"I was with God and I was with the Devil," Mario Sepulveda, one of the Chilean miners, said barely an hour after being saved. "They fought for me but God won. He took me by my best hand – the hand of God – and I held on to Him. I never thought for one minute that God wouldn't get me out of there."
Now the world knows about a hole that exists ½ mile below the surface of the earth that is covered by 700,000 pounds of rock. It is an area of the planet so desolate and barren, that it was once used by NASA to prepare astronauts for the surface of the moon.
Now the world also knows about the most incredible rescue operation ever achieved. Thirty-three miners trapped for 69 days in what looked to be a bleak or even hopeless situation. Yet one-by-one over 22 hours and against all odds, 33 men triumphantly emerged from the blackened darkness to blinding arc lights…from a maddening prison to the embrace of family and friends.
I wonder how you would feel if you woke up one day to discover that some of your family and friends found themselves trapped in a dark and desolate mineshaft with no way out. Would you set up camp above their location? Would you even go so far as to assist with the rescue efforts?
I know I would…and I believe you would as well. In fact, most if not all of us who truly love our loved ones would strap ourselves in the Phoenix 2 capsule, journey through the darkness, and get them back to the world of light and life in which they belong - right?
So why don't we?
The reality of your reality is this…there are people we know and love that are trapped in darkness. They have fallen into addictions, attitudes, and lifestyles that on the surface may look like the way they desire to love life. But at the deepest spiritual level, they are as desperate to be free as a miner trapped 2000 feet underground.
Although your people live in darkness, they will see a bright light. Although they live in the shadow of death, a light will shine on them." Then Jesus started preaching, "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here" (Matthew 4:16-17).
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life" (John 8:12).
If you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your only hope of salvation, you are a qualified rescuer. The Light of the World desperately wants to shine through you to fulfill this mission and vision:
"I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me" (Acts 26:17-18).
The events that unfolded surrounding the Chilean miners rescue were truly uplifting and inspirational. To see the faces of relief and the tears of joy when the men were free brought a smile seen around the world.
Now it's your turn. Are you willing to go places outside of your comfort zone for the sake of your friends and family who are "living in darkness?" Will you choose to be a light in this dark world that is trapped in a spiritual dungeon and share the way of escape? If so, let me offer a simple plan that, if executed in the power of the Holy Spirit, can turn you into a Phoenix 2 "rescue capsule" in your corner of the world.
First, pray this prayer for your family and friends who don't know Jesus:
Jesus, I pray that you would open the eyes of ___________ so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I pray that you would use me to present your offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in you. (Acts 26:17-18)
Second, pray this prayer for yourself:
Jesus, I pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, and that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19,20b)
And finally… never think for one minute that God won't get your friends out of the darkness!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The rescue of the Chilean miners is one of the most inspirational news stories of all time. This week, pray the suggested prayers from the Soul Fuel and look for opportunities to transition the subject of the miners to your personal journey to Jesus Christ.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you" (Luke 11:33-36).
Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them (John 12:35-36).
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).