Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Obedience’

Baptism and Breakthrough – God is Good!

You may recall a story I wrote up  story about a friend of mine receiving peace after seeking prayer when she was advised that her husband, whom had been imprisoned for a serious crime against her, had been let out of jail early.  See link here for story. Well I felt it high time to update the story.

My friend “H” has plugged into our new local church.  She comes, sits, receives from God, receives prayer, at times cries and all the while she is being healed by a good God.  She has also become involved with a community who love and encourage her and she loves and encourages them back. She has brought a friend who has occasionally visited, and she has consistently pursued God, as He has pursued her.

H has two teenage girls.  While resistant to coming to church themselves, they have seen the difference and have supported their mum in attending church.  The eldest, a dancer, has received prayer, and has recently suggested that a prayer request be sent out for her little sister who has recently been quite ill.

The eldest was in a vocational ballet training school, but with the release of her father from jail and the associated trauma, she started to suffer from increasing panic attacks and anxiety. The church community prayed for H and her girls, and their various challenges.  Little by little we have seen break through after breakthrough come about in all their lives.

H’s ballet daughter found a brilliant local ballet teacher who loved and encouraged her and although the panic attacks continued around attending the vocational training school, she found someone who would encourage her and who was kind and understanding to her challenges.

The opportunity for baptisms came around, and I encouraged H to learn about baptisms and be baptised.  She committed to the weekly classes with our pastor and she went from strength to strength, looking forward to the day of her “dunking” knowing that much would wash away in the shear act of obedience to God’s word.

H’s day of baptism came, and her entire family came to celebrate the day.  A large number of us headed down to the beach (a short walk from church) and celebrated as she committed her life to Jesus in public.  Her daughters were intrigued and were happy for her.

Now recently, as a church, we have just come out of three weeks of prayer and fasting.  On a Sunday morning,  just prior to the service H told me that her ballet daughter had frozen that morning with another panic attack and had been incapable of getting up and going to a concert rehearsal at her new ballet teacher’s school.  Her daughter was exhausted and asleep at home.

The service began with the usual worship, and then an elder got up with a huge thick piece of chain in his hands, and he proceeded to talk about how Jesus had set us free.  We had all been given a little piece of chain as we had walked in, and he encouraged us to come forward and cast our chains down at the foot of the cross.  As H went forward, tears streaming,  she cast hers down and myself and another church friend gently laid our hands on her back as she cried.  We knelt, and prayed with her, for freedom from the past, the pain etc for both her and her girls, knowing that as we prayed we were standing before God in the gap for her girls.

The moment was over, and we retuned to our seats, and within minutes H turned to me, smiled and whispered that she had to go and take her daughter to the rehearsal!  Her daughter had texted that she had just got up and she wanted to go to the rehearsal – the panic and fear was gone … the chains had been cast down … FREEDOM!

H later said the timing was amazing, that it would have been as she cast the chain and we had prayed that her daughter had decided to go to the rehearsal.  H shone with the excitement knowing that she had just witnessed another miracle, that as she had cast that chain down at the foot of the cross, and she had prayed for freedom for her daughters, her eldest had received it in the form of relief from anxiety and a desire to get on with the practise session.  Apparently the day went without a hitch and her girl came home shining.  I don’t believe that she has had an anxiety attack about ballet since …

The back story to all this is that the elder is a very quiet, gentle man, not prone to prophetic acts but he had a strong sense twice that week that he needed to lead the way he did that morning with the chains.  And so, loving God more than his own comfort, he had gone and bought the chains, and done what he felt God was asking of him, and through that act of obedience, and the prayer and the holy moment that followed (for there was a real tangible sense of holiness in the air), a young girl had been set free of anxiety for the day, and she could dance once again, all because …

God is Good!

 

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It’s a Baby Boy because God is Good!

Stop by and pray for her” I felt Him urge me again … and so I turned and found a park and got out of the car.

