This week there was a big conference in Japan.
By bus, or by Shinkansen, by foot or by bicycle, by aeroplane or by subway – they came. In flocks, In herds, and singly they dispersed, from every different region. To Tokyo.
they filled a room with their voices, with drums, guitars and keyboards they made noises. They listened and they learnt and from them dreams burst forth.
From tiny bubbles, came big bubbles, full of visions and dreams, of things they could never imagine of things they had never ever seen.
Dreams, big dreams, awesome dreams, alive dreams. All rejoicing in one voice that said “How awesome is this place… it is none other than the house of God.”
That conference was the Jesus Lifehouse Conference.
I went by shinkansen up to Tokyo for two days to see what it was all about! And I was blown away…
I learnt so much, laughed, cried, met people from all over, made incredible friends, and fell in love with Japan even more.
Words cannot describe what I received this weekend. My vision for Japan, my vision for Osaka, my dreams – went from one small bubble to this… an endless stream of vision and passion that just wanted to blow up out of me.
Many people I spoke to also say the same, their vision for Japan has heightened, to see Japan change, to see people’s lives built up. It was amazing to see so many people gathered in one place, from all over Japan and from different parts of the world. Well over a 1,000 people were there all with the same vision – to see Japan change.
Many people were challenged this weekend. Challenged to dream large, to not be afraid to dream big, bigger than we can imagine. But I realised, there is only one key to all of this, to all the dreaming, all the visions all the change we can make in Japan.
All of the pastors there spoke about many different things, and spoke about many areas in life, that challenged us. But no matter what they spoke about it could all be drawn back to one thing. The key.
Brendan Brown from hillsong Sydney challenged us to question what are we looking at?
There are so many things that want to get our attention in life. For everyone, even Christians. In the billboards at the train station, the pretty girls in the magazines, the celebrities on TV, the boys at school, or work, or in the clubs. The music, the movies, the drink and the parties. How we should look, how we shouldn’t. Where we should go, where we shouldn’t. What we should do, what we shouldn’t.
It’s all trying to grab our attention, trying to fix our eyes on the next best thing, trying to tell us this will make us happy.
But no matter what we are looking at, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the only thing that is going to make us truly happy. The only one who can give us an answer.
We are human. Even Christians. We have eyes. And most of us can see. Which means we are always looking for something to make our situations better than they are.
We look around us at others – comparing ourselves to models in magazines, celebrities on TV, or even to our best friend, who is popular and gets all the attention from guys/girls. But we don’t need to be comparing ourselves all the time. The best person we can be is us. YOU.
Then when we are not looking at others we are looking at ourselves. We turn to the horoscope page at the back of the newspaper, or find ourselves wondering in the self-help section at the book store. We read magazine articles on how to make a guy want us, or 10 tips to making ourselves more attractive. Even when we know they aren’t really going to help us, or change our lives we still flick through and wish they could.
The thing is, when we are looking at others, when we are looking at ourselves, we are forgetting one thing, Jesus.
Jesus came to earth and died for us, so we could have a great life, he didn’t die so we could go about finding the best life we can in a horoscope on the back of a cereal box.
When we are getting all bogged down in our problems, the things going wrong in life, the mess, mess, mess, it’s because we have taken our eyes off Jesus!
If we fix our eyes on Jesus, he will make us the best we can be! Why would we want anything less than that?
All those questions we have, all the things we search for in life, everything we are looking at. There is only one answer. Jesus.
John 3.15 “And everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.”
Next time, I will talk more about the challenges I received from the conference, so please continue to read.
But in the meantime, if this has challenged you, if you feel God is calling you to question what you are looking at, or if you have never heard of Jesus and want to know more about him, come to Jesus Lifehouse Osaka.
We can introduce you to Jesus, help you to stop focusing on the mess around you and help you to find the best life through him!
We will also share with you our passion for Japan, and our love for people. So come on down and see!
We are located in Shinsaibashi, near Krispy crème donuts, so you can pick up a donut on your way! What could be better?