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Yesterday at church, our pastor had asked twelve of us share testimonies of what God had been doing through us. I was recently back from a missions trip to Singapore and I was one of the twelve scheduled to share. But the testimonies took longer than he anticipated, so only six of the twelve had an opportunity to share. I was one of the six who did not get the opportunity.
It was a bit confusing to me, as God had spoken to me and given me something specific to share, which had a bit of a strong encouragement in it. I did not understand why He had specifically given this to me, then prevented me from sharing it. But instead of getting upset about it, I shrugged it off as a "mystery of God."
I went to bed about 10:45 PM that night, planning to sleep until the morning. But the Lord woke me up two hours later. He told me that He wanted me to share my testimony on the "fireside chat" instead of at church. I already had something else planned for today's fireside chat, but God told me to get out of bed and go write this testimony. So I did.
It is now 1:00 AM on Monday morning as I write this, and I am at my keyboard obeying God. Here is the testimony that God woke me up and asked me to share.
As you probably know, I was recently in Singapore on a ministry trip where God did all sorts of amazing things. I could share story after story with you about what He did there, but I want to focus on just one that I hope will inspire you.
I need to give a bit of background for this story can have its full impact. Those of you who know me are aware that I travel and I minister in God's power a lot, so you are probably used to me making trips like this. Some of you might think, "Yea, God uses some people that way, but He'd never use me the same way."
I can identify with that thought, because 13 or 14 years ago, I used to think the same thing. I was a computer programmer who loved the Lord, but I considered myself a "big zero" for the kingdom. I attended church faithfully, but my life was pretty mundane and I could not imagine God working through me to advance His kingdom.
Then I heard Randy Clark's testimony. God did some amazing things through him, including starting a world-impacting revival. Randy kept saying "God can use 'little 'ole me,'" and that really struck a cord with me. I felt insignificant in God's kingdom, and I could certainly identify with the idea of being a "little 'ole me."
Randy's testimony inspired me to pray this prayer: "Lord, Randy said that he was once a 'little 'ole me.' I don't know if that is true or not, but I know that I certainly am one. Lord, would You consider using my life for Your glory, similar to how You used Randy? I don't know if You're willing to use me or not, but if You are, then here I am. I am a 'little 'ole me.' Will You use me too?"
Now here is the thing--God is interested in advancing His kingdom and He is looking for volunteers through which He can glorify His name. The volunteer doesn't have to have any special training or abilities--because God is the One Who does the work and provides the anointing. All God needs is a willing heart, one who is committed to obeying Him. In fact, He can do a lot more through us when we are yielded vessels rather that when we try to help Him from our own strength/abilities.
God began working in my life, little by little and piece by piece, to teach me how to minister with Him. He began giving me more opportunities and sending me on more ministry trips. I eventually ended up on this recent trip to Singapore, where God moved very powerfully. The story I want to tell you is about how God is able to be strong when we are weak--because it is all about His ability, not our ability.
It was Saturday and I had come down with some sort of intestine problem that left me feeling very sick and incredibly weak. I felt so ill that if I wasn't the main speaker at the meeting, I would have probably stayed home sick. I had prepared a teaching on anointing for revival, but I was not sure I'd be able to do a very good job of presenting it. In fact, I was not sure I'd be able to stay standing long enough to deliver the whole sermon. I sort of mentally wrote the night off figuring, "Tonight won't be that great because I am spent and have nothing to offer."
I was sitting on the front row during worship, but feeling so sick that it was hard to enter in. Then I became aware of the head usher telling the event organizer about a problem. We were in a building that comfortably seated about 400, and there were over 450 people who they were trying to cram into the building.
My first thought was, "Oh Lord, that is not fair! Why did You have to send the sellout crowd on the night where I am too sick to function? I am not going to be able to preach well and they are going to go home disappointed."
Then I had a mental flashback to a time when Rolland Baker had preached at my church. I could see his face in my mind's eye and heard his voice in my thoughts. He has this saying that he is a bit famous for: "I don't have to worry about it. It is not my problem--it is God's problem!" I decided that I could not handle the problem of ministering effectively to a sellout crowd when I felt so sick, so I gave the problem to God. Then I decided I would not worry about it any more, and I started to worship God.
