I’ve been transitioning through back to back meetings as I juggle competing priorities for work, ministry, and personal items in preparation for our trip to China. Although there were a few places I wanted to be tonight, I felt the Lord prompting me to go to the Blue Goose.
Shortly after arriving and greeting a few friends, I made my way to the center area and stood, enjoying the worship and the presence of God. As the presence of the Lord seemed to thicken, and my senses focused in what God was doing, I felt as if the Lord was saying tonight, “It’s not about what you receive, but what you bring to the table”.
The atmosphere grew with joy, and much of the group sang and danced before the Lord with all of their hearts, enjoying God and simply having a lot of fun. Things got a little wild (Holy Spirit style), and Michael announced that Jacob, his nephew would be returning to England. As a send off, they body-surfed him over the crowd. Everyone continued to dance…It was a blast!
One of the leaders, Michael, is a friend, so I approached him later in the evening and asked if he and some of the team could pray (for Anu and I) as we’re about to leave for China. Initially as a joke, I stood on the stage and Michael told all the guys to come up to catch as I was next to surf. Almost immediately, a group of guys and even some bold ladies, rushed the front. We were surprised to see the faith in the room because, well, if you know me, you know how seriously ‘big and strong’ I am. We were just joking around, but apparently, these guys weren’t playing,
Can you guess what happened next?
The seemingly impossible took place and I was literally crowd surfed through the air about 7 feet off the ground! It was my ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ moment. Some of you who are older will catch that one. ;)…Everyone laughed and cheered, and it was quite the party!
The group had Jacob and I come forward, and the moment became a little more serious. People began to pray and prophesy over each of us regarding the prospective countries we were about the engage in. A testimony was shared by a leader about receiving $400 that was desperately needed, and then that person came in contact with someone else who the Lord spoke about and said to give the $400 to them. Within an hour, a $400 blessing was received, and then given away. Shortly after giving, someone gave him a check for $10,000. The moral, it’s all God’s money anyway, and He is able to richly bless for His purposes.
After this testimony, some people in the group began to give money towards the trips to England and China. They placed money in our pockets and in our hands. A dear sister stood at the mic, and shared how she had personally came with a need, but realized she had some money with her. The Lord encouraged her to give as He would bless. She gave what she had. Spontaneous giving broke out.
I kept my eyes closed, and kept my mind focused on the Lord. People began to give what they had. Someone shared they only had change, but gave what they had. Others began to put denominations of bills, and some began to put stacks of bills. The offering grew and I felt that God’s people had given from their hearts sacrificially. At first, I felt someone put a small container in my hands, and then I felt the container removed and larger container was placed there to hold the growing funds.
The blessing was divided to go towards each trip, and the prophesies continued. So much happened so fast, it’s hard to recall all of the words, but there are 5 Words that I will hold and test over the course of this trip:
1) You’ll meet someone with a purple shirt, and when you meet them, you know this is the one.
2) You’ll meet a group of people that will come to you and ask you to follow them. Don’t think, follow them.
3) A wonderful prophetic elderly lady in her 80’s wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek. She said this is how God loves the people of China and how you are to love the people of China.
4) God is going to use you in Words of Knowledge
5) God is going to circumcise your heart and your emotions, and release His fire again in you.
As a brother placed the disributed funds in my hand, I shared what I did not share earlier…how we are going on this trip by faith (as is seems to be like that on every missions trip God sends me on), and how we didn’t have the funds for the trip a few days ago.
Faith Note: When I believe God is calling to something, I just move forward until the door opens or closes. You can find out very quickly if you are hearing right this way. Faith is tricky, because if you’re too practical, you can miss what God is trying to do. On the other hand, you have to check your emotions, because if you’re too emotional, you can lack wisdom. The key is to keep seeking God, try to stay in His presence, and follow/obey His leading as you move forward.
Now earlier in the day, I received a text that someone had anonymously given a large blessing that covered almost half of what we need for the mission trip. This is huge blessing, and we are so thankful. In regards to the remainder, we still need a fairly significant amount and only have a few days. The incredible thing is that the spontaneous blessing that was given after crowd surfing (I still can’t believe that happened) was possibly enough to cover most of, if not all of what was needed. God is so good to His children!
So here comes the faith challenge…
Shortly after, I was approached by a someone who recognized me from a church I spoke at last year. I asked how things were going and we chatted briefly in the crowd. I asked if they needed prayer for anything, and they ‘reluctantly’ said they were ‘ok’. The Spirit of God prompted that I needed to pray, so I insisted. As I prayed, tears began to well up, and the truth came out. They were about to loose their place to live, and didn’t know where to go after. I could sense the brokeness, fear and desperation, which I hate to admit, but have unfortunately known all too well in my past.
I internally said a quick prayer about how to practically help. The answer to my first solution-thought came back quickly as ‘no’. I felt the peace on that, but asked a few more questions. While I was trying to think of a solution, I looked at the cup filled with funds which was in my hand. So, to be honest, the next thought of the human being in me was, quietly and quickly, ‘oh no’. I sort of looked up and asked the Lord, ‘Is this what you want?’ …Yup! In that moment, I knew that I knew. I also knew that I literally only had a few moments to make the decision, or forever miss the moment of this particular blessing.
Jesus said, ‘freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8b). He’s shown Himself faithful time and time again, never failing. He gave everything for me, how can I not be willing to give everything for Him? I chose to obey God.
I’ve mentioned before that it never seems to get easier to walk by faith, or to obey God. Every challenge is unique, and a new opportunity to trust Him. After you pass one test, that is, if you pass, there will always be another one waiting for you on the other side. One of my greatest desires is to be a blessing wherever I go. One lesson I’ve learned however, is that it’s not a blessing if it doesn’t cost you something.
My thought is that to be an effective and growing blessing, we have to be positioned to allow the favor and blessing of God to flow to us and through us in order for it to multiply. That means we can’t hold anything too tightly.
If you were there at the Blue Goose, and you were one of those who gave sacrificially from your heart, I want to sincerely thank you for your gift, and for your obedience and love for God. Your example tonight was exemplary. Although I did have a need, I met someone who’s need was greater. I hope that in reading this, it will make sense and that you can rest assured that your gift went to an important, valuable, and good cause…that is a person who is going through some tough times, and deserves the love just as much as we do. I truly appreciate it, and I’m honored to serve among you.
So there you have it, a crazy, wonderful, wild, God-filled night! An experience filled with a large man crowd surfing, and tears & suspense! I entered the gathering with hope for a prayer, and left with many prayers and an extreme blessing. Thank you all for serving God well!
I’ll leave you with this thought from Psalms:
"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
blessed is the one who trusts in you."
Psalm 84:10-12 NIV