From the Evangelist Desk.
Can I really do that???
Just imagine, you are walking towards your church and you see someone sitting outside of the main doors. The person looks most dishevelled, un-kept and slightly intimidating. He’s wearing dirty, stained and creased clothing. His complexion is rough, wrinkled and rugged. He appears to be wearing something that once looked like a trilby hat on his head. His face has not seen a razor for weeks.
You notice his hand go up every time someone walks past him trying to enter his or her church. He looks very dejected and downtrodden. No one meets his gaze, they either look away, or look down at the ground, or appear to look straight through him. Everyone suddenly shows an urgency to enter the church, walking with purpose and meaning, anything to get past this stranger.
You find yourself thinking, ‘Why, why, why are they sitting there in direct line with the entrance to the church? Can’t they find somewhere else to loiter? Surely they would get more money and whatnot sitting where the rest of them sit, outside the major retail stores and alike? Then a voice hits you. ‘Remember you are of Christ, do what Jesus would do.’
You are hit with compassion and feelings for this person. You walk towards them, filled with the Spirit of God. You look at them and notice laying just beside them there is a set of mismatched crutches. You then look at them again and notice that their legs do not quite look right.
He is looking at you expectantly. He is waiting for some small token from you. Either by crossing his palm with silver, or preferably a bank note, remember nowadays bank notes do not come in anything less than five pounds. ‘Is that what God wants me to do?’ You think to yourself. You reach for your purse or pocket or wallet, and then you stop. What has stopped you? He is looking puzzled and rather annoyed, he is wondering whether you stopped to poke fun at him? How cruel he maybe thinking, and you heading for the church, supposedly being a Christian. (This statement is only guess work, but put yourself in his place and reflect on what you may be thinking at this time).
There is a strength building within you that you do not understand, there is a buzz, which is not a buzz, it is more like a strong buzz, a thunderous booming buzz. You are being taken right out of your comfort zone because you feel that something or someone is taking control of you at this time. Not forced control, but a strong guiding control. You look into the eyes of this poor person looking up at you. You feel detached from the situation. You are witnessing your actions outside of your body.
‘Friend’, you say. ‘What is the matter with you? I am sorry but I am not going to give you the gift of money, which can be used so quickly.’ He looks at you, a look that says, ‘Are you real? Are you sticking the knife in on me?’ You continue, ‘The gift that I am going to give you is a gift that will blow your world away, you will never be given another gift like this.’ He looks expectantly. You ask him about his legs and ask what has happened to him. He is confused because someone is actually taking time to speak with him, speak and more importantly be willing to listen. He tells you about the accident that happened to him many years ago that made him the crippled person he is today, in mind as well as body.
You then ask if he is now ready to accept the gift that you are about to offer that is greater than any gift money can buy? He says he is and you then, so full of the Holy Spirit say to him, ‘Friend, in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk’. You feel the power surge through you. You take his hands in yours and you raise him from the ground. He rises and strength surges through him also. He is now standing completely unaided, he takes his first steps without the use of the sticks. You are both totally awe struck, neither of you can believe what has happened.
He runs into the church singing praises to the Lord Jesus Christ who just healed him through your actions. Amazing isn’t it…
You’re reading this thinking, finally he has lost the plot, he is writing like one of them there evangelicals. (Although he is an evangelist, we didn’t think that he was like them), well read on…
Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Peter and John did something that came naturally to them. And they believed that through Jesus Christ of Nazareth they could heal. But today many of us, including me seem to have lost this gift. I don’t know about you, but I am going to take some time out and pray that the Lord will bless me with the gift of total and absolute resounding belief that when I ask for something to be done in His name, with the right intensions of course, he will do it for me. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I ask this. Amen.