I just returned from South Bend, Indiana, on Sunday night — a good visit with a congregation out of my Church of Christ heritage. But these are folks that are determined to walk in the Spirit. Among them is a man named Larry. On Sunday morning, I was sharing “Lessons I’ve Learned” with the church. I encouraged them to get the “Lordship issue” settled, to be sure they have named Jesus Lord of their lives, as well as personal Savior. “In fact,” I said, “since Paul says we confess with our mouths that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and since Jesus said that He would confess us before the Father if we confess Him before men, be sure that you have done that. Is there anyone here who has never given public testimony to the Lordship of Jesus in your life?” Perhaps a half dozen people rose to confess Jesus as Lord of their lives. I began speaking again, and a few minutes into my message, there was a ‘divine interruption’ as ‘the last man’ stood. What happened next amazed me.
“For thirty-six years, I was a confirmed atheist,” he said. “Some months ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A few weeks following, my Pentecostal cousin came over to our house and asked if she could pray for me. Even though I probably reluctantly granted her desire, I had no expectations. But suddenly there was a wind–that’s the only way I know how to describe it–a wind of God that blew across me, and I am healed. I want to confess that Jesus is Lord and that Jesus is now my Lord!”
Yes! That’s the way we want people to come to the Lord. Let them know Him, know His power, His presence. Let us pray that people will have Saul of Tarsus type experiences and will proclaim Jesus Lord of their lives.
Elijah, Moses, Daniel, Deborah, Paul, Peter—all those men and women of old depended on a God Who is still present, who is working. “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working,” Jesus told the gathered Jerusalem crowd that day at the pool of Bethesda. A man had been healed. The crowd was astonished. Not Jesus. His Father was and is always working.
Two things have happened to me lately that were the kind of intervention one hopes for and prays for.
Six years ago I was having trouble with my left knee. I went to an orthopedic physician who eventually did arthroscopic surgery on that knee and during the process said, “I’m not able to clean out all the debris.” Then almost offhandedly he said, “I’ve replaced knees that are not this bad.”
I (falsely) assumed that the next step would be knee replacement. We should never assume! One of my sisters has had both knees replaced. Another has had both hips replaced. And the third has had one hip replaced. Evidence that I probably will have to have that, too, right? Wrong. Never assume the worse. In the Lord, we keep praying for His intervention.
I was so convinced that the orthopedic surgeon would suggest knee replacements, I put off going as long as I could.
I began having severe pain in my right knee. More evidence! Not true. It was an assumption.
Finally, after going through my schedule and preparing myself mentally for a time out for knee replacements, I went to the doctor.
Much to my joy, he found fluid on my right knee (that could be drained and relieve the pain) and the severity in both knees no where near replacement time.
For six years I had believed a lie.
Two months ago, during a routine physical, the doctor found a “nodule at the base of my right lung.” He did not seem to be too concerned (but then what doctor is going to act concerned when talking to you), yet wanted me to come back in two months for another x-ray. This time, I did better on the faith side. I refused to go into anxiety (by God’s grace), did have some people praying, and waited until early this week for the second x-ray. Waiting in the room for the doctor to come tell me the results, I pondered what would happen if there really was a severe problem. But I still was not walking in anxiety, just talking to the Lord about life, what is yet to do, and whether or not I would be around for a while.
“Nothing,” was his verdict when he viewed the second x-ray. “It was either there and is no longer, or it was some kind of fluke, but there is nothing there.”
So, let us “trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our ways!”
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