The choir was doing their feature song. Carolyn and I were getting ready to step to the pulpit immediately after the song. But something happened…
I had this incredible urge to dance. As it has often been said, the Holy Ghost can sometimes get in your feet. For me, when I hear that particular sound from heaven it puts me in a place in the Spirit, and I am compelled to obey the Spirit’s promptings. In this case, it was to dance. I was seated with other ministers on the platform. This was our first day of ministry. Most of these people did not know me or Carolyn, and had never heard us speak. It seemed an odd thing at an odd time to dance. But the compulsion to do it grew stronger and stronger until obeying God became far more important than the appearance of dignity in the eyes of man. So in obedience to the Spirit’s promptings I stood up and began to dance in the Spirit. Soon the ministers and the people caught the wind of it, and the place erupted with praise and dancing. Wow!
It is amazing what one little obedience can do. God often uses it as a link in a chain of spiritual workings to create a momentum. We had a wonderful move of the Spirit yesterday morning in all three services, but this first one set the pace.
Some might ask, “what benefit is there to this kind of move?” I have found that the outpouring and moving of the Spirit in a meeting can bring impartations to the people that are life changing, and the manifestation of it can linger in their lives for days and weeks. It makes Jesus more real and dear to them. The reality of eternal things becomes clearer. It changes their concept of God. The life-giving Spirit whets their appetite for more of Him. Never despise the manifestation of the Spirit and His demonstrations.
There is such an honor in the people for ministers here, and their servant-heartedness makes it easier to access that place in the Spirit. The Word of God has much to say about honor, and it truly is the highway into the anointing of the Spirit.
Besides the call to move in the demonstrations of the Spirit and power of God according to 1 Cor. 2:4-5, the continual emphasis that is also moving in my heart right now is one of love. Often in a poverty stricken nation like Sierra Leone, one can become de-sensitized to the pain, hardship, and suffering that seems to be everywhere. The poor can be neglected. Familiarity breeds contempt. It was so when we lived here many years ago. God constantly reminded us to stay sensitive to them. Beggars are everywhere and can wear you down and have a draining effect on you. Even those who have jobs and work are grossly underpaid. The mortality rate is high here, more so for men. Some of it is due to the health and economic conditions, but much of it is due to the stress of men having to provide for their families. We are moved with the compassion of Jesus and learn so much of His personal heart and ministry for people. He ministered to crowds constantly, but the individual is highlighted throughout His ministry.
Opportunities are numerous to minister to individuals in nations like these. For example, this morning as it happened yesterday, another hotel worker came to our room asking for prayer. He was overcome with many burdens. His mother was unconscious and in critical condition at the hospital. He had problems at home with strife from his neighbors. He had a wife and children to care for. He was very troubled by his recent demotion at work for reasons he did not understand. As I laid my hand upon him to pray, a tear from his eyes dropped on my hand. How precious that was. It broke my own heart. In this culture it is rare to see men cry. I was touched with the feeling of his infirmities and troubles. When this happens it always brings me into a greater understanding of the heart and ministry of Jesus.
After Jesus ministered to the woman at the well he said this.
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn. 4:34). He was nourished by doing the will of the Father and ministering His love to others. He called it His meat or food. After the incident this morning with this hotel worker I felt nourished. I felt like my spirit had eaten.
While we cannot possibly meet everyone’s needs because the poor will always be with us in large numbers, we are to be touched with their infirmities. While we are not their source, we can lead them to the Source. We cannot be moved by their needs, but we can be moved with compassion and the call of the Spirit to minister to those God leads us to.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses (infirmities), but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
Let us be touched with the weaknesses of man as Jesus is. Take on His heart and be moved with His compassion.