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I don’t know about you, but I can easily become religiously indignant. I can judge there to be specific ways and times God should act, and think He should bless according to my preferences.

“Righteous indignation” is hardly new. For example, there’s the story found in Luke 13:10. A woman had been suffering for 18 years, and walked bent over with her self-image as crooked as her body. I suppose she had learned to be unseen and to walk unnoticed, especially during the Sabbath.

But that Sabbath, Jesus saw her. He looked at her, spoke to her and declared her free! The Creator of the universe leaned toward her bent body and then even touched her! In fulfilling His mission, He confronted religious guidelines and human control, and she was made whole. Her body and soul immediately straightened up, and she began to worship Him. What a wonderful day it was for her, as His kingdom of grace invaded her dark world!

Religious evaluations came quickly: This was not the right time, way or format. Was there a way to cancel it? Could she come back later? Return on the day this type of thing was supposed to happen? “Ma’am, please bend back over, and come back on Sunday. We’ll pray for you then!” Sadly, I can think of moments I’ve been that ridiculous—quick to judge His touch upon individuals by my small standards or expectations.

As we walk in this “bent over” world this week, may His “grace-full” mission be fulfilled through us as we joyfully (and even humorously) see our habits and routines stretched. May we:

  • See and touch people who we normally don’t. Are there any groups in my or other cultures that my eyes tend to overlook and my hands tend to not touch?
  • Loudly declare freedom to crooked hearts, minds and bodies, allowing our words to be the instruments of life and liberty they were designed to be.
  • Invite Him to “grace-fully” surprise us, as His power emerges at unexpected moments and great ways, to be salt and light in every possible time and way.

May His power and our obedience extend kingdom impact wherever we walk, and our small human “boxes” be stretched to allow His will in us to be fulfilled.

Luke 13:10-13: “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”

By: Jonathan Hall, director of Foursquare Missions International

is the global development and international projects coordinator for Foursquare Missions International and an ordained minister in The Foursquare Church.

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