A Rescue Mission
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
You know, for a number of years there's been a crusade going on in America driven by mothers. There was a television movie a while back that portrayed how one woman started an organization called MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) because her own daughter was killed. Now, drunken driving was just a theoretical issue to her until then. And when her own daughter was killed, she began the crusade that has actually begun to really make a change in our country. I guess in every area of our life a lot of us, well, we don't join a battle until someone we love is wounded in it. And you might be in that position. There's a spiritual battle that has all of a sudden become very real to you because someone you love is a casualty.
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Genesis 14:11-14. It comes from the life of Abraham; it concerns an incident with his nephew, Lot. Now, he actually raised Lot pretty much as his own son. Here's what it says: "The four kings of Sodom seized all the goods and all their food, and then they went away. They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom. One who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, all of whom were allied with Abram. When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan."
Okay, you see what's happening here? Abram's living in a nice comfortable spot. In fact I have visited Israel and I've seen those trees in Mamre, and what a nice shaded spot in the middle of the sunshine and surrounded by the hills there. It's a great spot. Abram's got a wonderful position, but now he's heard that someone he loves is in trouble, so he calls out all the 318 men at his disposal and mobilizes them for the rescue.
Now, the fact is, and the principle of this passage of scripture is that when someone you love is in trouble, you drop everything. Just like that mother who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving. When it hit her home, she dropped everything and she got in the fight. I wonder if in a sense, just like Abram here, you have a loved one who's been carried off. Not by a king somewhere, but perhaps by sin, maybe they've been tempted, they've been lured away, maybe they're on a prodigal path. Maybe they're wandering in some form or another. Can I urge you today; do what Abram did when someone he loved was carried off. Use all the resources at your disposal to fight for them.
That means prayer of course. I don't mean, "Lord, bless the missionaries" kind of prayer. I mean intensive, combat prayer where you gather perhaps some loved ones together and you pray by name regularly on behalf of that person and for their spiritual rescue. And give them some extra time right now. Maybe they're withdrawing from you, but still do all you can.
Set aside whatever you have to in your schedule to be with them. Change your datebook for them. If it takes money, if it takes you going for counseling to work on your end of it, whether they'll go or not, you go and find out what you can change to help them.
Maybe it's an apology that's needed. Maybe you need to admit that you were wrong. Whatever you can do, make sure that he or she knows that they are loved. Write a letter if nothing else to tell them you love them, the things you've prayed for about them, the things you're sorry for, and how you wish things could be.
God often uses the wandering of loved ones to actually make us re-examine our own lives. And the good news, if you're willing to mobilize all your resources, well, listen to what happened here. It says, "Abram recovered all the goods and brought back his relative." Fight for that loved one of yours with everything you've got, and God will bring them home.