After waking up one morning, I got busy with my routine and then got into the shower. I don’t know about you, but often the Lord speaks to me or gives me a vision while I am in the water. This was one of those mornings as the Lord began giving me a vision of a store owner in a small town. I was pretty sure I knew where the town was but didn’t recognize the person I was seeing. The town I was thinking of is over a tall mountain range from us. Thinking about what it would take to get there, I thought, “Well, Lord.. if that is what You want, I will go.” I had a knowing in the vision this person needed help from God. Don’t we often pray asking God to do something for others in our lives? Truly what we are asking for is that God would send someone else to do the work. God requires you and me to be His hands and mouth. Unfortunately, what we should be asking for is the opening to go do the work ourselves. If we aren’t in the region of the person who needs prayer, we ask God to send someone who can fill in for us.
When God shows me a vision such as the one I had seen that morning, I know there will be some steps to get to the end goal. In this situation, I knew I had to find the town, then the business, then the person. I also knew the Holy Spirit would lead me right to him.
After getting dressed, I phoned my assoc. pastor Mark and told him about the vision and asked if he wanted to come along with me. He is an amazing man of God and was in before I asked. About a half hour later, I picked him up from his home and we headed towards the mountains which we would have to cross over in order to get to what I thought would be our destination. Once over the pass, we would drop down into a small valley where the town of Republic sat nestled in pine trees.
Our area was being devastated with forest fires at the time and smoke was think throughout the valleys, including ours. We were both praising God as we drove as the sky began to turn blue as we went up in elevation. We hadn’t seen blue in a long time. But as we continued, the air began to change back to gray as we were headed into an area where three large fires were going also. Smoke was beginning to flow over the top of the mountain range towards the road we were driving.
WE got up over the top of the pass and saw that the air quality was awful. It was so think, it looked like fog as we drove on. Fog that kept getting thicker. I thought about turning around, but God clearly had something on His mind as He sent me on this mission.
We pulled into Republic and I looked for what I thought might be the store I saw in the vision. Pulling into the parking lot, we both prayed and asked the Lord to open the doors in the Spirit so we could minister to whoever we needed to. As we stepped through the front door, I saw a lady behind the counter and she looked miserable. I went up and asked her if she was the business owner and explained to her why we were there. She said the owner of the store was sick and said she would be fine to have us come by her house for prayer. Giving us directions, we left the store and headed on in our journey. We were both surprised she was so open to give us all the information the way she did. Nevertheless, we got back into my Tahoe and headed over to the owners home. The smoke was still getting worse and we found out the fire was only a couple of miles away, but headed towards us. Truly it was getting hard to breath now. Mark and I kept our spiritual eyes open looking for any opportunities to minister to other people who might need a touch from God.
After a few minutes of driving, we found the owners home and pulled up and parked. Both of us got out and went up to the door to see if she was home, but I already knew the in Spirit that she wasn’t. I went up to the door and Mark stood by the car and prayed. When you go on these missions with God you often don’t know what you’re going to run into. It could be a rifle or an angry person but we trust God with our lives. I knocked on the door a few times but nobody seemed to be home. The blinds were all shut and the house looked lifeless. Not sure what to do now, we both got back into my rig and we left.
A few blocks away, we saw a lady limping across her driveway pulling on a garden house. I watched her for a moment and then decided, “Why not?” Pulling up in front of her home, we both got out to talk to her. She was very receptive and came over to see what we wanted. After a minute of small talk about the smoke, I told her why we were in town. The moment I told her that we were both pastors, her spiritual walls went up. I asked her if she believed in miracles and she instantly said “No!” Goodness, another door closed. We thanked her for talking with us and got back in my rig. Mark and I have done this enough times to know God will move. We just need to go on the mission with Him.
We were on a mission and I knew God had showed me the starting point of it. You see, God marks every step we take. Sometimes we walk in the marks He has made for us and other times we make our own, but I have learned it is better to be in prayer through the whole journey. All we have to do is yield to His Spirit.
