We just arrived home from Kiev, Ukraine and my data services are back to flowing like the mighty Mississip. It has been both refreshing and sobering to experience God on this trip. We were well spent for Him, no doubt. We are physically drained but Spiritually rejuvenated.
One of my favorite quotes of the trip came from one of our translators, Olga. She said “prosperity brings rejection” when speaking of Gospel penetration in more populated areas of Ukraine. Early in this nation’s history (in the early 90’s when they gained independence) the Gospel was welcomed quickly in many areas. Obviously, Ukraine was under Soviet rule prior to that. She noted that as Ukraine dealt with it’s freedom and started to gain roots they became apathetic towards the message. Bibles used to be given out in large cities in huge quantities. People were hungry for it. Now the hunger is gone and Christianity is almost viewed by current governmental leadership as another cult. As the nation began to prosper on it’s own the nation became more and more apathetic to God’s word.
Seem familiar? Could it be that this same apathy has led to the rejection of the power of the Gospel in the U.S.? Could this apathy be driven by our own prosperity as in Ukraine? Maybe the U.S. and Ukraine are not so different after all.
After flying over 10,000 miles I understand more our desperation for the message of Christ. Despite our prosperity or living conditions, turning our back on the Gospel is just as wrong here as in Eastern Europe. No matter how little or much you have materially, if you lack Christ you lack purpose, direction, meaning and true life.
What are we clinging to that is driving our apathy towards God? Crucify yourself so that you may live (Gal. 2:20).