Go and Serve the Lord!

by John Edwards 

 

 

 

 

"All things are possible to him which believeth" Mk 9:23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was driving to work, just like any usual day. 

 

Actually I was feeling quite good about my car because I'd just had the motor reconditioned, the mag wheels polished, the air-conditioner restored and a sound-system with a five-band graphic equalizer installed. 

 

Then unexpectedly the words came to me, “...give it away...”

 

I ignored it and kept driving.

 

But it came again, give it away.

 

So I said, “Ok Lord, I'll give it away – on the weekend”.

 

“No, after work today will be fine,” He replied.

 

And I knew whom I had to give it to.

 

Then after I got to work, God started speaking to me again.

 

“Its time you gave notice in your job,” He said.

 

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

 

Straightaway He showed me a vision of Australia with pathways criss-crossed all over it. 

 

“Just go wherever I tell you to go, and preach the Gospel,” He said.

 

“How am I going to live without an income?  I'm not going to chuck-in a perfectly good job and go on the dole,” I asked.

 

“You won't need to.  Just trust me - I'll provide everything,” He replied.

 

So I gave notice in my job and then after work, I drove over to my friend's house whom I felt led to give the car to.

 

I knocked on his door, but he wasn't home.

 

“Well there you go – this wasn't God after all,” came the suggestion, “Pity about the job, but atleast you've still got the car.”

 

I quickly thought about what I should do next:  surely not go home and just forget the whole thing?  - because on the inside I still felt sure it was God who was leading me.  So I wondered with anticipation what was going to happen next.       

 

And would you believe - the car wouldn't start! 

 

I got out and lifted the bonnet to try to see what was wrong...and while I was delayed, my friend arrived home.

 

“Oh John, what are you doing here?” he asked.

 

“Wouldn’t you like to know!”  I thought to myself.  I didn’t quite know how to tell him I was there to give him my car, so I said nothing about it.

 

He invited me in, and the very first thing he said to me was, “John, my wife and I have been praying - we're really asking God to give us a car”.

 

That was so good to hear (a confirmation)!

 

So I threw him the car keys and said, “She's all your's then.”

 

He smiled and threw the keys back to me. 

 

“You've prayed for a car – so it's your's,” I explained, throwing him the keys again. 

 

“Very funny,” he said, again handing me back the keys. 

 

We were handing the keys backwards and forwards - and I couldn't convince him I was serious.  So I said, “Look, come out, sit in the car: there's a few things I'll need to show you.”

 

Looking up at me from the driver's seat he asked, “You are joking - aren't you?”

 

While he was praising God for the answer to his and his wife's prayer; I caught a bus and a train home.

 

When I got home, I knew I had to tell my parents what I'd done.

 

It wasn't so hard telling my mother first, but after the way she initially reacted, I knew it wasn't going to be easy telling my father. 

 

It took me days to find the courage to tell him.  The first time I approached his bedroom door, I hesitated and walked straight past. 

 

When I eventually entered his room, I found myself instead going to his mirror and beginning to comb my hair.  Nervously I began, “Dad, there's something I need to tell you: I've quit my job and given my car away.  I'm going to go and do something for God.”

 

“That's nice, son.  It'll be good for you to do something different,” he said, without even taking his eyes off the TV.  I needn't have been afraid after all.    

 

Over the next six weeks I spent time praying and reading and talking to my pastor.  During those days the Holy Spirit impressed upon my spirit His plans for my first trip.  He wanted me to go to four towns, and I was to take five weeks to do it.

 

The only problem was that I didn't know anyone in any of these towns, except the last one. 

 

So I had no idea where I would stay, or what I would eat, or how I would be able to travel from town to town, or whether any doors would open for me to preach.  I was to step out in simple faith, trusting God alone for everything.   

 

I decided to start by giving all my savings away.   It was fun!

 

Then I thought about selling my house and paying off the loan, and giving away whatever money was left.  At that point God seemed to say, “Stop – keep the house.”

 

At first I felt relieved - until I realized what this meant.  I would somehow need to find the money every week for the loan repayments.  It would require more faith to keep the house than it would to give it away. 

 

“If I ever miss one payment on my house, I'm going back to work,” I resolved.

 

I came across some books about men and women who started great things for God from small beginnings.  They heard directly from God concerning His plan for their life, then they stepped-out in faith - often without any visible means of support.

 

While I was packing my tent and backpack, my father suggested I buy a new pair of shoes.  But on the inside I felt, “It will be provided.”  I also wanted to take a guitar, but the Lord no, it will be provided. 

 

So I was really looking forward to proving literally the Scripture:

 

“Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat” (Matthew 10:9-10).   

 

The day came where I bought a one-way bus ticket, said goodbye to my family and friends, and left. 

 

When I arrived and lay back in my tent the first night, I started thinking about everything I'd done:  I'd left my job, car, savings, family, friends and church, and come out here where nothing's organized, believing only that the Lord had sent me.   

 

I was soon to discover that God had everything organized.    

 

Next morning I thought I'd find someone to witness to about the Lord Jesus; and I was also hoping to meet someone who might allow me to set-up my tent on their property, so I wouldn't have to pay caravan-park fees every night. 

 

The very first person I spoke to was just out of jail, and he thought his mother might like to meet me.  So he took me to meet his mother, and when I told her I'd come to tell people about Jesus and to pray for the sick, she invited me to set-up my tent near their backyard.

 

One day I was visiting some friends of theirs when I noticed a guitar leaning against the wall.  So I picked it up and began to sing the song: 

 

To get a touch from the Lord is so real!

To get a touch from the Lord is so real!

If you draw nigh to Him,

He will draw nigh to you.

To get a touch from the Lord is so real!

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Jesus is coming, is coming again.  

