The days have been long and hours of sleep short here in Spain. The sun sets close to ten o’clock in the evening, and we usually do not arrive back to the house until between eleven in the evening and one o’clock in the morning after a long day of ministering; where we sometimes proceed to eat dinner. The mornings are predominantly slow until around ten in the morning, depending upon which team you are on and if you have appointments for ministering to the lost here.
If there is one thing that I am learning on this trip that I could share with you, it would be that you have to live life going with the flow. More importantly, the flow of Holy Spirit! This is not a new lesson for me and I have walked through it before. However, it is one that I am learning on a deeper level. Winging it is completely not how I am wired. I operate well on a schedule and I like having a pretty clear idea of what my day is going to look like; but here in Spain that theology simply does not work. My husband has a motto that I hear quite frequently, “expect the unexpected!” I have found God reminding me of that numerous times on this adventure. Not one moment of this trip has been as expected. In fact, we missed our flights here after being stuck on the Tarmac for hours and the guys’ bags didn’t get here until yesterday.
Monday turned out to be one of those days. My partner this week, John, and I were to eat lunch with the pastors that we are aligning with, Pastor Pablo and Pastor Elsa. We met with them and enjoyed a full three course meal and spent a few hours with them at their church before we were to meet with our two appointments in the evening. What we did not expect when conversing with them is to find out the things taking place in their region; the economy is very poor with few jobs, depression, drugs, trafficking, and they were also surrounded by an amount of witchcraft that was cursing them and their church. They had also been through a wave of persecution from other ministers in the area. What I thought would be a meal for relationship building also turned into a time of encouragement them in the faith to stand strong, and a powerful time of deliverance, casting out demons, repentance, and prayer.
Expect the unexpected.
From there we headed to our appointments only to find we had lost our translator for the day and had to forego the appointments for another time; which led into spending more time with the pastors. When arriving back to the base, my mother and father-in-law were headed to an appointment with the co-worker of one of our translators and son of Pastor Abel, Israel; they invited us, so we tagged along.
Expect the unexpected.
We met up with Israel, and his friend, David. David did not believe in God and from what I understand had an interesting perspective on how all creation existed; that it was more so like a video game with a game master. What a perfect set-up for sharing the Gospel!!!
We sat with him and got to know him. We talked quite some time about his desire to design a video game. Then my partner, John, in one mind-blowing swoop, transitioned into the greatest battle of good v.s. evil and how there really is a grand game master in charge of it all; and how the good wins in the end! We were all astonished at this!
Expect the unexpected.
After giving the parallel of truth against David’s own perception, he allowed John to share with him the story of the Gospel through the tool we are using, the evangecube. In the end, he ended up not choosing Jesus. He saw himself and his good deeds as enough and thought perhaps there was another way; even though we had already explained that there is no other way, JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY.
What do you do in a circumstance like that after you have been rejected in preaching the Gospel? Do you beat them over the head with the Bible and try to force them see the light and choose Jesus? Do you take them to dinner and continue to spend time with them and love on them the way Jesus would? We chose the latter. You encourage yourself in the the truth from Jesus’ own mouth in Luke 10:16 — “Jesus concluded His instructions to the seventy with these words: ‘Remember this: Whoever listens to your message is actually listening to Me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting Me, and not only Me but the One who sent Me.'” We had been faithful in proclaiming the Truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the rest is up to God and that person. You trust in God’s promise that when His Word goes forth, it ALWAYS accomplishes what it was sent out to do. A seed was planted that will one day produce a harvest. In faith.
We went to dinner with Israel and David and built relationship. They will know Him in how well you love. Though we were disappointed David didn’t choose Jesus, we loved on him. For me, love went up to a whole notha’ level that night when I ate a whole fried baby octopus. Loving others for Jesus this trip has stretched me in many ways, including multiplying my prayer of blessing on what I was to consume: “Lord, wherever You lead me, I’ll follow; whatever You feed me, I’ll swallow!” I got to add another tag onto that prayer that night: “Lord, I’ll put it down; You help me keep it down!”
My challenge to you today is that you would seriously ask yourself this question: Am I fully submitted to being used of God in HIS way and HIS time, NOT my own?
That morning in prayer with the team over the day that was ahead of us, I heard the Lord say, “Expect the unexpected!” In telling me that, He was inviting me out of my own agenda and into HIS divine design for the day.
Proverbs 16:1-7 (TPT)
“Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps. We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive. Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed. The Lord works everything together to accomplish His purpose. Even the wicked are included in His plans— He sets them aside for the day of disaster. Exalting yourself is disgusting to the Lord, for pride attracts His punishment— and you can count on that! You can avoid evil through surrendered worship and the fear of God, for the power of His faithful love removes sin’s guilt and grip over you. When the Lord is pleased with the decisions you’ve made, He activates grace to turn enemies into friends.”
If you found yourself in the same boat as me, will you join me in a fresh surrender to HIS WAY and not our own? Will you ask Him how you can partner with Him in His grand plan for your life today?
I promise you this: HIS WAY WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN OUR OWN. It will also ALWAYS PRODUCE THE GREATEST ETERNAL FRUIT!
Proverbs 16:9 (TPT)
“Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.”
We are but vessels.
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh