I know that God cares about the lost more than anything.
And I know that I don’t care about the lost like he does. I want to care. But I don’t. I’m asking him to change me so that I care. And I trust that he is doing it.
My friend Julie Gillies has a saying: “First in the natural—then in the spiritual.” So let me tell you some stories about the lost—in the natural.
For some reason, I have this great faith that God will help me and my friends find lost things. He has done it over and over and over again. God has a reputation in my house for finding lost things.
There was the time that a little kid lost her hat one night somewhere on the school campus. We were there for a nighttime basketball game and the kids had gone outside to play—it was a big campus. I prayed: “Lord, you know where the hat is. Please show it to us.”
We walked outside and started looking; we found the hat on that big campus in about one minute—in near pitch darkness on a big wide field. The little kids were wide-eyed and amazed. God is so cool.
My friend lost her watch—it was a really nice watch. “Lord, you know where that watch is. Your eye is upon it…please show here where it is.” She found it a few days later deep in the crevasses of the mini-van.
I have dozens of stories like that—lost car keys, lost wallet, lost library book, lost camera cord, lost ring, lost this, lost that…it’s not like I think God is some crystal ball, either. I just know that I know that God is all-knowing, all-seeing. I know that we can’t see that object that we’ve lost, but I know that he sees it from heaven’s omnipotent point of view. And I figure if he sees it, he won’t mind telling us where it is. He’s a pretty loving God, after all.
So now I’m praying, “God—please take it to the next level.” First in the natural, then in the spiritual.
Take me to that spiritual place where you see the lost. You see them not as some vague, unknown mass of humanity (like I do), but you see each hurting individual. You see the child who feels rejected by peers and parents. You see the young girl who feels used by men. You see the man who is rough and tough on the outside, but inside he is a scared little boy who can’t seem to find his way in the big world. You see the lonely old lady in the nursing home whose family lives far away and is too busy to come see her. You see the guy in prison who is getting released in a few days and has absolutely no hope of succeeding on the outside. You see the hungry baby in South Africa. You see the hopeless family worshipping a thousand gods in India—gods who are no-gods, only demons in disguise whose secret motives are the destruction of that family and that generation.
Right now I am slightly numb in my comfortable American wealth. I have a home, good groceries, a running car, clean water, HOT water, medicine, vitamins, a few computers, and a livelihood. I have friends, a social life, a solid church community, and am healthy.
I’m not seeing the lost like you’re seeing them.
I can’t see them, Lord.
But you can see them.
Open my eyes. I want to find the lost. Change me—let me see with your eyes.
You have revealed the lost things that we couldn’t find, so many times. And you care about people more than a watch or the car keys.
Help me find the lost—the ones your eyes are beholding; the ones you have prepared to hear your word. Use me, Lord, to speak that word. Grant me a vision for the lost, a heart that loves them like you do. I want to care more. I want to be your instrument. I want to fulfill the great commission.
Without you changing me, I’ll just continue being comfortable. Without your revelation, I won’t see the desperation. Without your love, I won’t care. Without your power, I’ll continue being powerless. Without your touch, I’ll be useless.
I’m willing. Just not able unless you help me. Actually, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
So I proclaim:
I am crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
I can do all things through Christ.
You came to seek and save the lost. Use me, in spite of me. I’m lost without you, Lord.