As I walked into the grocery store, I noticed a man carrying a vase of flowers. I casually remarked, “Someone is going to feel happy today…” to which he answered, ”They’re for the Virgin Mary. I’m going to pray for my girlfriend. She has a tumor.”
“Oh, roger, got it! This is you, Jesus,” I thought, and immediately I asked, “Oh, may I pray for her?”
Surprised, he replied yes, then said he’d put the flowers in his car and be right back. And he did exactly that. When he returned, I began declaring Jesus’ authority over the tumor, prayed for her cleansing, and asked the Lord to shower His love on her to demonstrate His healing power.
Am I Catholic? No, Evangelical. Did that matter or make a difference? No – not to me or to him or to Jesus!
He beamed, hugged my shoulder, said, ”Thank you, sister,” and walked to his car.
Do I know his name, his girlfriend’s name, or how God answered that prayer? No. Do I need to? NO! All I DO know is God planned and purposed that meeting in His good timing, and for sure it blessed that young man and told him God WAS listening to the cries of his heart and cared enough to show him so.
Who got the blessing? Both of us, or rather, by faith, ALL THREE OF US! I take absolute delight in these “chance encounters”, because God’s blessings DO flow, and He reminds me He’s with me and in me. Sooo…. Do it again and again and again, Abba God! Pour out through this empty pitcher! You lavishly shower Your love in these sweet, short moments, and graciously You bless this imperfect servant/child in the pouring! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Holy Spirit! Thank you, good, kind, gracious, powerful, Almighty Father God! Your banner over me IS love,and this “happenstance” was a WAVE of pure JOY!
I’ve never surfed, BUT…. boy, have I ridden God’s waves of goodness! And my point in sharing this? YOU CAN, TOO!
Pull Them While the Roots are Small and Shallow ….
Boy, here in the hard desert soil, you learn early to go out and pull the weeds while they’re small, their roots are easy to extract, and best of all, when the ground is wet. After our rain yesterday, I scoured the yard for weed-lings, and again today, easily prying them up with a sturdy twig. Oh, I heard You, Lord: before the roots of ungodliness, sin, offense and bitterness take deep root in your life, pull them up! They may LOOK like a genuine plant, and even their tiny flowers may seem pretty, but do you want to be pulling weeds all over the yard or using a jackhammer to pull those deep roots from hardened soil?
Boy, I see where I missed the weedlings growing in the life of one I loved, and now I wish I’d had the courage to point them out gently, speaking the truth in love, confident that God would give me grace to say ”No, that feels like fun to you, but it has eternal consequences you won’t think are fun or happy one day!” Grace AND Godly Truth, mercy AND genuine Righteousness. Other people may tell them/you/me, ”Oh, that’s not so bad. Everybody does that sometimes,” but that is NOT what Jesus o0r God’s Holy Spirit said about sin to Cain after he murdered his brother Abel:
“Why are you angry,” said the LORD to Cain, “and why has your countenance fallen? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you refuse to do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; you are its object of desire, but you must master it. Genesis 4: 6-7
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” John 8: 4
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5: 29-30
I’ve repented for not having the courage and the confidence in God to shield and care for me to confront that one in God’s Truth in love. He might have rejected me angrily anyway, but God forgive me for not trusting you to protect me and not having the courage to confront one sliding down the slippery slope to eternal destruction! Here’s where my gift of mercy – what I see so prominent in the American church today – tried to outrank God’s HOLINESS, and now I realize too late that unsanctified mercy is capitulation and letting that “weed” of cultural compromise root grow and grow and grow deeper in someone else. That’s not love: that’s fear of man, and LORD, how I repent!
The fear of man lays a snare,but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice. Proverbs 29: 25-26 ESV
A “… BU12:18 PM…” to pray: Lord God, I goofed. I sinned in fearing that person more than I trusted YOU. So Lord God Almighty, my Protector, and frankly, the One who has mercifully brought me blessings after I repented in tears, help me to fear YOU ALONE, and please now send God-fearing Harvest Workers ________ WILL listen to and respect into that other person’s (________________’s) life with uncompromising God-honoring Truth to confront _______________ with God’s HOLY Word and Truth in love, to bring the repentance God desires from___________ and everyone, for truly … with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward younot wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3: 8-9 NIV In Jesus’ Name, by God’s Holy Spirit, for God’s Victory, Glory, Praise, Honor, and Pleasure, amen!