A common theme in the Old Testament is the connection between idolatry/sin and defeat/brokenness. The further the people of Israel were from God and His commandments, the more they fell into sin- especially sins of the flesh including coveting multiple wives and even child sacrifice. This was always accompanied with idolatry (worship of foreign gods). The root of this idolatry stems from ignorance or not knowing/trusting the Lord.
If you look closely, this is happening within our own lives. I see myself as Israel when I don't keep my eyes on Jesus. I create obstacles of idols that prevent myself from growing even closer to God. I fill my heart with so many useless things, temptations, and attachments that keep me from truly becoming one with God as I was made in His image and likeness.
As stated in this book, 'sin...brings about a reversal of creation, a kind of "de-creation"'. This quote was in reference to Israel's sin that was driving them out of the promised land of Canaan. This is also true for our own lives. All sin/idolatry brings about the reversal of our creation (being made in the image and likeness of God), and it also is keeping us from that true perfection within the Promised Land of Heaven.
The good news is... THERE IS HOPE! Jeremiah gave words of building and planting- a time of return and rebuilding. Just as Israel had hope to reenter the promised land, we, too, have the hope of coming back to God and His Kingdom. Jesus is the sower who is constantly building and planting seeds in our own hearts to allow us to mold into the image we were created to be.
In particular, I am blessed, with the help of my spiritual and financial mission partners, to be God's instrument to plant these seeds in others and watch the Holy Spirit nurture and let them grow. I have already seen God touch, open, and light a fire in so many hearts since I have been here.
Just as Israel has won great victories through prayer and trust in God (even when the odds were incredibly against them), this is how we can fight to be victorious over the sin and brokenness of this world.
Apart from much prayer, I have been given the opportunity to jump into one-on-one mentorship/discipleship with 5 girls, host many welcome-back barbecues, pray with various students, and become great friends with some awesome people through running, soccer, a beach day, and great milkshakes and coffee.
Thank you all again for all your love, support, and prayers.
P.S. Please pray for all the up-coming bible studies that are starting up this next week, for further unity between the Caruso Catholic Center and FOCUS, and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this campus, especially on the athletic department
Volleyball, body surfing, and a lot of sun on Labor Day at the beach with my team and four students!
First welcome-back BBQ with students lined up all the way back to the church!
THE TEAM: John Potts (left), Me, Emily German, and Danny Zink (right)