So this is a testimony of the love of god. A pure demonstration of His power and grace. Its the reality of heaven invading earth. Its what we were all made for, to love and be loved.
It starts on a good ol saturday. The day begins by watching a good flick, "dark night rises." Yes it may be dark but it has a great story of persistence, selflessness, heroism, and greatness. I love movies. They have the power to tap into the deepest desires of your heart. Deep calls unto deep. The greatness hidden inside of a man is made manifest on a movie screen, activating our imagination, calling us to a higher standard. Surely if superman can save the world, we can be kind to our neighbor. A good story causes you to aspire to greatness. Theres a great saying that goes, "surely the job of fiction is to tell the truth." Selah :)
After being inspired by the batman, I hit the gym with my bro and my nephew. Man I love working out with the boys. Theres nothing like pumping the iron. The masculine heart has a need for regular physical activity. It goes back to the roots of our humanity, you know caveman stuff. Ok I know, Im going all "Wild at Heart" on you.
Lets move on.
So later in the evening is when it gets interesting. My buddy invites me out to the bars to hang out. Most christians would shun this kind of thing. "oh no you might get corrupted with all those dirty sinners." "You might fall into temptation brother, you gotta be careful."
I don't know about you, but the Holy Ghost is quite the big boy. He isn't afraid of sin. I mean the bar is exactly where you would find Jesus. Thats why they accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard, he always hung out with the broken hearted.
When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." Mark 2:17
I love this kind of environment. I thrive on being in the uncomfortable situations. It tickles my fancy. I get super excited because I know that light shines brightest in the dark places.
So, that little spark of adventure inside of me accepted the request, and off I go. As I arrive to the bar, I make my way through and meet up with some old friends. My first assessment of the atmosphere was a thick sense of rebellion and debauchery. I have a big smile on my face because I am the influencer not the influenced. No, its not arrogance, just faith in a mighty God. I am firmly rooted in His Grace, knowing that my atmosphere dominates every other atmosphere, because my atmosphere is love. See, I don't walk with fear of being contaminated, I walk knowing I carry the cure to their disease. Not by my effort, but by His Grace.
As I am sitting at the table chatting with my old friends, a fight breaks out in front of us. The security guards rushes over to break it up I can literally feel the powers of sin and death at work. It's always interesting to see into the spirit realm. Much like puppets on a string, darkness controls people through anger, bitterness, pride, strife, the flesh, and so on. For a moment I can hear the voices of the enemy seeking to influence my heart, "you shouldn't be here, your a hypocrite, your out here for your own desires, your going to fall into this corruption." Blah blah blah, all lies from those who will burn in hell for eternity.
Then it hit me, the compassionate heart of Jesus, like a mighty wave it ran through my heart and filled my eyes with tears. In that instant, I felt the heart of Jesus for His children. I felt His passionate pursuit of His lost children, His desire to show them His unconditional love. Simultaneously, I encountered the various pains and hurts in the room. So many hearts hurt by the religious system, broken relationships, deceived souls, anger, bitterness, just pure bondage. I became so aware of the condition of their souls I could not escape its plea for help. I imagine the battle is fierce in the soul of a man unawakened to the gospel. It is a slave to sin, bound and chained to darkness. In this state, a man seeks to fill the void with everything it can, sex, drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, money, or any other thing non eternal. (Ask me how I know.) This person lives under the illusion of being in control of their life, when in all reality they are in complete and utter hopelessness. My heart cries, "if they only knew that they have a Father who adores them, He is good, He loves you, His love is unconditional, He doesn't want your sacrifice, your good works, your effort, just your heart."
See, we are called to be light in a dark place. Who lights a lamp and hides it under a basket? (Matthew 5:15) We aren't called to be covert christians. We are designed to live a life of surrender to the great Holy Ghost, letting Christ dominate in and through us. Everywhere you go, you shine. The christian life isn't, "this little light of mine." Its more like this gamma ray light of mine. I just looked it up, a gamma ray burst is a few hundred times brighter than our sun. Now this is better metaphorical language. I mean, Holy Ghost created all things and He lives inside of us.
