Just some thoughts to ponder ~
As we share at different churches in the area - we do mostly the same thing...our testimony, info about Madagascar, information about the Mahafaly (our people group), and then how the congregation can join us as prayer partners in this ministry the Lord has led us to. We were speaking at a church in Collinsville this past Sunday night and as I was listening to my husband sharing about the Mahafaly - something stirred in my heart.
Steve was sharing how our people are so focused on pleasing their ancestors and worshipping the spirits around them, that their lives revolve around what they can and can't do. The taboos and rules they follow seem bizzare and extreme to us. Freedom is something that is foreign to them. These facts have continually broken my heart. I long to be there to share about what Christ has done in my life and the freedom that comes from His salvation.
However, this past Sunday night, these facts struck me differently. The Lord started speaking to me about how many are in churches today or at least live in the “Bible Belt” and still have no idea what freedom is. There are people all around us that believe that is all Christianity is – a list of do’s and don’ts. That it’s just a lot of rules to follow. My heart has been in a state of brokenness over the Mahafaly and these thoughts further broke my heart for the lost around me right now. Furthermore, it broke my heart thinking of those who do know Christ who are choosing not to live in the abundance of life He promises to us ( John 10:10).
The next day, I received a text from my sister, Chesney. She was thinking along the same lines as I had been based on some verses she had studied. John 4:22, “...you worship what you do not know, we worship what we know..." So many people think they know God and that they are worshipping Him but in reality are still thirsty for the Living Water.
Often, I believe even Christians can get caught up in other things that hinders us from embracing the freedom of Christ. I'm reminded of Isaiah 29:13 "The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men."
My prayer is that the Lord forgives me of the foolishness of my heart and head - when I trap myself into being distracted by Satan's lies and decietfulness. That He would remind me of the freedom that comes in knowing Christ intimately. I also pray that this would be evident in my daily walk with Him. For how will they (the lost around us, the Mahafaly) know Him, unless someone tells them? Unless someone lives it out among them?