Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘stopping for the one’

And they saw as the Father saw because God is Good!

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!

 

 

Stop, listen, obey, bless … God is Good!

We are currently running a connect group called “Sitting at the Feet of the Father”.  The purpose of this group is to encourage others (and ourselves) to fully step into our identity in Christ, and in doing so, not only will we lead a love filled, victorious life in Christ, but we will be blessed to be a blessing.  Being filled with God’s love cannot but overflow to those around us as we go!

Graham Cooke’s many teachings (both free resources and bought) at Brilliant Perspectives has been, well … brilliant!

Last night we wrote double-blind prophetic words for people we did not know (they were mature Christian who knew what we were doing so they were a safe place to land).  It was time to step out of the boat.  Giving lovely words to one another within the safety of the group is one thing, but to turn our gaze outwards, to others we don’t know, well that spells “R.I.S.K” which when its God directed is actually called FAITH.  We look forward to hearing about the impact of the words soon.

I have no doubt that God is good, and that He wants to speak to us more than we want to hear Him.  I also have no doubt that God is good and that He wants to speak to us about others, more than we want to hear Him.

Last Sunday, our pastor was preaching on the kindness, on the love of God.  My daughter had a friend at church, who subsequently sobbed and gave her heart to Christ.  My daughter had said that this friend was her “one” that God had highlighted to her as the one she would lead to Christ un this season (our church has a program currently called “everyone lead one”).

One of the members of our connect group, who I will call John, said he was also touched deeply by the message.  That same day, while leaving a local shopping centre, having grown in listening and obeying, he saw a busker who, in his view, wasn’t that good at busking – but God wanted John to bless the busker with everything John had in his wallet.  John argued, he resisted, he said to God “$2 is enough”.  However, God was adamant and John knew that he was to give the busker everything he had in his wallet.  John argued some more, and said “I’ll give him $2” and even went to get the change from his car, but God would not let up, so John obeyed, and gave the busker everything he had in his wallet.  John said the busker was quite overwhelmed.

I call that a “win”!

John heard from God.  He obeyed God.  He blessed a man busking, and even though he did not pray, preach, teach or even mention Jesus, I believe that John left a fragrance of Heaven, that changed the atmosphere, and that the fragrance left will stay with the busker to recognise again, it was an encounter with the generosity and love of God, for the busker, and for John.  For we do not battle “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12 NIV).  Fruit of the Spirit practised and grown is warfare in the Spirit … it shifts atmospheres and changes realities.

What is God asking you to do?

Could you pay for the next person’s coffee in the line at the coffee shop?  Just whisper the instructions to the person at the til, and feel the atmosphere shift around you.

Could you buy a homeless person some groceries?  A single mum in our group did that recently, she didn’t know if it was in direct obedience to a God prompting, she just felt to do it.  I suggested that she was listening and moving as the Spirit directed, without her even knowing it. She left the fragrance of God.

Could you leave a gift on the step of someone you know that is struggling with an emotional challenge, or that may be lonely?

What about asking God for a simple word of encouragement?  Write it down on a card, and pop it into the person’s letter box.  If that is too hard, or takes up too much time, text it, and let the person know you (and God) are thinking about them.  And if someone does come to mind – don’t forget to pray for them too!

Or could you even offer to pray for the one you walk by on the street, the one that God highlights to you as needing prayer?  Can you feel His nudge? Can you hear His gentle prompting?  He loves you with a furious love; and He loves those you walk past every day with a similarly furious love too.

I trust that as you stop and ask God who He would like to encourge, He will show you someone, and I encourage you to listen and obey, and as you do I know both you and the person will be blessed because …

God is Good!

 

 

The sweet sweet presence of God – God is Good!

Last week my husband and I went for a walk up to our local supermarket. It had been very hot and we were treating our children, who were at home watching a movie, to some ice cream.

As we checked out our few items at self-service, I noticed that the young girl overseeing the area had a bandage wrapped around her right hand.  I looked at her and smiled, and felt the familiar nudge from God.  I didn’t want to ignore the nudge, but I also didn’t want to force it.  The checkout kiosk closest to her had just become clear, so I made my way over to it with our items.

