Nearly 8 years ago, I attended an Easter rally with a bunch of guys from the drug recovery centre where I volunteer and minister. One of the guys was a young man struggling to get clean. He was a quiet, sometimes sullen, even belligerent, individual who kept his thoughts very much to himself and I was never really sure if the message of love and victory through Christ was reaching him. Then the speaker at the rally made an altar call, something that I have never done myself because I have always felt that it was too forced ... too contrived ... too dependent on the emotion of the moment. Worse, this particular altar call was exactly like that, heart rending music playing and sung repeatedly with repeated pleas for a response. Then something prompted me to go over to this young man who was hunched over, his body tense, and his expression conflicted. I asked him if he would like me to accompany him up to the front and he responded saying that he had been struggling and had prayed asking God that if He wanted him to respond, He would send someone to accompany him. The young man received Christ that day. Today, he is the manager of the drug and alcohol recovery program that he was in, the leader of a Christian worship band, a loving husband and a great dad and I thank God for him! More, I thank God that He is beyond our own preconceived notions of how He will call men and women to Him and that He is able to use any circumstance, any form of worship, any form of evangelism, any form or service, and any construction of our minds, flawed as they may be, to accomplish His end. Last night, I saw my friend and brother practicing with his band at the center. As I listened to them and watched them play and pray together, I realized that miracles do not always happen overnight and we miss many of them simply because we are looking for the spectacular ... that sometimes miracles happen over many years and are known and noticed only by those who would see.
Sometimes the only thing left needing to be said is AMEN!
Altar calls can and are often something good to do. I am thankful that our church does use altar calls. Certainly not every week, but when the presence and movement of the Spirit of God is sensed.
Thank you Jesus for Your Ways! Teach your children to discern and become dependent on Your Ways.
I love the way the Spirit moved in the situation you shared in this blog! Praise the Lord!
Rejoice always in Jesus!
This stirred a chord with me. I have shared on CB, in the past, how God dealt with me as a child on the day I came to Christ. I was seven years old. At my church, altar calls were given but this was before church. People who were there had decided to pray for the parents of some children who attended our Sunday School.
Actually, I had lately become aware that something was amiss within me and I had begun to start asking questions. On this particular day, I felt that gentle tug to pray and ask Jesus to forgive me but I had never done such a thing before, people were off to one side praying (not at the altar), there had been no "altar call" given, etc. I wanted to do this with all my heart but I felt shy and didn't know what to do.
I am glad I have a mother who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He interrupted her prayer actually, LOL! She just stopped, turned and looked at me sitting there on the pew and abruptly asked me if I wanted to ask Jesus to come into my heart. I did. That was 45 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.
Yes, God is beyond all our ways.