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Hot Air Balloons and Who You Are: God's Direction For Your Life

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:9-14 NIV

There were hot air balloons everywhere! I’d never seen anything like this before… and I never would have expected to see it in Thailand! But here they were. My wife and I had planned to take our 3 year old son, Amos, and our 2 year old daughter, Keeva, to see “balloons that were as big as our house.” You should have seen the look on their faces as they tried to imagine that! We went with Nattapong, our Thai spiritual son, and some missionary friends who have children about the same age as ours. The hour-long car ride there was filled with questions like, “How come the balloons don’t catch on fire?” and, “Is the fire hot for the people in the basket?” Yeah, once we told them about the fire and how it helped the balloons to fly, most of the questions were about the fire.

What seemed like a good idea quickly became a mission not to lose one of our toddlers in the sea of people. And it was an impossible mission. We did great for a long time, but the inevitable happened. I came back to the picnic area where we were eating with Amos after he had wondered off a little too far and my wife looked at me and said, “Wasn’t Keeva with you?” I politely explained that Keeva was with her the last time I saw her. Ok, maybe there was a tone in my voice. We quickly realized what had happened, stopped blaming each other and the search was on.

We looked for Keeva for what seemed like ages and I can remember having the thought that even if someone finds her, she can’t tell them anything because she doesn’t even know who she is! Finally, I set aside the panicked feeling I had from the moment we realized Keeva wasn’t with us and I said these words, “Father, you know where Keeva is and You can tell me where to go to find her.” Immediately, I felt like I needed to go back to the other side where I had been frantically searching. I arrived just in time to see a lady walking quickly with my daughter in her arms. The lady had seen me looking around, found Keeva walking by herself and put two and two together. But had I not gone back to that place, I would have missed her and it would've taken longer to find my little girl.

So many Christians are walking through life truly desiring direction and desperately searching for significance. Like my daughter, some of us are just on a journey that seems to take us in circles and leads us no closer to our destiny than we were last week, last month or even last year. Like me, many of us start out our journey blaming someone else for a misfortunate situation. Like me, some of us are led by fear that seems to speak so loud that it drowns out the voice of truth.

No one will ever know where to go before knowing who they are.

No matter which of these categories you find yourself in, you can stop. Remind yourself of who your Father is and begin to praise Him for your identity in Christ and what the finished work of the cross means for you. Let your identity be firmly rooted in you and be led from that place.

Colossians is the greatest writing of how Christ can be formed in a person. Start there and let it transform your thinking! You can know Him and you can know His voice. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for missionaries and Christians around the world. I pray that they would continue to grow in the knowledge of who You are, that their identity be firmly rooted in you, and they see themselves as You see them. I pray that from their God given identity that they would have direction for their lives and ministry. I speak against fear in the name of Jesus, and I speak clarity and the strength to choose to listen to You,  their Prince of Peace, for guidance. I pray they would have great endurance and patience to run the race set before them in the name of Jesus!

Ryan and his wife, Randi, both graduated from Christ for the Nations Bible School in Dallas, Texas and in February of 2012 partnered with Go To Nations. In the Spring of 2013 they completed a 10 week internship in the Philippines. After doing so they moved to Thailand to be full time missionaries and team up with other GTN missionaries in Asia. They have 2 wonderful children, Amos and Keeva, and another daughter on the way!