When we read Luke 15, we come to this passage of a story of two sons. One is a shameful son who asks for his inheritance before his Father dies to burn it on shameful living. And you have another son who serves faithfully with his Father.
When the shameful son figures out his foolish choices, he heads back to his Father, asking to be treated as a servant. But his Father embraces him as his loved, lost son and celebrates his return.
The other son who has served with his Father can't even call his brother "brother" (Luke 15:30) is outraged when his Father accepts the person he has already rejected.
If you have spent any time in the church, you have heard this story. But the more I read this passage, the more I see how our Father God wants to relate to us and how we relate to Him. It shows how our Father views us and how we view Him. It exposes His heart for us and reveals the true nature of our hearts to ourselves.
We have a loving Father who deeply loves His children. But some of us failed so much that we feel that we should not even be called sons but treated like slaves. Others of us publicly are called sons and have no seen fault but hidden in our hearts we carry a relationship that functions more like a slave with his master.
One is entering in repentance to the Father. The other is avoiding a celebration with the Father.
One broken. The other is hard.
One is asking to be a slave—the other is living like one.
I look at this passage, and I see myself. Not only as a prodigal son who has sinned but also as the other son who acts like a slave.
God has been working on me for the last few years on what it means to be a son. He is teaching me what it means to be in his family, not just a servant in his household.
I am longing to grow deeper as a son. Being a missionary, it is easy to step into being a slave/servant in the house of God. But God has so much more for us. We don't fully understand His deep love for us. We don't fully understand how much He accepts us as His beloved children.
Where do you see yourself? Are you a son or a slave? Where are you standing with our Father?
Wherever you stand, I pray you would walk with me on this path of intimacy, going deeper in our relationship with our Father. For sure, down this path, there will be times when we will need to let go of things through repentance. We must understand that with intimacy comes exposure. Anything hidden will be brought into the light. But there will be acceptance. We will have no greater joy than in the loving arms of our Father.
Let us hold the hand of our Father as we journey down this path. I don't fully understand where He will take us or what is ahead. But let us trust our Father. He knows what is best. He can see down the road. He knows the way.
Come, let us walk with our Father.
If you would like more info about who you are, please watch a couple of videos that can help you.
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We are arriving in the States on October 29 and will be there for 5 months. During that time we will have a road trip visiting something like 23 States. So if you are in the States and you want to see us let us know! You can leave me a message by clicking here or visit my Facebook page and leave me a message.
So contact us soon! we are making a schedule now. :)
Dear Fellow YWAMer,
There was a great sense of life and joy when we gathered in Singapore. Afterward, the group that convened the event had the privilege of reflecting on what God said during those days. As we waited on Him, we felt that we should confirm some of what God spoke to us at this event, and the message that follows is part of that process of confirmation. Others from the convening group will also write to you.
Field-based conveners were recognized and commissioned in Singapore. Each of them was given the responsibility for convening the family in their part of the world for the next year. The purpose of such events would be to trust the Holy Spirit to manifest the presence of Jesus as we experienced in Singapore, to energize a new faith and momentum to go where we are not, to strengthen and deepen our unity and to identify and recognize the new initiatives and emerging leaders in our midst. The leaders of thematic ministries (for example, Mercy Ministries and Create International) will also continue to convene those ministries with the same purposes, as led by the Holy Spirit.
These conveners (one per Field) were commissioned to add two or three others to work as team alongside them to seek God and then obey His word to convene in the right time and place with the faith that God will work right across the mission with the same emphases we experienced here in Singapore.
These small teams are elders and spiritual leaders; they don’t aim to govern with organizational authority, but to be fathers and mothers of the family who lead primarily by drawing the family together in God’s presence. Inevitably, problems will arise in our family and obviously the problems will fall somewhere in the responsibility of these Field conveners. But their mandate is not to engage with all the problems, but to identify which elder or elders has/have the best relationship with the people caught up in the problem and to commission them in prayer to do their best to resolve the issues, as led by the Holy Spirit.
