Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obeying God and Hearing His Voice

A friend of mine told me he once asked a godly lady how she became so powerful with God. She replied, "Have you ever been in a restaurant or some other public place and felt God leading you to go talk to some stranger there?" He said yes. She asked, "Did you do it?"

He was silent as he thought of opportunities missed. She said, "Well, there you have it."

The life of a disciple is lived with regular knots in the pit of your stomach. Perhaps there are some great disciples out there who are never in fear that what they think is the voice of God inside is really just some inner impulse that will lead them to great embarrassment. I don't know any disciples like that, though. The great disciples I know set the fear aside, live with the knot in the pit of their stomach, and risk embarrassment.

These disciples talk to people, including strangers, that they feel led to talk to. They say that strange thing that they feel God leading them to say. They do that unusual thing that they feel God leading them to do.

I remember one night in Germany feeling led to talk to a man I was walking past on the sidewalk. I didn't know what to say, but I remembered years earlier that an evangelist (Danny Duvall) had said thatstraightforward is best. Just tell them that you want to talk to them about Jesus.

So I stopped this man with the question, in German, "Do you know Jesus?" His answer was amazing. "How could I possibly know Jesus? He's been dead for two thousand years."

I had one of the most interesting talks I've ever had with that man. I don't know what impact it had on him, but it led to one of the more interesting nights of my life. He invited me to talk to him more at the bar he was walking to. I went home to tell my wife I was taking him up on the invitation, and then I went to the bar.

When I got there, the German man wasn't there, but an old friend from the military was. I got to spend an hour talking to him about life and about the Lord. After that hour, another man came in talking about God. Yes, talking about God in a bar. He was very strange, and he had strange ideas about God. I talked to him until he let down and began talking a lot more reasonably, and he began admitting he knew he needed to give his life to God. It was a very, very unusual conversation.

Amazingly enough, it didn't end there. The owner of the local "house of ill repute" (that was legal in Germany then, and it may still be) came in. The bartender refused to serve him and said he always came in to start fights with Americans. I asked him in German why he hated Americans, and he was surprised I spoke German. He said he was still mad about world war II, even though he had to have been a child during the war. I was able to preach the Gospel even to him, though he was very resistant to it.

Afterwards, I drove the strange man that had talked about God to his room on base. The military had sent him over for just one week, and so I never saw him again, but I know our conversation made an impact on his life. He had been drinking a bit in the bar, even though I hadn't been, and he really opened up on the way to his room.

I've missed my share of opportunities by not listening to that quiet inner voice, but I didn't miss that one. It's been more than twenty years since that happened, but the stories from that night still inspire me and others not to let God's whisperings go by unheeded.

Make your own memories. You can't be a disciple without regularly feeling the gnawing fear that comes when God asks you to do something outside your comfort zone. The choice between obeying your fear and obeying God can be the one difference between being a great man or woman of Godand being just another person who left no impact on this world.

The Rest of the Old, Old Story: honest and historic Christianity. Is your faith working? Is it transforming you and those around you? Get in the mainstream of God's power by walking in the footsteps of the most powerful churches in history

Also see Paul Pavao's blog on Radical Christianity

Power Of Positive Thinking

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