Saturday, July 01, 2006

“The Good Guys Don’t Hide”

That’s a line I heard from a movie some time ago that stuck with me. I actually think that it’s Biblical and we try to practice it in every situation. When we’re witnessing out in the parking lots and the police sweep in to arrest folks that are breaking the law and loitering, etc., at first we wanted to run with all of the other kids. Then it hit me, “Hey, we’re doing nothing wrong! We have no reason to hide!” I mean, after all, we’re out there witnessing to people about Jesus, leading people to the Lord and healing the sick Why should we (the good guys) run like chickens from the police? Sure, there are laws that tell people to not loiter, but we’re not loitering, we’re working for the Gospel! So I made it a policy, “Don’t run from the police”.

It’s actually come in handy a few times. It makes us stand out from the crowd. We’ll be standing there talking to people and preaching when the police will fly into the parking lot, sometimes 3-4 cop cars strong. They are there to break up groups of people, check for drugs and arrest bad people doing bad things. So when they roll in, everyone runs for their cars and tries to get the heck out of there. When we just stand there, unaffected by the police, it makes a statement. A couple of times the police have come to us (seeing that we are the only people left) to ask us what was just going down and who the bad guys are. Because we didn’t run, they assumed we were ok and not doing anything wrong. And we are!

Last weekend we saw this principle demonstrated and it made quite an impact on a group of kids who thought they were hot stuff. Friday we went down to be with a group of believers in Newnan, GA. It was a good time as we were able to preach, teach and minister Friday night and then on Saturday morning, about 30 people descended on the streets of Newnan to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out devils. There were several healings as ankles, arms, backs and necks were healed instantly, on the street, in Wal-Mart and at Home Depot.


AN INVITATION
One of the places that we went was the projects. One minute in the neighborhood and you could discern that there are some rough people here doing some rough stuff. I always like to scan the area, looking for the biggest and most intimidating sinners we can find. We go to them FIRST. It’s like William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army said, “Go for sinners and go for the Worst!” So there was a group of about 6-7 kids, dressed like gang bangers. When we drove through their cul-de-sac, they gave us the “evil eye”. They stepped off the curb, walked towards us and made motions like they were reaching for something in there belt as if to say “get out of here!”

Well to some, that would be a put off, but to me it’s an invitation! All we were doing was looking for a place to park but they were looking to rumble and intimidate. Bring it on! We park the car down the street from them and walk up the long sidewalk headed their way. You could tell right off the bat that they were surprised, as if no one looking like we did (four preppy white boys) would dare approach such mean “gangsters” like them! Whatever. I have learned something ministering on the streets and it's this, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall… to the Gospel!” So we walked right up to them and immediately started with, “Listen, we’re here to tell you that the Kingdom of God is on the earth and Jesus is King!”

They weren’t impressed.

They told us, one by one, how they believe in God and how they pray at night. So I pressed it, “Even the demons believe in God!” (James 2:19) I said. “So that won’t do. My question to you is this, Is Jesus your King and Lord? Is He your boss? Do you go where He says go and do you do what He says do? Do you live your entire life for Him?” They got the picture. We weren’t playing and this wasn’t about “come to church”. We were confronting their spiritual condition and they were getting uncomfortable. After a few minutes they stopped playing and they stopped pretending. They got honest real quick and admitted that they weren’t living right and they were doing some messed up stuff.

We implored them to repent TODAY as there is no guarantee of tomorrow and the Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation. A couple of the guys even told us that they have been thinking of getting straightened out, but they weren’t quite ready yet, they wanted to live their own lives their way for a little while longer. What a deception! I pulled no punches and went into graphic detail of what a life like theirs can lead to. Sudden, instant death due to foolish behavior is common with these thugs. We even mentioned getting busted by the police and flushing their lives away with jail time. Totally unimpressed by the words we had to say and the message that we had to preach, we pushed in for a supernatural demonstration.

I had to press in to the Lord to get anything prophetically, but after a few minutes of standing there with little to say, it started to flow. The Lord began to show us stuff about how they were into drugs and women. We prophesied over a couple of the guys, revealing giftings and callings in them. I called one guy out as a leader and told him that I saw some young ones watching his every move. He freaked a little and obviously had some younger siblings that he was conscious of. Another guy we called out as a trail blazer and a “doer”. I told him I saw that when other guys were talking about doing something, he would just go and do it! The other guys in the group started telling us that we were right on and that we must know him or something!

We asked the usual stuff, were they or anyone in their family in need of a miracle or a healing? This usually starts a crack in the tough exterior, even with the skeptics. When they see that we are willing to demonstrate our message of the kingdom with a power demonstration (healings and miracles) they open up and give us a shot. Not so with these guys. They just wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard I preached to them on getting right TODAY, they all still held to the deception that some other day they would get right.

So, when they:

  1. Didn’t listen to the Gospel of the Kingdom
  2. Didn’t give us an opportunity to minister healing to them or their family
  3. Didn’t receive accurate prophetic words that revealed their destiny
The last thing I had in my arsenal was a proclamation. I just looked the lead guy in the eye and told him emphatically, “Since we can’t get your attention, then the Lord will have to. In the name of Jesus we're just going to pray that God do WHATEVER it takes to get your attention and help you see that we’re telling the truth.” So after that, we lingered a couple more minutes, but didn’t really have anything more to say.

Then God started to talk.


CHICKENS IN THE HOOD

About 3-5 minutes later, three police cruisers came barreling into the cul-de-sac where we were standing! Cops jump out of the cars and scramble towards the guys we are talking to. And guess who went running? The gentle Christians? Nope. The rough, “I’ll kill you for your shoes” thugs who minutes ago were totally unimpressed with the power of God went running like the chickens and sissies that they truly are! Beneath all of the posturing and pretending were a bunch of scared little boys. It was awesome. So they were running and we just stood there. They apparently had a warrant for one of the guys we were prophesying to just minutes before. They get him to the ground, frisk him and throw him up against the house, slapping cuffs on him. A couple of the other guys disappear to their homes while a few others regroup on a nearby front porch. We go up and talk to them. They’re freaked out but I don’t stop, I’m relentless: “Where did you guys go? What are you guys afraid of? Let me ask you, is that enough of a sign for you? Does God have your attention now?”

They are paying attention. One of the guys says, “Yeah, I need to get right. I have a girlfriend that’s been trying to get me straightened out. She was right, I should get right”. I tell a couple of the other guys hiding on the porch that “The good guys don’t hide”. I told them that if they walked in righteousness like us, then they wouldn’t have to run. All of a sudden, they are all ears. We find another one of the guys literally hiding inside of his house, looking out a screen window to see what’s going on. I walk up to the house and start really PREACHING through the window.

I read him the scripture in Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same: for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil.”

We tell him once again that TODAY is the day of salvation, not tomorrow. I look closer through the screen and realize that I have been preaching to a whole family gathered on the sofa. Grandma was motioning me to go on and saying "Amen!".

Well, when the day was done, none of them got down on their knees and repented.
But one thing I know is this; they were confronted with the truth and will never be the same.


3 comments:

Malinda said...

Totally freaking awesome testimony Ryan!! I am blessed to hear it. Jesus rocks!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks...my faith is being built up. God is so blessed by people who actually believe His word...thanks for living it. I'm unstoppable because of God in me...and I am following orders from headquarters. Be BLESSED!

Anonymous said...

Praise God For u guys -keep up the good work =thanks JESUS says thanks (: