(This post was written in conjunction with an Encouragement for Today devotion that was posted that day, so you may like to read it as an extra resource. Click on the devotion title to read it.)
During our P31 International Initiative team’s trip to India, our hosts, Mission India, took us to visit many of their life-transforming literacy classes. We got to see lives changing right before our eyes as men and women learned to read and write, but the day we visited Raju’s community was the highlight of my time.
Let’s let the pictures tell the story.
It was a hot, Indian spring day.
Our team left the city and drove to the rag-picker village where Raju and his community live, sifting through a nearby dump for recyclable materials to sell for about $1 a day.
Our gracious host and leader of the community, Raju, invited us into his home which is also the church and school for a group of about 20 families.
As I described in today’s devotion, Raju led us in prayer and worship, and I experienced God’s powerful presence as I have never experienced it before.
Seeing how God’s Spirit is alive and active in Raju’s life has taught me a critical lesson. Even when we don’t have much, our desperation for God is enough.
The man Raju is today is a Spirit-filled, inspirational leader. It’s hard to imagine him being any different, but just like us, Raju has a past. Before he knew Jesus, he was passionate but angry. Hungry for justice but belligerent. Ready to fight for what was right… with his fists.
After Raju came to know Jesus, he started to live out the truth that has captured my heart. God is using the very flawed characteristics of the old Raju to gain true justice in the new Raju.
That passion for justice and what’s right that used to get Raju in trouble? Now it’s fueled him to get a well for his community…
And food ration cards…
And land rights…
The good news is that we don’t have to despair over our flaws IF we’re submitting them to God to redeem them. They may be the very parts of our personalities that He wants to use. He can take what seems to be our worst traits and turn them around for good.
Our Flaws + God’s Redemption = Our Usable Strengths
Reforming perfectionists, have you felt crushed by your natural wiring and hopeless that things can change? Submit those traits to God. Let Him turn them into the beautiful center-pieces of your soul. Your work ethic, the desire to do well, and your craving for love may have worked against you in the past, but God can use those very things for His glory. Change is possible.
Our surrender is all that’s required to experience God’s power.
Question for you: What personality trait that has been negative would you like to see God redeem? OR How have you already seen God do this work in your life?
To watch a powerful video of our hero Raju telling his story, click here or watch below.
Make sure to visit Mission India’s website by clicking on the last slide of the video or by clicking here for more compelling stories of God’s power and to learn about getting involved in the amazing work of Mission India.
This Week’s Assignments/Activities for the Online Book Study Group:
- Read the Chapters 2 & 3
- Do as many of the extra activities for these chapters as will benefit you–Transformation Points (at the end of each chapter) & Going Deeper (at the end of the book). Both are in the Participant’s Guide.
- Choose and complete at least one action step this week from 50 Ways to Leave Your Perfect which starts on p. 197. You can create your own activities too. 🙂