Sunday, July 22, 2012
Post #43 – CAN YOU LISTEN TO GOD WITH NON-BELIEVERS?
To see this video Storyboard, click anywhere on the image.
Do you ever wonder if you could do listening prayer with people who haven’t, as of yet, come to know Christ. I like to think of this as “Listening prayer as you live and labor among the lost.”
Here’s a true story that will challenge your paradigms by a pastor, missionary, evangelist, and listener. His name is Jamie Winship. It’s from a talk he was giving to a group of people about listening to God.
So, … I’ll give you an example. Cause I’m going to speak at the men’s thing tomorrow and I … you guys will love this. I promise you. The stuff we’ve seen just in the last month has been unbelievable. But, I’m, I’m … I teach in our Men’s Fraternity at Grace at our church in Atlanta and we did a big series … I know some of you listened to on “Hearing from God.” And so, we’re working through that series talking about:
· Can we hear from God
· What does it look like?
· How is it biblical? … that sort of thing.
About the third week, this guy walks up to me after … we meet at 6 am on Tuesday mornings. That was not my plan, believe me. But this guy walks up to me and he says, he’s about 60 year old. He says to me, “I just want you to know that I don’t believe anything you say and I don’t believe in God.”
I love those kind of people, don’t you? Really, don’t try to spare my feelings, dude. Just lay it out there.
And so he said, “I don’t believe a thing you said, and I don’t believe in God.” And I said, “Well, I do believe in God and I do believe He speaks, and I don’t want to be here at six. Why are you here?”
And he goes, “Well.” He said, “A friend of mine invited me. I really love the guy. He’s a co-worker, and I didn’t want to offend him, so I came this morning. But I just didn’t want to go before I told you that.”
I said, “Okay, thanks. I appreciate that.” Now, what do you say to a guy like that? That’s pretty strong, right? So I said. I said, “Well, do you wanna’ hear God speak right now?”
He said, “I don’t think you heard what I just said to you.”
I said, “I heard what you said. You don’t believe in Him, but actually He doesn’t work based on that … what you think. He tends to be sort of omnipotent and omniscient, and all this kind of thing. So He’s not really limited to what your view is.” So I said, “Would you like to hear Him right now? He’ll talk to you.”
And the guy said, “Okay, all right. I wanna’ hear Him speak right now.”
So I get our men’s ministry pastor who’s a young guy. And I say, “Come with me. I want you to watch this. Because this is how you need to lead men. Watch this. Come with me.” So then Brian, his name is Brian comes with me. We go into this prayer room and a, I tell... the guy sits down across from me and Brian’s next to me.
And I say to the guy, “All I’m gonna’ do. This is all I’m gonna’ do. I’m gonna’ ask the Lord to speak to you. And then I’m not gonna’ say another word. Okay?”
And he’s like, “All right.”
And so we’re just staring at each other. And I said, “Lord, Jim here thinks that you don’t speak. That’s what he believes about You. I think that’s wrong. Would You just show him the truth about Yourself on whether or not You still speak? Thank You, Lord.” I don’t know what else to say, actually.
So we’re looking at each other. And I’m… this is Brian I’m trying to disciple. He’s wondering, “What, you know. Why are you … is this discipleship? What is this? This is embarrassing actually is all it is.”
And so, I’m looking at the guy. And the guy goes, “What am I supposed to do?”
And I said, “Just … tell me what went right through your mind when I asked God to speak to you? That’s all. He kind of speaks through the old mind. It’s not super magical.”
And he goes, “All right. I see a door.”
“A door, oh, hum?” I look at Brian. Brian’s like, “yeah, a door, hum?”
Here we go. And I said, “Well, okay. So you’re thinking about a door. Well, what about the door.”
And he said, “Well, I’d like to walk through it. I’d like to go through that door.”
And I said, “Go through it.”
And he said, “For some reason, I can’t. I just feel like I can’t. I don’t know what it is.”
