I’ve been home only a couple of days now from Indonesia where I accompanied Chuck Register and Joel Stephens to lead two regional pastors conferences for the Indonesian Baptist Union. We spent 38 hours in planes and airports getting home, but I feel as if it will take me 38 days to recover. The people were very polite and made us feel welcome. I have been reflecting on the trip and my learnings. If you have ever get the opportunity to serve on mission outside of the U.S., I urge you to go. You will never be the same.
I am fascinated by all the different people that God has created. There are vast differences in culture, color, language, body size and shape, but we are all created by God in His image. I saw that the Indonesians I met are people just like me. I want to take time to process my brief experiences with these people before I post too much about the journey, but I know there will be several take-aways that will apply to creating a disciple-making culture here where I live.
The first lesson is very straight-forward, though: Everybody worships something or someone, and there are many idols competing for the worship of people. Whether it was the Islamic call to prayer over the mosque loudspeakers in Jakarta or the Western call to purchase in the glittering Cartier and Chanel ads at the airport in Dubai, people are being called to worship false gods of man’s own making.
God created people to worship, but that need to worship is often misplaced by worshiping the wrong object. The claim of Deuteronomy 6:4 that there is one God that we are commanded to love exclusively with all of our essence is as counter-cultural today as it was millennia ago. The claim that this one God has granted access to relationship with Him exclusively through Jesus Christ is still revolutionary. The world desperately needs to hear that Jesus is Lord and that He is the only Lord. The question is, do American Christians live in such a way that we credibly can claim Jesus is Lord of our own lives, much less the Lord of all? How about you? Is Jesus your One Lord?