In my last post, I asked for your prayers on three specific requests: continued peace, rest, and divine appointments. The Lord heard our prayers and His response was incredible! There hasn’t been a moment that I’ve felt doubt creep in. God has protected my heart and my mind and has used multiple encounters to confirm that I am right where I am supposed to be. My flight from DFW to LAX was supposed to be a pretty full flight. I sat in an aisle seat and another girl sat in the window seat. The middle seat was empty. We started talking and I told her that I was headed to Perth with YWAM, an organization whose mission and vision is know God and to make Him known. She said, “Yeah, I’m a Mormon, so I know all about missions. That’s cool!” I smiled and thanked God for clearly showing me that this encounter was an answer to prayer. I asked her about herself and her family. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation led to her beliefs, but she asked me if I knew anything about Mormons. I said I didn’t know a lot, but was interested to hear more about what she believed. She began to tell me about her religion; that she believed in God and believed that Jesus was His one and only son, sent down to earth to die and atone for our sins. She said that Mormons believe that they used to be in Heaven, but chose God’s way, and in doing so, were sent down to earth by God as a test to see if they would remain faithful to Him, and their purpose on earth is to be good people, following the example set by Jesus so they can earn their place back in heaven by doing enough good works. Throughout our conversation, I kept asking God to help me. I pleaded for the Holy Spirit to intercede and move in her heart. I asked her what it meant to be a good person. She told me about the list of things they must and must not do, and they are considered good people if they follow those rules. One of the rules Mormons must obey is to abstain from drinking tea. She mentioned that because she didn’t think that was as serious as some of the other rules, she drinks tea. She chooses to obey the rule not to wear a two-piece swimsuit, but that a lot of her Mormon friends wear two-piece swimsuits. I asked her how she knew which rules were serious and which rules weren’t. She said each person gets to choose and they don’t judge each other because only God can judge. I asked her how she knew that drinking tea wasn’t a serious rule, and asked her what would happen if she got to heaven and God said, “Unfortunately, you decided that drinking tea wasn’t a serious rule, but it is.” She said that she didn’t know whether or not it really was serious rule, but she thinks God knew she was doing the best she could do to follow the rules. “But what if he did mind, then what?” “Well, I know He loves me and He knows that I love Him and I’m trying my best to get back to Him.” I asked her if she thought God would be just in letting someone who drank tea into heaven if He also let someone who never drank a sip of tea into heaven. She said yes, she thought he would still be just. I asked her where Jesus fit into all of this. She said that Jesus was God’s one and only son, sent down to earth to die and atone for our sins. I pointed out that it wasn’t possible to have faith in the complete work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and accept the grace extended to us in the gift of salvation, while still working to earn your salvation. It’s either one or the other. Not both. Jesus either paid it all, or He wasn’t powerful enough to take on the sins of the world and left some for you to work out on your own. The truth, though, is that He did pay it all. There is nothing we can do to add to or take away from the finished work of Christ on the cross. It’s as if He set the table and invited you to come and feast with Him, and you told Him you needed to finish setting the table. He says, “No, I already set it. Sit down and eat.” You say, “But I just need to get one more fork.” He says, “No, I’ve already done everything. There is nothing left for you to do. I’ve done it all and it is finished.” Yet you continue to try to work for what’s already been freely given to you. She tried to explain how it was possible to believe both. Eventually she said she didn’t know how it was possible, but knew that it was true even though it sounded stupid, and that I could ask some other Mormons how it all worked. My heart was so burdened for her. I began to cry as I told her that I didn’t care what the other Mormons thought. I cared about what she thought because I was talking to her and I cared about her soul. I had been talking to her for 3 hours not because I enjoyed debating about religion, but because I cared about her soul. She, too, started crying. I explained that our conversation was an answer to prayer and that a group of people had been praying for divine appointments for me. I began to walk through the details of how God orchestrated our meeting and told her it wasn’t by chance that we were talking. I told her I would be praying that the Lord would open her eyes to see the Truth and asked her if I could have her email address. She gave it to me. I told her I would email her some bible verses about the finished work of Jesus. She said would appreciate that, but also wanted to talk to her mom so she could tell me how it was possible to believe in Jesus and be a Mormon. Please pray for Makayla. Pray that the Lord would open her eyes to see the Truth and that she would accept that she cannot earn her salvation. That she would see and understand for the first time that salvation is granted by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Not by anything she can do on her own.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:1-10
My flight from LAX to Sydney was 15 hours, and I was able to sleep for 10 of those. Praise God! I got to Sydney on the morning of the 27th where a friend of Heather’s, Nick, picked me up from the airport and showed me around for the day. If you’re ever in Sydney, you should call Nick. He was the best unofficial tour guide I’ve had. We visited a local restaurant for brunch and soaked in the beauty of the northern beaches. I arrived in Perth on the evening of the 27th and got all settled in. I already met a friend who is my age and a lot of fun. This, too, is an answer to prayer. School starts on July 1st, so I will try to update once more before then. Until then, here are some pictures from my time in Sydney. Enjoy!