My friend Susan runs the Northern Nevada Dream Center. A few days ago, her team went out to the local motels in our city to bring them a Sunday Supper. The team brings a hot meal, toiletries, and many other items that people living there might need. They love serving our city and they never know what they're going to find when they arrive.
Susan told me that there was a gentleman there who was obviously inebriated. He could hardly walk and leaned himself up against the building. He began speaking of all his bitterness and pain and as the team gathered around, He told them they could pray for him, so 4 or 5 of them began praying.
Susan said she felt this surge of Holy Spirit power, and she "just knew" he was about to receive salvation. So she asked Him if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus to be his Savior. He said, "Yes", but said he wouldn't be able to say the prayer by himself. She assured him that she would pray slowly and he could simply repeat the words. So she helped him pray a prayer of salvation, and all of a sudden, as the Holy Spirit came upon her, she began binding the spirit of addiction, casting out brokenness and bitterness, and loosing the spirit of peace, healing, freedom and deliverance in His life. As she turned to look at her team, they were all crying, but as she looked over her shoulder and saw that more than 20 people from the motel had gathered and formed an audience, and they were all crying.
As they said, “Amen”, the man looked down at his feet and said, “I see I'm wearing boots, but my feet aren’t touching the ground!”
Just then a teenage girl stepped forward from the crowd and said, “I’m next”! My young friend Alesha immediately went into action. For the first time ever in her Christian walk, she had the privilege of leading someone to Christ.
What a moment!!! It's what most Christians live for.
Psalms 91:1 reminds us, "He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]." (Amp.)
Susan and Alesha had nothing to fear! But here's the thing, that moment in the spotlight for my friends did not just suddenly happen. These kinds of spotlight moments are a by-product of time spent in the secret place.
I have had the honor of watching both of these ladies be committed to building their prayer life, as week after week, and month after month, they have attended countless prayer classes and prayer meetings that I have led. They spent time meeting with God in the secret place where no one sees. It was then, in the spotlight, when God needed them to step into immediate, obedient action that they had the boldness and power to do it.
We all want the spotlight moment, but God prepares us in the secret place!
Bob Sorge wrote, “One day of exhilaration in the Holy Spirit is worth a thousand days of struggle! The greatest things in life—those things that carry eternal value—always come at the steepest price.”
As 2015 believers, we are to be people of radical obedience, not people who maintain the lowest possible standard to be a Christian. You must be willing to pay the price. No one can do your secret place experience for you. You must commit to doing it for your self.
Your spotlight moment will come. The question remains, will you be prepared and ready to step into it?
"But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!"
Psalm 18:16-19 (Message)
Have you ever felt confined? Whether you've been constricted by someone else's rules, or you've been contained by your own decisions, it is not an easy place to be.
Believe me, I've let fear grip me and keep me in a tight place. I've let my own limited vision and lies from the enemy put me in a tiny little box. It's frustrating and maddening and chokingly uncomfortable. I don't like confinement! I don't think anybody does.
I have a friend in ministry, who God sent to a small town on the fringes of nowhere. She felt as though she had been unfairly exiled. As she contemplated her predicament, she asked God, "Why did you send me to such a small place?" She immediately heard the loving rebuke of the Father as He said, "I created the whole world, in all it's vast beauty and endless horizons. How could I put you in a small place? You are standing in the middle of all I have made. There are no small places!"
Wow! Talk about a shift in perspective!
Sometimes, all it takes is for us to see our circumstances through His perspective to change everything. From God's perspective, you are His prized possession, valued, cared for and loved. Maybe you feel hidden at the moment, but surely you won't stay hidden forever. He loves to surprise and delight us, by His perfect timing and through His outrageous, impossible plans.
Do you dare to come up higher? Do you dare seek His face and His perspective on your circumstances? From His vantage point, that small space you're in might actually be the training ground that is preparing you for a public display of God's greatness in you.
Joseph had his prison.
David had his caves.
Jesus had His desert.
No matter where you find yourself at this moment, your time will come. He WILL save you. He WILL set you in a wide open space. He WILL be faithful to His word. He WILL keep His promises.
The NIV states the passage like this, "He brought me out into a spacious place;
A few days ago I was able to go visit my folks in Oregon. I went with great intentionality; I wanted to spend time with my mom and dad. No agenda, no rush, no plan.
Spending time with my mom is a no-brainer. She shops, she talks about music and clothes, and things very familiar to me. My dad, however, is a little more complex. He spent his life working in a field that I know little about. In the most recent years he has spent countless hours researching and chronicling our family heritage. To be honest, I've been too busy to give my genealogy much thought.
But I was determined to talk to him. To communicate, heart-to-heart.
So I took the time. He wanted to show me pictures and tell me how the genealogy program works, and look at family trees on the computer screen. Because of his physical limitations and the length of power cord to his computer, I soon found myself sitting on the floor at my dad's feet.
And it hit me. I wasn't sitting there to get something from him, I was sitting there because he wanted to share things with his daughter. I was invited into his most prized space to just listen, and be loved and valued. But it was also an opportunity to love and to place great value on my dad. It was a sweet moment of realization that has become a revelation that changed the way I look at prayer.
How often have I made time to cry out to God because I want or need something from Him? (Too often, to be honest.) But now I understand; God longs for me to sit at His feet, simply because He wants to spend time with me and show me the things that mean the most to Him. My choice to sit there is a sign of my respect, honor, love, and adoration of my Father who has been waiting for me.
It's not complicated but it does take time. Perhaps the most important moments of our day will be the times we choose to sit at our Father's feet. Being with dad sets the world right, somehow. That bond between God and us is why we were created in the first place.
In the book of Genesis, we read that before Adam and Eve sinned, they had a habit of spending time with their Father. "When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees." Genesis 3:8 (NLT) Unlike Adam and Eve, our sins have been forgiven and we have nothing to hide.
So why not run to Him? How long has it been since you sat at your Father's feet?