It was a prompting to pray for a girl who was the owner of a local clothing store.  I had been in there 2-3 weeks earlier and at the time I got the distinct feeling that she had wanted a baby, but had not yet conceived.  I had not offered to pray at the time, sensing it was not quite the right time …

This particular morning, on my way out, I felt Him urge me to make time that day to stop and pray.  I was heading out and I asked Him to remind me on my way home if He wanted me to stop.  I was actually flat-out trying to get ready for a major trip overseas, and we were leaving the following day …

True to His word, and to my request, God had reminded me on my return trip, and so, having parked the car, I made my way over to the store.

I wandered in, and after the usual greetings, I told her why I had stopped by.  A little taken aback, she had said yes she had been trying to get pregnant, that it had not happened for her and her husband yet … that she would absolutely like me to pray.

Ironically she had the same name as my daughter, whose conception was a miracle.  I explained the story to her, and laid my hand on her gently and prayed, as I felt led, asking God to do for her what He had done for me those 11 or so years earlier.

She got teary, and said thank you and I left, saying I would pop back in after our trip.

We went away, returned, and life went on as usual until about 3 months later, when I felt the gentle prompting to return to the store … to just wander through and see how she was getting on …

She was there and was serving a customer, so I waited.  When she was done she turned to me and said very quietly, that not even her family knew, but … yes … she was pregnant and she was overjoyed!

She went on to tell me how freaky the timing of my coming into the store that day had been, that her “fertile day” was the day after I had prayed, and that she had conceived that day (God had answered the prayer within 24 hours) … but as she spoke a shadow fell across her face and she said with great vulnerability that she was so frightened that what had been given would be taken away … she was frightened of a miscarriage and she searched my face for confirmation it would be ok …

“No pressure” I thought … but then I chose to step into the truth and told her that God is a Good God, a Kind God, and He does not give just to take away, and that He would not have had me stop to pray for her with that sort of freaky timing, just to allow the baby to die … and I told her so, and I asked if I could pray again …

Looking relieved she said “yes” and I gently laid my hand on her stomach, and prayed for that baby … I prayed that the baby would be healthy, full term, sleep well, and that the pregnancy would  be a blessed and easy one … the fear on her was palpable, but I felt it leave as I prayed and I said to her that when and if the fear returned she was to remind herself of her own testimony … and that God was all over this, that the baby was His own good idea and that the baby would be fine!

Oh faithful one that I am (and I say that with great Aussie irony!) because I did get into the car and start to intercede for her and the baby as I drove away … but as I did I felt a quiet confirmation in my spirit that all would be well and so in faith  I stopped and thanked Him for His loving kindness …

And yes, late last year, I drove past the store and I saw the sign in the window of the store …

It’s a baby boy!”

Purely and simply because …

God is Good!

 

 

 

And he played footy that Saturday

This is an older story – an early one in my journey of “stopping for the one”.  It was the start of a journey that this man went on over the next year or two, where he started to question his atheistic belief system, and wonder whether he could also be loved by God.  It was also the start of a journey for me where God dealt with me quite firmly about my issues and my embarrassment in stopping in a known environment amongst peers … it is a story in which He essentially says … “get over yourself, stop being a prude, kneel down and pray …”

It was mid Winter and I was driving to school to collect my daughter.  It was smack in the middle of the Aussie Rules football season and in typical Melbourne style it was raining a drizzly type rain.

As I drove I saw a stay at home Dad that I had got to know called M.  He was walking to school in the rain.  M is a rough gem who wears shorts and thongs or runners all year round (winter and summer), and who had got many of the women’s tongues wagging up at the school for his lack of  “charm” … in other words he called “a spade a spade”.  I liked him.

I pulled over and offered him a ride.  He responded by saying that that normally he would say no, but that on this day he would say yes because he had hurt his knee.

He jumped into the car and we rode the short distance to school, chatting as we went.  I asked about the knee and he said that it was an old injury that required a knee reconstruction.  By the time we were in the playground waiting for the kids to come out I knew I had to offer to pray, but did not know how to do it with him – in front of all the other mums at school pick up.

God had given me a picture, and I had just learnt that God will sometimes give us a picture of how He wants us to pray to release a healing.  The picture I had received was that I was to kneel down in front of him and place my hand on his bare knee and pray as I knelt.

