A heart cry for ‘true religion’

[notice]A response to what is happening prophetically in the world today — A monthly column by Julie de Lisle[/notice]

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know”  – William Wilberforce.

Each month I have asked God what he would like me to write about. What is it prophetically he wants us to be doing,  going to and being right now as a people of God. Actually I have realised that when I open my eyes daily this is almost always the cry of my heart. He never ceases to surprise me, what an exciting journey we are on.

Last month I wrote about revival and mentioned that the face of the revival in South Africa would be unity. I was exposed to an extraordinary display of unity last month as I attended the Colour Sisterhood Conference in Cape Town. (www.colourconference.com) Five and a half thousand women from 57 denominations of different cultures, ages and backgrounds under one roof, with one purpose. To say it was life changing is too small a statement.

Colour Sisterhood Conference at Grand West Arena, Cape Town. (PHOTO: http://hillsong.co.za/colour-a-volunteers-eye-view/)
Colour Sisterhood Conference at Grand West Arena, Cape Town. (PHOTO: hillsong.co.za)

(“The Colour Sisterhood represents many thousands of everyday women around the world, who have aligned their hearts and spirits to ‘be the change’ in the worlds they inhabit. Our focus is both local and global. Women are encouraged to respond to the needs in their local communities – and then our strengths combine to collectively address and bring solutions to various major global challenges and injustice.”
www.coloursisterhood.com)

I have been a born again believer for 20 years now. Every local church I have served in has had organisations within them that drive social upliftment programmes, caring for the poor, the sick, the destitute, the abused, the homeless and more. I have over and over again contributed in any way I could towards these amazing real causes but often wondered if my small contribution has made a difference. Looking around me at the incredible needs of others, helplessness overtakes me:  the result, turning a blind eye to the pain I see in people’s eyes, being deaf to hear the cries. This not out of a hard heart, but more really from a voice inside saying : “So, can you really make a difference?”.

New understanding of God’s justice
Everything changed on the 12th and 13th of April 2013.  As I sat together with these women my spiritual eyes started to open, my heart started to ache like never before and I felt a clear prompt from The Lord to watch and learn. It was as if a switch was being flicked, a button being turned on in me, the button that opens your eyes wide to social injustice. What stood out to me as I took it all in was justice. Justice, not just a political ideal as I had seen it in the past, but a display found in mercy and grace from the heart of a compassionate Father towards victims of oppression and injustice, shown through us.

I saw and heard the stories of very ordinary women all over the world doing great exploits in the name of Jesus. Women who allowed God to add to them mercy, wisdom and creative initiative. Organisations against human trafficking, literacy programmes, prison ministries, the facial reconstruction of the physically mutilated  through war, women against rape, the list goes on. From Russia to Kiev, Sydney to Cape Town, London to Uganda, an endless stream of real stories about lives changed.

A truth soaked into my spirit, the truth that the human soul is of great value, that every person is important. Every man, woman and child on this great planet earth deserves to have worth. Each individual should and does need to be respected and honoured by others. Value is full of grace, it doesn’t attack, it defends. It doesn’t diminish and always protects.

Messages were preached, short documentary clips shown, reports shared, and it was highlighted to me was that a selfish existence will never fulfill. I started to see so clearly that opening my eyes to humanity and the plight of people brings an overwhelming desire in me to live with prophetic purpose and reason. The love of Christ that indwells me, compels me, and the natural outflow of this will be to make a difference when and wherever I can.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”  — Isaiah 61:1 ESV

Making a difference
I have always believed that the church Is the hope for the world. Us, the people, make this a living pulsating organism wherein spirits are set free and dreams are resurrected and lived out. I urge you to look at the place you are at, the church you attend; you can make a difference and be the difference. Start today, knit a scarf, give a donation, make a pot of soup, get together and pray into a need in your immediate neighborhood, ask God to open your eyes, be led by the spirit. Nothing you do will be too small. Remember we are His hands and feet on the earth.We all have direct access to the Father through Jesus. Let’s meet with him every day. As we raise up our prayers in union, we know that God hears and can do more than we could ever ask or think or imagine!

My greatest desire is that my heart would remain tender and that my ears would be open to hear His promptings. Here I am lord use me and let me not forget that:  “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” — James 1:27 ESV

Here are just a few links to amazing organizations (my favorites right now) that are making a massive impact locally and internationally. Go and take a look, who knows what project is lying within you just waiting to come alive and join the hundreds of others that are making a real difference in the world today.

http://www.thea21campaign.org – against human trafficking

http://iklethemba.co.za/

http://www.bosasaydc.co.za/

http://www.brightstarlifeskills.co.za/

http://thecoloursisterhood.com/project/keep-a-girl-in-school

http://www.watoto.com

 

2 Comments

  1. Jules- this article is inspirational – I am so encouraged to live on bended knee with my spiritual ears open to hear the soft whisper of our Lord and Father, coaxing me to change a life- mine first – and then who knows how many others….?

  2. Jewels, so so agree. My heart was moved to action, only took 3 years of getting beyond that overwhelmed mindset. Have started planning and implementing a movement. So love the message of Grace in this.. Totally trusting god in this for what I cannot do He can