As the students are still busy with the aftermath of exams, we decided to watch a movie at Cell Group tonight. We watched Compelled by Love – the movie about Heidi and Rolland Baker, two missionaries in Mozambique. I must admit that I wasn’t too excited about the movie in the beginning as I didn’t want to watch a movie about missionaries who glorify poverty nor did I want to see a movie about so called servants of God who end up boasting about themselves. As you can see, I am quite jaded by a lot of people who claim that they love Jesus and yet they seem to care more for their blings, perfectly coiffed hair, manicured hands and bleached teeth when they say, “Praise the Lord!”.
Thankfully, Compelled by Love delivers the message and the rebuke that I need.
The movie tells about how Heidi and Rolland met and how they ministered in Indonesia, Mozambique and other parts of the world, where they continue to witness miracles that a lot of us only read in the Bible. It also shows the impact that they have on the people around them, and how their ministry spawns other ministries to reach the lost – especially the homeless and vulnerable children out on the streets.
One thing that hit me hard is Heidi’s passion for God. She and her husband embody the message of “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” However their life together shows a commitment of seeking Him more and more, even when more have been added to them – including miracles and an intimacy with God. Often we stop at a point when we think that our intimacy with God has reach a specific point – we think we have reached a sweet spot when all along God wants us to move deeper. One of their friends who shares his testimony about Heidi and Rolland is that they continue to sign their contract with God daily – upon the same spot where they signed before. “Here God, I am all Yours. I am committed to You.” This is a minor comment in the documentary but it hit me hard. I ‘signed my contract’ when I became a born-again Christian – willingly and informedly – in 1991. Upon my signature, the contract is sealed with His blood. Where Heidi and Rolland continue to honour their contract by daily signing it – thus giving another dimension of ‘working their salvation’ - mine would be neglected. I know I have a contract with God, but I forgot to recommit to it. I don’t seek Him daily.
… and that is His main message for me through the movie.
Another key message for me is love. I have shared here before – many months ago, that one area that God needs to work with me is love. More than my needs for comfort in orderliness, justice, and my affinity to rules – He wants me to learn how to love – without judgment. I have gone a long way since I started, but I still need to walk many miles more in my journey. I am far more comfortable in being just – on basing my decision or advice based on the known facts – on what is fair. However, being merciful is another thing – this is about having the love, the compassion and caring for those who (we think) don’t deserve our attention and love. Whilst it’s easy for me to be so damning towards the Australian government on its treatment towards the refugees, I wonder if I can be entirely merciful and compassionate if I meet somebody who doesn’t meet my standard of judgment …
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.
For I was hungry, and you fed me.
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
I was naked, and you gave me clothing.
I was sick, and you cared for me.
I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me.
I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home.
I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing.
I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”