GOD NEEDS US There is no question about the fact that God needs us to make a difference! But until we come to the altar and lay down our lives to be used by Him, we will continue to be trapped in the patterns of normality and selfishness. We cannot turn a deaf ear because we are all God has.
Nor can we continue to wait for validation or acceptance, or live our lives yielding to the opinion of the majority. We cannot allow ourselves to be in emotional and social bondage, held hostage by what everyone else thinks or does.
We cannot be concerned about being politically correct at the expense of being divinely guided. As we empty ourselves, we learn that it is not about anyone's opinion but about becoming yielded vessels, humbly eager to be used by a merciful God to change a desperate world.
Fear of criticism and failure is what hinders many from moving out to do what God has called them to do. But just as God equipped those who have gone before us, He will equip us. The Word tells us that He fashions our hearts individually (see Ps. 33:15, NKJV) and that He has called us for His purpose: "[God] has saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (2 Tim. 1:9).
Clearly, what God is calling us to in this hour is far beyond ourselves, and we won't be willing to respond unless we come to understand that we are responsible for our generation.
Consider this: What if it were your Palestinian teenager who prided himself on his willingness to take his own life as a suicide bomber? What if you were one of the women pastors of China living in the grip of persecution? What if it were your 5-year-old daughter who was sold into prostitution in Angola or Sri Lanka, or your 7-year-old son who enlisted in the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) in Sudan?
When I work in massive refugee camps, especially the camps of Western Sahara, I am constantly plagued by such considerations. I could have been one of the 200,000 who live in a scorching desert without running water!
As the guards are changing, so are the desperate needs of the world. And multitudes of Spirit-led women are required to fill these needs and to address unjust issues concerning women and children around the globe.
Women have more resources, more rights and a voice that is stronger now than ever before in history; they have been liberated in Christ Jesus. But in many parts of the world, they are still oppressed--both as women and as Christians.
We must be like Esther, who, to fulfill God's purpose for her life, had to put her safety on the line. When the guard changed, and she found herself queen instead of Vashti, she determined to undertake for the Jews in spite of the danger she faced. Her brave battle cry was, "'If I perish, I perish!'" (Esth. 4:16).
In many restricted regions of the world, believers are required to defend their faith even to the point of death. Yet I don't believe God is looking for women to die for Him; I believe He desires an army of women who are committed to living solely for Him and doing His will throughout the earth.
Can you hear the voice of the Master saying to our generation, "'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'" (Is. 6:8). If so, I pray your heart is already responding: "Lord, I will step to the plate and rise to the occasion. Here am I, Lord, send me! I will go for You wherever You need me most."
Perhaps you are wondering how you can be used and where you can be sent. Not all of us are called to travel the world to address the needs I've mentioned. But we can be as committed to God's causes as those who are and make as significant an impact.
Prayer is a powerful place to begin. Below are some alarming statistics you can pray about, asking God to intervene and cause His plan for mankind to prevail in each situation:
- More than 25 million children are in need of foster care and adoption in the United States.
- A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the United States. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44.
- In the United States, 1.3 women are raped every minute.
- There are now 150,000 women in U.S. prisons and jails. Seventy-five percent of women in prison are mothers. Two-thirds of these women have children under the age of 18.
- Approximately 1,370,000 abortions occur annually in the United States. Fifty-two percent of the women who have them are younger than 25; 19 percent are teenagers.
- There is a tremendous lack of proper health care and education for suffering women and children in the 10/40 Window nations.
- Five out of every 100 students drop out of high school in the United States.