…And the One Who Brought You Out!
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)
Recently I started working with a group of girls at an elementary school in a poverty stricken neighborhood. The group that I work with is in sixth through eighth grade. Twice a week for an hour, we get together for empowering sessions. The sessions are on a wide range of topics from financial empowerment to self-esteem empowerment. Upon first meeting the girls, I was a bit taken aback. For such a young group of girls, they seemed to be very forward and extremely boy crazy. Everything that came out of their mouth was something perverse or vulgar. I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were tossing subliminal sexual messages around in my presence. It was almost as if all they wanted to discuss were things that were associated with the opposite sex. Again, I was nearly appalled at some of the things the girls were asking and telling me. When leaving that session, I got in my car and had a quick pow wow with the man upstairs. Knowing that He sent me on this assignment, I reminded Him that I was going to need His assistance to be effective as the task at hand. Many questions started swimming around in my mind. A few of them went like this: How did they get like this? What type of parents do they have? At this rate, will they be successful in high school? Why are they so into boys at such a young age?
With absolutely no answers and still a boat load of questions, I solicited my weekly prayer partner for assistance. As she prayed for my strength, wisdom and courage to deal with the girls, I nodded my head in agreement. However, as she continued on asking God to remind me of how far I’d come and to remove any judgment on my part, I had to open one eye. Surely, she wasn’t talking about me! Oh, but surely she was! I was instantly convicted; for a moment in time, I was looking down on those young girls. There I was casting judgment on girls who reflected pieces of me. At some point in my life, I was exactly who they are now…it’s just no one knew about it. At some low era of my existence, I did the very things that they were discussing so freely…I was just never caught! I shared with you just last week a laundry list of things that I was guilty of. (See She is Me: Lydia) With a rap sheet like that, how dare I look down on those girls!
Besides the fact that God truly loves us, do you know why He even bothered saving us? It was so that we could be useful to the building of His Kingdom. “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT) Every single thing that we have experienced in life was not just for our own development; it was to benefit God’s people as well. There is someone, somewhere that needs to hear YOUR testimony. In my case, those girls need to know that I have walked in their shoes before and I know what dark places those paths lead to. With the right balance of love, honesty and firmness, I can help deter them from walking the path of death. But, if we get too arrogant or puffed up with pride, we miss the opportunity to minister and deliver those who are in captivity.
Many Bible readers are familiar with the header scripture. We love to proclaim that we are ‘a chosen nation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation’. But the part that seems to get tossed to wayside is the latter part of that verse. You are His possession and were chosen that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Yes, He called me from that dark, grungy place of promiscuity, lust, fornication, drugs, alcoholism, etc. into the brighter place of salvation, forgiveness, love, redemption and restoration. However, it’s more important WHY He called me from that hopeless place—to help others who are in currently in that dark space and cannot see the way out for themselves.
I am determined now more than ever to make an indelible impact on those young ladies. I understand more fully just how important my story is to the next person. So, the next time God sends a lowly soul to you, please don’t rest in the seat of judgment. Remember where you came from and the One who brought you from that place. Extend the same love that He extended to you. You may be the only person standing between them and salvation and/or deliverance.
Please forgive me for the times that I placed judgment or looked down on one of Your children. When there is someone struggling with an issue, help me to embrace them the same way that You embraced me when I dealt with my issues. Teach me unconditional love that covers a multitude of sins. Lord, I ask that You send people to me who I can minister to based on the things that I have experienced in my life. Give me the courage to share my testimony so that others may come to know Your healing power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you remember where you came from! Recall that you used to be in that dark place and recall how God transitioned you into His marvelous light. With that on your brain, I EMPOWER you to minister to those who are still in that place. Who better to help them than one has walked a few miles in their shoes? Remember, they shall overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimonies! (Revelation 12:11)
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Dont Leave Them, Lead Them!
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.