By Joyell Nevins – San Diego, California
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 NKJV
God makes it clear throughout His Word – knowledge and wisdom are important. He gave us a brain for a reason!
There are many ways to get that wisdom and knowledge: Bible study, seminars, teachings, conversations, and sometimes, it comes through learning as you go. Walking with God, the Lord Jesus, and using your holy spirit can be the best teachers around!
I was reminded of this as the Spirit used an incident in real time to demonstrate keys to ministering with the Kingdom. Across my county, people who believe in the power of God gathered on literal street corners to pray for their city and nation for an event called “We Pray San Diego,” in conjunction with We Pray 24/7.
It was moving and leveling to see so many people from so many different backgrounds laying it all before the Lord. Some believers clapped and sang, some bowed and kneeled, and some quietly meditated. But all were bringing their praise and their concerns before the Lord!
It was also heartwarming to see and hear how many cars honked in support, and how many people called messages of gratitude from their vehicles.
However, where I learned the most was not on that street corner; it was on a grocery store sidewalk during a supposed “break” from the prayer vigil. But as so many Christian Family Fellowship ministers have shown me, ministry happens right in the middle of mundane life.
I had walked to a local grocer to use the restroom, and as I was exiting, a light rain began. A young employee, who we’ll call Barry, was sweeping the sidewalk, and I made a casual comment about the rain making it harder for him to clean up leaves.
One of the first keys to ministering with the Lord: observe and engage.
I noticed the worker, and I reached out and spoke to him.
He responded back, and through the course of our conversation, asked me about the rain. He said he “didn’t know much about this,” as he was raised in a home without God or religion (his dad walked away from his faith after being hurt), but wondered if there was a point to the rain.
Did God send it as a way to show that He was here? That we were in His presence?
Second key to ministering with the Lord: be humble.
This key, I’m chagrined to admit, God still has to work with me a lot on – although as Pastor Tonia likes to say, the moment you think you’re humble, you’re not.
Personally, I had thought of the rain as a pain in the neck. I thought maybe it was the enemy trying to (literally) dampen our parade.
But, this kid presented a whole different way of looking at it. I said, Barry, you might be right. I hadn’t thought about it that way. The rain is definitely a blessing for the farmers, but maybe it can be a blessing for us, too. Because the Father God is certainly with us right now!
Third key to ministering with the Lord: seize the moment.
At that point, I could have said, nice to meet you and walked away back to my original prayer post. Instead, I just asked him, would you like to pray together now?
His face widened in surprise, but he said sure – although I don’t know really how to do that. I said, that’s okay, I’ll just talk to the Lord, and you add whatever you want to say.
Fourth key to ministering with the Lord: don’t be intimidated if you don’t know everything.
Sometimes, when I pray with random people, God gives really cool visions or information about them that I wouldn’t have known without the spirit working in me: those manifestations of word of knowledge and prophecy.
This time? I got nothing. Nothing.
So, in the middle of my prayer, I just had to ask him – Barry, do you have any brothers or sisters? Where are you in the middle of the lineup? Do you have or want a relationship? What college are you going to? I would listen to his answer, and then pray about that.
And you know what? That’s okay that I had to ask. It’s God that moves in people’s hearts, through me, not by me. It’s His Words and His power that changes people’s lives, whether or not I have a “spiritual experience.” I was reminded that this life and working with God’s people is just so not about me.
As we finished, Barry thanked me and said people have told him he should seek God, but he just “doesn’t have the time for that right now.” I left him with this thought – Barry, one of the cool things about God is that He is always right there, right with us. As soon as you turn to Him, snap, God is right beside you.
I said, look at us – gesturing to the cage of propane tanks right next to us. God showed up right here beside this propane.
That is true for all of us. Final key for this particular lesson with the Lord: when we seek Him, we will find Him.
“…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
God promises He will always be right there when we look for Him. He can show up on a street corner, a sidewalk, a kitchen table, or a backyard campfire. His only requirement is a willing heart.
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to You. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me will all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NKJV