I’m getting ready to go to Cambodia for a week. A handful of friends and I will have the opportunity to work with a group called Agape International Ministries (agapewebsite.org), an organization that rescues children from forced prostitution, rape and sex trafficking and rehabilitates them in an area of the world that is referred to as a “Disneyland for pedophiles.”
People go there specifically to have sex with children. It makes me want to cry and murder, all at the same time. Many of you have probably felt the same way. Compassion and conviction, all at the same time. Man, oh man. I’m really, really conflicted about it. I am excited to be confronted with the reality and to face and see the truth, but I am not excited to honestly deal with what I see.
It brings up my issues. It forces me to confront the wickedness and depravity of a broken and sinful man, when all I want to believe is that people are inherently amazing. But the trip is also a personal answer to my greatest prayer and desire, and it leads me to the real purpose of a new life in Christ. This is also my deepest desire, which is to be a friend of Jesus Christ. I want to know him intimately, spirit to spirit. I want to connect with him more everyday. I want to follow him and walk in obedience to his invitations to me.
You will be my witnesses. You will bear witness. Any of us who have been inspired by the Acts of the Apostles (and this verse from the book of the same name) knows this amazing encouragement from the Master to his disciples can empower us and make us bold to tell His story.
May we be so bold. May we go door to door and tell people about the person of Jesus and invite people to church. We get trained in supernatural ministry so we can present the gospel in a supernatural way. And we go to the nations to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus with the “indigenous people of wherever” so that by spreading the message of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth as a testimony to mankind forever of his lordship, identity and ultimate authority and reign in this place we dwell. The world will be transformed by the power of his witnesses. That’s one version of “You Will Be My Witnesses.”
I don’t know we get to experience the other interpretation here, of heart of knowing Jesus and responding to Jesus’ call to be a witness is one that.
I don’t know if we have accurately celebrated it as valid, treated it as real or as honestly prophetic as it is. Or created room for its holistic process in our communities.
It’s a simple statement, but there is real depth and a scary invitation in the challenge to “Be His Witness.” To be a witness is to see something. To be invited into “His witness” can be the invitation to stand in a place where we are able to see what He sees.
I bring this up because sometimes I have felt like — in the face of rejection or unbelief or hurting a relationship or because of past religious hurts or perceptions — we don’t want to bear witness. But I think sometimes we don’t want to witness, period. We don’t want to see. We are afraid to see what he sees. We maybe go halfway. We maybe peek, but we are scared to death to look. We don’t really want to see what He sees.
“Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out” Psalm 10:15.
God sees. He sees what will never be seen otherwise. Then He invites us to investigate for the sake of bringing justice to our oppressed brothers. He invites us to see what He sees in the potential of people, in the face of their problems and yours, so that we may know him more, to understand him more.
I am in. I am His witness, but I have to admit I am afraid to bear witness. I don’t know what I am going to see.