God is wonderful and amazing. Every day I meet people who are not of the same belief system and each day, God shows me a little more of Himself through them or perhaps because of them. This last Monday was a national holiday here in Japan. Although I’m always off on Mondays, most everyone else was, too. As a result, two Japanese friends invited me to take a tour of Kamakura that day. I didn’t even think twice. I’d been wanting to go and was planning to go by myself but I’m glad they invited me. I knew that Kamakura was a place full of temples and shrines dedicated to other gods but I still wanted to visit. I never thought I shouldn’t go or doubted my reasons for going. I went because I wanted to see and experience. Thinking back now, I am reminded that God gives us the desires of our heart.
As we walked through Kamakura, my companions went in to each temple or shrine to give offering, pray, bow, and/or clap, whatever was appropriate. This portion of the temple was open to the public. It wasn’t located deep inside the building but just a few feet within to give the many people immediate access and I’m sure to keep the flow of traffic moving. I walked into each temple and shrine but stood to the side respectfully while they worshiped.
When I went to Kamakura, it never occurred to me, being a Christian, that there would be an issue of my going there. In fact, I felt nothing but peace in my spirit the whole time. I expected there would be some unrest because of my surroundings, but there wasn’t, which I thought was a bit odd. Thinking back, I shouldn’t have wondered about that because I did pray the night before to ask the Lord for protection while I was there. In fact, I recall specifically asking the Lord to blind the eyes of the unclean spirits there so that they wouldn’t see me, torment me, or attach themselves to me in any way. God has demonstrated His ability to do this many times in the Bible, so why wouldn’t He do this for me? Well, apparently He did. I felt so much peace while I was there that I was in no doubt that the Lord was with me the entire time.
It wasn’t until after I returned and posted pictures on Facebook that thoughts began to come that maybe I shouldn’t have gone or maybe I shouldn’t have taken pictures or maybe I shouldn’t have posted the pictures I took. I started to feel like I was being judged because the people who normally comment on my pictures didn’t comment on these. All of these thoughts came to mind, but were soon dismissed. I remembered in Jesse Duplantis’ sermon how he said to “doubt the doubts” when they come to mind. This confuses the enemy and eliminates the doubts. The Lord reminded me that I go where He wants me to go, even if others don’t understand. When I started doubting the doubts, they went away. I don’t know why the Lord put it in my heart to want to go there, but He did and I did. Obedience. The interesting thing about darkness is that it will stay dark until light shines there. Darkness does not go searching for light. Jesus knew that.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
Father, thank you for being the Almighty God that you are. Knowing that it is the things we cannot see that we are battling, we are blessed to have you as our protector and guide. Thank you for never letting us down and for always being the answer to the question we didn’t know to ask and the need we didn’t know needed to be fulfilled. We know that we can never repay you, but we can honor you and worship you and we do. In Jesus’ name, amen.