“Is there a Brian here?” I asked.
There were only a few men gathered at the church that morning.
A man reservedly raised his hand.
“Do you have pain in your back Brian?” I asked.
“Yes, yes I do”, he replied.
“Is it pushing your spine forward?” I enquired further- glancing at the note I had written about who I believed God had wanted me to encourage, three days earlier.
“Yes, yes it is.”
“Well that’s something we will have to pray for then.”
Brian’s eyes welled up, overwhelmed by the reality that the God of the universe not only knew he would be in church that morning, but cared enough to tell the visiting preacher. Furthermore, Brian explained to me afterwards, he was moved not just by the fact that God knew his name, but that God knew his pain.
I am building up a now countless list of stories just like this, in the churches my wife and I minister in. These miraculous words of knowledge and the ensuing miracles all started nearly two years ago on a preaching trip around Australia (read about it here).
Since that trip I’ve seen ankles healed, blurred eyes cleared up, shoulders healed, chronic diseases disappear, demons cast out of people, and countless other miracles where the end results have been freedom for people, and a greater experience of God’s love for them. I don’t know why God is choosing to do it, but I do know lives are being transformed for His glory, and so I’m in for the ride!
But I want to let you in on a secret. From the perspective of those hearing what I’m saying, I may seem confident in my delivery, of both the messages and the words of knowledge. In reality though, most of the times, when I’m preparing to give a word I am often flooded with doubts and despair, and I’m often as shocked at the accuracy of the word as the person hearing it!
I remember one time I called out the name “Barbra”, at a church. There was one visitor to the church that day, and her name was Barbra! She came up to me afterwards and stuck her hand out for a shake, saying, “Hi, I’m Barbra.” I nearly fell over! I said to her, “You are not!?” She said, “That’s how it works, doesn’t it?” I nervously laughed, “I suppose so!”
You see, I’m as human as you. I have all sorts of questions come to me when I’m “prompted by the Spirit.”
“What if I’m wrong? What if I fail? What if it’s not well received?”
Nearly every time I go to share a word these questions come up.
So why do I keep stepping out in faith, and why do I think you should too?
Because God is responsible for the outcomes of your obedience, not you.
He asked for it, He will deal with it. On the mark or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about how good you look (or do not look), but how good He is!
Stepping out in faith almost always reminds me of the story of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14.
Jesus called him out, and all Peter needed to do to see the miracle, was to step out.
But hear this… it wasn’t until Peter stepped out of the boat that He saw the miracle take place. He couldn’t have experienced it with his feet still on solid (and logical) ground.
I can’t tell you the amount of times Joyce or I have made a declaration about a country we believe God wants us to go to, or a gift God wants us to give, without having a dollar to put towards the expense. Then, after making plans and declaring it, we find the money comes in.
My wife literally applied to Bible College in Wales for later this year with hardly a cent to put towards her trip, but she felt God said “go for it”, and so she did.
The day I was to pay the application fee of $97, a $100 check came in the mail.
The total expense of the trip is almost the exact amount of a financial gift that was pledged to us, AFTER Joyce had already applied for the College!
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (ESV)
In what area is God asking you to take a step, to open your mouth, to be obedient… despite the obstacles and challenges that such a step may entail?
What if your miracle is in the movement, in the simple action of your obedience?
As the old saying goes, “you’ll never never know, if you never never go.”
Take a step out of the boat today.
(This blog was originally posted on pastorandrew.blog)