Friday, November 16, 2012

Ethiopia's Tomorrow

This week, I had the privilege of hosting a ministry leader from Ethiopia.

After our many conversations, I am further convinced that Ethiopia is at crossroads. What the Church in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian body of Christ, does today will largely determine the course of the nation's tomorrow.

Will the Ethiopian believers, both individually and communally, catch God's vision for their nation and region, lead the way of individual and societal transformation?

Will they lead the way of restoring the hearts of men and women and of healing their land?

Will they see and take hold of their destiny in Christ to be the bright beacon of hope for Africa and beyond?

Will they embrace their glorious identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the King and bring their godly and life-giving influence in every segment of society?

Will they live out the life of Jesus to be His witnesses - His life, His love, His light, His liberty, knowing that they are united with Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit - Jesus in them, the Father in Jesus, they in Jesus?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

If the Church does not let her light of Christ shine, there will be no light of the Gospel at all in the world.

Where and how are they to step up and begin leading in the restoration of the hearts and healing of their land?

First, follow Jesus to lead others.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Leading by following. To do that well, you need to walk closely with the Father and deepen your relationship with Him. This takes trust. Trust God moment by moment. Trust Him that He is in you and delighted in you as well as leading you, teaching you, mentoring you, coaching you, strengthening you, encouraging you.

Secondly, know yourself.

This requires maturity. This is a journey.

Who you are is defined by who God is and shaped by your relationship with Him.

Because you are created in the image of God, because Jesus the Son of God gave His life on the cross for you, because you are united with Jesus, and because your life is hidden with Christ in God, you have immeasurable worth. Because you know Jesus, you are now sons and daughters of God, and therefore, you are worthy. Because of Jesus, you are destined for glory (Colossians 3:4).

In other words, the inherent worth of who you are comes not from what you have done but from who God is and what He has done for you.

Lastly, recognize that you have a unique and critical role to play in His Great Commission.

When you begin to embrace your true self in Christ, you also realize how uniquely you are created to play a critical part in His Great Commission that only you can fulfill.