I wanted to show Him respect as I worshipped, but I was too weak to stand. So I knelt down on the floor instead. Right as I knelt down, the ground began shaking like an earthquake and I felt a gush of wind blow past me. I asked the Lord what was going on. He opened my eyes to see in the spirit, and I saw a fiery chariot rush past the front of the sanctuary, pulled by two white horses. The horses manes and tails were blowing in the wind, only they were made out of flames instead of out of hair. It was an amazing sight.
I asked the Lord why He was showing this to me and He reminded me of how He had sent a fiery chariot to separate Elisha from Elijah just before He caught Elijah up into Heaven and gave his mantle to Elisha. Then God said, "Tonight I am going to release mantles for revival." Now I knew God's agenda for the service.
I was very weak when I first got up to speak, but God strengthened me as I began to preach a prophetic message on this topic. I was riding in His strength instead of my own, and the service went very well. I finished preaching about 10:00 PM and started laying hands on people and praying for a release of God's revival mantle.
I barely touched people's foreheads or their arms, and I only prayed for each person about 15 to 20 seconds. There was nothing special or powerful about my prayer. But the Lord choose to fall on His people with a lot of power at that meeting. In fact, it became an incredibly powerful meeting as God showed up and took over the ministry time.
I had about a dozen catchers helping me and I was moving down the prayer line so rapidly that they'd barely have time to put their person down and rush forward twelve people to get behind the next one in time to catch them. It was all God, it wasn't me. Not everyone fell, but most did. Many lay shaking under the power for over an hour. The Holy Spirit came on some people with laughter, others with tears.
It was one of those "All Heaven broke out..." types of meetings. God had taken over the meeting (probably because I had told Him that it was His problem to meet these people who came to the service.) I was weak, so He was strong. He did an incredible job of meeting and empowering His people. It was all Him, not me. In fact, He had to hold me up and strengthen me to minister.
I finally finished praying for people at midnight. God's presence was so tangible in the meeting that a lot of them still did not want to go home when the meeting was over. It was an awesome meeting--God is able to do amazing things when we just get out of the way and let Him do it. It really is all about Him, and He can use any vessel who is willing. He is the one who empowers and the vessel is not important.
I started receiving email reports from people sharing stories of how God impacted them at that meeting. I got some of them as early as 24 hours after the meeting. I can't share them all, but let me share one, which is sort of typical of the type of things that God was doing in people's lives. One man had to ride the MRT (Singapore's subway) to work. He was standing in line with seven other people and six of them were sick. He asked if he could pray for them in Jesus' name and they said yes. So he prayed for the six sick people around him and God healed all of them. He had never prayed for the sick before receiving the revival mantle at the meeting. But now when he prayed for the sick, they got healed!
Yes, it was a great and powerful meeting; people enjoyed it immensely. But the real story is what happened in people's lives after they received God's mantle for revival. They found a new boldness, a new enthusiasm to share the good news, and a new empowerment to do the works that Jesus had done. Of course, many will need to grow in it and learn to follow the Spirit's leading, but they are already starting to "do the stuff." Revival is in the air and I really look forward to the day when the Great Revival that God has for Asia hits full steam, and we will see the seat of idolatry fall before the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
It was wonderful and exciting to be a part of what God was doing in Singapore. Really, He did it all, and I was just along for the ride. When we are weak, He is strong. It is not our ability--it is His.
You might say that what happened on my trip is not bad for someone who used to consider herself a complete zero in the kingdom of God. The key to the whole thing is God's math. He likes to take the nobodies who yield themselves to Him and work through them in amazing ways. He likes to turn the 'zeros' for the kingdom into really big numbers by pouring His glory and His anointing into them, so that He can glorify His name and accomplish His purposes. It's never been about us or our ability. It has always been about Him and His ability. When we are weak (but yielded to Him) then He can be incredibly strong.
So if you feel like you are a "zero" in God's kingdom, then this testimony should be good news to you. God is not looking for any special innate ability, skill or education. He is just looking for willing and yielded vessels who are willing to pray, "Here I am Lord, please work Your glory through me." All you have to do is to make yourselves available to God, and be committed to obey Him no matter what He asks. He will do all of the rest.