Monday, December 05, 2005

Motivation

I have written before on “Why I Do What I Do”, but there is more to it than just the wonderful experience of changed lives and house churches. The truth is, we have had several memorable encounters on the streets that have changed us. These are the encounters I normally tell new folks coming out with us. It gives them an immediate sense of the seriousness and importance of what we are doing and encourages faithfulness. It’s also incredibly sobering.


ENCOUNTER #1
We had been in the neighborhoods a couple of months when we went by a little house on the main drag of our first neighborhood. When we knocked on the door, a couple kids came to the window. They were Hispanic and couldn’t speak great English so we told them, “El Reino De Dios, esta aqui!” (The Kingdom of God is at hand). They motioned for an older teenager to come to the door. He spoke good English and we began to talk. He told us that they were believers and they understood what we were saying. In a few minutes, the whole family (Five kids and a Mommy) were standing at the door, listening to what we said. We told them of the miracles and healings we were seeing in their neighborhood and asked them if there was anything we could pray for. The older teenager was translating this for us and all of a sudden, everyone in the family starts to tear up as he tells them about the miracles and healings. I ask what was wrong and he begins to tell me, “I wish you had come by just a few weeks ago, because our Dad died three weeks ago from a brain tumor.”

It turns out that their Dad was a Pastor, with five kids and a little wife and he had just died three weeks before, of a disease that we had the cure for! The worst part is, we were in his neighborhood and God was healing and performing miracles for his neighbors while he was on his deathbed! We went on to console them and prayed for the whole family and that was good, but the experience really stuck with me. What it showed me is that you never know what people are going through. All of the slammed doors in our face and the difficulties of preaching door to door don’t compare with that dying daddy on his deathbed, with his five kids gathered around. Every door we knock on is one closer to finding that impossible situation that Jesus can invade!


ENCOUNTER #2
We had been in the neighborhoods about six months and were in a new area close to the church. We came upon a house with a little boy who was about 4 years old, riding his bike up and down the driveway. His proud daddy was out there watching him go up and down, up and down the driveway. He had a ponytail and looked to be in his late thirties or early forties. We walked up to him, greeted him and shook his hand. I told him, “Listen, we’re here to tell you that Jesus is King and His Kingdom is on the earth!” He looked at us and said, “What’s that mean?” I told him, “Is there anyone in your house who is sick? We’ll show you what that means by bringing healing to this house.” Immediately his eyes started to water and his face got flushed. He looked at the ground and then back at us and said, “Not anymore”. I knew what he meant, and went straight to tears, but the couple others who were with me didn’t quite understand. So I asked him, “What happened?” He said, “My wife died this time last year of liver disease and left me without a wife and left my little boy without a mommy.” I looked over at the four year old and lost it. I couldn’t even imagine a little 3 year old kid having to get by without his mommy. My new friend and I just wept together. All I could do was say, “I am so sorry, Jesus could have healed your wife, but we didn’t get here in time”.

The back story is that for the last two and a half years, our church had been no more than half a mile from his doorstep. As he spoke to us, I was imagining the conferences, the meetings and the powerful worship and intercession that went on in our building. I was remembering all of the healings we had seen over the last couple of years in our church building, especially healings of liver disease. I was thinking about all of that power released in prayer and in worship. I was thinking about people having visions and seeing angels in our building. I was thinking about all of the powerful prophecy released in our meetings. I specifically thought about the prophecies about taking God outside of the church and about the coming street revival.

I then thought about how all of that power and all of that glory meant absolutely nothing to this man and his family. I thought about how the impact of our meetings hadn’t reached this family less than half a mile from our door. I thought about how the Lord told us to go and give away what we had freely received. I thought about how selfish it was to keep it to ourselves and I made a quality decision that day. I decided that as far as I was concerned, every bit of power, glory and the Presence of God that was released in our meetings would be distributed to our community. I decided that every touch from heaven would result in souls saved and the sick healed in the neighborhoods surrounding our church. I decided that I never, ever wanted to hear again, “Not anymore”.

“And as you go, proclaim, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give.” Matthew 10:7, 8

2 comments:

Nikolaj said...

Thank you for this. We really need to be told stuff like this. We so often forget to go out on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Ryan! What a wake-up call to the Western Church! Thank you for sharing.