The Essence of Our Message

Monday, October 8, 2018

I was seated in a comfortable brown rocking chair, with my head leaned back and eyes closed. I could hear something very disturbing happening and I could not figure out where it was coming from. I finally made sense of the voice; my sister was being harmed. Some man in the other room of our home, just down the hallway from me, had a gun and was threatening her. He did not know I was there and seemed to be trying to intimidate my sister. Would he kill her? Was he going to kill me too? What about the rest of my family? Where were they? Did I have my phone? Could I call 911?

I couldn’t seem to bring sense to any of it. I was disturbed. I could not get out of my chair; something was wrong. I could hear the assault happening in the other room, but I was compounded with a question. Will I charge in there and try to save my sister or preserve myself and try to hide?

I wanted to cry and scream. Of course I was going to stop the man from hurting my sister. Why couldn’t I move?

Suddenly, I woke up. It was 4 in the morning and it had all been a dream. My eyes opened in the darkness with a pressing thought; of course I am going to do something. What is the matter with me? How could I sit there like that?

I laid there in bed praying. What was I supposed to make of this? I had slept peacefully for over four hours, and suddenly the extent of the conviction in my heart wouldn’t allow me to return to rest.

The questions came.

You’re not ok with your sister being assaulted, but are you ok with the unborn being violently harmed?

You are willing to risk your comfort for your sister. Are you willing to lay down your life for those who are discarded by our nation?

If it comes down to it, would you be willing to step in front of the perpetrator of violence to save the victim?

In Psalm 35, David shares these words in his distress:

“How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you. Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. They open wide their mouths against me; they say, ‘Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it!’

“You have seen, O Lord; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! Vindicate me, O Lord, my God according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me! Let them not say in their hearts, ‘Aha, our heart’s desire!’ Let them not say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’ Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice in my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me! Let those who rejoice in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, and who delights in the welfare of his servant!’ Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of our praise all the day long” (Psalm 35:17-28).

Am I, as a woman who is involved with front-line pro-life ministry, becoming complacent to the cries of the unborn? Am I getting comfortable and justifying myself because “I’m already doing something”?

There’s more to this battle for life than just arriving at the sidewalk once a week. That is of incredible importance, which I do not wish to downplay; we need to be there in the moment of crisis. However, do I think that because I have seen some children rescued from abortion that I somehow don’t have as much of a responsibility to respond to the desperate pleas of those who will be at-risk in the days to come?

Will I stay in my brown rocking chair?

By His grace, NO. We must keep praying. We must keep spending ourselves for those headed down to death. We must keep speaking up. We must not be complacent.

Think about this: the way I am treating the unborn reveals a lot about my relationship with Jesus.

What is my utmost priority? For an easy exit? To have personal comfort?

If it’s my utmost desire to know Jesus and make Him known, by His grace, I will love those He loves. My ultimate purpose in speaking up for the unborn must be out of a desire to bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus. He is utterly worthy of every life He has ever created.

A.W. Tozer has said, “The essence of true worship is the love of God.” [1] Can my ministry to the at-risk be described as an outflow of knowing Jesus? Do I advocate for the at-risk out of mere duty, or out of a heart of worship and determination to see His victory in places of darkness?

This week, empowered only through His grace, I am called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. What will my response be to the cries of the vulnerable?

“Let it not be said I was silent when they needed me” (William Wilberforce).

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people...that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear” (Luke 1:68, 74).

[1] Tozer, A.W. (2015). Evenings With Tozer (p. October 1). Chicago, IL: Moody.

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