One Wednesday night, I was sitting in my church office wrestling with the Holy Spirit prompting me that I was supposed to go to that evening’s service and ask people to share the trials they had been experiencing. I interpreted this prompting as an indication that someone wanted to surrender his life to the Restorer. The only problem was that this meant that I would not be preaching a message-a radical idea for a church service.
I decided to go for it. I shared my struggle with the group and was shocked at their response as many hands were raised throughout the room.
I listened to each person’s story about tremendous burdens, needs, and the unmistakable longing to be restored to authenticity. At the close of the night, I asked once more if there was anyone who wanted to surrender his or her life to the Restorer.
No one else raised a hand.
I taught from a few Bible passages that were applicable to the stories that had been shared. I prayed for each person who spoke and dismissed the group. Still I thought that my Holy Spirit prompting had been to listen for someone who desired to fully surrender his life to the Restorer.
On my way out, a young couple stopped me. They said, “I think we’re the people you were talking about at the end.”
The young man shared with me their roller-coaster life. He had been a criminal defense attorney who owned a prestigious firm. One day, a client paid him for his services with cocaine. It reignited a casual usage from his high school days and leveraged an addiction within a matter of months. He lost everything. He and his new bride were forced to return home to live with his mother who had suggested that they attend our Wednesday night gathering.
I responded to their questions, sensing that they might be ready to surrender their lives to the Restorer. She was ready; he was not. I prayed with them as she fully surrendered her heart to Christ as Savior and Lord. We chatted a little, and they were on their way. I would later learn that her husband had asked her if she had felt differently as they exited the church. She replied, “All I can tell you is I feel a tremendous peace that I’ve never felt before.”
Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to listen to someone’s story? James wrote that we should be quick to listen (James 1:19). Every time we lock eyes with another human being is a divine appointment to listen.
Today, ask God to guide you to listen to another person’s story. You will be amazed by what He does.
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