As we stood and checked out our items, I turned to her and motioning to her bandage I mentioned that it looked nasty and I asked her how she did it.  She responded that she had cut it deeply with a kitchen knife …

I winced in sympathy, and said to her “this may seem a little strange but, could I pray for your hand to be healed quickly?  I’m a Christian and I would love to pray for you.”

“Sure” she said and I told her my name as she told me hers and I put my hand out to take her hand gently in mine, as she, misunderstanding my gesture, went to shake my hand in greeting.

“No … sorry”, I smiled “I just want to touch your hand gently” and she nodded  leaving her hand out for me to pray, and I prayed, touching her hand gently with mine.

The sense of God swept over us and as it did I felt that she was looking for a new job.  I looked at her and asked her if this was the case and she nodded … looking a little blown away (I was pretty sure she felt the power of God too) and so I prayed for her new job, I prayed for favour and for the doors of her destiny to open, for her to find what she was created for, and that she would flourish …

Finishing up, I thanked her for allowing me to pray and wished her a brilliant day and we left.

This is a simple story, but the sense of God’s presence was powerful, and the sense of His sheer pleasure as I did as He desired was gentle and sweet.

As we walked home, neither my husband nor I mentioned anything about it.  For me anyway, it felt like a very sweet holy moment, and I nearly didn’t want to discuss it.  Eventually, about half way home  A turned to me and said “well done” and gave me a hug and he then said “did you feel the anointing on that?  It was powerful and I wondered if you felt it …”

I nodded saying I had, and I said that it had felt good to step out and pray for her in that way with such a clear leading from the Holy Spirit, with no striving, no fear, and with such a strong sense of His presence as I did what He asked …

In fact it just felt good to be out walking, doing life and stopping for the one because …

God is Good!

She keeps on seeing that God is Good! (Praise report and more)

This afternoon we had 5 children who needed to get outside, and although the Spring warmth turned cold and windy, we decided to head down to a nearby bay side beach.  After a bit of a play, we stopped at a bayside cafe for a cuppa.  My husband and I have been visiting this place for nearly 20 years.  In that time a young Russian girl started working there.  At the time she was young and single, a beautiful girl with an amazing loyal work ethic.  She is now is older, still beautiful and still works hard.  Time and again we have showed up and when we have seen her, we have seen that God has had her set in His sights.

To give some history, the first time I prayed for her, she was wanting a visa, we prayed for her, sensing at the time that God wanted us to stop and pray for her.  We offered, she said “yes” and we prayed.  Her visa came.

A while later, we visited again, and I sensed that she would dearly love to meet someone who she could share a life with, someone to marry and start a family.  As yet, at the time, she had not met anyone, and she was lonely.  I can remember sensing again this time to offer to pray, she said yes and confirmed that my feeling was right, she did want to meet someone special, and so I prayed, feeling God’s heart on it, and she agreed with tears.  Not long after, she met a man, whom she married and has been the love of her life.

A few years passed before we saw her again.  I don’t know why, but our paths did not cross.  I can remember seeing her and thinking she would not recognise me, but she did as I enquired about her life and whether she had met anyone.  She had, and was married!  Naturally I was delighted, and again as she spoke I felt a gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit.   I was sensing that she wanted a child, but I had to go cautiously on this one.  I asked her gently, explaining that I knew it was none of my business, if she wanted children.  Her demeanour dropped as she explained, she desperately wanted children but had not yet become pregnant.  I explained my sense, and she agreed to prayer, tears coming down her cheeks.  I gently prayed and she received in faith, and …. 😉

The next time I saw her was a few months later, she was clearly pregnant (GO God!).  She was beaming and so very happy.  She was still working hard at the cafe but she was happy, content and looking forward to the birth of her child … I was delighted …

A period of time passed again, and we did not see her for some time, but eventually, I’m not sure the time frame, we saw her and she said life was good.  She had her baby, she had her husband, she had her job … I looked at her and as we spoke I “saw” a house with a little white picket fence and I offered to pray, asking her about whether she wanted a home of her own – she did, so I told her what I “saw” and we prayed …

