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Monday, March 14, 2016

Focused Anger

Yesterday during my quiet time, I was praying for Cameroon.  It was on the list of prayer requests from a ministry for which I pray.  As is my current practice, I turned to Operation World, which by the way is a great resource for your prayer time.  In there I read about the current state of the Church in Cameroon.  Typically OW lists answered prayer as well as prayer requests for the country.  One of the patterns I have seen from country to country is the need to translate the Scripture.  Cameroon was no different.  I have contacts in Nepal that are engaged in the same work as well as people I have met who are doing a similar work in Indonesia.  I had a strange reaction as I prayed through this prayer request.
Focused Anger

I got angry.

Why, you should probably ask, would a prayer request about getting the Bible translated into 252+ languages make me angry?  Good question.  First, I recognize that James 1:20 is true, my anger is pretty much non-effective.  What stirred me up was disparity in the efforts of the Body.

We expend an enormous amount of effort, albeit not enough, to translate the Word of God into the heart languages of the people we are working to lead to Christ.  But, when the work is done, very little effort is expended to equip those same people to study and apply that Word.

A little over a year ago I worked with church planters in Eastern Nepal.  Each of them had a Bible in their own language.  But there was very little knowledge of how to study the Word for themselves.  I wrote about my frustration with their basic understanding of the Word in my journal.  It was then the Lord reminded me that is why He sent me there.  But, I cannot go to all the nations.

We can translate the Word into every language and dialect that we can identify, and I support that effort whole heartedly.  But, that is just the start.  If we do not expend the same amount, no really more effort, in getting people to engage in that translated Word by equipping them to personally engage with the Word to probe its depths and apply it to their lives, why go to the trouble of translating it in the first place?

I am perplexed.  This question is consuming my thought.  I read something in Proverbs 1 that seems to make this a more critical issue.

I will share that tomorrow.

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