Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Leave the results to God


"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7


When my kids were little, there were times that I would tell them to do something, and I could see that they were not going to obey. Sometimes that required getting down at eye level and repeating the directions so that I know they heard me and understood clearly what I wanted them to do.

I had that encounter on Sunday, except I was the one that needed a reteach.

I was in the lobby at church and saw a young lady lying on the floor. I have known her since we started attending church here, and probably as long as I have known her, I have known that she has health problems. In fact, I've seen her lie on the floor before, so it didn't surprise me. But as I was greeting people, I had the sense that I needed to go over and pray that God would heal her.

I heard it in my Spirit and I acted like I didn't. Don't know if you can relate to that. So I finished greeting and then I went in to hear the rest of the service. As soon as I sat down, the young lady on stage was getting ready to bless the offering. Pretty straight forward right?

Then God got right down at eye level and repeated His directions so that I would hear Him and understand clearly what He wanted me to do. The young lady was giving a testimony about a guy that provided money to a ministry. But here's the part that was for me. She said, if God tells you to give $300 and you give $3, you are being disobedient. There was a murmur of amens, because I think everyone could clearly see that. But then she said, if God tells you to give $3 and you give $300, you are still being disobedient. WOW! It's not the number or the size of the task. The question is, will I obey?

Yep, that was a gut punch. I just said, "OK, God." Got up out of my seat, went back out to the foyer and prayed for the young lady.

Now, if you know anything about kids, they will sometimes obey the letter of the law, without obeying the spirit of the law. That's what I did. I clearly knew that God had told me to pray for her healing. Now, don't get me wrong, I prayed a heartfelt prayer over her, but stopped short of straight out praying for God to heal her. It was one of those "God, Your will be done prayers." Well, that is silly for me to pray with that as my primary thought, because every prayer I pray, I am praying it in the spirit of "I want it to line up with God's will."

So I went back into the service. The message was based on 2 Timothy 1:7, "But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind."

In a nutshell, fear is not of God. He has been speaking that to me since 2011 since my first trip to Haiti. And He has been driving that message home more and more. The power that is in me to do anything in Christ, is the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8). He has been pounding that Scripture into me over the last couple of years as well. The last piece is it is God's love that compels us to serve, to pray, to walk out our faith.

When I was in college, we were given these words of encouragement that gave us perspective during evangelistic efforts. "Take every opportunity to share the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God." The importance of that reminder was in the end, God would work according to His will. I didn't have to stress. Obey and leave the rest to God.

I walked away from that message knowing that I had not shown love. God is love. He is not just loving. If I had been compelled by love in that moment, I would have prayed for the young lady in the lobby to be healed. It was not up to me to heal her. God calls me share the gospel though it is not in my power to save. Likewise, he called me to pray for her healing, though it was not in my power to heal. The results are left up to Him. But the question is, will I obey? He may not call me in every situation to pray for healing, but certainly in the times when He does, I cannot shrink back in fear because fear is not from Him.

That truth was HUGE for me. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. If I just stepped out there without fear...to pray for people, to infuse their situation with the power and presence of God, how would that change people's lives? Their marriages, their families, their spiritual growth, and on and on?

I gained a better insight into John 13:35, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." Christians should change the atmosphere. It is love that compels us to act, but we leave the results to God.

I want to be that kind of change agent. I want to be that kind of force for the Kingdom. What about you? What are we waiting for?

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