Well, I saw her again today.  I can’t remember if I knew that she had bought land or not, but today I said hello, she remembered us with a smile as she cleared the table, and I asked her if she had her home.  She replied that they had their land but they were waiting for the permits for the builder to build and it had been a year of trying to get the paperwork.  So yes, I offered to pray again, reminding her of the visa, the husband, the child (who she said was now four years old) and said let’s pray, and so I took her hand and called in the paperwork to completion, I called that home in for her in the name of Jesus, and she stood and received and smiled and agreed saying “yes please Jesus”, because she knows beyond a doubt that …

God is Good!

And he was seen – Praise report God is Good!

My last story, “And he was seen – God is Good” was about a young man who was at the end of his dance training in an elite training facility.  He had felt that he had never been seen, that somehow he was hidden, but one night God had other plans.  A few months ago I felt God asked me to step out and stop to pray for him.  I was to declare that it was his time to be seen, to shine, and for the doors of his destiny to open … I was to declare those doors open in the name of Jesus Christ.

Well God has been busy in this young mans life.  I saw him yesterday, and he gave me permission to write a further story outlining what else had happened so far.

What this young man told me after the first encounter was that he had been contacted by the director of a great British dance company, and he had been offered a job – just after we had prayed and released God’s will on earth through prayer and declaration.  The start date of this job offer was a little early (this year), and would not have allowed the young man to complete his training and qualifications, and so we prayed for favour as he wrote to the director to negotiate a later start date.  In response to his email, the director did offer a later start date, but it was a little too late (late next year), and so we prayed again that the job would be brought forward, and that the contracts would be coming forthwith, and yes, he was offered an earlier start date, which allowed him travel time, time to settle and a great start time … and the contracts came …

Unbeknown to him, I started to ask God that he would be seen by a major Australian company, that he would be seen and given opportunities to shine …

A couple of weeks ago, I saw him in his workplace, looking tired but happy and he said that the director of the Australian company had given him opportunities to dance with the touring company.  The roles he had been offered were unexpected, but very welcomed by him.  He explained that the director had recognised particular gifts in him for a few roles, and so gave him the roles in their touring arm of the company … it was his chance to shine … and so he did 🙂

I was delighted as he told me his story, and I fessed up that I had been praying for him.  I then encouraged him to rest, since he looked very tired, and he allowed me to pray for a deep refreshing rest as he came into this current season of exams and finalisation of his education.

Unexpectedly, I saw this young man again yesterday morning.  I greeted him and asked how things were going for him, and to my absolute delight he happily told me that a great interstate dance company had offered him a contract, as had a major New Zealand company,  but, he said he was still planning to pursue the British offer – he said it felt right in his heart. I was so pleased for him and said so, telling him that when God opened those doors He really opened those doors … he laughed agreeing with me.

With the year-end coming I asked when his exams were, and I said I would pray for him.  I mentioned that it would be lovely if he would let me know by email how he gets on occasionally.  He said he would.  I said that he was on a wonderful journey, and I hoped he knows that he is loved by a good God.  For him at this stage, he has said to me that he isn’t too sure what that grid looks like, what it’s all about.  I explained that it was ok for him not to be too sure – it was a journey of discovery, that God was pursuing him – all he need to do was to pray and ask for God’s guidance, about anything, and God would respond.   I explained that there would be a quiet assurance that he would feel about the right decisions and choices, that one of the ways to know is that he is at peace with the decision, that it would sit right in his heart …

Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].  (Colossians 3:15)  See link here

I said to him that as a Christian I believe I know what happened for him, and who it was that had asked me to pray for him, but I explained that he was on his own journey.  I said I was happy to answer any questions he had to the best of my ability, but it was his journey, and that no-one could or should force the issue on him.  I then briefly told him about a friend who was deeply afraid of the Christian faith and who had, over a 3-4 year journey, discovered the Christian God for herself.  I explained that she was now a worship leader in her local church.  I added, with emphasis, that it was her journey with God … and so too it would be his journey with God.

