“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)
Before I go on, let me explain that paying the telephone bill is nothing in itself. But I believe that, sometimes, there can be a “controlling spirit” behind many of the things that we do in this life. If we allow a “spirit of laziness” (or “slothfulness”) to infect us (I am serious about this), then, it could be, that, in time, we will become so lazy about doing the things of God, that God will have to “wake us up” with an ailment of some sort.
As per what I knew the Lord was calling me to do, I began to talk with the man sitting at the cafeteria table – with my throat still burning with a fire. Within my heart, I knew that the Lord was distinctly prompting me to ask this man how his family was doing. So I asked him. He replied, “Fine, everyone is doing well.” Still, the Lord clearly impressed in my spirit, “Ask him again.” So, I did. It felt kind of funny, asking him again. A second time, he answered with the basically the same reply. Yet a third time, the Lord impressed in my heart to ask him again. I guess he realized that my question was more than a passing gesture, because, on the third time, he answered me differently by saying that his sister had just had an operation because of an embolism (a stopped up vein or artery). Aha! Revelation! But I would have not known it if I had not “pressed in” in obedience to the Lord’s command to ask him the same question three times.
With that, I “knew,” of course, that I had to do more than just listen. Deep within, it was obvious to me that this man’s sister needed immediate prayer. Perhaps, for example, this was “one” of many possible reasons why the “fire” was even in my throat. Do you not see? Had it not been for the “fire” in my throat, I would have not considered going home. Had I not considered going home, I would have not considered going down to the cafeteria to pray. Had I not gone down to the cafeteria to pray, I would have not met this man sitting there with his friends. Had I not met this man sitting there with his friends, of course, how could God say to me, from deep within my spirit, “Now stop right there and ask this man how his family is doing?” So, as the story goes (went), I asked him. And, on the third time (it sometimes takes more than that!), he finally responded with the “word of revelation” (as it were). Now I could do something with it.
I will stop right here and say that, yes, this whole “thing” — this whole “experience,” as it were, that I was going through — was indeed about learning to be responsible. I was learning to be responsible by listening to God’s voice on a moment-by-moment basis. I had first been responsible by not quickly going home. I had then been responsible by praying — instead of just “quitting work” as might have been easy (“free day off” — but with the sore throat to go along with it, that is). I had then sensed that the Lord was dealing with me about the issue of needing to be more responsible to His commands — for example (the only thing that came to my mind at that point), paying my telephone and indeed all my bills more promptly than I had been used to doing in the past (not being slothful, which can affect us in diverse ways to “pull us” away from our calls and God’s best for our lives). Now, it seemed, after hearing my “verbal willingness” to indeed be more responsible, lo and behold — my first test. Will I listen to God and do as He says with this one man whose sister has just had an operation?
I asked the man if it was okay to pray for his sister right then and there. He replied that he would appreciate that. So I prayed. After praying (and I believe God was glorified, inasmuch as he also had three or four other friends with him sitting besides him as we were praying), I left to go on my way. I knew I had done my job. I had that one and only “witness” in my spirit (if you’re a Christian following after the Lord, you know what this is). Now here is a truly remarkable thing, which I would like you to pay attention to, because I will only say this once (though you can read it again, if you want!) –> The very instant I turned my head to go on my way, God’s power “shot” through me and I was instantly, within less than a second, healed of my throat condition.
I can’t even remember if I went to pay my telephone bill at that very point or not, but one thing I remember, God was speaking to me that day. “Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33), and, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7). There’s no question about it in my mind. The fire in the throat, and the events that followed, were to me a clear indication that God was saying to me, “Learn to be responsible in your life, and sensitive to My voice, and I will take care of all of your enemies — including sickness.”