I offered to pray.  M said did not believe in any of that stuff but that I could give it a go if I wanted.  He then went on to say that if it worked it would be great to be able to play football that Saturday … but he doubted it would work.

I did not want to kneel – it was wet on the ground, he was a man wearing shorts and I felt it was inappropriate to kneel in front of him in the wet with my hand on his bare knee … and, what was worse, it was in front of all the other mums, milling around waiting for their kids to come out of school!

So, in my “wisdom” I placed my hand discreetly on his shoulder and started to pray.  As I prayed I felt/heard a strong rebuke from God who said “Get on your knees” – essentially saying “I showed you how to pray, now do it”.

I took a deep breath, focusing on the fact that M could be healed, and told him that I needed to place my hand on his knee.  And so I knelt in the wet, with the cold and wet coming through my jeans, in front of the car park mums and prayed.  The mums looked at me and I felt very embarrassed, but went on regardless.

While on my knees, feeling very vulnerable, I looked up at him and asked if he felt anything – he said he felt heat and so I kept praying and then asked him to move the knee around … he did and he felt some relief so I prayed again, still on my knees and I then stood and asked him to try it out …

He bent it back and forth and said all the pain was gone.  I asked him to jump on it, jumping up and down next to him as I did.  He jumped up and down on it and looked amazed and said there was no more pain and that he would not have believed it … but that he had felt the heat and that it was amazing, that maybe he was wrong about all this stuff …

Delighted (and that is an understatement!), I got on with collecting my daughter and left it at that …

I saw him the following week and asked how he had got on.  He said, like a little kid, with absolute joy, that he had played his game of footy that Saturday!

And I left knowing without a doubt that …

God is Good!

Power of the prophetic word pushing through fear…God is Good!

There are times when we all doubt ourselves …

Did he really say that?  Was I on the money?  Oh, my gosh, I stuffed that one up!

All of us are on a journey of discovery … discovery of who we are, Whose we are, learning how to hear the Father’s voice …

The last story posted (the Sound of Healing) was a story of miraculous healing.  The healing occurred at a conference two years ago.  I had been invited to that conference to minister, as part of a team.  The first night had been challenging, for me.  I was stretched.  It was a worship rehearsal where we were called to minister to the worship team, give words of prophecy etc …

Now I had done this type of thing before … but each time I have to step out this way, particularly in a church, I get nervous … very nervous!

On this particular night I was tired, but I stepped into it, knowing God wanted the team touched more than I did, and I briskly told myself to get on with it!

I came to a man (who I later knew as G) who immediately seemed to me to be tired.  It was like he had lost hope.  I could tell he was a mature Christian, a seasoned Christian, and I knew he was a man of integrity and I felt he was battle weary.  I cannot remember the full extent of the word, but it was a word of a new season, that a new sound was coming.  That he had been a warrior and now the fight was over, that there was something new on the horizon …

Now, from my perspective he looked to me like he had “heard it all before” … and in response I felt like I had missed the mark … I tried to encourage him and said ‘you watch something new is coming … “ but as I did I felt a strong desire to retreat to run away … even to cry … I felt I had completely and utterly stuffed up, and that although it was an encouraging word, it had not been received well and was completely “off”…

I moved onto the next person to give the next word, trying to shake the feeling off, trying to gather my thoughts and step out again in trust that I would hear well … feeling a dismal failure, and a right goose!

The prophesying finished, and he walked up to stage to play.  I was relieved that the ministry time was over … and I felt the accusations come … the voice saying “you missed it … you can’t and don’t hear from God well … he knows you are no good at this … you might as well give up … who do you think you are anyway …”

I shrugged it off, and tried to press into God, knowing I had followed prophetic protocol and had kept the words that night encouraging.

Now, I tell this story because it was two years later that I “bumped into” this man and his wife (who was healed miraculously that weekend).  We were in the line for a ride at a theme park of all places!  We caught up for dinner that night and it was there that they told me that it was that word that I had given that night … that word that I had so doubted, that the man had held onto and taken home and it had been the catalyst for them to step out in faith and believe for his wife’s healing that weekend … I had no idea!

