The guy next to me wore a neutral expression and I was trying to decide how I was going to interrupt him.
The Holy Spirit had been stirring in inside of me for a few minutes and I knew the Lord wanted to touch the man’s life in some way. But, being at the gym, it probably wasn’t going to be productive to talk to him while he’s squatting the equivalent of a small building.
On a side note, don’t let the outward or surface appearance dictate your actions. Anyone can see what the outside looks like and there have been many opportunities for ministry ruined because judgment was made that way. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you insight into what’s underneath the surface and you’ll be able to truly discern whether or not to approach.
Small rant over.
The guy was puffing hard after his set and that’s when I decided to step next to him. It’s pretty hard to yell at someone while trying to catch your breath so if this didn’t go well, I figured all I’d get was a dirty look.
“Hey, man,” I said, offering my hand. “My name’s, Jesse.”
“Hey, what’s up?” Gary (not his real name) replied, trying to catch his breath between words.
“Yeah, well sometimes the Lord lays different things on my heart for people and I want to know if it’d be okay to share what he laid on my heart for you.”
I wrinkled my nose. It’s always a little awkward to repeat that line but I did and he gave me a wary look. “Sure, that would be fine.”
“Well I sense that the Lord is saying that the truth matters to you. I see that you have a passion to explore things for yourself, to dive into what you don’t know very well in order to discover as much as you possibly can. The Lord is saying that fire and passion is a gift from him and he wants you to let them fuel you as you search for truth about his nature and character; about what he wants for you and how much he cares about you.”
He carried a stoic expression as I continued to speak the words and describe the images God placed on my heart. Even though I couldn’t see much in the natural, I knew his heart was being touched because I felt things inside of him begin to shift. Again, don’t look at the surface or you can become very discouraged. Keep looking past all that and into the hearts of the people God wants to impact through you.
I finished by encouraging him to keep doing what he’s doing only with the added goal of discovering as much as he can about the God who loves him more than he ever thought possible. He shook my hand and I headed off towards the water fountain but he stopped me a few feet away and said, “The world needs more people like you.”
I’m not just sharing this story so you can rejoice in Gary’s story but also to let you know that you’re invited to discover a God who loves you more than you can understand. The truth should matter to all of us. I’m not saying we all need to pursue it in the same way or to the same degree, but we should be going after it in some way.
Each one of us are invited to wrestle with God on the important issues in our lives no matter what they are. We are encouraged to come to him with our questions and doubts about his nature and character. It’s okay to volley our frustrations at him. He won’t get mad and slam the door in our faces. Don’t be afraid to go after the truth because there is so much beauty waiting for those who do.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
The last line of the story is for all of us as well. The world needs more people like YOU! You are the light of the world because you are one with Christ. If you need a truth to search out, try that one on for size and it will blow up your box.
Now let’s all be that light to the world around us!
Jesse and Kara Birkey
This Friday I’m teaming up with Dave Hayes (Praying Medic) for an exclusive webinar. If you struggle to hear God for yourself or others, come gain some insight and understanding that will help you hear him better than ever.