Africa devos: Desperation

My daughter, Emily, and her friend, Rita, whom I have known since she was around four.

My daughter, Emily, and her friend, Rita, whom I have known since she was around four.

How do we learn to be desperate for God when we live in abundance? Katie Davis wrote that during her semester at college in the States, she missed this most of all—the constant recognition that she needs God. Perhaps on this trip, you are realizing you “need” Him more than usual—or at least you recognize your need more easily. Most Christians acknowledge that we cry out to God most fervently when they are going through difficulties and trials. Could this mean that Africans, in one way of looking at it, are more spiritually blessed? Think of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) and (if you have the book Kisses from Katie), read Katie’s words in pages 25-27.

Let me put a twist on this: though I “see” more physical need when I am in Africa (and that pushes me to pray and weep more), the spiritual need is just as great–perhaps greater–here in the United States. I meet almost no atheists in Africa. Many are not following Christ, but they DO believe in a powerful, Creator God. That is in great contrast with our spiritual culture in the U.S.

Many years ago I went on a trip to Argentina. One of the team members was a believer from Latin America. I was blown away with his ability to share Christ–lovingly, passionately, yet gently–with people he’d only just met, with people he’d approached on the street. “How do you do that?” I asked him.

“I see dead people,” he answered (this was well before The Sixth Sense came out, so he wasn’t trying to be funny).

He explained. “If I truly believe that people without Christ are dead–are separate from Christ–and will eventually spend eternity without Him–then my desperation for them increases. I see them as dying people–in as great a need as if they were bleeding or starving–and I am motivated by that to help them.”

If we could see spiritual need as if they were physical–like great gaping wounds or skin pulled tight with starvation–we would have greater desperation. We would see our own spiritual need–that without Christ, we, too, are in a state of decay.


Questions for thought/discussion:

  1. Read page 131-132 of K from K. How does this relate to Paul’s statement “When I am weak, then I am strong”?
  2. Is wealth a blessing or a curse?
  3. In what way is it potentially easier to depend on God in difficult circumstances or in places of physical need?
  4. How do we begin to understand and then see our spiritual needs as greater than physical needs?

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