No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
This week was kind of an amazing week for me, perhaps unawares. A most difficult week in some ways, below the surface. But God used a lady significantly and powerfully in my life, and right on a day I needed that most.
Her name is Leslie King, and she started Sacred Beginnings which “is a transitional program for women recovering from human trafficking, sexual exploitation and substance abuse.” She shared her powerful story of God’s redemptive work in her life during our weekly chapel where I work at Our Daily Bread Ministries. She lived a horrible existence as a victim of human trafficking for many years before the Lord rescued her, set her on her feet, and moved her to the ministry she has today. A ministry which God has had his powerful hand on since its beginning, and with a groundswell of people and organizations joining in. Afterwards I spoke to her and told her that her witness was encouraging to me. May the Lord’s hand continue on in power and with his wisdom to help that ministry continue to rescue those who are exploited with the saving power of the gospel.
I know that we in our own strength and wisdom (lack thereof, or actually foolishness more times than not) can do nothing to help others in the way of the Lord and the grace and kingdom of God. Not that people who don’t know Christ can’t do a lot of good, because they can. But not in the kingdom, redemptive way of King Jesus. Too often we evangelicals can be too easily passive due to our emphasis on faith over works, inherited in our roots in the Protestant Reformation. For years I’ve pushed back against that emphasis, though it most certainly has its place. But with my Anabaptist/ Mennonite background and participation now in an Anglican church plant, it’s natural for me to push for an emphasis on good works, on active Christianity.
There is most certainly a time for an emphasis on passivity, on being still and knowing that God is God and learning to wait on him for his work to unfold as opposed to taking matters in our own hands (Psalm 106:13), which is never right. And we can never think for a moment that we can do anything in our own strength. In fact it is when we realize just how weak we are, or simply accept and even glory in our weakness, that we can then know God’s strength and his mighty power of salvation (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).
We are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20) and we’d best take that to heart. We need to pray, pray, and pray some more, and not stop praying. But realize that all hell is going to break loose against us. And with that realization, continue to stand firm and keep the fight up. Yes, it’s all of grace. But in a way it’s up to us as well. In him it is we who are more than conquerors. We must push on, keep going and growing in the Lord, and not let up. Even as we learn to rest in him all the more.
This is not a call to map our own path, but to follow the Lord in all of our weakness, as obedient faithful believers. To look for a new day in which God breaks chains which may have bound us and others for years. To look up to the mountains from where our help comes, to the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121). And to do so as his people.
By God’s grace this will hopefully be the beginning of a new chapter in my life, only if I take hold of what God I think was trying to say to me this week. Day after day doing so, whatever the obstacle may seem to be. Using the difficulties and seeming impossibilities to pray all the more, and live in God’s grace and kingdom come in Jesus. With others in him, we being more than conquerors through him who loved us.