Listen & Wait
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Listen to ... and wait for ... God’s Spirit to point you toward the right persons.
Let Him stop, start, redirect, and guide you.
Read: Acts 16:6-15
... if these thoughts are true, may His Spirit alone affirm them in your own heart, mind, and life.
Notice how Paul let the Spirit STOP him from two different directions he wanted to pursue in his own human wisdom. He was strong enough not to rush ahead with his own great ideas.
He took time to just pray, listen, and wait ... longer than he probably wanted to ... on the Spirit to guide him.
Soon enough God’s spirit led him to a seller of purple on a riverbank who was already hungering for spiritual truth. God could see her while Paul was looking toward other cities with his limited human perception of the right direction to go.
Before Acts 16 is finished God has used Paul to saturate two unlikely groups with both Christ and embryonic churches. Paul would not likely have picked Lydia and her household, nor a jailer and his household. But the Holy Spirit was the “relationship connecter,” not Paul, and certainly not an advertisement or an event!
Kenny Moore says to use a “prayer plan” rather than an “activity plan” in birthing a church among overlooked groups. This “puts flesh out of power” and depends on God’s Spirit to guide us into relationships with persons He has already been drawing to Himself.
How does the Spirit speak to you?
When can you make time to listen?
Are you sensitive enough to His leading that you stop what you have in mind and let him redirect you?
Are you willing to wait on His timing?
To go to persons that you would not likely have picked?
To trust that HE is working in some hearts that you can’t see, making them hungry for Himself?
Let it be HIS vision, timing, plans, and connection to the persons He has in mind.
“Around eighteen months ago, the Lord showed us prophetically that we were to start a church in one of the low-income housing projects, Springfield, about 20 minutes from our home. So we gathered together a team to pray for the area, and for several months, it was a prayer project. From time to time we would actually go and walk the area claiming it for the Kingdom, but most of our praying was done on an individual basis. (continued)
One day, Tony and I happened to be driving by, and on impulse decided to stop and prayer walk again. Tony was specifically asking the Lord that we would meet our ‘person of peace.’ A torrential downpour surprised us and we ran to take shelter under a balcony with two Hispanic ladies who turned out to be sisters. Conversations started, and they inquired what we were doing there. (We obviously did not fit the local profile.) We explained to them that we were praying for their neighborhood, and as the conversations went one, asked if we could come by occasionally to pray about the needs in their family. They immediately agreed, and so for the next few weeks, once twice a week we would drop in and pray for them, staying just fifteen minutes or so. It was not long before we were seeing very specific answers to prayer.
One of the sisters, “Rosa,” turned out to be our person of peace. (She has a heart as big as Texas – everyone is welcomed and loved by her.) Our next step was to ask if we could bring some of her friends and family members together, and so weekly meeting time was set up at her home. She very quickly became a Christian and this led to many of her family members doing the same. We have touched several others homes in the complex, too. Now a year later, the apartment is crowded out every week with 30 to 40 people jammed in, sitting on stairs, on the floor, kids everywhere. Neighbors are telling us that the project has begun to change; there is less violence and some of the drug dealers are moving out.”
(Excerpt from Getting Started, by Felicity Dale, House 2 House Ministries, page 100 and 102. Used by permission.)
Note the strong emphasis on prayer for God’s guidance, timing, and relationship connections ... He sent that downpour at precisely the right time and used it to connect precisely the right persons!