Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Story Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
When I look back over God's hand in my life, a time when I was in charge of a hostel for runaways in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, comes up. The police brought me two teenage girls, who knotted bed sheets while I was doing something downstairs, shinnied down them from a bedroom window, and ran off to a nearby drug hangout at the back of a soon-to-be-demolished high-rise.
Tracking them down immediately, I found only one. She stood sobbing as she scanned a many-storied mess of broken windows, doors, and fire escapes. "They're going to kill her," she said of her friend as she wept.
"No, they're not!" I prayed as I grabbed her hand and bellowed upwards into what seemed like a hollow silence: "Send that kid back down here! I've got change for the phone and I'm getting every cop in town."
I had no idea where a phone booth might be, and I had left without telling anyone where I was going. I began walking the girl back slowly, my eyes on the building as I clutched her hand.
"Courage is faith that has said its prayers," someone once said. I could almost see a phalanx of God's heavenly army behind us, as I readied myself for a second shout. But a door several feet up suddenly burst open, and the other child staggered out to a fire escape. She had a black eye and was retching and shaking as her feet came down the metal stairs till I could grab her hand. Then, the three of us, not looking back, ran flat out to the hostel, where I immediately phoned the police to report, as I'd promised.
Both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible are filled with stories of believers whom God called upon to do His work. In order to act on an assignment like the one that I had just been given, we need to be prayed up, and we need to listen to Him. As I stood there shouting at that urban ruin, seemingly all alone, I could feel all around me the vast spiritual army that supported Elisha and his fearful servant as they faced the Aramean army:
2 Kings 6:16-17 – [Elisha] said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see." So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (ESV)
"If it is to be, it is up to me," someone acknowledged. Opportunities to act on our faith come to us throughout our lives as believers. But when we respond, we never have to act alone, because of the army that supports every believer who is called to step out on faith.
Prayer: Dear Father God, help us to hear Your voice when You give us work to do. Show us Your meaning and purpose in our everyday existence, doing what is in front of us to do, no matter how seemingly impossible. Thank You for allowing us to be part of Your heavenly work in the lives of others, sharing our faith with our feet, as well as through our words. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.