She wrote to me the following in an e-mail:

In regard to your prophetic word…. it was the Thursday night at the Creative Meeting when you all were praying and prophesying over the musicians that were going to be involved over the Wonders Conference weekend. You were praying over G and said to him that he had been a warrior, that he had gone through a great battle and that it was drawing to an end, that a new beginning was about to commence – the fight was over.  … you have no idea how excited G was when he came home that night after you prophesied those words over him.  I know that you wouldn’t have had a clue how significant your words were, or if they meant anything at all to G but ‘far out’ they were so spot on and you verbalised the very words of God Himself. The words God spoke through you were what began the faith growth in G, and then G speaking them to Pastor Mark, and then me – and the outcome of God healing me caused the biggest growth in faith in our church that continues to grow daily. It all began … with your prophetic word. (you may be blown away now and even cry a little because of how great God is, and all we have to do is make ourselves available and let God do the rest – let Him speak, let Him lead, let Him heal – all we have to do is be there).

She later wrote to me:

In response to your comments, you’re exactly right we all play our part, no one more important than the other. God orchestrates it all, brings us all together to play our part. There was your prophesy which got the ball rolling, advising G that it’s over – [that he’d] well and it’s time! G’s faith and obedience to talk to Mark and then to confess his faith in front of everyone on the Saturday afternoon session, then there was Pastor Mark’s faith, boldness and courage in obedience to take the whole church to the chicken line, then there was Fergus [the drummer on Saturday morning] who felt ‘oh my goodness! What am I doing!!’ There was Ally [worship leader, singer], who was obeying and worshiping and prophesying in song as God led her, then there was me and all I had to do was lay there, and my part wasn’t any more important than anyone else’s – we were all instruments in an incredible performance that God was putting on/performing!! Praise God!!! I get so excited talking/writing about it.  … you should definitely include your prophesy and how you felt and the actual impact of your word. … I really feel you need to write about it because there is so much for people to learn from your experience. You thought (felt condemned) that you had said something so far off base, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I think G’s look probably came from sheer shock of how incredibly accurate you were, and maybe too, it was perhaps a little naivety on his part – this prophesying etc was all very new to him. 

And so I have written about my part to encourage others to step out and let God.  I am humbled by all that A writes and I feel privileged to be a small part of an unfurling of a healing miracle that sparked a bush fire of faith in their Church … and so, the reason I write is to show that He can use anyone at any time, that how we feel about our so called “performance” is not relevant … it is our heart attitude of doing our best and being available to Him that matters … for we don’t know the plans that He has for ourselves or for others, but we do know, without a doubt, that whatever His plans are, they are plans to bless us, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB) and, I know this for sure: that if I can be used … then anyone can be used purely and simply because …

God IS Good!

A random act of kindness…God is Good!

Last Saturday while I was waiting for my daughter’s ballet class to finish I caught up with a new friend, a friend who has already blessed my life in many ways …

As we finished up, she saw a friend of hers, a woman she had told me about, a woman who was also kind, gentle and gracious.  She said hello to her friend and as she spoke her friend suddenly said with tears …

“Please excuse me, my dog died last night …”

As her friend said this I was filled with compassion for her and nearly started crying too … I feel like a sop when that happens, because I can tear up so easily at times, especially when I am filled with compassion or love or empathy … filled with Him … for another …

I touched her hand … aware that I was a complete stranger and not wanting to “get in her space,” and I gave my condolences …

I said goodbye to my friend, and with another hour and a half to wait, I wondered what I was to do. I asked God, and with a suddenness I knew I had to buy this woman flowers … a ballet mum too … what would she think?!

I started to walk, hoping to find a florist.  I trusted she would still be in the coffee place I had met her in when I got back, thinking how she may find me a bit “odd” to do something like that, but I thought “what can it hurt to give her flowers … to do something kind …? … but still!”

I eventually ended up at one of the train stations in the city, and found my way to a flower stall.  I immediately saw some miniature cyclamens … and I knew I was to buy her the deep pink ones …

“Odd,” I thought, feeling a bit shy about it.  I looked at the other flowers on sale … she seemed so gracious that I thought I should perhaps buy her a potted orchid but I kept being drawn back to the deep pink cyclamens …

I selected the plant I felt God draw me to, bought them and asked for them to be wrapped.

