So we’ve been learning in our group called Sitting at the feet of the Father that first our identity comes from God, and from that place all life flows. We learn (and practice) how to sit and be with the Father, and in that place we learn how much we are loved, that we are created for greatness, and from the place of identity in God we then live out the reality of that relationship. That means many things. One of the things it means is that our heart starts to beat in time with the Kingdom of Heaven – we see others around us, and as we become more bold, and skilled up at how to communicate with others, we respond to His heart for them, and we desire to hear His heart and step out to give it a go.
Well a couple of the group have been stepping out …
One feisty group member was at Chadstone shopping centre. When she was first saved she used to step out all the time, but she was considered odd, she was ostracised. Sad really, given that she was walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Now, some 20 years later, she felt she had lost her mojo … or so she thought.
Well, she was having a quick snack in the food hall while a man with a badly disfigured body and facial features was trying to eat a hamburger. She could not stop looking at him, and said that to be honest she was somewhat repulsed by how he looked, but even so she could not stop looking at him. She then watched as he tried to eat his hamburger and felt God tell her to pray for him. She argued, but eventually, deciding that the disfigurement must have been due to some illness, she obeyed.
She went over, said hello and asked if she could pray for him. He agreed, explaining that he had a condition that is in the natural incurable called scleroderma, but he said she could pray for me. She told him that God heals, that God loved him, and wanted him well, and she prayed for him. Her sense of repulsion left, and she saw him as God saw him, as the compassion came upon her.
Later that day, she texted me:
Thanks for encouragement today… made me think of that girl you showed us on video that was quite ‘difficult’ to look at [see link here she’s amazing!]. This guy today was similar- took me awhile to realise he had some major disease/problem … The images of scleroderma are disgusting ( looked it up when I got home) his was obviously severe bad teeth and gums sunken eyes gangrenous fingers that couldn’t open. His name was Wayne if u feel to pray for him. I’ve read lots of prophecies about the first fruits of revival being the unlovely and unwanted…. Thank goodness God doesn’t give up on any of us.
She caught the wind of the Holy Spirit and prayed … and is still praying for Wayne!
A second person from the group said that he had been out at Nandos. He was tired, and wanted to get home. He said he was just “people watching” as he waited for his meal. He is a quiet, gentle, kind reserved man who loves Jesus and has a heart for others. He is also a mighty man in the Spirit, but he is only just starting to capture that truth :-). He said that he was just standing there at Nandos when a couple walked into the store and it was like everything went dark and a spot light was shone on the girl. God clearly said “pray for her” and our friend hesitated, fearing that he was an older man and it would be creepy of him to approach a young girl with her boyfriend … so he didn’t …
I call that a WIN!
He heard, he saw, he just had not been given the skill set to give it a go, so I explained how he, as a man, could manage that situation better, and he happily saw there was a way forward next time. That was my failure as a teacher, as the group leader, that I had not skilled him in how to stop and talk to a complete stranger. The mere act he was even contemplating it I think is fantastic, amazing and so very encouraging!
While he felt badly about the “miss” I still said it was a win! And a group of us at church prayed for the girl who was called Belle (he heard her name called out) and we asked that God would please send another. I said to our friend that half the battle was to get people to see beyond their own needs and see the world through the lens of Jesus, see the need, and then learn how to step out … but I also explained that it takes practise, just as learning to ride a bike takes practise.
Every attempt is a win. Noticing one that God highlights is a win. Learning to hear and to acknowledge God’s prompting for people is a win.
While I have prayed for thousands over the years, there are so many I have missed. Many that were highlighted that I did not stop for. In those times, God did not condemn. There were times I felt His intense sadness when I didn’t stop, but He never condemned me, and I have learnt.
God is a loving Father and He delights that we try, that we listen … hearing Him is a step in the right direction, being aware of others and God’s heart for them is a step in the right direction, seeing and judging but still being open to pray for the one is a step in the right direction … and then later being so full of compassion as the judgement falls away that you then ask others to keep praying for the one, is a step in the right direction … every step forward into listening and obeying is a step in the right direction. If we keep listening, keep spending time with Him, keep learning, keep humble and keep pressing into Him, we will reach the world, one encounter at a time because …
God is Good!
So, when have you felt His heart to stop for the one?
How was that for you?
Did you stop and try?
Or were you a little overwhelmed?
Either way – it’s a win … and we get better at this as we keep listening and keep being willing to “give it a go” because God is Good!