Japan surrendered to the Allied forces but we have not surrendered ourselves to the Almighty God. Japan surrendered but Satan has not surrendered Japan. Japan is still Satan’s stronghold. In one way or another he is trying to make Japanese serve him and his scheme rather than serving God and his mission.
After the war the Japanese economy picked up rapidly. One of the skills that the Japanese became famous for is the skill of making things small and compact. I am afraid we have made God small and compact and wonder why this God does not have more impact on us. We try to make a pocket size God. We can never make God or God’s Mission conform to our life. We have to make our life fit the mission and purpose of God.
After the War many missionaries came and baptized tens of thousands of Japanese people. We were so poor and were so impressed with what the missionaries had to share with us. Perhaps we were more impressed with the visible things the missionaries had than the Gospel. As the Japanese economy picked up many people were no longer interested in God and became more interested in Mammon.
The Japanese are success driven people. We measure our success by how prestigious our job is and how much we have and other worldly measures. We Japanese like to succeed but it is difficult to be successful in life if you do not know the purpose and the goal of life.
In 1876 Dr. William Clark was invited by the Japanese government to head an agricultural college in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He influenced many Japanese students who later became Christian leaders. His parting words became very famous: “Boys, be ambitious for Christ.” What the Japanese did was to cut the last two words out. We cut out the best part of it and it is no wonder that we have problems.
Many people are seeking God or religion but only to fulfill their dreams. Even Christians tend to do that. God does not exist to serve our purposes and fulfill our dreams. We exist because God had a dream in eternity to create us in his image and love us for eternity. We exist to serve God’s purpose. God’s dream and plan is far better than ours. At the end only God’s plan will be accomplished.
In 1534 Francisco Xavier was getting ready to go home after completing his theological training at the University of Paris. His plan was to become a local priest. It was a well respected, well paid, stable job. Another student, Ignatius Loyola challenged him with Matt 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Xavier gave up his dream and plan and became one of the charter members of Jesuits. He was sent to India, then to Japan. He wrote to his friend in Paris: “Tell the young men to give up their small ambitions and come to the East to serve God.”
Japan is a nation of small ambitions. The Japanese are willing to pay the price to be successful. Any worldly success is so small and insignificant compared to what God would like for us to have. We also do not know the immensity or the magnitude of the huge price God had to pay to make us truly successful in life. Life is not about how great we can be but to know and learn how great our God is.
In the garden of Eden, Satan said “Don’t worry about what God said, you will not die.” In John 12:24-25 Jesus says we must die. Today Satan is saying to us Christians, “Don’t worry about what Jesus said. You do not have to die.” Many Christians are following Satan’s lie again rather than God’s truth. All things are possible with God but there is something even God cannot do: to make selfish, self-centered Christians happy or to make a selfish servant effective.
Banzai and Kamikaze – Page 3
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