Friday, April 8, 2016

Unsaved Loved Ones - Don't Give Up!

by Donna L. Watkins

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All of us have a list of people we're praying for that we want to join us for our Eternity in Heaven. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents have prayed for decades on some wayward children. Parents for their children, friends and neighbors. Brothers for sisters, sisters for brothers. And let's not forget the grandparents that are so faithful in this task. Sometimes it's hard to pray ... you've been doing it for so long. What else can you say?

It's not what we say that matters, it's whether we believe God is faithful. God is always speaking to us. If you think about it or ask God to remind you of times in your life when you weren't saved that you were thinking of God ... or situations turned out differently if there "wasn't a God" ... I'm sure He could bring stored memories back.

I had a period of my life where I considered myself an atheist and yet I look back and see God work in those worst of times. God, if there was a God, had to have been involved. It's like they say, "There are no atheists in fox holes." Even in the worst times of our lives when we didn't believe there was a God, our hearts would cry out to Him for help.

When we were in the deepest of sins, God's voice still reached through that seemingly hypnotic state we lived in of misery. Able to hear Him even while we're held in prison by evil. I like the illustration that Fred Pruitt gives: "Like Radio Free Europe blasting into old Communist Europe, God spoke to our spirit. We were able to hear the voice of freedom even while living under the 'propaganda of totalitarian regime'."

We said nothing .... nobody knew we had these thoughts or moments. We ourselves would forget them, but that didn't end them from suddenly appearing in our lives again and again as many years went by. What we sense during those dark times is the fear of the Kingdom of darkness. Times we chose to reach out to tangible things for help, even though these kinds of things only make life darker and darker as the addictions grab hold on someone. Alcohol, nicotine, shopping addiction, over-eating, gambling, etc. to take away the pain, but it's always there. We're looking for peace and it can only be found in Jesus.

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That Kingdom of darkness that we sense is the beginning of our return home to the Father. There's a moment in time when it all comes together. It happens when we realize in some sense that God IS. So, don't give up on your loved one. Some of us have been blessed to find the Lord early in life and really have no idea of how somebody can get so tangled up in sin and darkness. Understanding WHY they choose the things they do is beyond our comprehension, but certainly not beyond our possibility .... "there but for the grace of God, go I."

Being drawn into the evil of the world begins with baby steps. We make many choices that move us away from God ... but He's always drawing us back in. We hear a testimony of how God just "showed up" and instantly they were delivered from sin, addictions, and even physically healed, as if it was in that moment that God moved. God was always speaking and moving. We just had to come to the end of ourselves.

Don't give up ... on yourself or anybody else. Pray that strongholds will be broken over their lives, a distaste for the addictions they have, that blind spots be revealed and that their "AHA MOMENT" would come quickly into their life. You could be the only one praying for them! Don't give up! "We love Him, because He first loved us!" (1 John 4:19) And we then find that in all the while “He was working all things after the counsel of the His own will” (Eph 1:11), and that “He worked all things together for our good” (Rom 8:28).

Love never fails ... pray, but show love also. Be the only Jesus they can see right now. Love, even when rejected, remains and never fails. It will puzzle and perplex the most lost person because they feel they have no value ... so they can't comprehend how somebody could love them ... even when they are mean and ugly. Love breaks through!

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