Leif

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WANT TO BE A CULTURE CHANGER?

What it Looks like to be an Ambassador of Love

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation.  All that is related to the old order has vanished.  Behold, everything is fresh and new. (2 Cor 5:17)

In my previous post, we discussed how you can become an Ambassador of Love.  But now you may be wondering, what does it look like? If you saw everyone through the eyes of Christ in your home or at your work place, how do you think the atmosphere would change? How would you change? Perhaps people would start to come alive, like the sleeping firefighters who needed identity spoken into them (see The Secrets to Daniel’s Success).  It may not happen overnight, but love never fails to work.

When your worldview shifts, you are able to embark on this journey of speaking identity and oozing love to those around you.  It’s easy to look at this world and be discouraged based on our daily inputs.  Bad news and fake news are easy to believe.  Your view towards what’s going on in this world has a lot to do with how you live your life.  If I believe the world is getting worse, I’m going to be a pessimist; I’ll learn to protect myself.

But when I realize the world is actually getting better, problems in the world become opportunities to show my light and re-present Jesus.  I could tell you how the world sees Pakistan, for example, and it’s often not positive.  But that’s not how God sees it. If I don’t have the lenses to see Pakistan through Heaven’s eyes, then suddenly I see Pakistan as a problem and not a promise (next week, we’ll discuss practical tools you can use to look at the world with the right lenses).

I’d like to give you an example of how the world is changing in a positive way; how being an Ambassador of Love truly changes culture.

Love over Time

For 25 years now, I’ve been visiting my Muslim brothers and sisters in Pakistan.  Back then, it looked a whole lot different.  In the early 90s, I started doing large healing meetings with a few close friends and ministry partners, and continued this for years.  And for years, there was no favor with the government.  It didn’t miraculously happen right away.

After a few years, however, divine connections presented themselves and I was able to meet with Islamic leaders to talk about the language of love.  I remember the first few conversations we had; I was not welcomed with open arms.  The meetings were met with suspicion—what was I, Norwegian living in America, trying to prove or accomplish? I probably would have wondered the same thing.  But before long, the truth became evident.  I didn’t have an agenda.  I just wanted to build friendships, and those friendships have turned into family connections over the years in ways I never imagined possible!

The mutual trust that was built through these relationships opened the door to intentionally gathering leaders of various religions at conferences on Inner Faith, Peace, and Harmony.  In the conference sessions, each person would talk about being a person of love from their own perspective.  We started to reach common ground.

A few years after that, the word was spreading in Pakistan about this love language and it opened a door to government.  That’s when the phrase “Ambassador of Love” was coined and I started to truly see myself and others that way.

Breaking the Rules

That history helped lay the groundwork for some amazing breakthroughs I saw just last month.  This time, the Lord was teaching me something quite new.  We’ve already talked about the Issachar anointing, and Ambassadors of Love carry this anointing.  Knowing what to do and when to do it.  Which includes knowing when to take risks and break the rules, and trust me… when the Holy Spirit leads you to do this, it’s terrifying!

Recently, the Lord led me to do something forbidden in another culture.  I was reminded of Esther after the king had issued a genocide order for her entire race. She didn’t bend under pressure. Though it took some convincing, she went before the king even though it was illegal.  “If I must die for doing it, I will die” (Esther 4:16).  The king showed her favor from the moment she went before him, destroyed her enemies, and even reversed his decision to kill all Jews.  Her risk paid off.

Last month, I was at the headquarters of a great Muslim Imam in Pakistan.  Simply being there is illegal, as I’m referred to by some as an infidel.  In fact, several years ago, one of the men present at this meeting would wash his hands after shaking mine, as there is a belief that touching an infidel makes one unclean.

In this context, I sat around this Imam’s table with other influential Muslim leaders from the country.  Speaking at the table is also illegal, and though I was an honored guest, I knew my place.  When the Lord led me not only to speak but also to use the name of Jesus, I had to ask myself, “Is it worth it if I should die?”

Whether or not my situation ended like Esther’s, obedience was worth the risk.  I felt such a strong desire to see these amazing men transformed by love.  I could feel the Spirit at the table with us, and I felt the Lord leading me to ask if anyone had a frozen shoulder, so I did.  Everyone looked at me like I was crazy! But I saw the Spirit resting on one particular man, so I walked over to him and said “In the name of Jesus, be healed.” Suddenly he shot his shoulder into the air and had no more pain.  I moved on to another Imam at the table; the man who previously considered me an infidel.

This man had been in a motorcycle accident the day before and broke his hand, which was in a cast.  I touched his hand and repeated, “In the name of Jesus, be healed.” Suddenly, his hand was healed! After I returned home, I realized something about this encounter. Several years earlier, my hands were unclean to this man, and now I’m touching his hand and he’s becoming clean. Years ago, he saw us as enemies, and now he’s kissing me on the cheek.  Now we see each other as family.

Love changes Culture

Years ago, people would have said this level of change is impossible.  But love changes the way others see you, see themselves, and see God.  Seeing this miracle was only the tip of the iceberg.  Hearing Pakistan’s President talk about Ambassadors of Love; speaking at  Minhaj University about the power of love—a place attended by the most progressive Islamic thinkers in the world—that’s the power of Jesus.  He’s bringing hope and change through us.  This encourages us when storms are trying to defeat us and we feel discouraged.

What if I had focused on the negative and let it cause fear? “They’re out to get me! Change is taking so long… what if it never comes?” My perspective could have changed the outcome.  Now I wonder, what if—contrary to popular belief—these people are actually open, rather than closed? What if my trip wasn’t actually a failure, despite all the setbacks?

What will happen when we let Jesus invade our worldview?

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