As many of you will know, a journey with God is not a single encounter, but a life journey, a continuous coming deeper into a relationship with a loving God.  So, I am trusting that this young mans’ encounter with a loving God will continue.  I hope he will reach out to God for himself as he steps into this next phase of his life.  I hope he is able to establish a grid for what has happened for him to date, as he comes to know that God thoroughly and absolutely adores him for him, just as he is.  I am trusting and hoping that he will continue to discover that, without any doubt …

God is Good!

And he was seen – God is Good!

I have been meaning to write this story up for a few weeks now … and with what came next  I knew it was high time I got my skates on!

Two or three weeks ago, I was purchasing a few items in a little local organic shop near where my children attend a regular activity.  This particular shop is just across from an elite training facility in dance, and over the last few years that I have shopped there, it has hired a number of the older students, who are often in their final year of training. On this particular night I looked at the young man serving me, and felt a promoting to pray for him.  It turned out he was in his final year of training at the facility across the road.  I mentioned my unction, and asked him if I could pray for him … he readily agreed, and I took his hand in mine and, although I felt the familiar nerves, I proceeded to pray .

I felt prompted to call in his destiny … and as I did I sensed that he had not felt seen for the years that he had trained at this facility (and it had been years!).  I felt that he had not only felt this way, but in fact he had been overlooked … not seen … and so I called him into the light, I declared that he would be seen, and that the doors of his destiny would open in the name of Jesus …

I stopped and looked at him and explained what I felt and what I had prayed.  He said to me that it was exactly how he had felt.  That he had never been seen, that he was constantly overlooked, or so he felt …

He asked me my name and I gave him my first name, and he then asked for my surname … it seemed important for him to know who I was … and so I told him … and he thanked me, he looked like he had felt something, but I didn’t ask …

I went to leave, but as I did I felt a boldness come over me, and I knew it was time for him to be seen, just as I had prayed.  I saw a picture of him which I described for him … and as I described it I acted it out in that little store, a little embarrassed, but really want him to know he was not to strive …

I said that he was a king, like royalty, a prince and that he was to imagine that he was, much like the roles he danced, and as I said this I stood as tall as I could and I started to step forward, and motioned with my arms that as royalty walked through doors, that there was no effort on their behalf to open such doors, that doors were opened for them … and I acted this out for him … and then I turned and looked at him and said …

… “this is how it will be for you … you will walk and the doors will open, no effort from you, you will not need to push, you just need to walk it out … like a king, the double doors will open” and he nodded with understanding, seemingly encouraged … and I said “I call it in Jesus name” … and I smiled saying to him “no effort, no striving, it will just happen … and I look forward to hearing about it!”

Well …

I was in this little shop with a friend on Monday night.  This young man was working again and I smiled at him and said hello and he smiled back. I chatted briefly to my friend while she had her tea, and as we got up to leave  he stopped me and said smiling:

“… you remember a few weeks ago you prayed for me, well …”

I looked and felt such joy rise up inside me … “you’ve been offered a contract!?” I said

“I have” he said … I wanted to hug him  with the sheer pleasure of hearing such news … and I told him so and he invited me to hug him … so I did!

“God IS Good!” I said, and he said back “he is.”

He told me that just after I had prayed for him he had been offered a contract with a company overseas.  The company had wanted him to start with them this year, but he had decided to finish his course, and they were happy to wait for him, so he would go early next year … I jumped with sheer delight … and I hugged him again …

I raced out to collect my boy … googling the company … and then after collecting my son I popped back and he told me that he had auditioned for a role in this company in a visiting show here in town.  The strange thing was, he had not got any part in the local staging of the show … but he had been later contacted by the people that he had auditioned before,  and they asked if they could pass on his contact details to the company’s director, who had expressed a desire to speak with him directly.  He agreed, and the director, on contacting him, had offered him a contract of employment overseas, in a terrific company … he was absolutely delighted … and I was too!

