What do we do for “the one?” There is always at least one within our student ministry, our family, or our friend group. The one that is far from God. It is easy to judge and forget how lost we were before we found the unconditional love of our Lord and Savior. My challenge today is to ask ourselves, deep within our hearts, are we going after “the one?”
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:12-14
When I was little, and if I’m honest even now, I was so stubborn. My jaw would clench. My fists would bundle up with a white knuckle grip. I would not budge. Right or wrong. I couldn’t admit it. It was one of my biggest pitfalls. Then, one day when I was in one of my fits of stubbornness, my mom came up to me. She bent down, took my hands in hers, and looked me in my eyes. She simply said “Jilli, this is your road back. Take it with me.” I don’t know what happened in my young heart but my stone cold stubbornness melted away in that moment. I just started holding onto my mom and crying. We never mentioned it again. She just embraced me and allowed me to take the road back.
The thing about the road back is that most of our girls don’t know that even exists. Most of us can think back to a moment when we were far from Christ and there was a moment that many of us thought “Am I too far gone?” I pray as you read this that you realize the significance of offering our girls a road back. We want to be the ones that tear down Satan’s lies that tell our girls, they are too far gone. I want us to be the ones that go after them and offer them a road back. So how we do this?
Right now, I want us to take a moment to ask the Lord to place a girl (or a few girls!) on our heart that is far from Him. As the girl’s name comes to you, I want you to intentionally pray for her. Pray that her hearts is softened towards the Lord. Pray that evil can’t get to her. Pray for protection. Pray for healing. Pray for her to have a heart change.
I don’t want to skip over this because the power of prayer is real. We want the Lord to go before us, with us, and behind us. Only God knows what is going on in our girls’ hearts and minds. We need to lift them up in prayer.
Next, while you are about to end your prayer, I want you to surrender your girl(s) to Christ. Offer them up to the Lord. Ask for God to do what only He can do.
Then, I want you to approach the girl that God laid on your heart. Whether it is showing up for her, taking her to coffee, or whatever way the Lord places an opportunity for you to reach her. Do that. Show up. Just like my mom. Just like God has done for us so many times. I want you all to offer her road back. Let her know she is not too far gone. Let her know that you see her. Let her know that you miss her. Let her know you never stopped praying for her. Let her know your love and God’s love for her never stopped. Offer her a road back.
Lastly, I want us to rejoice when she begins walking back. I think it is easy to start the lectures, consequences, etc., but don’t forget to rejoice. Heaven is cheering for “the one”. We should be too. Just like the prodigals son’s father ran to him as he was coming home and threw him a party, we need to celebrate our girls returning back home, back to the church, back to God.
I pray the next time, you think one of your girls, daughters, or family members is too far gone, you remember to go after her. The shepherd left the 99 to save the 1. It goes against every ounce of logic, but it is God’s beautiful way of saving the lost.
Keep praying for the one. Go after the one. Rejoice over the one. She needs a road back, and you could be the person that God uses to show her that the road back was here all along.
Jillian Deaton has a passion for showing people the love of Christ through speaking, writing, and everyday life. She is the wife to second lieutenant Jaxson Deaton. Jillian is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University. She is the author of Powerfully Weak, This is Why, The Four Seasons of Hope, as well as the co-author of A Bigger Purpose. She is passionate about sharing God’s Word with students and women of all ages! She believes no matter who you are or where you’ve been the Word of God is relevant to your life as you strive to live with authentic faith in Christ. Connect with Jillian: Instagram