Last night our family met a wonderful Armenian (I am not trying to say Arminian) man working to make ends meet by crafting aluminum Christmas ornaments. He served in the Russian army for a number of years and was wounded and lost the use of his legs. He has been in a wheel chair since he was 19 years old.
His name is Gagik and we told us how his pension from the Russian army is the equivalent of $70 per month and explained some of the atrocities that his people have been enduring at the hands of neighboring countries. He admitted that both he and his people live with a lot of bitterness and feel abandoned by those who should care.
Gagik made small heart-shaped ornaments for the kids and I asked his how I could pray for him. He was not opposed to me praying but was pretty convinced that there was nothing that would happen. I grabbed his hand and began to pray. There was an immediate war going on inside me to both pray for the healing of his legs and to not. I could hear loudly and clearly that I should not pray for his legs because if God did not come through on this that Gagik would be left thinking that God does not care. I was just getting blasted with the thoughts that I was going to do more damage by risking praying for his legs.
But one thing that The Lord has been teaching me is that I am NEVER EVER to allow fear to be a motivation for doing or not doing anything. Fear is not from God! So I rejected the fear and prayed for his legs and the full restoration of his legs. When I was done I asked if he would attempt to move them.
I shared with Gagik why I pray for people and what God has done in my life and that God loves him. I told him about the restoration of all things in Jesus, but I saw nothing change.
Yet I am convinced that God has not changed. I am convinced God does heal. I am convinced that sometimes He heals in natural ways (healing) and I am also convinced that He acts outside of the normal natural laws (miracles). I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that Jesus loves this man! My goal is not to fix my attention on what I see but to keep my attention on Jesus.
In Luke 10:9 Jesus was sending 70ish of his guys out and told them to 'heal the sick and to preach.' This was part of the command. He never took it back. These were not his Apostles, these were nameless, faceless guys that Jesus sent out. We do not get the option of picking and choosing what parts we will obey.
I have had the joy praying for people and seeing God heal them but this was a lot bigger than anything I have prayed for in the past. At least in my mind. But I will not stop. It was part of what we are told to do an we wish to be obedient. I believe Jesus wants to save and I believe that He is also in the business of healing and restoring people this side of heaven as well.
I want to encourage you, as you seek opportunities to share the gospel, to not get hung up on thinking you need to protect God. He really is quite good at protecting Himself. Who knows what God might do?
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