What Possesses a Person to Do Such a Thing?

Imagine you’ve been trapped,
held captive,
mistreated,
brutalized,
hated,
oppressed
by people with no regard for life.
Then, God releases you!
You fly away.
Set free,
inhaling great gulps of intoxicating liberty.
Your dreams realized
prayers answered
a future, at last, beyond the chains of those who once controlled you.
But God isn’t finished.
The Author of All pens a breathtaking plot twist
except it’s no simple story – it’s your life.
And when He turns you around
it twists you inside out
because the horrible beauty of His plan
is for you to go back
Back to the place of your carnage,
Back to the chalk outline of your soul’s captivity,
Back to the people spewing violence and hate.
Rolling your freedom behind you like a carry-on
you suddenly have to check
and trust to have returned to you when the flight lands.
Moses and Hagar knew this call – the call to go back.
Joseph knew this call – the call to go back.
St. Patrick knew this call – the call to go back.
And in these times, others receive God’s ancient call to return.
My friend, CeCe, received a precise answer to her prayers
for God to notice her misery and loneliness growing up abandoned
in Haiti,
to provide her with a Christ-loving American to marry,
to move to the US,
to earn her citizenship so that she would be free from Haiti forever.
Then, the earth shook and pulled the rug out from under her homeland.
And God called her back,
back into the belly of the beast,
back to the people from whom He’d freed her,
back to serve Him there by serving them.
Now as a wife,
now as an American,
now as a woman called, not a child trapped
but this was not an easy flight to board
an impossible good-bye to the land of the free
and the home of the brave
but now she traveled as a woman both – free and brave – because of Jesus.
And there are North Korean Christians who have escaped that terrible regime,
could observe now from safety and intercede for those who remain
beneath the black boot of Kim Jong-un,
but instead, hear God’s call to go back,
and they obey.
Back to the likelihood of labor camps,
back to the threat of death,
back to living where Satan has his throne.
What possesses a person
to trust God so completely,
to sacrifice everything dear,
to abandon self-concern out of love for others?
What possesses ones once enslaved
to return to the land of their misery
to face their old enemies
to speak the truth to people tattooed with lies?
It is this:
having inhaled the stench of bondage followed by the sweet aroma of release
they love enough to want others to travel the same road to freedom,
knowing it is the road that Jesus walked – that Jesus became
so fearing not the path as much as they trust Him to be with them,
and
having faith in a lasting city yet to come, a homeland that awaits them
where there is no bondage, no suffering,
an eternal return that awaits those who walk this road,
they go.
 “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” *
Have you heard the call to go back?
Do you feel the call to face your old oppressors, to serve and to free others similarly enslaved?
Are others telling you you’re crazy?
Pack your freedom in your carry-on, loved one, and get on board as Christ flies you to serve at this outpost before He takes you home.
Be blessed in this calling and brave.
And if you are not called to this,
Then certainly, you’re called to pray for those who are
To fuel their flight,
To move the forces of heaven for their protection,
To bind the work of the enemy so they are free to do the work of Christ,
To pray for their light to carry far in lands of darkness,
And so, to travel with them, in Jesus’ name.
*Hebrews 13:12-16 (ESV)

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5 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. I praise God for granting you such deep insights so consistently.
    Seeking His will for me in this specific regard. Thank you.

  2. Patty Sumner says:

    Lori.. what a powerful post.. You have power in your words.. Yes, God will challenge us to do the things that takes him moving in our lives in such supernatural ways.. the world does not understand.. why leave safety…why leave freedom.. why go back… because God said so… Great stories of redemption and of living for the King…regardless!!! Conintue being bold.. May you be blessed!

  3. Mark Landon says:

    Lori,

    These are powerful words, and contain truth for every soul freed from the bondage of death by Jesus.

    Some of our journeys begin right within our own home, or our own families, but the journey of faith- every one with its own inherent danger- is much the same for everyone who has heard the call that you speak of here.

    Thanks so much for your insights!

  4. Carla says:

    Awesome, Lori! I love your heart! What other god is there that so transforms lives that people are not only willing, but EAGER to go back into the lion’s den? None but ours! When other ‘religions’ have to coerce and threaten for converts, our God calls to us out of love, and gives us love–love we have never known. Religion IS bondage. God’s call is so very simple ‘Just love Me’, yet, sadly to say, it is the very people God has called that turn people away. ‘Taste not, touch not, handle not’–this is RELIGION, this is NOT a living, vibrant relationship with the God of the Universe. My prayer is that we can touch people’s hearts, not their logical minds that think we need to act a certain way, wear our clothes a certain way, speak a certain way, but with the pure, sweet love of Jesus. Only in making Jesus look so attractive to others through our service will people give God the access, the complete access to their hearts to truly perform a miracle–that is a loving peaceful life, that makes people WANT to spread the Good News to those brothers and sisters who still are trapped in an empty religion.

    God bless, honey, keep writing!

  5. Wanda Gettys says:

    Thank you for this. I love your heart for the persecuted church.