March 11, 2009
A Willing Heart
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NLT)
Friend to Friend
My husband Brad went on a mission trip to Guatemala last year. What he saw and experienced changed his life and increased his faith in a dramatic way. He was an eyewitness to the healing power of God. On that trip he prayed harder, believed more, and expected more from God each passing day—and as a result, God used their medical missions team as a conduit for miracles.
You and I have that same opportunity every day. We have a chance to be a witness of God’s healing love to a world of wounded hearts. Did God need my husband and the other volunteers to heal Guatemalan villagers, treat their physical wounds, and share the hope of Jesus with them? No. Did God move in the lives of the villagers because of their willingness to go in His name? You bet!
Hector, the founder of that Guatemalan ministry, recently visited North Carolina, and my family and I went to hear him speak. When I heard him testify of the provision and power of God, my heart was stirred and my faith was boosted. But what moved me most was the story of the lesson he learned about his call after God led him to be a medical missionary.
Before he began the medical ministry that he devotes his life to now, Hector’s main goal in life was to make lots of money. Back then he didn’t even apologize for it. He was a Christian and figured that God could use his money to help others.
What happened to change the course of his life? Back in the late eighties, Hector and his wife joined a medical team on a mission to a mountain village. The team was blown away by what God did through them while they were there. On the four-hour drive back to the city, they worshipped and sang praises to God. As he worshipped and drove, Hector heard the Lord speak to his soul. This is what I’ve made you for. To medically treat My people, to pray for their healing, and to share the hope of Jesus with the hopeless and the lost.
Hector felt so overwhelmed that he pulled the truck over and told the team of his call from God to be a missionary doctor. They prayed over him, whooped it up in celebration, and then continued down the mountain with an even greater sense of purpose and excitement. Hector thought that God had called him to be a missionary because of his skills as a doctor. Later, he would think otherwise.
A few years into his work, while visiting a remote village, a woman with a large mass on her side came into their makeshift clinic. Her terrible pain was curbed only by her excitement that the medical team had come to help her. One glance at her tumor and Hector had a strong suspicion that it was malignant. Upon examining her further, Hector was convinced that she was terminal. He became very frustrated with God, to the extent that he didn’t even want to share the gospel with her because he couldn’t do anything to help her physically.
Hector sent up a few prayers of frustration, but felt God nudging him to share the gospel with this woman. So he reluctantly shared the good news of Jesus with her; and, to Hector’s surprise, she wanted to pray to receive Christ! And as they sat on the floor of that makeshift med-center, this sweet woman trusted Jesus as her Savior. When they finished praying, the woman had a radiant smile and tears in her eyes. He hugged her and she began to cry.
“What happened?” Hector asked. “Why are you crying?”
“As we were praying,” she said, “I felt a warmth that started on my head and spread to the tips of my toes.” As she said this, she realized something had changed, and she screamed with delight. “My mass is gone! My pain is gone!”
Hector had her lie back down on his examining table. The tumor that had been there just minutes ago was gone. God had intervened. She was healed, both spiritually and physically!
In the amazing celebration that followed, God spoke clearly to Hector’s heart. God told him that He had all the power needed for the work He had called Hector to, and it had nothing to do with his medical training. God impressed on his heart that He didn’t need Hector’s skills or his knowledge, He had all of that covered. He just wanted him to go in His name.
One of my favorite sayings is, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” If you are His, then you are called. Not because of who you are or what you can do, but because God can and will do His work through you.
Did God tell Jonah to go to Nineveh because Jonah was a great leader with amazing vision? No! Jonah proved to be quite wimpy. When Jonah finally made it to Nineveh, did God bring a great wave of repentance and restoration because of Jonah’s rhetorical gifts? No! God stirred the hearts and changed the lives of hundreds of Ninevites because Jonah finally had the courage to speak God’s words.
God wants to do something similar through you. He wants you to stop fighting Him on this and be willing to speak for Him so others can know the same healing and hope that you know. He wants to bring beauty up from the ashes of brokenness all around you.
Heavenly Father, I’m so humbled that You would call me to anything. You have all the power needed for every job, yet you ask me to join you. Thank you, Lord. Please make my heart willing to say yes to everything you want me to do.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have a willing heart? What is God calling you to do for Him? Spend a few moments in prayer and ask God to guide you and strengthen you for the task.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.
More From The Girlfriends
Hey girlfriend-I’m a woman who has hesitated to say yes to God in the past. It took many months of resistance before I conceded to release my testimony into His hands. I just didn’t think anything good could come of it. Boy was I wrong! God doesn’t waste a hurt, and He has a big plan for your life. Trust His heart... no matter where He’s leading you!
Today's devotion is an excerpt from Gwen Smith's book, Broken into Beautiful. In Broken into Beautiful, Smith invites you to hear the stories of women with shattered dreams, shameful secrets, and damaged souls...and of the loving heavenly Father who makes them beautiful again.
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