We drove back into town and parked along Main street. We just decided to wait on the Lord. After a while we decided to get moving on our feet, so we got out and went into a few stores looking for our God encounter. Still, we kept hitting dead ends. Once again, getting back into the Tahoe, we decided to drive to the end of town where we came in earlier. I didn’t hear or think any thoughts of God so I just kept going. Soon we were heading back out of town. In fact, I kind of felt like the Lord was telling us to leave. I knew God didn’t make a mistake in sending us up on the hill. But at this point neither of us truly had any idea of what God wanted to do with us.
As we pulled out of town, the Lord gave me a vision of the gas station a mile ahead and told me to get gas. A couple of minutes later we were besides the gas pumps and I got out. As the pump was filling up my gas tank, I decided to go into the convenience store / restaurant and saw the owner behind the counter. He didn’t look too good. In fact he looked really bad since the last time I had seen him.
I walked over to him and said, “You might think this is strange, but this morning God gave me a vision and I knew there was a business owner in this town who is desperate for prayer. Is that you?” He looked at me and said, “My wife is sick in bed upstairs and yes, I am desperate. I am worn out and want to retire but don’t see anyway that is going to happen for us.” I asked him if I could pray for him and he immediately said yes. He didn’t care that his employees were watching or listening. He took a few steps towards me like a tree desperate for water.
I asked if I could lay hands on his wife and he said she was in bed and wouldn’t allow me to do that. No problem. I asked, “If I lay hands on you, will you go touch your wife?” He said he would. “Let me pray for you now?” I said, “Hold on a moment!” I walked out the door and waved at Mark to come in. Mark and I minister together and I wanted him to know we had found our assignment. He came in and we both began to pray for this wonderful man. The man drank in the water and actually began to stand upright as we continued.
My hands were on his shoulders and I poured into him the Life he needed so desperately. Most of what I prayed were declarations over his life and family. I asked God to bless this man and his wife. The Lord showed me they had two children and he confirmed that. I declared spiritual life and blessings of salvations into their family. The man began to tear up. I continued in prayer and declared his wife to be healed and set free of every bit of bondage by the devil. I pleaded the Blood of Jesus into their lives and business, over their employees and future. Then I asked the Lord to provide for this man to be fully restored in his love of the business that God had given him. The man received the payer like litmus paper receives water.
This owner had given up. His wife was in bed, his family was struggling and he couldn’t see any good future ahead. Often we get stuck in a groove and never realize it was not God who put us there, let alone the toil of warfare that we don’t see or understand because the church refuses to teach on it. The town they are in is starving financially. The economy is shot, but what I know about all this is God owns the town, the streets, the businesses and the banks. He can do whatever He wants with one person or the whole town. But someone needs to pray.
When we live lives such as this man was living all we can see is the negative. The life gets sucked right out of us. As I prayed for him, he actually began to stand upright again, maybe for the first time in years. He grew at least an inch in stature as the chains and weights began to fall off of his shoulders in the Spirit. The Lord was already filling him up with the waters of Heaven as I prayed. The rivers of water were flowing out of my belly and through my arms into the dry ground of his spiritual heart and restoration was taking place. I knew his wife was being healed at that moment as well. After we were done praying, I asked him if he would like to read my book and he said he did. I went out the car and got him a copy of it. He took it gladly and said they would read it together.
Mark and I got back into the Tahoe and rejoiced in what God had done for that man and his family. We were ready to shake the dust off of our shoes earlier as we were prepared to leave the town. Instead, God opened up a flood gate of His love and watered a single person who can change a whole town. Sometimes we have to go through a puzzle with God before we get to where He delivers us to our final destination. We just have to yield to Him. Timing is everything with God. Mark and I don’t know how we affect the lives of many whom we have ministered to in this way, but we know changes are taking place. God never lets His Word return void if they are laced with His love.
That day we talked to a number of people and told them “God has sent us to your town to heal a man and his family.” We both believe God not only did that, but the town will be restored.
I hope this story encourages you to press on and do what God asks of you. With the love of a pastor towards you, be blessed.