4. Rely on Jesus.
How often, when serving Christ, do we recite a quick prayer then rush off in our strength? Are we really surrendered to and dependent on Him? Are we desperate for Him, knowing apart from His power and provision, His intervention, we’ll fail?
This was the situation the Canaanite woman found herself in. Jesus was the only One able to save her daughter, and she refused to let anyone or anything, including the rebuke from a group of Jewish men, dissuade her. Kneeling before Jesus, she cried, “Lord, help me!” (Matt. 15:25, NIV). But notice, she wasn’t asking Him to help her. She wanted Jesus to help her daughter.
She was interceding for another, someone she loved deeply who was living in spiritual and emotional slavery. While we might not encounter the demon possessed, all who are far from God are enslaved and in need of rescue. May Christ’s love for them expel any trace of apathy we might feel. May it drive us to our knees before Him, crying out, “Oh, Lord, have mercy!” And may we remember that it is only by His mercy, not our eloquent presentations or persuasive arguments, that our friends, loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors will be saved.
5. Reflect on God’s power.
Do some people in your circle appear too hard-hearted, too stubborn and deceived, to ever trust in Christ? Maybe you’ve prayed for them, shared truth with them, and reached out to them for years, with no signs of progress. In fact, they seem to be slipping further from God’s grace.
If so, note this: the woman’s child couldn’t have been further from God. She certainly wasn’t seeking Him out, nor would she. In fact, had she been the one to encounter Christ that day, she might have yelled at Him, cursed, or even blasphemed Him. Perhaps that’s why the mother sought Jesus out alone. But that didn’t matter. She knew, whether from near or far, from personal touch or by command, He had full power to save.
“Woman,” Jesus said, “you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Matthew 15:28a, NIV)
“And her daughter was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 15:28b, NIV)
With a word, Jesus revealed His power over the forces of darkness and brought life where spiritual death once reigned. The same God who healed the Canaanite girl has the power to save our friends, coworkers, and loved ones as well, for nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37).
Jesus encourages us to lose our life for the sake of His mission. While, thankfully, most of us won’t live out that command literally, we’re all called to relinquish our agenda, plans, and our comfort zones for the sake of the gospel. We’re not to shy away from the darkness. Jesus said we’re the light of the world, and He wants us to use our light well to courageously seek out the most hopeless, hostile, and despondent hearts. As we do, God’s power fills us, then flows from us, igniting us with a passion and fulfillment we’ll never experience apart from Him.
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