As I run around the outer loop of the Island of my current home, I can’t help but notice these trees. This school has this big courtyard of cobble stone yet eight or nine trees are planted throughout in no precise pattern. Around each tree there is no cement which means they counted for their presence, but these trees are out of place. Examining these trees, I can see they are tall and mature; yet, the branches are low and droopy. They project a more eerie and dying feel doesn’t help that there are vines entangled around the trucks.
What is my point? I use to see myself, sometimes I still do, as that out of place, dying tree. Why, you ask? That out of place, dying tree has the potential of being great yet it thrives among the cement. It did the impossible and grew where none would have thought it could have been done. Now if one wants to save it, it needs to be transported to a land of open soil to grow and have the nourishment which it desperately lacks. Ha! I would say this was a main reason why the Lord took me to China. Yet wherever you go those vines keep sprouting up, entangling the tree, choking the life out of it until you attack the root system with the right weed killer. Now sidebar, Check out this dialogue from Pilgrim’s Progress between Christian and Apollyon (Satan):
Christian: But I have let myself to another, even to the King of princes; and how can I with fairness go back with thee?
Apollyon: Thou has done in this according to the proverb, ‘Changed a bad for a worse:’ but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip and return again unto me. Do thou so too, and all shall be well.
Christian: I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him; how then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?
I remember my buddies warning:
“The same devil here[America] is the same devil over there.”
“Going to the field has a way of bringing to light those issues you keep buried.”
I share Bunyan’s words as well as my buddies to show our enemy’s smooth talking and reveal truth. We take this life so nonchalantly and view everything for our benefit. The majority of Americans have an inward focus which I’m constantly guilty. Why are we so inwardly focused when our Creator is completely about focusing outward and blessing others? Our enemy’s time is limited, and he doesn’t care where you are in the world: color, nationality, or language. His mission is to keep us idle and chasing worldly things, instead of the possibility of life and growth we can achieve by wholeheartedly following God and blessing others. As a christian we are called to become, shoot you are, a righteous oak:
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” — Isaiah 61:3
If you never read John 17 I urgently suggest go now and read it. Meditate on it! Yesu (Chinese name for Jesus) says it so plainly, how he ALWAYS intercedes on our behalf. He wants to be with you and help you navigate this life so you can display His (God’s) splendor. Wake up people! The time is now for us to no longer be content with our own lives. People groups around the world are dying whether the cause is war, pollution, neglect or oppression by the people in power or just simply being overlooked – that’s a fact. And you may believe you can’t make a difference, but that’s so far from the truth! You are breathing and if you reside in America you are far richer than the majority of the people in the world. Yeah I’m talking to you with that $8.50/hr job. You can make a difference! It all boils down to a choice I talked about in a past post…If you choose to follow God, then the old is gone and you are a new creation. Welcome!
Now at this point one could chalk up my writings to a radical fool. two years ago sheez negro I would of reread my own writings and thought the same thing. ha! Being a Christ follower i.e. Christian is radical. Life following Christ doesn’t stop at attending church, giving to the offering whenever you feel you can spare it and going back to the mundane life, waiting to get refill or punch in the card every Sunday. Those are good things, but at the end of the day WE ARE HIS SERVANTS, CHILDREN… SONS AND DAUGHTERS, if you believe He is your savior. What He did on the cross by taking our place should stir your hearts to the point of being sold out.
It feels like I’m preaching to myself. Where do I go from here? You have no idea the amount of things our Father teaches me in a given day In a week…mind gets overwhelmed. Oh, how Satan loves to attack me when I’m awake but mainly during my sleep. Satan loves to whisper those lies to give God the slip. I can still imagine the initial hit after lighting the joint and then the smell hits the nostrils. oh the smell! And people say you can’t get addicted lol What you forgot about those times were meaningless of life. That feeling of bondage that kept you in the repetitive cycle, wishing and wanting a change, but for some reason ended up thinking weed or either “shoot there was no hope:. You turn to weed to numb the pain. Weed was my medicine, but don’t think alcohol or binge watching couldn’t be yours. Thank God I have been delivered from that penitentiary!!
Brother or sister, hope is there. Just ask God in to help, but remember it requires obedience on your part.