Entering into His Rest
I kept receiving calls from colleagues these days asking me am I still alright. So here is the update of my recent life: I am still in Nairobi and I hope God can keep me here for two more years. I have been waiting for God’s calling of my next step in career path meanwhile preparing for some grad school exams (they are quite hard:/). From next month, I will embark on my first theology course (the elementary one), engage in a NGO that helps build up the street women rehabilitation (under my church). I have also been praying and striving in Lord’s name to settle in that right workplace by next month. But in the past 1 months and half of waiting, I have seen something else in depth, that I had no chance to experience previously, especially at the time when I was achieving all those achievements at work.
To begin with, I’d like to share some humble observation I have had on the social and spiritual environment in Kenya. There is a pretty common doctrine called “prosperity theology’ here (which is also prevalent elsewhere), whereby many people believe that as long as we put God first, His glory will bring us to a victorious life, a life in which we lack nothing, especially in a substantial way. People have lots of examples to follow, among whom often time are their Pastors (a negative example is that many Pastors are corrupting). While the poor rich disparity is quite huge here like in any other developing countries, the more privileged group (even for those devout Christians) would be very keen to keep their own capital and find it hard to share with their less privileged communities. Though we all know this is a hard request by God, it would be good if reflect this question: what exactly is God’s reward for those who follow Him obediently? What does He mean by ‘prosperity’? For one thing I am quite certain of, the ‘prosperity’ has no necessary correlation with economic wealth, as God once said, the other master we may serve wrongly is ‘money’. My dear friend Mona once shared with me her prophesy in a prayer that, ‘I will change the nation’ for God. I am really amped for that vision and as an absolute doer I have been striving in every way to answer that calling. That same reason has motivated me to prepare for my grad school, as I believe standing on a larger stage, I can have a bigger impact of sharing gospel. Nevertheless, I don’t know what that impact may be like and where I will end up being. Gladly I have found an answer these days, that God’s reward is simply having us ‘ENTER INTO HIS REST’.
I got this inspiration from my friend Michael Eaton, a British missionary who came to Africa 50 year ago with his wife and started serving the poor, preaching in slum ever since. In one of his books he wrote: “ Entering into the rest — I believe — is the reward that comes to the Christians in His life as a result of His diligent faith. It is the joy of inheriting promises. It is experiencing the oath of God…It is after years maybe, of persistent faith, we come to have an assurance having obtained that which we have been looking for and which God has promised us.” I said yes and AMEN.