I am also so grateful for MY local church, Calvary Chapel Aurora, where I fellowship, serve and learn.
I am ALSO grateful for my pastor, Ed Taylor. He is imperfect, but we love watching him grow and obey the Lord! It encourages Joel and I to do the same!
He will often at the end of a service, when he is presenting the Gospel or challenging believers, feel like there is someone specific he needs to mention. It is usually something simple like, "I feel there is someone here that needs to be reconciled with their wife. You need to surrender to Jesus and make it right!"
He told an amazing story at the beginning of our service yesterday:
Saturday night at the end of the normal service he (Pastor Ed) felt the Holy Spirit was leading him to mention a specific situation that someone was facing in the church. He said that there was someone who was a believer that was doing drugs and needed to give it up. He said that the Spirit kept leading him with further descriptions. He said (something like), "You are doing drugs and, in fact, you are not listening on the radio or watching online, but you even came to church high tonight. You are in this building and can hear my voice. I feel the Lord is telling me you are a woman- a young woman." He then challenged the girl, whoever she was, to give up the drugs and fully surrender her life to Christ.He said that he, lacking faith, fully expected to just get an email during the week with a "that was me you were talking about Saturday" type of message. He said that often happens when he gets specific like that in his challenge to people.After service as he was talking and praying with people a couple came up to him. They said that when the girl he mentioned makes herself known that they would like to help disciple her. Pastor Ed said that he would let them know... and then he saw a young girl right behind them.
Now, before I continue, let me say this before you write this off as crazy, absurd or mystic: it's not. My church is not a coo-coo place where we put the Spirit to the test or try to fabricate these kinds of stories to make people cry or go "wow!"
I have a real pastor who just wants to obey the Lord.
Ok, now I will continue:
The girl stepped forward and said she was the one he was talking about. She said she had been down in the bathroom when she heard him talking about her. (We have speakers in the whole church that broadcast the message.) She knew it was God calling to her.He felt the Holy Spirit was telling him she had the drugs with her so he held out his hand and asked her to give him all the drugs she had with her. He said they would go flush them down the toilet right now and connect her with people who would help her. She reached in her pocket and handed him the drugs. He paused and asked her for ALL the drugs. She reached in her purse and gave him the rest.He handed them to a couple other pastors and they flushed them right then and there.
This is the body of Christ. This is faith. This is being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, how He works and then obeying!
So many people, including me sometimes, wonder why God is not "working in their lives." Yet, at the same time we keep God in a little box. We tame Him. We turn church into a social club, gossip session, compare my cute kids with yours day, duty and all around American past time.
It is time to wake up. The end is near and the Lord is calling YOU to step out in faith, like never before, and obey.
You know what you need to do.
Will you join me? Let's do it!
For the sake of Jesus Christ, His kingdom and HIS glory!