We have dissolved the various groups that used to exercise organizational authority, such as regional leadership teams and the former Global Leadership Forum, because we know how easy it is to fall back into the habits of our previous meetings. After one year, we will meet with the field and thematic conveners to seek God about the way forward. We know we must move toward where we are not. So, in the densely populated parts of the world, we will have many new clusters of Omega Zones; we will refer to the teams that champion these clusters of Omega Zones as Area Circle Teams (ACTs).
We do recognize that local YWAM entities are legally incorporated institutions (where such entities are allowed by law). Even in these situations, the legal responsibilities and titles are just a very small part of the essence of spiritual leadership. On a day-to-day basis, servant-hearted, plural leadership is always our goal. No single individual has the “final word.” In all matters of leadership, we are committed to the same principle that we see in operation in the story of the First Jerusalem Council, where they were seeking the solution that “seemed good to them and to the Holy Spirit.”
May the Lord continue to increase His presence upon us to unify us in His love more and more and to make us ever more fruitful!
To watch live streaming of the messages at the Singapore Gathering, go to YWAM’s YouTube Channel.
A few impressions while praying for our loved ones this morning, words from the Father for you and me.
You are entering into a new season. Even though there is failure and regret, things done imperfectly, the Lord is a merciful Father, a Father who presses on in His loving parental ambition for us, an intention described by Jeremiah in the following way. Do you realize how much responsibility God takes for our future under the New Covenant?
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Jeremiah speaks these words in the midst of Israel’s failure. Just before the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah gives a Messianic prophecy. He describes what it will be like when Jesus comes.
“I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:39-40)
It’s time to reflect on His promise to us. “Take note of the highway, the road that you take.” (Jeremiah 31:21b) It’s time to withdraw a little from the clamor of urgencies, to quiet our heart, to enjoy His silent embrace until the mind stops racing, then to listen and record fresh Rhema. “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.” (Jeremiah 30:2b)
As for Julie and me, our lives must seem relentless to you. It’s true we live globally at a fast pace. We live at risk as we lean forward into impossible circumstances but there is a luxury of time for those taking steps of obedience to the Father. His presence is a shelter. He is at work in the circumstances, protecting our fragile hearts.
Nearly 400 missionaries from 65 countries gathered to us in Singapore. A great density of important things happened daily that will affect Asia, the nation of Singapore as it approaches its fiftieth year, and of course the global movement which is Youth With A Mission. Julie suffered a severely sprained ankle and spent two days at the hospital. In spite of this, the Lord used her to bring profound healing to several leaders. Our room at the conference center became a sanctuary filled with the presence of Jesus.
I have been calling people, thanking them for their covering prayer but there are too many, hence this note and the things that have come to me as my heart filled with gratitude toward you.
What to do? The default position for the believer’s heart is to return to the place of worship, to return to our place of rest in the presence of God. It’s not so easy. It must be chosen. A. W. Tozer taught that spiritual insight is often painful. To see deeply into the nature of things is to grieve; to anticipate the result of the present actions of today’s generation in the years to come.
I have never been more involved in social, political, educational and marketplace action, because our ministries confront injustice and serve the poor and needy globally, yet I cannot be deeply entangled in these things. They must not become my primary focus or yours. We must stick to the essential privileges of our created purpose which are the things related to enjoying the Lord Himself for who He is, beyond our service to the Lord and to people, to become a child in His presence in simplicity and solitude, to enjoy the wonders of knowing our Creator in heart communion. Are you with me on this?
Uzzah touched the Ark with some sense of responsibility, yet death came of it. In order to put the Government on the shoulders of Jesus, we need to remove presumptuous yokes from our own shoulders. We need to trust Him to govern. That is what God is calling us to in Youth With A Mission. We are finding it easier to grasp the concept than to live it as a global family. This has been a twelve-year travail among us. We are still in a very vulnerable moment. We are tempted to call for definition, to look to human authority for too much. There are ways that only God can truly parent us. We are a global movement, five million people and growing, a reality completely beyond human management.
