Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm Ruined for Anything Else


There's one line from Bill Johnson, from Redding, CA, I like to quote, but one shouldn't overdue.  Those who know these words don't live as Christians playfully.

I'm ruined for anything else.

We worshiped on Wednesday night, as we did the Wednesday before, at the church we attend in Calhoun County, AL.  The environment was conducive to free expressions of body movements and utterances in song or word.  I took advantage of the environment both evenings.  There could have been a thousand people in the room or an audience of one.  Regardless, these were just recent examples that affirm the truth I'm ruined for anything else.

On occasion, I've sensed the Lord's intimate and glorious presence that's led me to express myself physically.  I refrain from dancing, usually, but not in bowing or kneeling or even lying on the ground.  I ended up on the floor the first Wednesday.  I was alone in that expression.  The next week, I left my row, moved to the open place behind us as the congregation sang and worshiped.  I dropped to my knees and sang and laughed and cried and prayed in tongues all of which was in praise of our glorious God and King.  I'm ruined for anything else.  

First Wednesday, prior to my descent to the carpet, I saw behind closed eyes silver, white and red jewels shimmering.  The jewels were lined up vertically on could have been a wall.  I didn't know for sure because the room where they were was dark except for the light emanating from the jewels.  They were more beautiful than any photograph or video could depict them.  

The second Wednesday, after I returned to my seat because a Bible study was to commence in the same auditorium, I sat quietly with my eyes shut.  I began to pray for the outpouring of revival in this area.  With my eyes shut, I saw people sitting in the same room where we sat.  Suddenly, ice water pitchers came to each person in the room, but they didn't simultaneously.  As if in phases, the pitchers came to each person and poured out the liquid each held.  Some of the people tilted their heads as if to drink and some didn't as if they know the pitchers were there, but, still the contents were poured out on each.  

Some of the people in the room then rose from their seats and became figures of light.  They left the room while the others remained.  My wife and I got up and went to the large gathering area with seats and tables outside the sanctuary.  The floor is littered with debris of black, brown and golden pieces.  Across the area from us, we saw the figures of light leave the building.

These two visions of mysterious and inspiring images seem to have been born in a rich environment of worship and Holy Spirit's presence.  Such encounters leave me awestruck and humbled.  Overcome, I say little is in comparison to what the Lord shows and speaks.  I'm ruined.



A colleague of mine at work had missed several days due to a family member's illness and frightening diagnosis.  I saw her arrive one day this week.  She looked tired but glad to be back.  I said I'd heard it had been hard for her lately.  She shared about the condition of her father-in-law and the fears of the family.  I said she should take it easy that day.  When I was alone in the storage area I prayed for the Lord's peace to surround her and the family.  She then appeared in the room.  Moved by compassion, I asked if I could hold her hand.  She extended it, and I took it.  I told her I'd pastored a lot of churches, and I knew God was good and wasn't responsible for sickness or accident or the early death of a loved one.  "He's with you in this."  With that she shared more.  We shed tears together and affirmed God was still at work.  When compassion arises for the hurting in my midst, I know I'm ruined for anything else.

The next day was perhaps the most significant of any described in this post. I was standing still at work and then I heard it. In a subtle form, perhaps like a still small voice, I heard within my spirit, "I'm a minister of God."  It had been a long time since I could comfortably consider myself as a minister of God.

Months into years of discouragement with a recent shift in season has now brought its own reward.  I know I'm in a new position with the Father's blessing. I know I've learned to hear and see  as the Lord shows and tells as I never had before.  I want to please the Father, lift up the Son and flow in the Spirit.  I'm ruined for anything else.

Could we be on the verge, finally, of stepping into our destiny as a couple and as partners in the Kingdom?  Time will tell.  We will walk through doors only the Father can open.  We will be placed in positions of anointing and purpose only the Lord can construct and orchestrate.  Right now, I find peace in the simple comfort I know who I am again, ruined for anything else but to minister the grace and mercy, power and love of the good news of God in Christ to the world.  This thrills me and draws me even closer to our God who can always be trusted.  Alleluia.

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