Friday, June 12, 2009

Stopping for “The One”

Over and over I have heard Heidi Baker speak and write about stopping for “the one”. She uses the parable that Jesus told of leaving the 99 “found” sheep for the one that was lost. It really does show the heart of God when you bypass the crowds to go to that one special person that is on the heart of God. Over the years we have seen this play out as we go out, seeking to bring the love and power of God to our community. There will be nights when it seems like the Lord is drawing us to that one person and seemingly past other people. Just a couple weeks ago we had such a powerful experience where we searched a large apartment complex for “the one” and we found her!


One of our teams had been referred to a large neighborhood several weeks before. They had been plugging away at this particular complex for several weeks without a lot of outward fruit. They had been praying for the sick and prophesying over everyone that moved but hadn’t really seen a breakthrough. The hunger for discipleship seemed quite low. That night I decided to go with them and check the place out, wondering to myself if perhaps we needed to just pull up stakes and move on. I mean, Jesus told us in Matthew that if it didn’t work when we preached to go somewhere else!

So Betty and I went with them. We got to the neighborhood and it seemed like a pretty decent place. Everyone seemed happy; lots of people were out and about. It’s a strange neighborhood in that it’s in the middle of nowhere, totally hidden from public view. The complex consists of several very large apartment units that are “stepped” throughout a large neighborhood of large rolling hills. The front of the apartments is a complicated mess of balconies, stairways and hallways. Very few people were actually out in the parking lot, they were all sitting on their porches and balconies with a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood. When we got there everyone was looking at the 6 of us, all white, some young, some middle aged and so on.

As soon as we got there I felt a leading from the Lord to just hang back and watch. The kids went out ahead of us, found folks and began to prophesy and preach the Gospel. I watched the reactions of the crowd and still didn’t feel lead to jump in. So we sat and waited. Betty was ready to go and preach, but hung out with me as I told her to just sit tight. We were there much longer than I would normally sit doing nothing; after all, we were there to preach! However, I had an unusual compulsion to wait on the Lord, even though that’s what we do throughout the week and before we go on outreach.

After some time of just sitting there I asked Betty to walk with me. I wanted to see the entire neighborhood and felt that somewhere in the labyrinth of apartments and balconies there was some “one” that needed the Lord here tonight. So we walked… and walked! The place was huge! We passed building after building, group of people after group of people going up and down several hills, all the while looking out for an open door. People stared, wondering why we were there, but didn’t do more than the occasional smile. We made our way to the back of the complex and came upon the last apartment building. We passed a small group of 5-6 people; they were all drinking and from the sound of it had been at it a while. But one of the guys in the group called out to me and said something in his drunken haze, I can’t remember. What I did know was that was my open door. I turned on my heels and went over to them.


The group was rowdy and not making a lot of sense. They were talking about some basketball game and slamming Vodka like there was no tomorrow. We made a little small talk, told them of the Kingdom of God and asked if anyone was sick. Several left the group and several others clammed up, some trying to hide their drinks, suddenly uncomfortable. I told them to not let their beer go warm on account of me! We did what we do and honestly, they just weren’t paying attention. I was silently asking the Lord for Prophetic Words to blow them away, but nothing was coming. I looked at Betty, wondering if maybe she had something and she shrugged her shoulders, telling me without words, “I’ve got nothing”. I was just about to walk away and leave them alone when a young lady, sitting on a staircase about 20 feet behind them squeaked out “You can pray for me.” She was probably only 19-20 years old, beautiful, but obviously troubled. I saw right away that she had wrap on her wrist and asked her what was going on with her wrist. Her head hung low and she told us she hurt it. I asker her how and she didn’t want to give up all the details.

We went over to her, sat down on the stairs with her and asked her what was up. Again, I was asking the Lord for some great prophetic word, but was getting nothing. So we listened and asked her what she needed prayer for. Tearfully, over the next half hour she told us about losing her daughter, losing her home, losing everything really. All of this was because she had a serious anger problem. We knew it was a demon. In her rage, she had hurt other people, going to jail and losing her daughter. In her rage she had punched holes in walls and recently, through a window. She unwrapped the bandages on her wrist and showed us some terrible cuts that needed immediate medical attention. She had done this the night before when she flew into a rage. I was thinking, “This little thing is capable of such amazing anger, rage and violence… wow!”

We didn’t have prophetic words, we didn’t have anything flashy. All that we had was compassion and a listening ear. After her testimony of the horrors of what the demon had worked on her life, we simply told her the truth. We told her that we ranged over her entire complex looking for her. We told her of a God that would single her out among everyone in her neighborhood to bring her life, hope and deliverance. Tears ran down her face as we told her that Jesus could set her free of this anger. We plainly told her of the horrible consequences of her sin, but the power of God to deliver her from her bondage. Without any convincing, without any hype and strangely for us, without even a demonstration of God’s power she gladly repented, turned from her life of sin and asked Jesus to forgive her and set her free of anger. As we prayed, the glory of God hit us all as she tangibly felt the anger leave her body.

She eagerly gave her life to Jesus on the steps of the apartment. Why? Because the Lord had us bypass the crowds and stop for her, the one.


Stephen said...

Good deal, man... that sort of thing is really special when it happens.

Anonymous said...

This is astronomical! Jesus would have died for one. I go to the brothels here in NV, always looking for the one girl who is hungry for the Lord.

Rob Miller said...

wow. there's a real nugget here: we sometimes get all gung-ho and wanna see some flashy miracle, but God wants to work it out His way!

Way to listen and hear, brother!