I smiled and repeated “God IS Good!” and I told him that all I had done was prophesy, to hear God’s heart for him and his life and to release it in prayer … he nodded in agreement, and seemed to understand … we both knew it was answered prayer, and he said to me maybe one day you will come and see me dance … and I said what a pure pleasure that would be … and oh what an encouragement to me this little story has been, I smiled all the way home for the sheer joy of seeing God love on another human being, to be a part, even a tiny part, of another human being’s journey, to let them see that, even if others had not seen him, God had seen him,  and God had not forgotten him … such answers to prayers, such answers to prophetic decrees makes stopping for the one, even with nerves at times, still so very worth it because …

God is Good!

 

Prayer, peace and plugging in … God is Good!

A friend received some shocking news recently.  Her ex husband, who had been imprisoned for some serious crimes against her, was released without her knowledge a year or 2 before he was due to be released.  The history was nasty and not something I will cover here, suffice to say, when she received the news she went into serious shock at the news.

This girl became a friend through an activity that our children shared a few years ago.  She had been a person I had felt to stop and pray for about 3 years ago, as I went about my day.  God had shown up powerfully for her in the foyer of this place, and after the encounter with a loving God she sought me out and asked if she could come to my home to be prayed for again.  I agreed, and so a pattern was established that she would seek me out for prayer, especially when she was struggling.  She got a taste of a good God, and she wanted more …

Over the years we have prayed about her work, her children, her future, her fears and her hopes.  Healing has come for her, and she has seen God come through for her and her girls time and again … maybe not in her timing … but always His timing has been … perfect!

Each time we prayed God has encouraged her, loved her and wooed her closer.  She would visit my home for about an hour, and she would leave at peace and empowered with a “now word” from God to give her a future and a hope, all the while I encouraged her to read particular scriptures, to seek God’s face for herself, knowing that she also had direct access, that I was not the answer, just merely a messenger, a teacher and a sign post to Him.

By her second or third visit she gave her heart to Jesus and she had started to seek His face for herself in her life.  Our paths continued to cross, but with less regularity, yet she would continue to seek out prayer when she was struggling.  A text would come, I would make time and she would visit.  I knew some, but not all of her back story, so it was with sadness that I received her text recently telling me of her ex husband’s release.  When I read it my heart sank … I felt so strongly for her and her girls and the fear they must have been experiencing …

In response to her text I instantly prayed – feeling quite useless knowing that I couldn’t fix this one … this one was well beyond me … it was beyond her … it was basically well beyond anyone … but God!

I felt an anointing flow as I drove and prayed. I hoped, I trusted, that she would feel God with her, she needed His tangible presence at this time … and when I got home I texted to let her know I had been praying peace for her and her girls …

I saw her later that week.  She wanted and needed more prayer, in person, and she needed a cuddle, and so my husband and I made time.  We stopped in our busyness to be with her, to give her a word of encouragement, including the word “plugged in”.  We knew it was time for her to connect … not just with us, not just with God … but into a body that could care, pray and walk with her through this time …

She said that she hadn’t known what to do when she got the news.  She was paralyzed with fear and shock. She just knew to text for prayer, and so she did … and the peace came not long after.  I couldn’t call her or text her at the time, but as soon as I saw the text I started to pray knowing the stress she would have been experiencing. She knew I would pray and she told me she felt a flow of serene peace … a peace that she just could not explain … and she knew the text had got through and been responded to … she knew I was praying for her, she knew God was there for her to hang onto.  She had said at the time that the peace was amazing, but she also felt comfort that there was someone who cared enough to be available to text and to pray …

She continues the journey.  It has not been an easy few weeks, but she has now taken the next step to get “plugged in” … she is plugging in deeper with God and she is getting plugged into a local Christian community with our family (oh the blessing of a local church!).  I believe that it will be in that community (rather than it just being me and God) that healing will come.  I am trusting and hoping that community will form around her to walk with her and her girls, and that she will continue to heal, and learn how to walk knowing that God will protect her because …

God is Good!

 

 

 

 

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