Read today’s devotion and see how God’s amazing transforming power can change a Brahmin community in India! I asked God to speak to me through this devotion today. I asked Him to reveal what He wanted to touch me with. I asked Him to give me His lenses to look through and His heart for the message that was meant for me. I have a tendency when I’m doing these blogs to want to blog something that may help everyone else... you know, like I’m writing a Bible study or something. But that is certainly something I’m not gifted at, nor comfortable with! And because of it, I’ve felt pressure to come up with “something good” on my days to blog. So today, I asked that He would show me what I am to learn from this without the pressure of it being what others needed to hear. I think I will enjoy blogging more if I can just be me. My worry is that my sharing will be too simple – or not deep enough - but I’m really going to try to just share my heart on this one. Simple, but real. And I hope if my thoughts are all over the place – that somehow the Holy Spirit will bring it together in your heart and trigger something that God may be saying to you as well...
So here goes... my first word that I couldn’t get past was “Untouchables”. For some reason – I read it and I started crying. What’s up with that? I’m an “includer” by nature, so the thought of someone being left out or called a name or being an outcast hurts me. So the caste system in India really got my attention. Then I decided to go back and circle all the words in this devotion and story that really grabbed my heart and stood out to me. Here’s the list of words/phrases in the order that I circled them:
Boundaries Out-caste Untouchables Singing Miracles Healing Untouchables told them about Jesus Became followers New Life Answer to those Prayers 200 Brahmin converts
I notice that my list begins with ugly words like boundaries (the kind that separate people), out-caste and untouchables... but then the beautiful words come like singing and miracles and answered prayers and converts! God has no boundaries when it comes to loving people and using people. He loves the untouchables and he can use them powerfully like He did in today’s story. But the depth of the love that the untouchables had for the upper class was what was most beautiful to me. God gave them a burden and love so great that they prayed for their salvation. And even though they were considered less than the upper class and mistreated, they prayed, worshiped and sang for hours in their gatherings each night.
Do I have a trust in Jesus that leads me to an attitude of gratitude and surrender like that – no matter what my circumstances? Do I worship and sing even when I’m being mistreated or when my life is in turmoil? Do I see myself as special and important to God even when someone else says I’m not or makes me feel that way? Am I willing to sacrifice time and energy praying for people that hurt me, or dislike me...and are far from God? It’s hard to be honest here, but I have to say no to most of those questions because I’m so susceptible to “feelings”. I get my feelings hurt or feel like an outcast or get too focused on circumstances that aren’t going my way... and the last thing I want to do is pray, worship, or share the gospel with those who hurt me! I can only imagine what God could do if I surrendered my “feelings” to Him and just trusted Him like the untouchables did. Then they went beyond prayer and were actually available to share Jesus with the Brahmin family and challenged them to go share Jesus as well. That’s amazing surrender and love... and I want that! Look what God did with their prayers and sacrifice... over 200 people came to know Jesus!
If we open our hearts to the people around us in our neighborhoods and communities and are really willing to see beyond the issues we have with them, or the pain they’ve caused us – imagine what God will do with our heart-felt prayers and love for them. And if we have to ask God to help us love them... then lets ask! Like Devries says, when we make our homes Homes Of Prayer Every day, we open our doors to homes everywhere.. and we can trust that God is working!
For another story about being mistreated, praying, praising, and converts.....Read Acts 16:22-34! It will remind you of the Untouchables!
Jesus, I want to be like the untouchables. I want a heart for those who don’t have You in their lives. Humble me Lord, so I can see people through your eyes. Help me to be thankful and content in all circumstances because of the joy that comes from You, so I’m not focused on myself, but on those who need you desperately in their lives. Give me a heart like your heart and a love beyond reason. I trust You Lord and love You... and surrender to You now. Amen.
Thanks for letting me share...I would love to hear your thoughts...