And I said, “Okay. Well, Lord, why can’t he walk through that door that You’re showing him?”
See, I believe what’s happening. He doesn’t. But, that’s why we’re there. We’re bearing witness to what God is trying to speak into this guy’s life … not to condemn him. We’re just trying to, “Hey, why have you been thinking a door. Let’s ask God.”
And so I said, “Lord, why can’t he walk through that door?”
And the guy bows his head. It’s so interesting to watch as they get closer to God, the One they don’t believe. And he bows his head and he said. He said to himself, “Why can’t I walk through this door?” And he looks at me and he says to me, “Something has hold of my feet.” And now he’s scared.
And I said, “That’s okay. All right. Lord, who has a hold of his feet?” Well I know who has hold of his feet so he can’t walk through that door. Satan. I know that. Does he believe in Satan? He’s going to in just a minute. Not yet. Not yet! So I pray that, “Who’s holding his feet?”
And he gets… He starts to shake. And he looks up at me and he says, “I think its Satan.”
And I said, “Okay. Yeah, we would probably agree with that.” I said, “Do you know why he has hold of you like that?”
He said, “No.” But, he’s terrified to know. But, you know what? He knew. He knew exactly why. And that’s why he can’t believe in God … cause of guilt ... and shame. And so, but I don’t know what it is. And I’m not going to give him a lecture on guilt and shame … because he’s dying in it. He doesn’t need to hear that again. And he’s a super successful business guy I know from the community.
So anyway, so I said, “Lord, Lord, how is Satan holding his feet?”
And he, he got down on his knees on the floor. And put his head on the floor and burst into tears.
And so I got on one side, and Brian got on the other. And I laid down, I laid my head down next to him. He’s sobbing and I said … I said, “What is it?”
And he said, “We killed two babies.” That’s what he said. So, earlier in his career his wife had two abortions to keep their career moving; twenty-seven years ago.
See, here’s the thing. Time doesn’t take shame and guilt away. It doesn’t. Only God can do that! I don’t care how long you wait; you’ll deal with it sooner or later.
So he said, “I killed two babies.” And he’s weeping. And so I said, “Go, Let go. Just let it go. Confess. Go.” Confession is just telling God what He’s already telling you. That’s all it is. That’s all it is.
And he said, “Lord, I’ve been holding this for twenty-seven years. It’s killing me. It’s killing my marriage. And I knew it was wrong at the time, and I just didn’t want to believe it. So, I just don’t wanna’ believe in You. But it’s wrong, and I know it, and I don’t want to feel this way any more.” That’s what he’s doing ... beautiful confession.
And then I said this to him. And this is really important. I don’t know how you think about prayer. I said, “Ask the Lord to show you forgiveness. Show it to you!” Because I can explain forgiveness to you; we can have an intellectual conversation about what forgiveness is, but what if you saw it? What if you saw God forgive you? Would that be more powerful? We do this all the time with men.
And so he said, “Lord, just let me see forgiveness.” And so he sees the door open, and Jesus is there holding both babies in His arms. And says to him, “It’s okay. I got them. They’re fine. It’s okay. I forgive you.” Then He reaches out His hand and says to the man, “Walk through the door with Me.”
And the guy came to Christ right there. He was baptized the next Sunday; the next Sunday holding his granddaughter in his arms. And he gets … this is his testimony, okay? The pastor asks if he has anything to say. And he says, “Yes” he said. “I believed that God doesn’t speak. He does!” That was it. That was his whole testimony.
Can you pray with people like that? YES! If, if, we believe it. That’s the problem. We don’t believe it. But this is what, what prayer does. And if you confess one to another, God heals them and restores them. You should hear this guy give his testimony. It’s unbelievable. Twenty-seven years of guilt and shame … now he uses as a weapon for the Kingdom of God … with great power. The very knife that killed him, he now wields to defeat the enemy in other men’s lives. An amazing guy!
I’d love to hear your comments and stories. L2G.Forum@gmail.com