Thursday, October 1, 2015

Role Confusion: Who is the Rescuer, Me, or Christ?

No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough.
Psalm 49:7-8

It is not our job, Christians, to convert anyone. We are in fact not capable of doing so.

Think for a moment of the person you love and cherish most dearly in the world. That person, that one who you would die for, that one you sacrifice for. Do you have him or her clearly in your mind?

The worth of even that person, the one you know so well and love so deeply, is tremendously greater to God than even you can comprehend. His life, her life, is immeasurably precious to the Creator.

Think now of the person you are offended by today. The Troubler in your life. The one who angers you and hurts you. It is easy to devalue that one.

But that one also, the one bearing bad fruit, the one making you lose sleep, is equally precious to God. And his soul is equally costly, unable to be redeemed by you or by me.

Every soul is more dear to God than we can ever fathom.

Have you labored to save another? Perhaps you are toiling today, laid low into the dust of agony and weariness as you seek to save this person. Maybe in the secret places of your heart resentment has crept in, anger and bitterness because she just won’t take responsibility for herself. So you feel you must take it for her.

This is an exhausting and depleting way of life.

But there is good news for you and for me today, for surely both of us have loved and toiled over those who we want desperately to see saved from their life of darkness, of irresponsibility, of addictions, of bondage.

The Holy Spirit has such power to save. It is, in fact, His job. Not ours.

Breathe a moment. Rest in that for a second. Think deeply upon it. 

It is as if in your deepest moment of agony, in that second just before you collapse from the exertion of trying so hard to rescue another person, that a strong and powerful Helper comes to your aid. He scoops you up, and scoops them up, and He carries you both. He sprints across that finish line! You are restored and they are redeemed.

We have such a Helper, and He is more real than the air we breathe.

If you have built your life around the goal of saving others, or even one other, you must understand this vital truth. We do not have the capability to save another person; it is the work of the Holy Spirit. 

Only God Himself knows the value of the life He has created. So therefore He understood that to ransom that life, yours, mine, our dear ones, our troublers, to redeem those priceless lives, a priceless life must be given.

It was indeed given in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. God Himself. 

How can we get so confused thinking we ourselves have the power to save another, when the God of the universe, the Creator God, came himself to ransom each of us? Are we like God? Can we ransom another?

No, we cannot.

Let us not confuse loving, discipling, sharing Truth, encouraging, with rescuing. We do indeed have a responsibility to bear one another’s burdens, to disciple and lead others to become followers of Christ. But the actual changing of another heart, the bringing from darkness into light, is a mysterious and dynamic, unique and peculiar work of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus gave His very life to accomplish it.

For the missionary who is faced with the wall of unbelief in a culture cloaked in darkness, look to Jesus to do the work of conversion of human hearts. Be faithful to share the Word of God, the Bible, and believe God’s promise that it will not return void. Love, share, serve, give, pray. And wait upon the Rescuer to do what you cannot.

Parents, train up your children in the way they should go, and then let them go. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide them to embrace the wisdom and truth you have faithfully invested in them, and let Him do the work in their lives. You may have to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and let go of control.

Loved one, you who toil over the soul of another, losing sleep and making yourself ill with worry, cry out to Jesus who has already accomplished the victory of Rescue. Give Him back the responsibility for the one you love, and let Him restore you today. He will instruct you how to carry a burden and how to lay it down.

Above all, let us remember the greatly underestimated value of every human life to God. We do not see clearly how dear we all truly are to Him. One day we will. In the meantime, leave the heart change, the transformation, the rescue, to the work of His Holy Spirit in your loved one. And remain faithful.

Have you hit the wall in trying to rescue another? Does this message relieve you? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Worn out trying to rescue another person? Maybe it's not your job. (Click to Tweet)

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