Before he was rejected, before the people clamored for a king, God Himself was their Father/King. He used a strange assembly of leaders that we remember as the judges. A similar thing happened when the New Testament Church was born. Theologian historian F. F. Bruce points out that the Church had no “monarchial bishops” for its first 200 years. A. W. Tozer thinks that the pattern was established at the beginning saying “When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, why did the believers break out into ecstatic language? Simply, it was because they were rightly worshipping God for the first time. Intensive worship unexpectedly leaped out of their hearts. It was nothing planned or perpetuated by some ‘worship leader’. God was in their midst. Whenever there is a move of the Holy Spirit, it is always a call for God’s people to be worshippers of the Most High God above everything else. Whatever else revival does, it must restore the purpose and meaning of being a worshipper.”
Well said. Who do you want to become? David the psalmist left us a magnificent legacy. The legacy of David the king was much more questionable. “Help us Lord.”
We have talked a lot about councils of elders, spiritual grandparents, area circle teams, vision, values, covenants and callings, and all the ways the Kingdom of God might function effectively but the main thing is this. The Kingdom has a King.
Not a distant ruler, He’s a friend closer than a brother. Not an overbearing examiner, He brings to our remembrance that which He has taught us. Not an overwhelmed emergency service responder, He is an ever-present help in time of trouble, omnipresent; all-knowing, “before you call I will answer you.” Not the occupant of a capital far away, He is Immanuel, God with us. He will never leave nor forsake you! It’s time to look away from lesser things. “Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker.”
As we relinquish Saul’s armor, as we enthrone Jesus again, as we turn away from an anxious preoccupation with responsible leadership (an inner voice that says, “Give me leadership position! Give me a leader I can rely on! Give me the details of the plan!”), the glorious result will be that good people who’ve been waiting for ‘the leaders’ to act will take initiative. Christ being truly the head, the Body will rise and run. After all, it was the unencumbered shepherd boy that killed Goliath, a tenderhearted youth with a mission.
So if you’re watching us, if you’re praying for us, receive this blessing. Receive the promise from your most able King. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
As for the work of your hands, the godly dreams, present disciples, the children born to you, the weight of ever present responsibilities? Remember this: You are Hisworkmanship. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 3.
“…7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow… 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building…. 18-22 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”, and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours…”
In these promises rests my hope. May the seven-fold wisdom of God now set this house, His house, in order. Let praise arise, and every soulish dynamic and unclean spirit be scattered. Speak it with me. Speak of His greatness and love. Let us begin a new season as those who are newborn, our youth renewed like the eagles as we wait upon Him, our mouths filled with praise, followed by prophecy that releases earth-shaking power - commissioning, releasing, creative, loving power.
Well beloved. I never really meant to say all that, however Jesus knew that I for one needed to hear it. Whatever grace, whatever blessing rests upon me and my family, may it be upon you. Thank you again. As the Bible says, “How can they go unless they be sent?” Your generosity, covering prayer and counsel have become sacrificial acts of love that gave us the victory together.
Every time we have gone to the States, it has came in different ways. This time was no exemption.
A week and half ago a to good Filipino friend of mine emailed me telling me he wanted to send us some money. Haydee was on her way back from Cambodia to the Philippines and would arrive on Friday(Sept 26). She waited for the deposit to clear and was shocked and started to cry when she saw that it was P200,000 ($4,444). It was the first time we received this big of an financial gift from someone living in the Philippines. Also this was gave us the funds to buy our tickets Manila to LA this past week! We are landing in the States on October 29 and plan to return to the Philippines on March 25.
After that Haydee had her interview with the US Embassy for her visa where she was granted a 10 year multiple visa! God is so good.
Currently we are still needing a little more for our LA to Denver tickets. If you would like to give toward that please CLICK HERE to give.
Between October 29 to the New Year we plan to be in Colorado visiting family and friends. After the New Year trough Mid March we will be driving through some 23 States visiting our supports / friends. If you would like for us to visit you please email, Facebook message, or leave a message here to see if we can drop buy you area!
We have been looking forward for this trip for a long time. It has been 5 years since we have been in the States. This trip will be for sure special!
Dustin has been serving as a missionary for 24 years. Here is where he places some of his teaching, thoughts, and updates.