Healers Without Borders
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
What does it mean to replenish?
A brief bit of Internet research yields the following:
re·plen·ish: rəˈpleniSH/ verb. fill (something) up again.
Jesus was really into this.
In speaking about his life’s mission, after hearing a voice from heaven, after 40 days of fasting, after absolutely refusing Satan’s shortcuts, after beginning to do miracles, he began to teach. And this is what he said:
Luke 4:16-20 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
So, several years ago, my pastor preached a series of sermons on “Bulldog Faith.” You know, how a bulldog never, ever lets go of something once he sinks his teeth into it. And he used the example of a struggling football team to do it. You now, the ones the Gipper would inspire at halftime, and they would go out and–well, you know.
And God began to speak to me. You see, I liked to study my pastor’s sermons. I took notes. And I went home, and read them, and studied them, and took them apart. And as I studied faith, and victory, and football (Yes, I am from Texas) one day, I heard Him say this. “You know, Karen, you play pretty good defense. But you don’t really play offense.”
So I said, “Teach me, Lord. What do you mean?”
And He said, “Well, if Satan attacks your family, or your health, or your finances, or your family, he’d better watch out. You’ll come after him with both guns blazing, and be effective against him.
“But you rarely wake up in the morning and go after him.”
I sat there, stunned. Me? Go after Satan?
But I’ve learned to listen when my Father talks to me. You see, He knows more than I do. Um, yeah.
So I said, again, “Lord, what do you mean? Help me to understand.”
And He took me to Luke 4. To the scripture above. About how Jesus outlined his life mission.
And He said, “Karen, do you know anyone who is blind?”
In so many ways.
“Do you know anyone who needs deliverance?”
Just let me tell you.
And then it hit.
When I help someone else be restored, I am taking ground from my enemy. I am in his territory, making a drive he can’t stop.
To preach the gospel to the poor.
It starts with salvation.
People need, more than anything, to be restored to God.
This is spiritual warfare.
I have no other explanation for why Christians, who will jump on Facebook to tell you anything from what political party is Godly to what company to boycott, become inexpicably shy when it comes to sharing their faith with someone.
We have allowed our enemy to redefine simple speech about Jesus as somehow different from other kinds of sharing.
But it isn’t.
And people need it. Oh, how they need it.
Jesus is the foundation and cornerstone of a life in God. Redemption. Restoration.
And, once He is in the picture in someone’s spirit, His Holy Spirit can start doing the rest.
I once led a man to the Lord during a clinic visit for depression. Because it was the answer. To the problem he came in for. But he and I both knew that he had some other problems. Serious ones.
And, just before we prayed that life-altering prayer, he burst out.
“But what about my ...problem?” We both knew what he was referring to.
So I bowed my head. And asked.
And then I looked him straight in the eyes.
“Let’s do this first. Jesus can take care of that.” And he received The Lord he so desperately needed.
To heal the brokenhearted.
As I write this, we are in the middle of a silly controvery. Starbucks is commemorating the holiday season this year with red cups, wihout any snowflakes or Christmas trees. (The snowflakes are on the cardboard collars that go around the cups this year, but never mind).
And this seems more important than the homeless, hurting and broken.
Think about it.
To preach deliverance to the captives.
Maybe the person who gives you the most trouble at work, or church, or wherever…is exactly the reason you’re there. If they are “captive” to bad habits , personality or psychological problems, preach deliverance to them. With your life. With your love. With your words. Don’t be afraid; just be kind.
Like Cinderella, if you’ve seen the live action move: “Have courage.” And… “Be kind.”
And recovering of sight to the blind.
RESTORE. It’s what we’re here for. The Apostle Peter said that the Lord wasn’t slow about returning for us, but that he wanted all to be saved. If your heart is singing, “Come, Lord Jesus,” your feet should be taking you places to spread the gospel. The mission field. The grocery store. Your, ahem, friends.
To set at liberty them that are bruised.
Armies liberate cities. They free people from the enemy. It does no good to be in Satan’s territory if we don’t make any encrosions or liberate any captives. Don’t hide from the bruised; help them.
To preach the acceptable year of The Lord.
It seems to be that the whole world knows we are in the end of days. Not just Christians. Jews, Muslims, the Mayans…time is running out. And, because of that, we have the most glorious oportunity. In this time, God has provided salvation, heaing, everything a person truly needs, with blessings above and beyond.
Let’s tell them. And beat Satan at his little propaganda game.
So, back to the football metaphor for this war.
I don’t pretend to be a football expert. But I have children. One of my sons played football. And he tried to teach me. And my husband had played football; he knew much more than I did. But the real football expert in our family, at the time, was a fourteen year old cheerleader. She knew the stats. The teams. The players. The plays. I enjoyed watching a football game, just to hear her talk with her brother. And I tried to learn. Really, I did.
I didn’t learn much, but this much I got.
No one wins a football game alone.
Jesus didn’t. The victories he wrought were shared with 12 guys. And he taught them how.
So, how do we replenish the earth, together?
The world loves Doctors Without Borders. In French, Medicins sans Frontieres.
The basic idea is good; these doctors place people before politics. Before political boundaries.
What could we do, as the actual Army of God in the earth, if we took a similar view?
Healers Without Borders.
Restorers without Limits.
This is war. But not with people. With the ultimate terrorist. And the battlefield is human lives.
In the words of Todd Beamer, who gave his life to take out some low-level terrorists: