan B." In other words, they aren't thinking about what happens if it doesn't work. They aren't thinking about what happens if they need to do something else. No, no. Their hands are on the plow and they are not looking back or to the side (see Luke 9:57-62). They are looking straight ahead, waking up every morning - seeking His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) trusting the Word that one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God (Habakkuk 2:14).
Before I left to go on this missions experience, I asked several people to pray that this trip be a life-changing experience for me. That I would come back a different Matt Pearson than when I left. God answered that prayer. I praise His name for it and thank Him for allowing me to stand under His waterfall of blessing for a couple of days and rub shoulders with some white-hot servants of His who are zealous for the kingdom to move with force.
Anybody can plan. Anybody can dream. Anybody can cast a vision. Few, however, have the guts and the courage; few make the time and the sacrifices; few get their hands dirty and adjust their schedules; few have a zeal and a passion for it to be done; few actually believe that the world can be turned upside down for Christ; few are willing to do the hard things when no one is looking.
Could it be because most are zealous for their own kingdoms to advance with violence?
Have mercy on me, oh God, and replace my love for Matt's kingdom with an unparalleled passion for Yours to be spread violently around the world.