Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Good Night…

It started on Friday night. We soaked in the presence of God before going out, praying specifically for a lady with cancer that the doctors gave 2 weeks to live. We will not lose this one! Several folks from the church have been fasting and praying with all their heart, believing that God will touch and heal her. Anyway, the presence of God was thick; we juiced up and prepared to leave.

When we arrived at the parking lot, I sent a group from our team to prayer walk the perimeter of the lot, an idea that I was given by an African evangelist friend of mine. He told us to prayer walk the perimeter of the lot, praying that God would arrest everyone inside the perimeter for the Gospel and that they would have to hear what we had to say. They went on their way and the other half of the team started walking the lot, asking the Holy Spirit to show us who to talk to. We started out feeling aggressive; believing that what has been happening the last several weeks would start again. Things have been getting hot lately, with lots of screaming, yelling and anger going around as we confront the religious demons.

We started aggressive, but when we were looking around, there was really no one to get aggressive with. So we just kept walking. A few minutes later, we bead in on a young guy who looks like he could get rowdy. I walk over to him and start the dialogue with, “So, what’s it gonna be tonight? Are you going to get born again or are you going to go to hell?” He (Rusty) looks dead at me and says, “Born again, I guess”. His buddy that’s hanging with him (Josh) walks up and says, “You shouldn’t say stuff like that, it makes people feel bad”.

We start questioning Josh a bit and find out that he was one of the kids we had talked to a couple of weeks before. We were very confrontational a couple weeks before and he tells us that when he went home, he felt bad about his brand of Christianity. He explained to us that he wants to do right, but keeps doing wrong. We explain the empowering of the Holy Spirit to him and encourage him to go 100% with Jesus and stop playing religious games. We have his attention because a good friend of his had just died the week before in a car accident. He had known the guy for years and never said anything about Jesus to him, because he was afraid. He told us, “I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is burning in hell right now”.

This gets Rusty’s attention, so we shamelessly use the opportunity to discuss Rusty’s eternity. Rusty hears the Gospel and is ready to get born again. Right before I am about to lead him to Jesus, the Holy Spirit speaks to me and tells me to let the backslider win his own friend to the Lord. So I point at Josh and tell him, “This is what we’re going to do. You are going to lead Rusty to Jesus, ok?” Josh agrees. The two of them get in Josh’s car to pray and we are leaning in the windows, hearing what they are saying. They talk for a minute or two and start praying. Our former backslider starts asking God for forgiveness for leading a compromised life and proceeds to lead his friend to the Lord. They pray the prayer, Rusty says, “Jesus is Lord” and they’re in! A sinner and a backslider, both saved with one prayer.

One guy, Mike, comes up to me and I recognize him as a guy we really ticked off a few weeks before. He was this smart mouthed punk that was telling everyone that he was 75% Christian. I told him that he was 100% going to hell and that doing it part of the way wouldn’t get him in. We preached the Gospel to him that night and he did nothing but mock us the entire time. I remember leaving him feeling discouraged that he wasn’t listening to what we had to say.

So he comes up to me, shakes my hand and starts the conversation with, “Do you remember me?” I tell him that yes, I remember him. He says to me, “When you talked to me that time a few weeks ago, what you said messed with me all week”. “So, what did you do with it?” I asked. “After a week, I gave my life to Jesus!” Mike tells me. The Holy Spirit had been working on him the entire week, reminding him of the conversation we had. It had produced a conviction of sin and after a week of being under conviction, he had given his life to the Lord! It was a real deal too, you could see the light of God in His eyes! He tells me that every time that he picks up the Bible, the words jump off the page to him. “It’s like the book is alive!” he tells us.

The night goes on and everyone we talk to is literally “arrested” by the Gospel. They just stand there while we preach to them. Everyone we talked to that night got born again! Three new believers and one rededicated backslider!

5 comments:

Fernando said...

Hi,

Inspirational stuff! Our God is a mighty God. But some things I don't quite understand from what you write.

You write you start feeling agressive. What do you mean by this?

I also don't understand what you mean by the presence of God being 'thick'?

It is maybe because I am not a native speaker, but could you please elaborate a bit on this.

Anyway, it is great to read that the Lord is really using you to go out and preach the Good News of the cross! At the cross, Jesus overcame our sins, our sickness, our shame, our curse, etc. He alone delivered us from all these things that day! Great to read that you submitted to His will to walk His walk!

In Christ,
Fernando

Ryan Lawson said...

When I say, "Feeling agressive", I mean that we are ready and prepared for whatever persecution or situaton that may arise as we preach the Gospel.

When I say, the presence of God is "thick" I am talking about a tangible presence of God resting on our physical bodies.

Make sense now?

Ryan

Fernando said...

Yes, thank you very much!

In Christ,
Fernando

MaryAnn M said...

the "aggressive" thing had me concerned too...
I still think i would like to make the trek to Atlanta and join you..but the going out and being aggressive didnt sound like what I think of when doing this sort of thing....

Ryan Lawson said...

Yeah, it's not for everybody. These guys that we are reaching have some very rough edges. Just this last weekend, we almost got into a fight...