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Thursday, December 01, 2005

God's Strength

John 14: 12-14 Truly, Truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

We have come not in our own strength and gifting, but in total weakness and humility. Without a promise like this one from the gospel of John there would be no ability to walk forward in what God has called us to do.

I heard someone in a leadership conference this year say, “Our zeal and enthusiasm for the lost and our desire to see lives changed probably far exceeds our abilities.” For someone living in a foreign culture, struggling with language and communication, constantly finding themselves ‘doing the wrong thing’ and often being culturally embarrassed, this statement reverberated within my spirit.

Constantly carrying an ache around in my heart for the lost ness of the people I live among and love, I long to find a way to penetrate the darkness that sucks the life from them. For many people in Russia life has never been better, but the hopelessness of the soul is so obvious to those who are able to recognize the symptoms. It’s always fun and energizing to share the victories and the ‘cool stories’ with friends and family, but the reality is that daily we are faced with an overwhelming sense of how small and ineffective we are. It’s an inevitable mental struggle when the fruit of our labor seems so obscure.

Fortunately, the reality of that feeling is not reality at all. It is the smoke and mirrors of a spiritual enemy whose only goal and purpose is to destroy; people, families, lives, ministries. God’s love for these people so far exceeds my love that I find rest and reassurance that my purpose is God’s purpose; to see them come face to face with a loving Savior.

When our children were little we raised chickens for fun and I remember how the hens, when they “went broody,” would sit patiently for weeks gently tending and turning the eggs until the life within could no longer be contained in a hard shell. With the tenacious instinct with which they were created the babies broke through the shell that held them prisoner and came out into the light and freedom. The hen did nothing but faithfully fulfill her purpose of nurture and care. The life came from the source of the Creator.

Knowing that by ourselves we can do nothing, Michael and I pray daily for our people that the Holy Spirit would brood over this region. In helplessness we pray from a position of disadvantage, a place of difficulty, asking in Jesus name for people to be birthed into the kingdom that God would be glorified. His promises are Yes and Amen.


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