When we remove the risk,
When we remove the danger,
When we try to remove the struggle,
as Christ followers,
we end up as caged Christians.
On the Back 9 for sure the one thing God shows me every single day is the will of God is neither logical nor linear. When we seek the Holy Spirit in our lives, when we FOLLOW instead of putting ourselves in the leadership role by inviting the Holy Spirit to follow us…something very, very special happens. We become UNCAGED. Our life becomes adventurous and exciting because we are able to experience life in the way our Creator intended. Instead of spiritual boredom, we lead a life of significance and adventure experiences–the supernatural that God intended all of us to see and experience–but it requires giving up….a true and authentic surrender.
The following is a very, very compelling story. It’s a true story. One I was told while in Atlanta for ministry and business. It was unexpected and made me stand up in a very fine restaurant and circle my napkin over my head. I laughed out loud at the awesomeness of God. I hope you will read and be blessed by what I am about to share. My deepest prayer is that it will pluck you out of a life of trying to lead the Holy Spirit and blast you into a life of total surrender to a Holy God.
My friends shared the following story with me:
A couple in their church had surrendered their lives to missions. They were called by God to go to Australia so they went. When the wife was pregnant with their third child and had two small ones at home, she and her husband were invited to a party. (I think it was an anniversary party.) While at the party the husband ate caviar. He immediately felt his throat closing up and went to the bathroom to try and cough. He then came out and whispered to his wife that he was having a hard time breathing. They rushed to the hospital but he died before they could get him there.
Yes, all in a matter of 30 minutes after eating caviar and enjoying friends and fellowship, a young husband/father dropped dead from an allergic reaction to fish. He didn’t even know he was allergic.
How could this be?
This couple had surrendered their lives to the Lord. Moved across the world away from family with two small children and one on the way and *boom*…daddy was gone. The wife ended up moving back to Alabama to grieve and have family support. After a few years, she looked at her family and friends and told them she was moving back to Australia. She heard from God and she went.
Everyone who knew her had questions about her decision. While she was in the states, she wrote a book about her life and her husband’s death. It wasn’t a best seller. After being in Australia for several years, her role in the church was to be a greeter at Hillsong. She loved what she did. This is when the story gets really good!!!
One Saturday she was greeting attendees for a women’s conference. As she stood at the door, a Chinese woman walked in. She greeted her and the Chinese woman told her she had never been in a church. She said, “In fact, I don’t know why I am here…but to say I am curious. I have been driving by…back and forth…5 times…and I finally decided to come in.”
The greeter, the widow, welcomed her to the church and said, “We love Jesus here. Come and sit with me and learn.” After the conference, the widow/greeter/missionary felt compelled to give her the book she had written in hopes that the Chinese lady would read it and understand Jesus and who Jesus was. The widow and the Chinese stranger became friends. And the book?
It did exactly what the author hoped. The stranger/Chinese lady became a Christian. She became great friends with the widow. What the Chinese lady didn’t know was that the deceased husband’s ultimate call was to go to China and be a missionary but that door never got opened……he died……this is where this story gets really, really, really, really good.
Let me just stop and say right here…..if you are not following God’s will for your life…if He is not your everything…I encourage you now…to open your heart to HIM and HIS will for your life…..ON with the story.
These two ladies became fast and furious friends in Christ. Months passed and when the widow/missionary had a birthday coming up, the Chinese friend said, “Your birthday this year is very, very special. We have to have a very special lunch.” So on her birthday they went to lunch. When the widow met the Chinese sister in Christ, she was dressed up like she had never seen. As they sat at lunch, the widow felt underdressed. The Chinese lady said, “This is a birthday I want you to always remember.” She handed her a wrapped gift. As she unwrapped the gift, there before her eyes was her book translated into Chinese.
The Chinese friend began to tell her something the widow didn’t know. This new friend was an author. She shared with the widow that she was a best selling author from China. She said, “I write fiction love stories. Any time I write a book I usually sell millions of copies. My husband has been translating your book into Chinese in the last year. In the process he has given his life to Jesus and as your birthday present we are going to have your book published in Chinese and distribute it in China to spread the gospel.”
Can I just say wow! wow! wow?!!! Do you follow this story??????????
This widow was SURRENDERED…..then TRAGEDY….REAL TRAGEDY…THEN RIDICULOUS OBEDIENCE TO GO BACK TO AUSTRALIA AFTER…THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND…THEN SERVANTHOOD AS A GREETER IN CHURCH…THEN A STRANGER…WHO IS CHINESE…AND A SALVATION…THEN A SECOND SALVATION…THEN *BOOM*….GOD’S WORD TO CHINA.
The widow could have stayed in Alabama. No one would have blamed her. After all, she lost her husband. She had three kids to raise. Would she have felt caged? Would going back to Australia allow her to live an uncaged life, a life of significance?
Even now all I can say is “WOW!” I am just amazed. I can tell you this story has me at a place of DANGEROUS SURRENDER like Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, writes about…like Mark Batterson writes about in his book, “All IN!” I am there. I hope that this TRUE STORY inspires you. My friend is sending me her book. As soon as I get it, I will post a picture of it!!
Mark 8:34-36, “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” This is what it means to live uncaged.