And so I’m standing there, cold, nervous, but with a casual stance that says “yeah sure, I’m just minding my own business, doing my own thing.” You have arrived at the point in time where I’m hovering outside a take away (take out for you readers across the pond), watching my friend approach a complete stranger who is going to tell him that he is the guy that God had placed on his heart to pray with.
We were undertaking something called ‘Treasure Hunting’, where a group meet to pray together and ask God to reveal to them signs, pictures, anything that will direct you to particular people whom God wants you to pray for/ with.
I had prayed and had a picture of a castle, and my friend had had a picture of a bus stop. My picture of a castle was particularly strange as we were in the leafy suburbs of London, and castles tend not to be too frequent. However my friend quickly noted that that local Pub was part of a chain called ‘Castle’ and there were a number of bus stops down there. Now at this point my friend hastened to tell me that he had had also had a picture of a specific person who may be at this bus stop, he saw specific features like clothing, hair color and sunglasses. We had our clues, and off we went in pursuit of this person. (Pursuit 1st-4th May, never miss a chance).
Now, at this point, every conceivable thought to do with fear, doubt and suspicion of our own minds came to the surface, like congealed milk in a fresh morning Nespresso (other pod based coffees are available). “Maybe we didn’t get these pictures, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this, I was wrong about Bastille, maybe I’m wrong about this as well?” And so on. But we pressed on, fear and doubt riddled both of us, but we felt we were being called to step out.
We eventually got to the Bus stop outside of the local ‘Castle’ pub and my friend turns to me and says, “that’s him, that’s the guy I saw in my picture. “ Aghast, we both proceed to produce a shuffle that John Travolta would have been envious of.
“I suppose I ought to go and speak to him then,” my friend uttered. I just stood there trying to look inconspicuous while my friend approached the man my friend had seen when praying and whom fitted all other signs we felt were from God. Before I knew it he was back and we walked away. “He just ignored me, he didn’t even look at me, he turned away.” He was baffled, we both were. My friend had approached the man who we felt God had placed on our hearts to pray for, but to him it was as if we weren’t there. We went away and prayed again, both slightly confused by the events of that afternoon. But just like the clear nature of the picture we had earlier received, it finally struck us.
At times in the church we can miss what is considered by God as real fruit. Through all of this God wasn’t interested in us jamming anything down this guy's throat or seeing us be these pin up Christian warriors, he simply wanted us to listen to him and be obedient to his guiding.
Submission of our own agendas to the foot of the cross and taking up the agenda of the Kingdom is one of the most powerful and liberating things that we can do as disciples. The Church being the Church outside the walls of the church, is not only about disciples breaking out of the limits of their buildings, but also about breaking out of the limits of their own minds.