by Joy Casey
Ethiopian National Defense Forces
Civil conflict has escalated in Ethiopia with federal troops forcefully responding to armed rebellion in the state of Tigray located in northern Ethiopia. Unease caused by this conflict permeates every aspect of life throughout the country. People are tense. Schools are shut down. There is heightened security everywhere. War. Always unwelcome, always hurtful.
Where is God in all of this? I say right in the middle! In the midst of messiness caused by our sin – divisions, discord, disunity, strife – God is at work. He is loving, forgiving, saving and using all kinds of, what the Bible calls, “clay pots” to accomplish His purposes. Countries fight for power and control over land and populations. Soldiers in God’s army are commanded to push back spiritual forces that prohibit people from knowing Jesus.
Counterintuitively, the Good News comes like Christ came at first: in human weakness. The gospel spreads in the midst of our losses and struggles, confirming that in our weakness the power of Christ is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God doesn’t need people to be awesome or amazing. He is not looking for people who are super talented or gifted. He is simply looking for people to show up and say yes. He does the rest. Our missionaries to M*slim people groups are perfect examples of this. The 30 men working in this harvest field are simple farmers sowing seeds in the earth, but more importantly, actively sowing seeds in people’s lives. Seeds that God causes to grow and bear fruit.
God’s flipped inside-out economy uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame that which is wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). He uses simple, faith-filled prayer to disrupt the power and plans of Satan. In this hour He is calling His sheep, weak, broken, incapable though we are, to go among wolves (Matthew 10:16). God will destroy the prince of this world through an army of sheep.