So, here are some things we learned in Korea.
Prayer is actually important. I know it's one of those things we all know, but it hit me that I need to be spending a lot more time in prayer. It was amazing to see the fervor and consistency of the Koreans' prayers. I can understand why they are the second largest sending nation in the realm of missions. God is doing awesome things in and through South Korea, and I think it is in direct correlation to their prayers. So, it was great to be reminded that prayer works. Then on the flight home, I read Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds. It as well reminded me that prayer is important, and that God wants men and women whose hearts are united and dependent on Him daily. I don't need the newest strategy or the most effective approach to reaching students. I need to pray that God would make students ready to hear and make me ready to share His gospel message. Please pray that I would get serious about prayer daily.
Another thing we were struck with was a simple phrase by a man from India who spoke at the conference. He said, "If you know God, you love God. If you love God, you serve God. If you're not serving God, you probably don't love God. If you don't love God, then you don't know God."
At first it seems kinda like a guilt trip, in that if you aren't serving God then you don't know or love Him. So go and serve God which proves that you know and love Him.
This is the conclusion I would have jumped to a few years ago, but now I realize the simple truth of this man's statement. Essentially, he is just drawing on the message of 1 John, which by the way comes across even tougher. The reality is, that if we really know and have experienced the grace of our amazingly passionate and beautiful God, then our hearts can't help but respond in love. And when they respond, they often cry out the plea of Paul in Romans 12:1 - that we would daily offer our lives as living sacrifices to God. We want to serve God because He loved us first. Duty goes out the window as we love Him back.
This isn't to say that we don't struggle in serving Him. Trust me, I have struggled at times these last 10 months, especially the last few months when I felt distant from God. But it's at those times when He longs to show us just how much He cares, and to draw our hearts closer to His again, and to remind us just how amazing He is. But when He gives us that glimpse into His heart it ignites our desire to serve Him again - at all costs.