This is the story of the woman we met the other night. Since meeting Jesus, she has planted 400 churches in Iran. 400 churches. In a country where being a Christian can get you tortured or killed.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 says, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with conviction.” The gospel preached without the power of Holy Spirit is lulling us into a sense of complacency, of inoculation. We have just enough Jesus to keep up from pursuing more.
I’m not seeing enough of God’s power in my life. I’m leaning in. I want more. I want physical healings during our worship times. I want joy to erupt–whether I’m comfortable with it or not. I want deliverance to happen, where the captives are freed, just by being present with Him. I’m uncomfortable with my comfort. In a world where my faith doesn’t cost me much (if anything at all, really), it humbles and challenges me to see people like Padina live a truly vibrant faith, loving not their lives even unto death. Not in the striving, “I need to try harder” sense, but in the “I need to search my heart” kind of way. I don’t believe we need to be persecuted to be passionate. I don’t believe we need the threat of bodily harm to live out the gospel in such a way that entire nations are changed.
I believe we need to be in love. Passionately, irrevocably in love with Jesus, with a Savior who shows up in grace and in power. Who heals and delivers. And throughly in love with people, who desperately need that Savior to heal and deliver them with grace and power. People who are in love can’t help but share it, no matter the cost. As I sat across from Padina and her husband, I fell more in love with Jesus. As I listened to their stories, I felt my heart grow and change. I felt His presence so strongly it was like being plugged into a light socket, and I never want to be unplugged. I fell more deeply in love with His people–especially the ones who don’t know Him yet.
Heidi Baker says that love looks like something. It looks like the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, like the waters cover the sea–and that filling happens through me. Through you. Through Padina. Let’s open the floodgates.