I wandered back past the coffee shop … she wasn’t there …

“Blow, I thought” and decided on my friend’s suggestion (who I had just spoken to on the phone about another matter) to leave them with a person at the ballet school to pass them on …

Still with time to wait I went back to the same coffee shop to sit down outside and have another cup of tea, thinking I may see her again …

I got on with a bit of texting, sipped my tea, and contemplated life, looked at the passers-by, enjoyed the greenery of the trees over the road … and as I did she walked past …

I called out and said a bit awkwardly “… these are for you, I hope you don’t mind, but I felt to get them for you … I just wanted to bless you …”

She looked and cried, tears ran down her cheeks and she told me a little of the story.

I said I had felt to get her the pink cyclamens …

The tears kept running down her cheeks and she said that her little beloved dog’s collar was the same pink, and the dressing gown that belonged to her daughter that her little dog had been buried in, was purple (the cyclamens had touches of purple at their base, and the flowers were wrapped in purple).

Only God!” I thought.

I said I had felt to get her the hot pink … and had thought they may be able to sit on her kitchen table in memory of her dog …

She said “thank you, it’s so kind”

I backed away, not wanting to invade her space in any way … but I said “I just wanted to bless you … I hope it is ok … just a random act of kindness …”

And I wished her well.

We had spoken about more than just that, but the exchange was brief, in that I wanted to really respect her privacy, but I said I would sit for a while longer if she felt like stopping later, but if not, there would be no offence …

And so I finished my tea in the morning sunshine … she didn’t come back, and that was ok … she was too tender….

Regardless … I don’t believe the “coincidence” was lost on her …

I had mentioned praying for her family, but other than that I didn’t mention Jesus, I didn’t pray for her then and there, I didn’t get in her face about anything, including the God coincidence …. I just gave her the flowers that just happened to be the same colour as the collar on her little dog and the gown in her little dog was buried …

Did I feel awkward?

Yes!

But I know when God moves us to do something, it is worth feeling awkward for, it is worth taking the risk and obeying, for you never really know what is gong on in a person’s life … but He does and perhaps through that one act of obedience, that one act of kindness they too will know that …

God is Good!

God’s agenda is good…all the time because…God is Good!

I had dropped my 6 year old off at school and was headed home, when I had a fleeting thought that I should head straight up to Bunnings and buy the padlock that we needed for our new lane way gate.

“Odd” I thought, “I’m just around the corner from home” … and in my wisdom I kept driving towards home thinking I would pop back home first to collect a piece of plumbing pipe I had bought there the day before, which I needed to return … but as I checked my plan with God I sensed that “no, I was to go straight to Bunnings now” …

“Odd” I thought again and I drove straight past my home … figuring “what have I got to lose in listening and obeying as I go” … and I wondered who or what I would encounter at Bunnings when I got there …

I found a park, and headed straight into Bunnings, and as I did I saw a friend from church that worked there standing at the door giving directions to customers.  I smiled at P and said “Oh, you must be the reason I am here … a blessing for me to see you …” and I stood smiling at her as we had a brief chat before I headed off for my padlock purchase …

I found what I needed and as I headed to the check out to pay, P caught up to me and suggested I let her buy me a coffee …

I hesitated.  I had so much to do in the day.  I felt so ungracious … but I had an urgent case that I needed to attend to, workmen in my garden, a variety of jobs and a small amount of time to complete it all in … I was already behind my own agenda with this extra stop off for God …

She saw me hesitate and said “no pressure, I know you are so very busy …”

I smiled and said … “no, I’m just checking with the Holy Spirit to see what He says … I am very very busy, but He wants me to stop and have a coffee with you … so I will …thank you!” and I explained what I had on my plate and hence my hesitation, not wanting to offend or hurt her …

We chatted, and it was lovely … I felt blessed to stop for a moment and be with a friend …

With her break time up, we wandered back to the check out, me still to pay for my padlock and she walked back to her post at the door.  I stood and waited to pay for my purchase and as I did I looked at the woman serving me and knew I was to offer to pray …

I stopped after paying and said to her:

“This may sound strange, but I am a Christian and I have an overwhelming sense that I need to offer to pray for you … is there anything that I can pray for you for …?”

