In my last post, I recounted the time I almost drown as a young child but was rescued by God’s grace through some quick-thinking family and friends. I used this illustration to show that God loves us and is completely able to rescue us from, in, and through the dire situations we go through in life if only we call out and turn to Him.
There is, however, another aspect of God’s act of rescuing people, and it involves us acting on His behalf, in His power, as He directs us.
One summer day years later as a boy trained and confident in swimming, I helped one of my friends who had ventured out too deep in a lake and began violently struggling in waters over their head. As we emerged from the water onto shore, my friend told me that I had rescued him. Even though I think my friend’s statement was slightly exaggerated, I believe that just as God used someone to pull me out of deep waters, He used me to help someone else in trouble.
Even as we have been rescued by God, one of the “givens” in a life offered to Him as an act of worship is that it isn’t just about us! One barometer of our spiritual walk with God is the love, compassion, and commitment we have to Him demonstrated through serving and helping the people we encounter every day. Even as we have been rescued, God asks us to be part of His rescue mission on earth. God calls us to be His hands, feet, ears, voice, and heart to people who are in need of help. Our response doesn’t necessarily have to be overtly heroic. It can be as simple as a phone call to someone God puts on your mind, a visit to someone who is sick or lonely, or giving aid to a person in need. At times, however, it might call for us to do something hard or uncomfortable to help someone else.
Scripture is filled with accounts of how God used people to rescue someone else is trouble. Here are just a couple examples:
- Abraham rescued his relative Lot from his captors
- Moses was instrumental in rescuing the Israelites from their Egyptian captivity.
- Esther’s bravery before the King was crucial to the deliverance of the Jews from mass executions.
Most importantly Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, became a human being and rescued us from an eternity apart from God. This rescue has past, present, and future ramifications! The Bible tells us that Jesus is the One who:
- (Past) “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into God’s kingdom” (Colossians 1:13).
- (Present) “gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4)
- (Future) ”rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
Once we embrace the thoroughness of our rescue by Christ, our hearts should burn with a desire to help others experience this same deliverance. The key to being part of God’s rescue mission is to stay in close fellowship with Him through prayer, time in His Word and with other Christ-followers, and then walk through each day in love with your spiritual antenna attuned to God.
Here’s how the writer Jude put it in the New Testament:
“Dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save [rescue] others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear…”
I invite you to listen again to the song “Rescue Me.” Does a person or people come to your mind? As you pray for them, ask God to show you how He can use you to help them.
You may be part of God’s rescue mission!
God bless you!