There has been a growing hunger in my heart to have more of God. I contend that if God is infinite that there is always more of Him to have. I want Him to do a work in me so thoroughly and so completely that He changes everything about me to handle and host more of Him. In this hunger there has been a desire not simply to know His acts, but also His ways. This has been my prayer, let me explain how this has played out in one instance.
For the past three months we have been working with a man who was severely traumatized as a child and consequently severely demonized as an adult. The stories of his manifestations are not the thing you wish to publish or read on the internet. (Honestly, much less HEAR in person.) When we first met him, he was looking for a power display. He was looking for deliverance. We prayed over him expecting our God to show up in a powerful and amazing way. We have been through a few of these encounters and frankly had our expectations set. When we prayed over him nothing happened. Nothing. We prayed again and nothing happened. We tried praying a third time and again nothing seemed to happen. The man sincerely said, "Thank you very much, but I just don't think Jesus likes me very much."
Over the months we have stayed in contact with him and have been laboring together in prayer for him. It just seemed nothing was happening. When I would ask him if he had any prayer requests he always said the same thing, "I just need healing in my heart." To be honest this request was a little hard for me to swallow seeing so little happening with him. Here was a man wanting freedom and it seemed the heavens were silent.
Then today we were going into our language class and as I was sitting down in my chair I noticed I had just received an SMS from him. His question was, "Did you get the long text I sent you yesterday?" This bothered me for two reasons 1) I did not get anything from him and 2) our classroom has zero cell coverage! As soon as class ended I texted him and said I did not get it and asked if he could resend it. He resent the text and it just seemed as if time was standing still as I read it.
Yesterday, quietly but thoroughly, Jesus rocked this man's world. So completely that he was calling people who had abused him for years and...forgiving them. His whole world changed in an instant. No power display as we would define it, but with love that only comes from a God who is love, he was changed.
As I have spent the last few hours reflecting and praying about this whole situation I was reminded of the scene at Jesus' trial. He was mocked and prodded, yet He remained calm. When Jesus stood before Pilate this was not the first Jew to be crucified, nor was it the first person Pilate had put to death. Yet Jesus was calm and poised. Pilate knew the normal state of a man who was about to die and Jesus was amazingly at peace. This had to be so difficult for Pilate to swallow. Pilate wanted to rid himself of the situation and sent Jesus to Herod. Jesus answered not a word. Herod wanted a power display and Jesus was silent. Nothing. Not a word. Nothing at all could goad Jesus into a fight on anything but His own terms. In the end, He won His greatest victory by using His greatest weapon, His outrageous love.
Our friend was gripped by fear, torment, hatred, bitterness, and anxiety. We all expected Jesus to show up and bring massive breakthrough in a powerful and spectacular way. What happened was that in the quiet and stillness of the situation Jesus' outrageous love broke through the chains that held this man captive and now tonight a man goes to sleep safe in the arms of His loving Heavenly Father.
A power display, indeed.