These are two important things we must remember in ministry:
1. We cannot and will not ever save anyone.
2. Jesus can and does save. Anyone. And no matter how hopeless a person’s issues or situations look, no matter how deep the pit, God’s love is deeper yet! (Corrie ten Boom)
Until women are ready to believe they can be set free and survive apart from their abusers, we must pray. Thank God for faith which has its increase in prayer! We ask, seek, and knock, and we trust the promise that the Holy Spirit is at work. Until women have equal courage both to trust the truth about their worth as human beings and to shatter the desperate lie that they need whatever it is the abuser is providing them, we pray. And love. We show up. We take their hands in ours and pray. We speak the truth. We offer help and give hotline numbers. We tell them about safe places. We offer ourselves and our resources. And when we have done all, we continue to pray.
Why do women stay with the men who abuse them? Fears and insecurities become strongholds with deep roots and bitter fruit.
Jesus asks each of us, “Who do you say that I am?” Everything hinges upon our answer to that question. If we know Who He is then we know who we are. When we know and believe that He is Savior, Healer, Deliverer, the tender Shepherd and the Light of life, then we know and believe we are the ransomed, the healed, the delivered! We are cared for, loved with unfailing love, lifted out of darkness into freedom.
We pray for the abused and the abusers. They may ‘know’ Jesus, but the truth of Who He is– His life-changing power– hasn’t made it from head to heart…yet. Is anyone beyond Christ’s reach of love and mercy? No! In scripture, Paul calls himself chief of sinners. Take courage. The Lord knows our dirt. But He isn’t put off by it. In fact, He has the cure in place. Salvation is wholeness in body, mind, and spirit. We cannot save anyone. But God can!
“… Then who can be saved?’ But Jesus said, ‘The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.'”
Luke 18:26-27, Mark 10:26-27, Matthew 19:25-26