Today I witnessed the most beautiful thing. I sat through a three hour long service where the message was on the renewal of the mind through the Holy Spirit. The message was great;it was one of those “on point” messages, that gave me some much needed encouragement. This however wasn’t the highlight of the service for me.
The church I visited today is a small one with about two dozen persons in attendance including just over half a dozen children. Throughout the service the children; between 4 and 7 years old, kept interrupting the pastor with their occasional bursts of laughter or the sudden increase in their volume whenever the game they were playing reached a high-point. The pastor who has four children of his own, used admirable techniques to keep the little group in check without causing somber looks to cover their faces.
At the end of the message the pastor asked anyone who needed prayer to come to the altar. Surprisingly enough the entire group of little ones were the first to rush to the altar in a neat line awaiting prayer. While this in itself was enough to put a smile on my face what happened next caused me to marvel silently. The pastor diligently prayed for all the youngsters who made their way to the front and when he reached one little girl in particular, the congregation was asked to stretch their hands toward her as he believed God to heal her body. At this point all of her young comrades stood around her and stretched their hands toward her believing God for her healing as instructed.
I can’t say whether they understood what they were doing or not, but the the obedience they executed was astonishing. They didn’t question what was asked of them nor did they stop to work out the logistics of how this healing would take place or anything of the sort. They simply did as instructed and lifted their hands toward their friend.
As I looked on in awe I began comparing their radical obedience to the lack of such in my life. There are so many times I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking me to act and although I knew the command was not of myself but of God I never moved. I always stop and wonder how foolish I’d look or sound if I do what I was being led to do especially if the results aren’t what I expect it to be.What would my friends say, or my coworkers? Would I look like a crazy woman? What if it wasn’t God, what then? These questions would usually cripple me and I’d soon be praying a prayer of repentance for neglecting to act and asking God to embolden me for the next encounter.
Tonight I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I simply act from now on. If like those children I do what God is asking me to do and see what the results are? What if I put self and pride aside and take the risk? The truth is I don’t know if I can do it. I can’t say if I have the courage to speak to the stranger in the street or stop and lay hands on the woman who has a back injury in my office and believe God for her healing.
My heart’s desire is to be radically obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I always marvel at the stories I hear of persons who acted and saw the miraculous wonders of God manifested through them and my heart aches for such an experience. Watching those children’s radical obedience has challenged me. Tonight I have decided to act the next time I’m led to. I’m going to believe God to work through me and I’ll exercise radical obedience when next I am called upon to do so. Knowing God the call would probably come when I least expect it and the instruction might be the furthest thing from my mind but what I do know is the experience would be one I would never forget.
What about you? Have you acted and seen God move through you before? or do you, like me suffer from fear when called upon to act? I’d love to hear what your experience has been like.
I hope that you’d remember to pray for me in this area and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.