The Bare Soul - January 27, 2008
The Precious Life

Proverbs 6:26 - For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.

Recently, I've had the privilege to share my testimony and the Word of the Lord in various ways and places as He would lead. One place that I have particularly enjoyed is at a local mission. They have invited me as a regular speaker and I look forward to the time when I can talk to the men of what the Lord has done in my life. I usually talk about my barefoot running and how the Lord has used it to open doors in ministry to others, such as themselves. They seem to enjoy hearing about the barefoot running and, hopefully, about how the Lord Jesus has set me free from a life of hopelessness.

When I scan the crowd of 200+ men, my heart goes out to them as I watch them. Some fidget in their seats, just wanting me to be done so they can go eat the evening chow. Others listen intently, especially when I start talking about the preciousness of their individual lives. Some preachers may stand at a pulpit and tell their congregation that they are "precious in God's sight". I don't doubt their sincerity but I know there are none as sincere as I when I tell these men that they are precious souls to their Heavenly Father. Especially this crowd. You see, I know the particular preciousness of these souls. As quoted in the opening scripture "... an adulteress seeks the precious life". Regarding this passage, I heard a preacher many years ago when I was struggling with my alcoholism and sin give a talk on this subject and it became a "life verse" for me. Many of you will know the preacher's name when I mention it or you will recognize the name of his famous book The Cross and the Switchblade. David Wilkerson was an evangelist that balked at nothing the enemy would throw against him, plunging headlong into ministry in the inner city of New York. He spoke the truth to gangs and the homeless in some of the roughest areas of a then crime-ridden city. Hearing Mr. Wilkerson speak on one occasion, he related this verse in Proverbs 6:26. He said that whenever you see the word "adulterer" in scripture you can substitute "Satan" in its place. (For doesn't the enemy of our souls seek to make us unfaithful to God by the sensuality of our own flesh and the world?) He went on, stating that all souls are precious in God's sight, but that God especially knew Satan had kept certain individuals "down" just because he knew of the enormous potential they possessed if they were allowed to follow Jesus to the fullest.

I took that message to heart and remembered it for many years. As already stated, all souls are precious in God's sight and He wishes for none to perish. However, I believe that the streets and underpasses of our cities are full of people that the enemy of our souls sees such potential in that he rouses the fury of hell to keep them down. It is with deepest gravity that I relate this vision of their souls to them at the mission. However, it is also my joy to tell them about Jesus, our hope of Glory. My heart goes out to them when I see some of their eyes and their faces light up with hope when I tell them that Satan is seeking the precious life within them. It makes them understand that their enemy is much too powerful for their sin-racked lives -- unless they accept the Lord Jesus into their hearts, KNOWING that He has already conquered the evil one on their behalf. I love to tell them the following:

Gentlemen, the next time you're feeling hopeless and without strength to keep on keeping on, first turn to Jesus and He'll give you the power you need. THEN, turn toward that old deceiving lying adulterer that's been taunting you and say, 'Satan, what is it in me that you see so precious that you feel like you have to throw all hell against me to keep me down?' Then, turn back around and while you're looking at Jesus say 'Get behind me Satan, for you will not have my precious soul -- it belongs to my Lord who died for me'.

As a "down and outer" and throughout the years until I recommitted my life to Christ, I hung on to the thought that somehow I was precious to my Lord Jesus. Even though I felt like a scumbag and a scoundrel of the lowest order, He loved me with His unfathomable love and He had every desire for me to know Him and the power of His resurrection. It took years for me to finally realize that my precious life was much too valuable to throw away to the "adulterer" and the desires of the flesh. Today, there are so many waiting to hear similar words of hope from those of us who have experienced His salvation. "To them who are forgiven much, love much". Give me a handful of men and women who know that they have been redeemed from the bowels of hell, knowing their lives are precious to their Savior (and are equally grateful to Him), and I testify before heaven and earth that we will turn our respective cities upside down for the Lord. It doesn't matter if you slept under a bridge or under a linen four-post canopy. It does matter if we know that we are all sinners and we need a Savior. Let us count ourselves as precious in his sight, and then offer back to him our lives as a "living sacrifice", precious and holy for His service to others.

Your barefoot servant,

Barefoot Rick

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