I am on my way by train from Prague to a northeastern city in Czechoslovakia. I will be there for a week of ministry. After 5 hours, I will arrive in late evening to the chill of falling snow and to the warm heart of a brother and friend.
Since our last newsletter (sorry for the delay in writing this one—the pace has been somewhat at an advanced level), ministry opportunities brought us to the Azores Islands, Portugal, Ukraine, Germany on two occasions, Norway, and Czechoslovakia—5 countries over a 5 month period. Before writing about these ministries, let me first share with you some of what is on my heart!
First, we are continually reminded that the “walk of faith” (“the just shall live by his/her faith”) is a dynamic, growing, changing, expanding relationship. It involves implicit trust in our heavenly Father and an embracing and confessing of His promises (Hebrews 11:13). Such a “walk” in the power of the Spirit without the human pillars of reason, emotions, or support is a purifying process at best and a frightening process at worst. Oswald Chambers has written much about “abandonment to God” in My Utmost for His Highest:
“If a man is going to do anything, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold to common sense and leap into what He says … to fulfill God’s design means entire abandonment to Him (p. 151) … Oh, that we might realize in personal experience the writing of the ancients, ‘My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace, nor even blessings, but Himself ’ (p. 194) … self surrender is the most difficult thing (p. 238) … spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all … ‘out of him shall flow…’ (p. 246) …the battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world” (p. 362).
Oh, the exhilarating joy and the excruciating pain of it all! Glory follows grief as spring follows winter. The “peaceable fruit of righteousness” and the “conforming to the image of Christ” is God’s eternal purpose for us all. “Lord, let me surrender my heart and will in conformity to your gracious sanctifying work of the Spirit and help me to discern the difference between what is Your divine work in me and that which is self–imposed and inflicted through reasons of pride, position, power, or personality”.
Second, I am reflecting much these days on the future Kingdom, the “end of this age”, the events leading up to the “blessed Hope”, and the “last days”. With America all but legally and politically surrendering its global decisions to the UN, with world leaders and countries actively engaged in creating the perfect global “peace plan”, and with the desire of nations for a global police force (it has already begun), government, and economic “coordination” (control), the coming of the “end” is near. The Church and its status as pilgrim worshippers may be “forced” to live a very different lifestyle in the near future.
Lest we forget, Heaven is ready to receive only those who have been “washed in the blood of the Lamb”, even if they be sick, paralyzed, handicapped, hungry, disturbed, broken, poor, ignorant, weak, or untrained. With so much of our programming designed for the satisfaction and enjoyment of , at times, sleeping saints, let us remember the “must” of the “new birth” (John 3:7), the “must” of Jesus being “lifted up” (John 3:14), and the “must” of Jesus to missions (John 4:4). Oh, that we would hear the “woe” of Paul again, “Woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel of God … to the regions beyond”.
I am concluding this long (even my wife thinks so) “stockholder’s report”. I cannot help reflect on the recent presidential elections. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, the moral agenda that has been clearly outlined by our next President is a clear choice to abandon some Biblical standards and authority. The evidence of history reveals God’s unalterable choice of judgment to a nation whose leadership forsakes and flaunts His moral laws. From my perspective, the judgment has already begun with the imminency of further judgment to follow (II Chronicles 7:14).
Let the Church “wake up” and “put on its beautiful garments”. Let the Church “shake up” from groveling in the “dust”. Let the Church “rise up” in repentance and holiness. Let the Church “loosen up” from its lethargy and ritual without substance and reality and deliver itself from the yoke of bondage. It is God’s desire for the Church to truly know His “name” and to “sing with joy”. The “feet are beautiful that brings good tidings” so that “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:1–10).
During this Thanksgiving Season, we are conscious of God’s greatest Gift to mankind in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work affecting man and the universe. Also, we are daily aware of our partnership with you. To say “thank you” again is to be redundant. However, know that it comes from sincere hearts and with tears and prayers for you all. Some of you receiving this letter may not support us directly. However, being in the Family of God, to support in prayer and finances any member of the Body of Christ is to support the Body.
We shall, by the grace of God, continue to be faithful to the Harvest Master as we hear and interpret the Spirit’s voice. We really do covet your prayers. The Churches in Europe that I have visited, both East and West, send their Christian greetings and thanks for your support. We plan for the future but live by the imminent moment. We “follow the Lamb” step by step as we receive His “daily bread”. We are His and so are confident in Him for the future.
Servants & pilgrims,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
II Corinthians 9:15