Jesus has taught me to love the one.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4)
Be patient with me as I give you the backdrop of this theme.
Because we make most of our living in the traveling ministry, end-of-the-year holidays are normally a challenging time for us financially. Lots of money going out and not so much coming in – that is, in the natural. Add to this, a big expensive book project we just completed (haven’t quite broken even yet), and you have quite a disproportionate ratio of output to income. But my philosophy and belief system is quite different from the average minister.
In my heart I’ve made a covenant with God: “I pray. You pay.”
THE HEAVENLY ECONOMY AND THE CURRENCY OF FAITH
I’m not going to worry a lick about finances. That would be sin. God is faithful. Honestly, most believers are unbelievers when it comes to finances. They tell everyone their needs and then praise God for meeting their needs. Not. Real. Faith. Sorry. I was brought up old school by men who knew what the real faith was. But that’s another topic for another day.
Back to the subject at hand and loving the one.
We always receive unexpected income from unexpected sources. Always. After all, God causes MEN to give unto your bosom (Luke 6:38). So…in the past month we received two unexpected checks for our ministry from two unexpected sources – one was from an old Canadian shut-in woman. This is really good, so again, thanks for your patience.
We had never met this woman. We didn’t know anything about her. She sent us a good sized check with an enclosed thank you card and letter thanking us for our ministry (see letter below).
Occasionally, we receive such surprise support, usually from old ladies. These type of seed offerings are always very special and very sacred to us. Mostly I always cry. First, because I know God did it since we didn’t make our needs known. He alone knew our need. This is the beautiful quality about real faith. When you don’t share your needs with anyone, and then you see the manifestation of those needs being met, you know it came directly from the Lord. This is how your faith grows.
Secondly, the need was met through the most unlikely vessel – in this case, an old shut-in precious saint.
THE REST OF THE STORY
Well, she wrote her phone number on the letter and I called her to thank her. This story just keeps getting better so hang on. Sorry it’s so lengthy.
When she answered she told me to wait until she put her hearing aid on (smile and say awww). When I told her who I was she was so excited. It was a long phone call. She needed godly encouragement.
I knew she loved the Lord but the devil was casting doubt on her salvation. She said she wasn’t sure. Well, the Spirit of God witnessed to me that she was indeed a very godly woman, but in her frailty the devil was taking advantage of her mind. I ministered assurance of salvation, told her how to stand against the devil’s lies, and then prayed with her.
Then I asked her about her family. Her response put the entire world and the day’s activities on hold for me. Oh, she was so burdened for her two adult children who were away from the Lord and her one grandson who was a transgender. That’s when my bowels of mercy rumbled. Such heartache she had! Such a burden she carried for the salvation of her little family! This is so common for so many. That’s when I realized just how saintly she was. I could feel the great heart of the Lord not only for her, but the many forgotten and forsaken elderly in society and in the church. I encouraged her some more and then prayed with her on the phone.
Somehow I wanted to do more for her, so I told her I was going to send her a letter, and I did days later. She has no email so I sent it postal and included a printed rough draft manuscript of a future book I’m working on called, Preparing For Eternity.
To top it all off, I had called this dear woman on her 90th birthday and didn’t know it. How faithful is our God and Father to express His love for this precious saint on her birthday!
Go for the one.
THE LESSON FROM THE LORD
When I got off the phone with her the Lord really ministered to my heart to stay underground in my calling and to not let the religious systems of man spoil or stain what He had called me to do. To just be obedient to go after the one’s and two’s, and three’s that He puts in my path. To be content going to smaller churches and obscure places, although He just sent us to the largest church in Paris, France with membership well over 10,000. He does that sometimes but it’s always with a specific designed purpose to bring forth an eternal change in a people or a city/nation. I love HIS assignments. They are so much sweeter than our own conjured up assignments that are most often tainted with human wisdom and some aspect of self promotion.
The one constant communication in my heart from the Spirit of God, and it’s been this way for many years, is to not get caught up in the rat race of the production and professionalism of public ministry and the bane of much of Western Christianity whereby so many have been deceived and defiled. Don’t go that way, beloved. Go for the least, the last, and the lost. And if, and when, the Lord opens up larger opportunities to reach multitudes of people, stay small in your own eyes.
Look beyond the surface of plastic smiles to the heart in pain and the brokenness that fills so much of society. Even in church services I can guarantee you there is someone sitting close to you who is fighting a great battle and is overwhelmed with discouragement. Let the strong bear the infirmities of the weak. That is the perfect law of Christ and His heart for each of us.
Most of my life has been a continual yearning to know God’s heart – to know His ways and not just His acts. That’s really what this post is about. It’s the theme of much of what I write.
I trust it’s a blessing to those who carry the same heart cry.
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