I set up the PA system and started preaching before I lost my nerve. Within seconds a demon-possessed man manifested and screamed an obscenity at me so bad that I cannot repeat it. Even though I’m regularly verbally abused on the street, I have never been called anything like that before.
Not so much stunned at the man actually, but more that God had let that happen to me just as I had begun to preach. He knew how weak I’d been this morning. He knew I’d needed extra help. I mean, I had asked Him for a special blessing today!
I recovered and kept preaching anyway.
After that incident, the time the two other ladies and I spent there was wonderful. I really loved it. God put two special young guys in my path who, underneath their bravado, were hungry for the truth. We had amazing conversations. I was asked by both of them (separately) :
“With so many religions out there, and so many gods, how do you know which one is the truth?”
It’s when I’m out there that I see that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is so very important. We absolutely need Him when we are out there. Without Him, we literally can do nothing. But with Him we can do all things. It is our real relationship with the LIVING God that counts when we are in the firing-line. Religious platitudes, clichés and one-liners do NOT work. Sinners see right through all that rubbish.
But…if you’ve been with Jesus…well, they can see that too.
Here’s what I learnt today:
I wanted God to make my way easy, I wanted Him to pave the way for me, after all, as I told Him, I was going out there for Him.
But He didn’t do that. He doesn’t always give us what we want, but He does give us what we need. He lets us see the truth of the sinfulness of man; He lets us have confrontations with demons. And in doing so He lets us see ourselves too.
In essence, He lets us see reality.
And that’s where He calls us to go with Him.
“ “I will make the place of my feet glorious”—among the poor, the devil-possessed, the mean, the decrepit, the selfish, the sinful, the misunderstood—that is where Jesus went, and that is exactly where he will take you if you are his disciple”. (Oswald Chambers)
He won’t drop rose petals on our path for us, He won’t pamper us and cater to our self-pity, our comfort, nor our convenience. He lets us be confronted, shocked and disgusted. And then He says:
“Even so….will you still follow Me?”