Before I turned 30 years old, I envisioned a new day in my ministry work. I thought that when I turned 30 I would be baptized into service, like Jesus was baptized at 30 and come into a new level of power.
But shortly beforehand I had a dream about a Japanese Crown Prince from ancient times who was supposed to take the throne as Emperor but was kept from the throne by a political party. In my dream he assassinated the leader of this party. Then, when he realized he was about to take the throne he was overwhelmed by how lofty a thing it would be. Then I woke up and sense God’s Spirit telling me I had something to learn from this man.
I researched Japanese history and found a Crown Prince from the 7th Century had been kept from his throne by the Soga clan. He assassinated Soga Iruka in exactly the same way as in my dream. But history doesn’t know why he abdicated the throne and took a tonsure as a monk, which means he shaved his head. He abdicated the throne over and over again until the end of his life.
I wondered what this meant. The next day one of the baristas at the coffeehouse named Charlie came in with a t-shirt he bought for me at a garage sale. He had no idea about the dream. The t-shirt had a Japanese symbol on it. When I asked friends who knew Japanese what the symbol meant they said, “Dream.”
Now I was praying about what this all meant and at a prayer meeting the LORD highlighted the part of the book of Revelation where the elders lay down their crowns before Jesus the Lamb of God and give him the glory. Then I started to understand.
On my 30th birthday I took part in a Christian conference about the glory of Jesus. I was part of a worship team for which the sole purpose was to help people give glory to Jesus. We were kept behind a black curtain so no one would notice us, but only Him.
I realized that the purpose of my life wasn’t to come into great power in “my” ministry, but to learn to give glory to Jesus alone and help others do the same. Who is equal to Him anyway?
So with that i’m going to share a short story I wrote on our website called “Humility and the Sunrise” about Emperor Tenji from the 7th century. I’ll share some tidbits on my blog and then it will be available on the media page in its entirety.
Apparently the current Emperor of Japan is also planning to abdicate his throne, which hasn’t happened in over two centuries- interesting… anyways, that’s why the shaved head- because it reminds me of my purpose. Check out the story on our media page for a donation of any amount: www.envisionmission.org/media