MATTHEW 18:3,5 (NIV) | Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven … And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Six years ago, if you had told me that God was going to send our family from Japan to Cambodia, I probably would have laughed in shock. I was a proud missionary wife and mom who felt quite accomplished in ministry. And to be honest, I was so confident in my own ability that I rarely sensed the need to stop and ask for Heaven’s help during the day.
But God, in his mercy, came to rescue me. I will never forget the sacred moment in 2010 when the presence of the Lord swept me off my feet in our little kitchen in Tokyo. I found myself in a puddle of tears on the floor as Liquid Love seemed to pour over me like a waterfall.
“What do you want, Jesus? I just want more of this LOVE… I will give you anything.”
I heard three words: “Give me Japan.”
I didn’t understand. I was scared. Our finances were drying up, and God seemed to be closing every door for us to stay in Japan. I had been resisting his voice. I had been resisting my husband’s gentle question, “Would you pray about us making a transition? I think God might be calling us out of Japan.”
In my pride and stubbornness I had been rolling my eyes in response to that question for several years. But, as I knelt on my kitchen floor sobbing, tangibly experiencing the “Love that surpasses all knowledge,” I was undone.
Sean had visited our CRM team in Cambodia the year before we met. He had been “undone” by the treasures Jesus showed him in the street children there. And since that time, there was this “itch” that he couldn’t scratch. Deep down inside, he sensed a call to return. But, he met me, and I wasn’t budging from my comfortable routine in Tokyo.
I wasn’t moving. I wasn’t yielding… until Love asked me that one question that caused me to raise my hands to heaven and say, “Yes. I give you Japan, and I give you complete control.”
At that moment, the Lord put a vision in my heart that was so big it scared me. He showed me a revival flowing from one little country called Cambodia to the whole of Southeast Asia. He asked me if I wanted to see it in person.
Then, he showed me a vision that continues to be my “vantage point” as I surrender to him every day: I saw Jesus sitting on a dirt floor with Cambodian children. Some of them were very dirty. Some of them were sick or even naked. They all had a label on them from the world: “unloved.” But, they were the apple of Jesus’ eye. He was laughing with joy and holding them in his arms. He looked at me with piercing love and said, “Look these little ones in the eyes and you will see me. Teach them how to worship. Their songs will usher in revival.”
Here we are, five years later. Our family has been in Cambodia for four years now. Cambodia is not comfortable. God has used this nation to break me. Every day, several times a day, I cry out to be filled with that liquid love from heaven, because I can’t breathe without him.
Several times a week, I have the joy-filled honor of leading Cambodian children into the presence of God. When I look them in the eyes, I do see Jesus. He is encountering them in ways that I could never have even imagined. They are hearing his voice, and responding to him in worship and prayer for their nation. When they worship, Liquid Love pours into the room.
The Lord is transforming a nation through the prayers and praises of babes, but he is also transforming my heart to one of child-like faith. I am learning, right alongside the Cambodian children, to trust Daddy God to give what is good. He was so gentle and persistent when I resisted the changes set before our family. He knew that even though leaving Japan and transitioning to life in Cambodia would be hard, my spirit would be deeply blessed by being here. My Daddy knows what I need more than anything else—to see Jesus. And he knows how to speak past my fear, past my stubbornness, and how to carry me deeper into his heart of love. He has opened my eyes to see heaven wrapping Cambodia in restoration as he is enthroned in the praise of his little ones. And he is teaching me to sing along.
Come, Lord Jesus.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION
- Why do you think Jesus said that we must change and become like little children? How do they receive the Kingdom of heaven?
- Is there something weighing your heart down that Daddy God is patiently waiting for you to give him so that you are free to receive vision, “Liquid Love,” or a word from heaven?
- Do you have an “itch” that can’t be scratched, a longing deep inside to see heaven touch earth in a community or region? Who can encourage you to approach this dream with a child-like heart?
This reading is part of our "On Earth as It Is in Heaven" devotional series. You can also sign up to receive these meditations by email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alice Collier lives and serves in Phnom Penh with her husband and their three children. She helped to birth a school of worship among street children in one of the darkest areas of the city, and is a champion for the children’s prayer movement in Cambodia.