Many of us are familiar with the verse that says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” That’s found in 2 Timothy 1:7. But how many of us know the next phrase? 2 Timothy 1:8 says, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.”
I’m not always very quick to speak up. I sometimes fear what people will say / how they will react to my story. But, as I challenge you to be open with your story, it is only right that I share my story. We need to take Paul’s words to Timothy to heart and be bold with the God stories that we all have. Some seem spectacular, some reveal God’s consistent presence… and we are tempted to think them ordinary. But, in reality, God’s work in our lives is always extraordinary (The God of the universe is in relationship with you and me – that’s always extraordinary!) and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so.
Almost a month ago, I started having pain in my side. At first I could live with it, but as time went on, it got worse and worse. I started eating less and then hardly eating at all. During that time, I started experimenting with foods to see if eating something in particular was causing my problem. Of course, I didn’t bother to tell anyone, and given our crazy schedule, it really wasn’t noticeable that I was skipping meals at our house. I would have sharp spikes of pain in my lower right side, which was accompanied by a more general discomfort and pain that was frequently present. I never knew when I would get stabbed with the severe pain. There was no rhyme or reason that I could sort out. I began to get worried. Then one day the pain was so intense, I thought I was going to hit the floor. I saw stars. That scared me. I caved and told Jen, who, in turn, made an appointment at the doctor’s office and I obediently went. My doctor ordered up a wide range of labs and ruled out everything from appendicitis to kidney stones. According to all labwork, I was perfectly healthy. Clearly, I was not. The next step was a CT scan, which I never had. On Tuesday night last week, the day before I was supposed to call the doctor to take the next step, I was listening to a prophetic word. (Having been raised CRC, just that phrase alone seems strange to write. I didn’t grow up thinking prophets still existed. But, I’m learning that God is still interacting with us in some pretty marvelous ways. I’ve also been learning how to discern if such things are of God.) Anyway, the prophetic word I was listening to was talking about the tactics the devil is using in this season. The gentlemen who was speaking started talking about physical attacks on those who proclaim God’s word. As he spoke, I sensed God’s presence saying, “Kevin, this is you! You are being attacked!” Two things then happened: I immediately began to pray, and as I prayed, the lack of a medical diagnosis made sense. I felt assurance that I was being obedient to God by praying into this matter and binding back the devil and his minions. Throughout the rest of the evening and the next day, each time I started to feel ill or worried that the stabbing pain might happen, I stopped and prayed. My symptoms have now totally subsided. I am healed. Thanks be to God!
Now, admittedly, some will read this and say… “Well, you just had a virus and got over it.” Maybe, but I got over it when I started to pray in obedience to the Spirit of God’s direction. That’s not a coincidence. No matter what you may think, the healing still happened… and God ordained it. How He moved is not my concern; my concern is to be grateful and testify that He did it. “Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:8) God is on the move in my life and in yours. Be on the lookout. Where do you see God? Hear Him? What’s He up to? When you see Him at work… please, for the good of our community, and your own spiritual health, SHARE IT! Share the story… both your story and the story of Jesus. When we share, faith is formed and believers are built up as the Holy Spirit dances with us.
May God's grace and Peace rest on you as you walk with Him!
Pastor Kevin Heeres