Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It Happened Last Night

Last night, I had one of those moments of clarity that sharply brought into focus the “why” of what I do. It was one of those poignant moments that make what is worthwhile incredibly clear and what is worthless terribly dim. It’s moments like these that rekindle the passion in your heart as you watch Jesus do what He loves to do. It was so simple, yet so profound. God @ Work. Driving home, I was so touched by God’s goodness that I called everyone I could think of just to tell them what had happened. It wasn’t something spectacular, like a blind person seeing or lame person walking, but for whatever reason, it rocked me to the core more than any of those things.


ON AN ERRAND
Yesterday, my Dad spoke with his hairdresser about her Mom. Her Mom had been through several rounds of chemotherapy and was declared to be in remission from three different types of cancer. My Dad had prayed for her previously and she had received some good reports. Recently they found spots on her brain that they believe to be active cancer and she is gearing up for another round of chemo. We got permission from the hairdresser and her mom to stop by and pray for her before her next appointment with the doctor. At the church we had five different teams going to five different places in the community. I took Stephanie with me and off we went to find and pray for the lady with brain cancer.

We found the place pretty quickly and were invited inside to pray for her. She was obviously in a rush and almost before we got there she was asking us to leave. We quickly gave her some scriptures about “On earth as it is in Heaven…” and encouraged her that cancer is not from God, but from the enemy! She was with us, believing God for a miracle. We prayed for her. Nothing spectacular, just commanding the cancer to leave by the blood of Jesus. We felt the presence of God, but nothing over the top. We quickly wrapped our prayer and walked out the door.

It went by so quickly that we had more than an hour of daylight left by the time we left her house. I had one of those quick decision moments: do we head back to the church and call it a night? Or do we drive to the other side of town and hit a neighborhood for only 20-30 minutes? You see, this stuff is now a lifestyle, we do it all the time. To have an early night would be great. I’d get to see my kids before bed and have dinner with my wife, etc. But what would we be missing? I quickly chewed it over until I got to the end of the street. Decision time. Take a right and head back to the church? We’d be back around 8:00pm instead of our normal 8:30pm… Or take a left and preach?

We took a left.


THOMAS
We headed into the lower rent district of Marietta where our work is now centered. I had scouted several new neighborhoods and we drove though them quickly to determine where to go. After ruling two out (mainly Spanish speaking) we found a place that looked promising. We got out of the car and immediately were being suspiciously watched by the tenants through windows and doorways. This is one of those horrible, run down places where people are paying the cheapest rent, yet in front of one house is a $75,000 BMW. How does that work? D R U G S.

So we are no more than 30 steps out of the car and we see a shorter Latino man just kind of walking around the common area. I spot him because he has a VERY swollen cheek and that presents an opportunity to see God do the miraculous! Stephanie and I walked up to him and said hi. He was very friendly and greeted us warmly. I told him, “I’m here to tell you that Jesus is King and His Kingdom is here on the earth. And we are looking for opportunities to prove it.” I asked him what he thought about that and he was like, “Sure man, yeah, Jesus is great”. Very typical what we hear in the south. EVERYONE is a “Christian” around here. Yet not everyone has made Jesus their King and Lord and lives a laid down life of service to Him!

I pressed him, asking if there was anything we could pray for to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom. He told us that he was fine, etc. I asked him point blank about his swollen cheek and he told me that he was born with it, like it was a birthmark or something. He said it didn’t hurt and actually seemed quite proud of it. Quickly I’m seeing that healing won’t be the doorway to his heart and I silently begin to ask God to show us something that will get his attention.

The daylight was fading and the apartment started to buzz a little, people were milling all around us. I stalled for a minute, asking him if he lived here, etc. but all the time I was listening, “Lord, what do you have to say to this guy?” In my spirit I saw a quick picture of a spider’s web. In the past when the Lord has shown me a spider’s web, He’s given me some understanding about what it means. We call it our personal prophetic “language” that God begins to develop with us as we start to listen to His voice. The Lord speaks many times with pictures for a very simple reason. It’s been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, that’s true! When God wants to speak something, many times He will simply show us a picture. In the picture, there are many “words” to speak to others!

So, in my personal experience, when the Lord shows me a spider’s web, what He’s saying is that this person is trapped in a “web” of circumstances, decisions and addictions and they are very close to being devoured by them, much like the spider devours its prey once they become trapped in the web. So I began to share the meaning of what I had seen. You could tell instantly that it had impact. This gentleman, Thomas, was absolutely trapped and was close to being devoured by his decisions, addictions, etc. he started saying, “This is amazing, this is incredible!”

We had his attention.

Stephanie spoke up and gave him a very simple word that God wanted to restore a broken relationship with his daughter. He froze, mid-sentence and said icily, “How did you know that?!” We explained that God knows everything and He was showing us these things to get his attention and that he would listen. As it turns out, Thomas does not have a blood daughter, but has a very close friendship with a 13 year old family friend whom he calls his daughter. He started weeping and sobbing. In a moment we went from simply having his attention to unlocking his heart. He was heaving and sobbing almost uncontrollably. We told him of the love and kindness of God that draws him to repentance and he readily accepted everything we had to say. He was convicted and convinced in just a few minutes. The secrets of his heart were laid bare and he literally began to worship saying, “Thank you God, thank you Jesus!”

We led him to Jesus, barely ten minutes after we met him. The presence of God was so strong in that moment! This guy got BORN AGAIN. You could literally see the transformation from darkness to light! His face brightened and his eyes shone! He was trembling all over his body with the presence of God and started to just exude joy. We prayed for the presence of God to increase and honestly, I thought that he might pass out; he was so happy and full of the life of God! He invited us back to check on him and showed us where he lives. I gave him an anointed hanky to keep as a reminder and instructed him to call on the presence of God whenever, wherever. Walking away, Stephanie and I were totally blown away at how awesome God is!

Barely 10 minutes after leaving him, he called me just to thank us. His literal words were, “Thank you SO much for coming…This is amazing! Thank you for Jesus!”

Thank you for JESUS… Nothing in the world makes me as happy as hearing that.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT!!!

Nikolaj said...

Amen! It is the greatest miracle!

Michael / Newnan, Ga. said...

Hey Ryan, Thank you for sharing this work of God. You and David Dixon have been a real inspiration to me. From the street ministry to the work you do in the Congo. If we all would just focus our time and energy on Kingdom building instead of wasting the precious time we have here on earth with useless passions and desires.

Ryan Lawson said...

Michael,

Thanks for the encouragement. We are just thrilled at how the Lord responds to simple faith.

Blessings,
Ryan

Sarah said...

This is the second time you've made me cry. This post and the last post. For some reason lately, I am so affected by hearing the story of God rescuing someone from pain, self-destruction and a desperate life without Him.

Sarah said...

btw, I was recently tagged to choose 7 blogs that I think are "positive and inspiring." This blog is one of my picks. Thanks, and keep it up!