In this moment, the scripture comes to mind, "how will they hear and believe unless someone preaches." (Romans 10:14) As I feel this compassion and desire to stand up and start preaching the gospel, I hear an all to familiar voice. Its the voice of fear, "your going to look stupid, everyone is going to reject you, who do you think you are, your friends will be freaked out, they will all mock you and make fun of you." Its the fear of man that seeks to paralyze us. I don't know about you, but I have a fierce hatred toward that thing. I have fallen to many times to this voice, but thank God there is no condemnation or guilt for those in Christ. I also will not make excuses, I will ask for a greater revelation of His love.
OK PAUSE, WE HAVE A GLORY NEWS FLASH
As I am writing this, someone knocks at my door. Its a young man named Trent, he is fundraising for His freshmen football team. I remember being in his shoes so I decide to buy what he is selling. I go to get my wallet to bless this kid and I get a word of knowledge that he has pain in his knees. So as I get back to the door I ask him if he has pain in his knees, he says yes and tells me the pain is at a 5 out of 10. I say watch this, and I put my hand on his knee and command all the pain to leave in the name of Jesus. He begins to move his legs around and tells me that all the pain is gone!! I begin to tell him that God loves him so much and one of His greatest signs of love is healing. YAY JESUS! His signs and wonders will always follow those who believe.
Alrighty, back to the story. Fear causes us to want to back down, it seeks to sow seeds of doubt, uncertainty, and weakness into our minds. We have all fallen victim to its grasp. This is why the apostles cried out in Acts 4:29 "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." They were afraid, but their response was to go back out with even more boldness.
I didn't end up standing on a bar stool preaching the gospel, lol, maybe next time. But I believe that stopping for the one is what matters. The bold moments are amazing as well but love can shine in many ways. It could manifest in simply listening intently to your friends, prophesying over them, encouraging them, or whatever is on your heart. Love never fails!
This must be why Paul exhorts us to desire the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:31 so that we may show the world HIS love for them. After all, signs and wonders are a much more effective way to proclaim his love instead of mere words. The gospel is always backed up with the power of the spirit.
This is why Jesus says John 14:11, "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves."
The gifts of the spirit are not for you, they are for others. We get to give them away. They are designed to manifest the nature of God. Healing broken bodies, healing hearts, prophesying the Father's love, showing them that God has nothing but good thoughts for them… This is love in action.
Before the night was over, the security guard who so valiantly broke up the fight earlier in the night was highlighted to me. I received a word of knowledge for pain in his body, I thought it was in his back but it was in his shoulder. See, I don't always get it right, we just have to take risk. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. If your goal is to love, you can never fail. So I say, "watch this, God is going to heal you right now." I place my hand on his shoulder, pray a quick 5 sec prayer and then have him check it out. His reaction was priceless, it never gets old. Its a face that is trying to figure out what the heck just happened. A big smile comes upon him as he begins to thank me. It was amazing, his pain was first at a 7 which went all the way down to a 0. Praise Jesus! I obviously share with him that it was the great Holy Ghost who healed him.
You my friend, are destined to greatness. You are a flame of revival, called to raise the dead with the reality of Christ. No matter where you work or what you do, you are called to love. Signs and wonders will follow you. See, I don't have great faith, I just believe what God says in the bible. I believe that Christ is the one that lives in and through me. (Gal 2:20) This naturally supernatural lifestyle is lived by surrender to God. It first happens by encountering His love for you. We must see Him face to face. It is in his presence that we find ourselves. So if you have never had an encounter with the furious love of Christ I want you to ask Holy Spirit to baptize you in His fiery love right now. Then go and shine like the sun.
If this has helped you in any way, its a safe bet that this will help your friends. Help me spread the gospel by hitting those social buttons below. :)