“Come!”, the Puerto Rican sister motioned to me, “We have a question for you.” She led me to a waiting group of Puerto Rican singles. I quickly breathed, “Jesus give me Your answer! Your wisdom!”
The mixed group looked on in expectation as, with a troubled face, the woman carefully framed their question. In her heavily accented, broken English she asked me, “Sister, how do we, as singles, stay out of trouble when we are tempted?”
I answered, “In my experience, I have found, the only answer is to fall in love with Jesus.” As one of the group translated, their faces relaxed and they nodded in understanding. I went on to tell them, it had not always been so with me. I had come to the realization a while back, that I was giving lip service to Jesus. I didn’t really know how to love Him…not with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. He was not my “first love”. I asked Jesus for help to love Him the way He deserved…and He did help me. He put me back on the Potter’s Wheel and changed me. I welcomed the process! I knew the “old Nancy” did not please Him and I was desperate to be different. I told them that eventually I had come to love Jesus very deeply, with a spousal love. As I described for them my new love for Jesus, tears began to flow down a gentleman’s face. He dabbed his eyes as he listened to me exclaim from my heart, “I love my God…I love my God!” Speaking through the interpreter he said, “I don’t need to be told what you are saying…” tapping his chest, he said, “…I can feel what you are saying, here.”
While we were talking about the Potter’s Wheel, I told them of a dream I had had recently. I dreamt I was at a gathering and the outfit I had on was white but not very pretty and the worst of it was, when I looked down, there were food splotches on the front. (At this, the listening gentleman looked positively disgusted.) I told them I had finally realized that my “garment” was “spotted and wrinkled” which the Bible warns against. I told them God was revealing to me there were things in my life that did not please Him, that must be changed and I was praying for revelation. (Since then I think I understand that the food stains were because of letting my flesh take control again and I needed to be immersed in my Bible reading to be thoroughly “washed by the water of the word.”)
From there we talked about having a “relationship” with Jesus. I told them what I had just learned while listening to Call to War 2014:
As archived: http://www.theantioch.com/ctw.html
One of the things Bishop Chester Wright said was that if we will but, “Cast your burden on Him, He will entrust His light burden to you…that of the lost!” He taught us that to break in new oxen, the farmer yokes together an older, experienced ox with the younger, inexperienced ox. Then, the older ox guides the younger, teaching it his ways. Bishop Wright said that Jesus desires us to be “yoked” with Him. As I spoke, I put my arm around one of the lady’s shoulders and turned her left and right. I said, if we pray “yoked” with Jesus, we can hardly go wrong! I said, we need to be praying for Jesus’s Burden instead of only our own thoughts and desires. We finished the conversation and went on our ways, but one thing Bishop Wright said really stuck with me. He said Jesus only ever had one prayer request for himself, and that was this:
Matthew 9:35-38 “And Jesus… having seen the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, that they were faint and cast aside, as sheep not having a shepherd, 37 then saith he to his disciples, ‘The harvest indeed [is] abundant, but the workmen few;38 beseech ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he may put forth workmen to His harvest.’
Bishop Wright went on to say that the words, “put forth” or “send” literally meant to “thrust out” or “eject” laborers into the harvest. These words absolutely claimed my attention as that is essentially what happened to me! (I wrote about this in Deep Calleth Unto Deep)
Bishop Wright went on to say something that I could hardly bear to hear. He talked about how Cornelius prayed and supplicated so much for the people, that it caused him to take action. He had to help them. He could not pass those in need by. He said, Cornelius, “supplicated for people”, he said that meant to beg as binding oneself or to petition, which is an urgent desire to see people helped. It caused Cornelius to put himself on the line to help them with a focus and intensity and urgency that caused a desperation to make himself part of the answer.
Then Bishop Wright said this. “What kind of praying should we do for those in spiritual need? Psalm 79:11 “Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;”…”We have to choose to be affected by the sighing of the prisoners…We have to pray until we hear their sighs…feel their sighs. Everyone of those sighs is a prayer, but we don’t spend enough time in prayer to get sensitive enough to hear sighs! Where did Cornelius’s sensitivity come from? He spent so much time in prayer, it had to do something to him! We are so prayerless, we don’t have the privilege of hearing what He is hearing. Sighs drove Jesus to the cross. We are not dead to self because we have never heard HIS SIGHS! The lost are not lost because they want to be! They are helpless! They have no one to help them! You have to CHOOSE to allow the sighing of the prisoners to come to your ears You have to get past SELF and Jesus will trust you to hear HIS SIGHS.”
How bad do we want to be a burden bearer for Jesus? Do we want this privilege bad enough to put away the status quo of our daily lives and consecrate and re-consecrate until Jesus trusts us to hear Him sigh over the lost? Cornelius didn’t have the Holy Ghost, but he had a heart for God that was so deep, he was moved to DO SOMETHING for God…and God saw to it that Cornelius received instruction concerning salvation. He was obedient to the preaching of Peter and received the Holy Ghost and was Baptized in Jesus Name.
Folks, it’s time to stir ourselves. Please don’t just read this, wipe your lips and move on. Please set your heart and mind to prayer…real, honest to goodness prayer. Yoke yourself to Jesus. Ask Him to direct your prayer. Pray with the “mind of Christ”. Ask Jesus to allow you to hear the sighs of your city…to feel the sighs of your city. Let it cause you to weep over the city until your tears soften the fallow ground and your prayer breaks up the fallow ground. It’s time for all of us to grow up. We can no longer be content to remain the prayerless people we are. It’s going to take an investment, but what is it that is worthwhile that doesn’t?
“Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;” Psalm 79:11