The woman looked at me, shook a little and teared up …

“Yes” she said … “there is something you can pray for me for … there is … but I …” and she trailed off …

I knew I was not to push for details, it was private and she was suddenly over whelmed …

I said “Its ok, no need to tell me, God knows the details I will bless you, He knows what you need … which is why He wanted me to ask you if you needed prayer … ”

She nodded and as she assented to me praying someone came up behind me to be served …

I stood back saying that I would wait … and as she finished serving that person … another one came for service … seemingly overlooking the other available checkout station … I stood and waited some more … and as she finished with that one … yet another came … and yet another again …

I stood waiting …

So often it  happens, I offer to pray and suddenly the check out isles  fill with customers … the teller is generally nervous with me waiting and so I know to wait looking relaxed, even if I don’t feel relaxed … and I tend to stand there feeling awkward … but I have learnt to be patient … that the time to pray will come, if I can stand my ground … and fulfil my assignment …

I quietly prayed for an opening, for the ebb of people to slow … and it came …

I walked back over, told her my name and she told me she was called “R”. I took her hand and I prayed.  I prayed a blessing, as I said I would, I prayed favour and I prayed wisdom in the pathways forward (I sensed she needed wisdom) … I prayed that God knew what her needs were and that He would meet them … and as I did, her eyes filled with tears …

There was no profound “knowing” or prophetic words that came to me that pierced her situation … just compassion that I had for her in whatever place she found herself in … she wished to remain private and I honoured that … as did God by not giving me any more insight than what I had, and I knew that me offering to pray, and her accepting the prayer, was enough for the Heavenly hosts to move on her behalf and release God’s goodness into her situation …

I finished, sensing I was to bless her with the Father’s blessing … I was to kiss her forehead … I told her that God was pleased with her, loved her, and she shook some more … and I asked if I could kiss her forehead …

She pulled back a little and shook her head, not daring to look at me, barely holding it together, and again I knew enough not to push  it … and instead I kissed my finger tips and gently placed them on her head and I thanked her for letting me pray.  As I walked away the  next customer came … and I saw her  wipe away some tears as she composed herself for the person she had to serve …

I walked past my friend P who could see what I was doing, who knew what I was doing … she had seen me do it before at Bunnings and in fact she has been doing this sort of thing for years in coffee shops and places she would visit …

I stopped by her side and suggested she watch out for R and we both looked over at R wiping away her tears …

I know that R is in good hands … P will watch out for her, as will God!

I left saying to God … “well that was an interesting morning … I saw a friend, had a tea, and had an encounter waiting for me …thank you” and I smiled at Him feeling my deep love for Him, and feeling His deep love for me … it had been a good morning …

I drove home knowing that had I rushed home instead of going to Bunnings for a padlock; had I not stopped for a cuppa I didn’t have time to stop for … I would have missed R, for she was not on the cashier when I was originally heading out … and P would have missed it to know to watch out for her …

I knew that had I not listened to God but listened to my own logic to collect the plumber’s piping that I needed to return that I may have been side tracked with workmen or other matters at home and I potentially would not have got up to Bunnings at all …

I knew that had I not stopped and listened to the fleeting idea; had I not recognised the fleeting idea as God’s idea, and not my own; had I not checked what God wanted me to do with my time that morning; had I not put my agenda on hold for God’s agenda … I would have definitely missed it … I would have missed seeing a friend, being blessed with a chat and a tea and I would have certainly missed being positioned to release God’s love into someone’s life …

Instead, I am so glad that I did listen, and through practice over time I have learnt to stop and check with God when such inconvenient or strange ideas pops into my head from seemingly nowhere … that sometimes those crazy ideas are not so crazy … but God ideas and that He is inviting us to co-labour with Him to work in the family business …

I have missed it so often … but through missing it and letting Holy Spirit speak to me in loving kindness, to teach and train me, I now miss less than I once did.  I had nothing to lose to follow the prompting I felt … and if I got it wrong, I knew my obedience would still please Him … My audience of One …  even if I was wrong I would have got the padlock that I needed.  So often He has us stop for the one as we go about our business … and because of this willingness to stop and to contemplate an idea that made no sense according to my agenda, I was given the privilege to pray for someone and to co-labour with the Creator of the Universe , and in so following God’s agenda rather than my own R now knows that God cares, God loves her and God is real … she had a real encounter to hold onto, she surely experienced a loving Father and this will show her that …

God is Good!

