Spiritual Discipline // INTERCESSION
By James Gerber
If you were paying attention on Sunday morning, there was a theme that clearly emerged throughout Isaacs message.
God uses ordinary people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to do Extraordinary things.
Odds are, you’re probably not a pastor. And in fact, no surprise, most followers of Jesus are not pastors. We have a variety of vocations. Construction workers, lawyers, stay-at-home moms. Whatever your vocation, as a Jesus follower, we have in common the calling of being a witness to the world. To be those who share the good news of the gospel to a desperate world and to invite others to be in a discipleship relationship with Jesus.
When I was about 20 years old, I was a part of a ministry internship at our church, Life Center. One late night a fellow intern and I were up late working in the office working on a project when we heard a woman screaming. She seemed desperate for help. We ran downstairs and outside as fast as we could to see what what was happening. We were in no way equipped for what we were about to stumble upon. We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a fight between a man and his girlfriend. She was attempting do get away from him and it was evident that things had already gotten pretty physical. She had just gotten done pulling herself out of a bush that he had pushed her into.
Of course, out instinct was to help and separate the two. I began to ask what was going on and told him to leave her alone. And within seconds he had a gun pointed straight at us. He said to us, “I’m gonna kill you guys, and after that I’m gonna kill myself!”
I immediately began to pray. Asking the Lord to protect us (I really didn’t feel like dying that night), and what I can only describe as a Holy Spirit inspired moment, I began (in my mind) to pray for him. Within a couple seconds, I had an overwhelming sense that I should ask Him what we could do for him. So after about a minute of trying to defuse the situation, we were able to calm him down enough that he would put his gun away.
As I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to do, I asked what we could do for him. And to our surprise, he simply asked if we had cigarettes. Neither of us smoked, but my friend Jason, for some reason, offered him a ride to the store. So, we got in the car and drove this guy to the store. We bought him cigarettes and just talked with him, and listened as he told us a few stories about all that was going on in his life.
We pulled the car over to drop him off, and with boldness Jason and I began to share the gospel and about all that Jesus had on offer. He accepted the invitation, repeated a prayer of repentance, and suddenly we found ourselves laying hands on a broken, weeping man who had just accepted Jesus as His Lord and savior. Minutes earlier a man who was covered in violence was covered in tears of repentance. It was beautiful.
We were a couple of ordinary 20 year old kids. We were not highly skilled professional preachers, but we had been with Jesus, were filled with the Spirit, and in the moment we just did what the Lord asked us to do.
I’m reminded of what was said about Peter and John in the bok of Acts:
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that you go and try to put yourselves in the middle of a domestic violence situation in which someone has a gun.
But, what I am suggesting is that in the midst of the circumstances that you find yourself in, the Spirit of God wants to embolden and empower you to be a witness of the message of the gospel.
- Pray and reflect. Who is in your life that doesn’t know Jesus yet?
- Make a list of those people.
- Pray. Ask the Lord to draw them in, that they might be saved.
- Going through the list name by name, ask the Lord who He might want you to reach out to. See who he highlights to you.
- Reach out. Send a text. Have coffee. Hang out and see what the Lord does. Ask the Spirit to empower you to share Jesus with them if He asks you to.