Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Divine work can only be accomplished in dependence upon divine power.” I first read these words by Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian author and church leader, soon after I became a Christian in 1973 — the year after Nee died for his faith in a Chinese prison. These words had a profound impact on me as a new believer because they taught me from the start the importance of completely relying upon God to do His work. Human strength and resolve alone are not enough to accomplish the purposes of God. Over the years I have learned that the quickest way to grow weary and discouraged is by trying to labor for God in my own strength. He never intended for us to do His work in our own strength. Jesus taught His disciples this truth in John 15:5 — “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
I was reminded again yesterday of the importance of looking to God for the strength to accomplish His purposes among the nations. I am in attendance at the Global Leaders’ Life Summit at the headquarters of Life International in Grand Rapids. Life International is a Christian organization dedicated to championing the rights of the pre-born and others who are victims of world-views that disregard the sanctity of human life. This is a huge task that can only be accomplished in dependence upon divine strength. The folks at Life International understand that and therefore put a great deal of emphasis on prayer. They understand that prayer, and persevering in prayer, is essential and that prayer is the ministry from which all other ministries must flow. Oswald Chambers said it best when he wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”
Yesterday morning, Kurt Dillinger, the President of Life International, led us in prayer for the nations. We specifically prayed for Steve Hyde and his life-saving work in Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia. Steve spoke to us about what God has done in Cambodia over the past twenty years and the challenges that lie ahead. Cambodia is a nation steeped in death in both its past and recent history. And, Steve knows all about death. His wife lost all of her family but one sister to the Khmer Rouge and Steve’s father was martyred by radical Muslims in 2003 on the island of Mindanao. Steve and his wife Noit are committed to sowing the seeds of life and love in the very places where they lost their loved ones. After Steve briefed us on Cambodia, we joined him around the map. Steve placed his hand on Cambodia and the surrounding nations as we prayed and asked God for His divine strength to accomplish His purposes among these nations.
Each of us in attendance at the Global Leaders’ Life Summit understand the vast scope and magnitude of the challenge of standing strong for life among the nations. We also understand that we not only need each other, we desperately need the strength that comes from God alone. We know that every advance in the struggle to champion the sanctity of human life around the globe will be made on our knees and in total dependence on God. But, that’s ok. Following the Life-giver and standing for life is a cause worth living and dying for.