This was a tough week for me here in Thailand. Although it was full of absolutely incredible experiences, they were all very draining times of ministry. My health being affected as my body grew more tired throughout the week. None the less, it was a time of relying on His strength and learning more about what that looks like on a day-to-day basis on the missions field. In my weakness He is strong.
Monday is our "day off" here at Abba House, so we left in the morning to go up Doi Suthep mountain, on the peak of which a massive temple is located. It took about an hour to drive up there and it was truly something to behold.
While walking up the hundreds of steps towards the top the stairs were lined
with food vendors, performers, shanty shops, beggars and people selling offering items. All the way up they lined the steps and as I walked up I couldn't help imagine
that it must have been like that when Jesus walked into the temple to find it a place of gambling, stealing and cheating.
Once at the top we passed between 2 large Buddhist idols, those who went up to worship these all stopping to pray in front of them. A sign directed to foreigners to a desk where you pay to enter the temple, this was even more so distrurbing because we in no way wanted to participate in funding such idolatry of this temple. We had with us our driver, Goon, who took around the back way where we entered and proceeded to walk the grounds of this temple on top of the mountain. It was really hard to be up there spiritually, everywhere were idols, people praying, leaving offerings of money, food, items, flowers and little sculptures. In front of the main temple there were several groups of young children dressed up - dancing under the instruction of temple workers - with collection plates asking for money. This too made my heart burn for the people, already my spirit was very stirred and the only way I was able to stay up there was by praying constantly and calling for the Lord to destroy the place.
By the time we were ready to leave my spirit had had enough, my body was literally shaking in response even though I wasn't mentally fighting off any spiritual attacks, I would stand still and my legs be vibrating in such a way that you could see it. We returned to the main gate area and began to pray a little together - not 2 mins later an official came and told us that we needed to pay to enter the temple. We tried explaining that we'd already been through, but through the language barrier and and I dare give satan any credit, but so it was. We tried walking away but apparently the official got the money from Jacque, our leader.
Once we'd made it back down we got some lunch and then headed back down the mountain. On the way we stopped at a few waterfalls which was really nice. Of all His creations in nature, waterfalls are perhaps one of my favorites as far as being in awe of His creation and seeing them is such a reminder to me of His love. This is because as much as I can sit in awe of these powerful forces of nature, created by God, and so beautiful- I am reminded at how He looks upon me, saying I am more beautiful than those, the power He has granted me through His son's name is so great that in it I could command the water to change directions and it would without hesitation. He has always used this particular way of communicating to me through nature and so having the driver stop to show us the falls was such a God thing! At the last water fall we got to hike up close to it, and climbing higher and closer on my own, I was able to just worship God as loud as I wanted and not think about anything else. Spending the time there to really think about the country's strongholds and just pray into them further while marveling at the beauty of God's creation was such a relief and a gift to be able to rest in Him after encountering such a disturbance at Doi Suthep.
1 Corinth 10:20-22
"I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"
Deuteronomy 9:16 & 26-29
"And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God. You had made yourselves a golden calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you...And I prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin, lest the land from which you brought us say, “Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness." For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.’ "
O Lord, that those who go and worship and give offerings to demons at Doi Suthep would come to know their sin and repent for such idolatry. Have mercy on Your people! May the temple fall lower than the highest waterfall - beyond the places that any human can reach - and upon the Rock of that mountain let the marvel of Your creation flow abundantly so that all might see and know Your Glory!