Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Totonac Indian woman heading home from the market and a landscape view of the misty mountains my first morning in Cerro Grande

After spending a week in Mexico to set up a Spring Break trip to the mountains of Veracruz, I arrived back into the office to find I had a meeting scheduled to meet with two of the men we had been with at the prayer cottage, plus two more.

We (in our office) were unsure what the purpose of the meeting was about, but knew three of the four men were coming around our ministry as God has sent them to raise up an economic structure to help support our ministry over the long term.

The fourth man was unknown to us. Upon arrival, we learned he was a lawyer by education who had spent much of his career in commercial real estate for a large corporate retailer. God had given him a vision forty eight years ago, when he was five. He never understood it until recently.

He had retreated into his literal prayer closet, and sought the Lord. God revealed to him the meaning of his dream, so many years ago. He left his job and is pursuing this avenue of ministry which involves business people, Christian Principles, and stadium events. His presentation involved impressive computer generated graphics.

I confess that such things, while worthwhile pursuits when raised up by the Lord, fall short of raising my excitement. I sat for most of the morning and part of the afternoon wondering why we were meeting.

I guess I had the kind of attitude most of us do. That attitude begs, what's in it for me? I struggled not to feel that way. I believe the Lord can and will do some incredible things through this ministry plan. Personally, I sought it's relevance to what our ministry is about, and why one of these men had called us all together.

I know this all sounds very selfish. I just want to be clear that I felt disconnected and was hoping my partner in the meeting (from our office) did not.

Most of the men around the table, shared what God was doing in their lives before we headed off to lunch. As they shared, they combined their visions for business/ministry.

At lunch, I was seated across from the lawyer. As we were eating, and one of our party was sharing, God spoke to me.

He revealed that I needed to tell this man something very specific.

I was not inclined to agree.

My new lawyer friend was all business. He revealed no emotion, whatsoever. Our personalities are 180 degree polar opposites.

When he had shared before lunch, he told us he had one son. A miracle child.

He and his wife had wanted children for years, but had been unable to. Then, nine years ago, when he was in his early forties, the Lord opened her womb, and they got pregnant.

He continued on that his son was the only thing in life capable of bringing laughter to him. He laughed hard at the antics of his son, but asserted that nothing else in life brought him to that place.

As he spoke, sadness rushed in. I was sad because laughter is so important in our lives. Sad because my son did the same thing to me and I miss it. Sad because I knew that I could laugh at other things as well, and I needed to be able to.

I pondered what the Lord told me to share. I grieved over it. I did not want to be the messenger. I knew this message would not likely be found acceptable or received by my new friend, from anyone else. I don't know how I knew it, I just knew it.

When I have the privilege of participating in these kinds of meetings, I generally recognize the presence of the Lord. Up to my turn to share, I had not sensed Him. This concerned me. Why were we here? Was this a waste of all of our time?

How could it be? We were all believers coming together to bring glory to God by sharing what He was doing.

We were back in the conference room. Lunch was over, I knew my turn was coming.

I went last out of the six men. In the course of our conversations, most of the others had told our new friend that I would be sharing my journey and that he really needed to hear it.

As the final man told what God was doing in his business life, I pondered how to share the message I had been entrusted with.

It was no longer a question of whether or not I would share it, it was how would I share it?

Suddenly, I was being called upon to share. I was asked to share the story of Elijah Ajaang first.

I did so. After this, and as it was time to share our story, I asked the men to pray with me.

As we closed our eyes to pray, the Holy Spirit rushed in like a mighty wind! I was overwhelmed by His presence and suddenly could not speak. When I did, it was with a deep sense of brokenness.

As I prayed, I shared with my new friend that God had prepared him for this venture, but that one thing was left for him to do in order to be fully surrendered. One thing he would not want to do. One thing he had likely not even considered (because most of us don't).

As we continued in prayer, the Lord had me speak of Abraham and Isaac and the altar of sacrifice. He revealed much to us about the Abraham's heart and Isaac's responsiveness.

In the course of seeking our Father, I told him that God needed him to put his son on the altar.

Our Lord was moving and stirring our hearts throughout this time of prayer. Why and when He chooses to enter with such gentle violence, I cannot comprehend. I only stand confident that He does, and I am so very grateful!

Over the next moments, I shared about BJ. I explained how we had been told he was a girl from the ultrasound and that he was our miracle son...our only son.

I told of his life, his passion for Jesus, his service, and his death. I spoke of the impact that the Lord was having on lives around the world because of his obedience. I emphasized that we each as parents had to be willing to put our children on the altar, for they are not our own, but belong to the Father anyway.

Upon concluding, he was a man touched by God's Spirit. He told us he had never even considered doing such a thing. He wanted to pray and offer up his one and only miracle son! He wanted to mark this day, as the day he laid his son down.

And so, we did.

I could not believe it and yet I had come to completely expect it. The mysterious and powerful ways our God moves cannot be contained in one story or one life, but fills volumes and is carried by the testimonies of His people from sea to shining sea.

We each need to share our stories of God's movement. It doesn't matter how small or insignificant we perceive them to be. He uses them in mighty ways, and we need to be faithful to open our mouths and speak.



At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you said yesterday that you had a second story to share, I knew immediately that it would be for me. I thank you, Brent, for sharing. When God reveals things to us that are not pleasant or that are difficult to talk about it can be such a struggle. In my case there is something He has revealed to me that will be devastating for our family. He has NOT asked me to share it, at least not yet. But, in a way that is just as hard to sit and hold in something in that is difficult to have knowledge of and be the only one to have it. I am encouraged at your obedience. I know when I read BJ's story, obedience was one thing that stuck out to me and I know God had been speaking to me about it through the book. So, Bless you today, Brent. For even in this forum you never quite know who it is the Spirit is asking you to speak to. The Lord has plans for me, I know. Please pray I will be able to stand and follow through for Him. I sometimes wonder if I am hearing Him correctly. I don't wish to doubt, but, Abraham himself must have wondered at God's request to sacrifice his son. He must have wondered at first, "Is this really you God?" But, knowing His voice and then following it with implicit trust is the example of Faith in Action. This is the faith I wish to have.

Lisa Potter
Santa Cruz, CA


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