OMG! God IS Good!

People have such crazy ideas about God.  So often I have found that if I offer to pray for them they often think the worst …

“Oh, no … am I going to die … do I need prayer … what’s wrong …?”

When so often, I have no idea why He wants me to pray, He just wants me to offer … the rest is up to Him, my job is to obey, do as He asks, do as He would have done … the rest is His job … and He is so very good at His job …

We extend the kingdom … he builds the church …

And so I found myself pondering this after having prayed for a girl that was quietly reading a book on a bench on the side of the street.

She had local hospital dog tags on, and had obviously finished for the day.  I had felt to turn left out of a shop, rather than right, to walk home. 

“Ok God” … I thought “… what are we doing?”

I turned the corner and I saw her sitting there, in the sunshine, on the last day of the year reading quietly, and I felt His familiar nudging … “ask her if you can pray

I had nothing else, no word of knowledge, no amazing insight, no prophetic wisdom or declaration that I knew I would and could shower her with … just one girl with her God offering to pray with no idea why …

Regardless, I walked up to her gently, excused my interruption and offered to pray. I have learnt to do so, regardless of me  (click here for relevant motivation for why I will stop when prompted … because you just never know!). Her first comment was …

“Oh why, there is nothing wrong with me …  I do hope everything is ok …”

I smiled and said, “I don’t know why He wanted me to ask you this, but I just know He does, perhaps He just wants me to bless you, and in me stopping to pray, He is letting you know that He loves you …”

And so I took her hand and invited the Holy Spirit to come and I got …

Nothing!

Zip!

So I blessed her, and as I did I got … nothing … and so I released peace and favour and felt Him say just that her time in Australia was not yet done (she was from Canada) … she agreed saying that she was really happy and had no intentions of going back to Canada … “ok … so nothing new there” I thought (note irony of thought, and dry Aussie sense of humour tone) …

And with that … I felt Him say “that’s it”, so I thanked her for her time, and went on my way … feeling a bit of a twit … but having obeyed, and having let it go, because who knows, but God, why He wants things done as and when He does … ?

I have learnt this on my journeys and travels with God … I cannot hold onto the feeling of “silly” if I am going to keep extending His kingdom into the earth …

Extend the Kingdom … my job … build the church … His job!

How do I extend the Kingdom? … obedience to His voice, His desires, His promptings … no matter what …

Scary? … Yes! … Impssible? … No!  Do I fail? … All the time!  Do I make mistakes?  … Yes! … But I keep at it and keep getting better 🙂 and as I do I feel, sense, hear and know Him more and more … and that is worth the challenge …

As I walked away I thought of all the times I had offered to pray for people and their first instinct was “oh no, what’s wrong?” … I even had one girl say “oh no, am I going to die?” to which I laughed and said “no, He just wants you to know He is real, loves you and wants a relationship with people …”

That time the girl didn’t quite get it … but it didn’t matter … because I cannot pray and not affect change … for powerful and effective are the prayers of a righteous person! And so, if I pray in accordance with His heart for others, always releasing love, hope, faith, joy, peace, grace, forgiveness, understanding … with the ingredients of the Kingdom of Heave in mind, I cannot go far wrong … and my prayers, which are powerful (because He says they are) cannot do anything but bless …

And so, I left the girl on the bench seat, and walked on in the sunshine … musing over why so many would think of problems or sickness in relationship to prayer and God and I realised that too few people really know the heart of God … His love, His grace, His favour … I know but a particle of His goodness …

I believe we must keep spreading the word, telling the stories of His goodness, keep blessing people with random acts of kindness, keep offering Him to the world so that both Christians and non-Christians alike can see that … OMG! Is not just a short handed expletive but OH MY God … MY …

God, IS Good!

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