It was several years ago at a writer's conference in California that I first saw this little book... I was drawn to it, but I confess - I did not buy it. Not then. Not for a year or so actually. It scared me. At first glance, this was not my kind of book. I am an introvert not an evangelist. I am not your average street corner preacher... even if I do have sidewalk prophet tendencies.
Mostly, I whisper it quiet... I hear from God. I say it hushed at first because it can seem strange, be misinterpreted, make people feel uncomfortable - but is this not what should be breaking our hearts?
God WANTS to be heard. He is speaking to us - all of us - in our every days and He desires that we catch the tune of the melodic love song that He is constantly singing over us. I don't always hear it, oh but when I do... When I do, I remember that He is singing all the while and once again I let Bossy Lists, multi-tasking, earthly chatter, every day living, and all the noise crowd out His still small Voice. I don't mean to... it just happens!
Eventually this little book found it's way to me. My little group of Happy Intercessors read through it slow several years ago. Only one or two of us were bold and excited to approach strangers; the rest of us were scared... more than a little shy and unsure! But here's the deal... we were kindred and we knew we each heard from God! We had spent years tuning in to His heart and practicing quieting ourselves to hear Him speak while gathered together.
So at the end of each chapter... we would pull out a piece of paper, and pray - and write down "clues"... we didn't wait long... didn't over-analyze it... just wrote down the random things that entered in to our minds. Next we would share our lists and make a Treasure Map... and then the fun would begin. Sure - knees knocking and half hoping we would come up empty-handed, but fun was at the center of our search as we headed out in teams to bless our city because here's the deal - here is the message of that book:
Find people and tell them that God treasures them!
Simple... no pressure, no twisting arms, no doom and gloom...
just show them the Map, tell them that we were sent there to find them and let them know how crazy in love He is with them, and then offer to pray!
I share that here because other than a handful of times, I haven't done that on purpose - with intention - for quite awhile and just like with anything, if you don't practice it can feel like you are starting from zero all over again. (Hint - It may feel like it, but you aren't! You have all that past experience behind you now... all those testimonies and treasures found to stir you up!)
Last week, during Soar (the Bible college/BSSM satellite school we attend) we went out on a treasure hunt. I teamed up with My Honey and another friend Steve, and we prayed, made our maps and hit the road looking for whomever God would highlight to us. This is literally taking the call He gave me to another level... to Speak Life, to Be Love, to Shine On... This puts feet on that statement and my how I fight off fear of man, but I lean in and do it anyway! I am learning that we just need to do it! Do it brave, or do it scared, but for the love - let's just do it! (Nike got that right!)
So - here is a peek at my Map...
We set out on foot because last Wednesday it was Gorgeous, ya'll - and one of our clues was park. There were two within walking distance and we assumed with it being so nice, there would be people out enjoying the near-summer like weather!
The park was empty... but another clue was Bird bath, which this park had. Then we noticed three people sitting on their front stoop across the street from the park, and they had a Black (rod iron) Fence on the porch, which was also on our Map. We approached them a bit shyly, asking them about a car accident that had just happened in the park the week before. They were ready to share their experience and how the accident had impacted them. We then explained what we were doing and that we felt that God led us to them... that they are treasured by God and so very loved. They remained open and we were able to pray simply for one need, and then another, and then another. At one point when my Honey was sharing more things on his Map, one of the men asked, "Who have you been talking to?"
"God. We've been talking to God!" was the only answer to give.
In talking of physical issues, neck pain was on our Map and the gal had already had two surgeries and was going in for a third. She let me lay my hands on her and pray... twice... as she felt heat go through her body and pain leave.
Yes... God. We've been talking to God. The God who loves... who heals... who sees.
As I wrapped up my prayer for her neck, I heard Him whisper a word of encouragement for her, and as I shared that, she began to cry... nodding her head, trying to believe that what He said about her was true. We saw Hope begin to unfold as we walked away, looking for more people to bless.
"For God so loved the world... that He gave His only Son..."
He is giving still...
P.S. Speaking of giving... (ya see what I did there?) If you want to help be an encounter... to put some feet on 'Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.' in a different way, we are still raising funds for Phase 2 to help build a Community Kitchen and Welcome Center in South Africa.
For more info, or to join with us... with Him... and give, click here:
I'm linking up with:
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart
and Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday
When was the last time you heard (or sensed, felt, discerned) God speak your name or sing over you? Have you ever? What kind of God Encounters have you had, and have you ever BEEN one for someone?
More than anything you hear today - more than any words that I can write... I want you to hear Him speaking... to hear His words over you... singing and sinking into your heart!
He LOVES you... you are His Treasure!