Step Out Into Ministry

My heart broke today. It happened right after the church service. I met a man named James* who needed prayer. I asked him what he wanted prayer for, and he hesitated a little bit, and said, “Multiple things”. I got the picture. I did not want to stir up a spirit of mistrust between himself and myself by trying to be too inquisitive, so I said, “That’s all right. You don’t have to share any more. God knows. No problem.” I then began to pray for him in general areas, such as health, relationships, emotional needs, and finances. As I began to pray for him, the Lord spoke to me. I received what is called a “word of knowledge”. If anyone tries to tell you that God does not do this today, they are dead wrong. The Lord clearly spoke the word “mother” and “sister”, so, in faith, I ventured to ask him, “Tell me about your mother.” And, “Do you have any sisters?”

James answered, “My mother is in Uganda.” “Is she a Christian?” I asked him. “Yes”, he said. James also told me he has two sisters. They were both here in Canada. But neither of them was a Christian. First, I myself was encouraged. It was nice to know that he had a mother who was still living. And as for his sisters, it was nice to know that he had at least one of those, too! Imagine if, after having received what I perceived to be a word of knowledge, I had found out that his he did not even have a sister! That might have led me to believe that I had not even heard God correctly in the first place! Not ever having met this man, I had no idea concerning his family. All I knew was that there was something concerning his mother and (at least one) sister that was important enough to God to share with me. Imagine if I had permitted a spirit of fear to overtake me and I had not ever asked him about his mother and sister. How far would that have led me? Not too far at all. That is why this thing that we are involved in is called a walk of “faith”. I believed God spoke to me. I tested that belief by asking James about his mother and sister. James explained to me that his mother was in Uganda and that his two sisters, who were in Canada, were not Christians.

I would like to ask you a question. Is that important to God? You better believe it is! First of all, mothers are extremely important to God, especially godly mothers. Had it not been for a godly mother, that is, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, all England would have likely turned out differently. Godly mothers are amazing, and if you are one of them, you have something to be proud of in the Lord. God will use you to make a difference in the lives of those he has given you influence over — and that primary influence is, of course, your child or your children. Never stop praying for them, caring for them, and loving them. This will make a difference in their lives, no matter how hard the going gets. And like God does with his own children, never stop believing in your children, even when they have messed up royally. If it had not been for God’s belief in you and me — even after we had sinned and turned our backs on God himself — there would be no redemption for us. But, as it says in the Scriptures, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! He did that not while we were on good terms with him, but on bad terms! He believed in us enough to die for us. He believed that we could be turned around! And, mothers, your children can be turned around, too! So do not give up on your children. My heart wept as I prayed for James’s mother. I praised God for her, and I prayed that God would solidify and build up the relationship that James had with his mother, even though they were separated by a huge distance.

Similarly, my heart wept for James’s two sisters who were not saved. Imagine how James’s mother must have felt, as well, knowing that her two daughters were not yet Christians and were, as of yet, still headed for a Christless eternity! My heart wept, and it was the love of God the Father flowing through me. It was the same love that Christ exhibited when he died on the cross for us. I would like to explain carefully that that was not MY love that was flowing through me. That was CHRIST’s love! That was something that happened supernaturally, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” in Romans 5:5. That is a supernatural love. That is not a love that I mustered myself. Why, the truth is, I am utterly unable to muster a love like that by myself. No, this had to be Christ’s love flowing through me. That was the only explanation for it. Moment’s earlier, during the church service, God had “met” me by softening my own heart with his utter and amazing love for me. And now, because of it, I was able to receive from God in terms of hearing his own concern for someone else. It was a divine moment. It was an utterly divine moment. It left me absolutely tear stricken. A deep and overwhelming compassion overwhelmed me. The compassion I experienced was nothing short of a gift from God, bestowed upon me for the purpose of being able to intercede, or “stand in the gap” for another person. There is really nothing that compares to this in terms of personal fulfillment, because you know that you are genuinely making a difference in the life of another person, because God’s genuine love — and revelation — is flowing through you.

James had several needs that I prayed for that day, and all of them brought me to tears. Of course, tears in and of themselves are not a necessary “sign” that God is working through another person. However, they do happen on occasion and can certainly be a sign that God is moving through you with his compassion. In this case, I am not sure who the “sign” was more targeted towards — myself or James! But nevertheless, God did his work that day, and a work he did do!

At the close of it all, I hugged James, and affirmed God’s unconditional LOVE for him, that God cared for him, and that God was going to work out everything in his life for the good, because James was one who loved God. All this was in accordance with God’s promise to those who love him, as found in Romans 8:28.

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*The name has been changed.