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What Every Filipino Church Should Dream

By Pastor Enteng Ramoneda

 

“American Dream”, this is not just the dream of the Americans. It has become the dream of most people in the world, including us, Filipinos. The American Dream represents the hope for a better life. Looking at how it made life better for those who made it, everyone sacrificed to be able to make it as well. What should be the version of an American Dream for Filipino Churches? What is it that we should be willing to pay for, no matter the cost?


We, Filipinos, have this inferior mentality that lead us to believe that great things are only for countries that we think have great riches and power. Filipino Churches also might unknowingly think that things that are too great are not for us, like missions. Thus, most Filipino Churches are not engaging in the Great Commission. Should we just accept that this is how things are for us?


I believe that Churches have the sincerest desire to participate in the global work of making disciples. How can we move beyond mere desire to engagement when the greatness of the work is truly paralyzing? Moses had once been in such a paralyzing situation when he was asked by God to lead Israel out of Egypt. He said to God, “Who am I that should go to Pharaoh and bring the children out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). It was a fair answer from Moses to God’s command to bring His people out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10). After all, Moses knew that Pharaoh was the most powerful man. God’s answer to Moses rings true to us whom God has called to bring His people out of the nations, “But I will be with you…” (Exodus 3:11)


Like Moses, our problem could either be that we have forgotten that God is with us, or that we have a low view of God. Every time that God says these words, the emphasis is always in the word, “I”. In giving the Great Commission, Jesus also said, “I am with you.” (Matthew 28:20b). But prior to saying this, Jesus already said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). Authority implies that whatever is being said should be done. By the same authority that God exercised in bringing Israel out of Egypt, Jesus would bring His people out of the nations to Himself.



We are not denying that we are not rich, nor knowledgeable enough, but obeying God in the Great Commission does not start with riches nor knowledge, but with our trust in God. It is good to note that God did not give Moses a pep talk, saying, “Moses you are great. You can do the job I gave you very well.” No, God simply said, “I am with you.” Good thing Moses eventually chose to trust in the Lord who will be with him and did the job.


We, Filipino Churches, will be misled if we get stuck with the question, “Do we have what it takes to engage in Missions?” What we need to ask is, “Do we trust in our Lord Jesus Christ who will be with us, and has all authority in heaven and on earth?” Only then can we see what it means to have Jesus with us. May we all trust and obey God in the role that He gave us for the fulfillment of His Mission. How great would it be to see the Philippines becoming one of the highest missionary-sending countries!


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