It seemed all too familiar. From checking our luggage at the San Francisco airport, to flying through multiple layover cities, to finally arriving at our destination in Nias Island, Indonesia. This is my third consecutive year to Indonesia with Living Hope; and the excitement and anticipation that I use to once carry for journeying to a distant land, where my heart was full of wonder and mystery, was poisoned with familiarity and contempt. I have seen the supernatural move of God, and it was difficult for me to be excited again. I had let my past experiences poison my expectations for the present, paralyzing my ability to awe at the move of God once more.
For our last revival service in Nias, our team visited our spiritual brother Afudan’s church. There was about 400 to 500 attenders at the outdoor service, and I was scheduled to preach the word of God. I believed I had a powerful message, but my delivery was not executed in the way that I had imagined. After the message was over I thought to myself, “Blast Jason, you blew this.” Even though I didn’t feel great, the Holy Spirit led me to a salvation altar call and more than half the people raised their hands to receive Jesus! I couldn’t believe what I saw, and as I stood in awe, I kindly asked for those who ALREADY accepted Jesus to not accept Jesus again and to put their hands down. About a quarter from the batch put their hands down, but I was still amazed and stood in awe of how many people kept their hands up. Through my unprepared, choppy, scattered minded message, they heard the gospel of Jesus, and wanted to receive Him as Lord and savior over their life.
In Luke 10:20 Jesus says, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” I had forgotten that the greatest miracle of all is that our names are written in the book of life. Yes miracles are awesome, and witnessing supernatural healings is something to drop your jaws about, but when those things fade away, salvation remains eternal.
Every year, our team witnesses many miraculous healings and deliverances. In my heart I had grown numb to the expectancy of the move of God because I was familiar with the things that I have seen on past trips. But God, faithful as He is, reminded my team and I that those aren’t the things that we should stand in awe about. Those aren’t the things that we should rejoice about; instead we should rejoice that hundreds of people gave their lives to Him, and that their names are written in the book of life for eternity. God restored my awe of salvation, and that shed light on every other area of this trip. This is the reason why we were here – It’s not for my own experience, it’s not about God showing me something for my enjoyment, but it is about God showing me things that led to the salvation of many. The miracles, deliverances, healings, and layovers were all for that moment when God invites His people to become His own.
God humbled me tremendously through this trip. The fact that He would use me, who lost the awe of His mightiness, to lead hundreds of people into the kingdom of God. To use me, who lost excitement to be in Indonesia, to lead his people into eternity. God has surely proven that man is weak, and when we are weak, He is made strong. Our God is a redemptive and gracious God. Even in our weakness, He is so mighty and gracious to show us something beyond our expectation, that we may stand in awe and marvel at Him once more. They say first is the worst, second is the best, and the third is the one with the treasure chest; and I’m not sure if I agree with the first and the second but I can surely say that during this third trip, we have indeed found the treasure chest of the revelation and joy of salvation.