Yesterday, my wife and I were enjoying some down time at Chick-Fil-A in New Albany. We'd been there for a couple of hours, waiting to pick the kids up from school, when out of the blue this guy walks up, and without an introduction, just begins to prophecy over me! It was the craziest thing! He just began to share a word from the heart of God that was oh so encouraging. Though we had never met prior, he knew things about me that were specific to me and my situation. I just smiled and received the word he was delivering by the Spirit of God. I was floored that God would arrange this divine encounter at a fast food joint of all places. I would expect something like that at church, but at Chick-Fil-A?! I would eventually invite him to sit down and chat. We exchanged stories and found out he was the pastor at the Dwelling Place in New Albany. He had just come to Chick-Fil-A that morning to wait for his car to be worked on. He hadn't set out that morning to prophecy but as he communed with the Lord outside the four walls of the church, the Spirit of God moved upon him and before you know it, pastor Jerry was used to encourage another brother in Christ!
Here's another similar story that has God all over it. A couple weeks ago, my friend and pastor, Russ Benson was meeting a friend for lunch at the Wendy's in Corydon, Indiana. In the midst of conversation Russ perceives, by the Spirit of God, that a young man across the restaurant (a man he had never seen before) was a pastor. Russ tells his friend, "This guys a pastor. I need to go talk to him." So Russ gets up from his table and walks up to this stranger's table. He says, "Hey, my name is Russ Benson...blah, blah, blah. Are you a pastor?" The guys says no and Russ is like, "Oh dear, I missed this one." But the stranger immediately says, "...but I have this longing to plant a church." At this Russ begins to get excited because he himself is a church planter at heart and has a passion to see churches planted and partner with pastors to see this happen. He's been a huge help for me over the past six months! Anyway...to make a long story short...come to find out, this stranger at the Wendy's in Corydon actually lived in E-town, which if you're not familiar with the geography of this story, is in a completely different state! He told Russ that his intention that afternoon was to hit the Wendy's in E-town but the Lord told him to go to the Wendy's in Corydon:) Are you kidding me?! So he obeys the Lord, tracks across the river, takes his seat in the corner of the restaurant and God brings a strange church planter to his table to minister to him and establish a divine connection. Wow! God is good.
Even as a I share these two stories I'm seeing three very important lessons surface.
- God has no desire to be confined to the four walls of the church! He's just as happy (if not more happy) to move supernaturally on Monday at Wendy's then He is to move on Sunday at church.
- God is looking for people who will be his mouth piece in the market place! In talking to both Russ and Jerry, I'm pretty certain they both had passing thoughts like, "God, are you sure you want me to go talk to this stranger. What if this isn't you? What will they think?" But they obeyed God and God moved in supernatural ways to establish divine connection. He'll not only do this Christian to Christian, as was the case in the above mentioned stories, I believe if we'll stay sensitive to the Spirit's lead He'll bring us in contact with hurting people who don't know Jesus and will be open to the gospel as they have a supernatural encounter with God.
- Stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading, even when picking a fast food joint! We have a tendency to turn off our spiritual ears when we're not in church or don't have our nose in the Bible, but if we'll continually be aware that the Spirit of God desires to lead us, we'll be surprised at the things that happen and the people we meet. Stay sensitive!
Note: I would encourage you to go back and read my previous blog entry as I think the two stories above are case in point.