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Jesus is coming again.   

 

The lady of the house felt overwhelmed and began to cry.  With tears in her eyes she said, “I want you to have that guitar.  And wherever you go, sing for the Lord, and remember me.”  This guitar was the best size for traveling. 

 

A few days later I needed to find a different place to stay, so I went back to this lady and her son to ask if I could stay at their house.  She replied that she already wanted to invite me, but felt sure a “man of the cloth” would refuse to stay in her house.  So they were happy to have me, and I was happy to stay there, right up until the day I left town.

 

I was unaware of the lady's reputation in that town, but when others began to hear that this hardened old lady who could swear like a trooper had not only given something away, but also received a preacher into her house – they became interested.  And I shared the Word of God with each one.   

 

When I learned there was an Assembly of God in town, I gathered as many of them together as I could into a house, and invited the Pastor to come and take care of them.  When he came and saw them, he soon became thrilled.   

 

He asked me to preach to his youth group and in his church on Sunday, and he also took me to preach in a meeting in a nearby town, and the Holy Spirit gave words of prophecies and words of knowledge. 

After just two weeks in town, already several people had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.     

The day before I left town, the first family that had welcomed me gave me a box of groceries for my journey, and a pair of shoes which fitted me perfectly. 

The next morning while preparing my things to leave, I thought to myself, “I’d really like a pair of brown, leather lace-up shoes to go with these jeans.”  Then I went out of the house to spend some time in prayer before starting my journey. 

I wondered how I would travel.  Originally I thought I would need to travel the distance by foot.  And I didn’t want it to be dark when I arrived, so after one hour of prayer I said to the Lord, “Well I better go now.” 

 

But I felt an inner resistance, saying, “No, pray another hour.”

 

So I prayed another hour then said, “Well I really need to get going now.”

 

Once again I felt a firm response, “No, pray another hour.”

 

So I prayed a third hour and then I said to the Lord, “I really must go now.”  I figured it would be dark by the time I arrived if I didn't leave soon. 

 

Again I felt that inner resistance, “Pray another hour.”

 

By the end of the fourth hour it was now too late to go.  So I walked back to the house.  

 

I was soon to discover that God held me back only because He had already arranged a better way. 

 

That evening while I was in the house, the man and his mother received a visitor.  I told him the name of the town I was going to the next day.  “Oh I'm working there tomorrow.  How are you getting there?” he said.  And he offered me a lift.

 

Then I understood why God held me back - He already had a plan to get me there by car.  It was a lesson that being guided by the Holy Spirit into God's best plan often requires laying down our own idea.    

 

“So where would you like me to drop you?” he asked, as we arrived the following morning. 

 

This small town had only one traffic intersection, with a post office on one corner, and a pub and phone booth and corner shop on the other.

 

Perhaps understanding my predicament, he said, “Well I'm working at a house just up the road.  Why don't you just come with me first.”

 

As soon as we stepped out of the car, the lady and her daughter from the house said to me smiling, “Hi!  It's so good to see you.  We've been waiting for you!” 

 

But I wasn't sure if I'd ever met them before. 

 

Then one of them said, “Don’t worry, you don't know us – but we know you!  We are Christians, and we were praying, and the Lord showed us your face in a vision, and He told us you’d be coming soon and that you'll be wearing a red shirt when you arrive, and we are to look after you.  Where are you staying?” 

I had a bright red shirt on that day. 

Then they asked, “By the way, what size shoe do you wear?”

 

I thought that was a strange question coming from complete strangers. 

 

“Size eight.  Why?” 

 

When I said size eight, they both burst out laughing.  The lady sent her daughter upstairs then when she returned, she said, “Here, try these on,” and handed me a pair of brown, leather lace-up shoes – exactly what I'd desired - and they fitted me perfectly. 

 

While I was still looking surprised, the woman explained that a few weeks earlier she was shopping when she saw these shoes in the shop, and the Lord told her, “Buy them.” 

 

"What for Lord?  No-one in my family can wear that size," she said. 

 

"Because someone's coming soon, and when he does, you're to give them to him, and you're to look after him when he arrives," the Lord said.

 

The Lord had begun to make arrangements for me even before I started traveling.  Our heavenly Father gives us what we ask - even when we've barely whispered our desire to Him.    

 

After some good times ministering around that area, God again provided my way to the next town.  I didn't know anyone when I arrived, but less than two hours later, I was standing behind the pulpit of the local Uniting Church in their Sunday night service.  The presence of the Holy Spirit touched the congregation.  And the elders arranged a place for me to stay. 

 

A number of people were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues, including an elder in the church.  I was also given the opportunity to speak in mid-week meetings and in a High School, and word started to get around about the healings that occurred.       

 

I noticed a feeling of deep satisfaction in my soul.  Before starting this trip, I had always thought I was serving God.  But now that I was hearing more specifically from God and obeying His voice, the feeling of fulfillment and joy was deeper than anything I'd felt for some time.  It felt as if now I was really serving God, the way I was meant to.  .    

 

The Lord again provided someone who was driving to the last town – this time the only town where I already knew someone.  We hired a hall for revival meetings and advertised in the local newspaper.  

 

 

The Lord provided all my food, clothes, shelter, shoes, money, the guitar, transport, and opened more doors for me to preach than I could ever have imagined - and I met many wonderful people.  And guess how much of my own money I needed to spend during the whole five-week trip?  Not one cent. 

 

Now Jesus has sent me to many places and countries, each trip lasting either a few days, a month, or over a year.  In every place people said to me, “God sent you to us.”  I experienced fulfillment in ministry.  And I never missed one repayment on my house. 

 

God has a wonderful tailor-made plan specifically for your life too.  If you ask for it, and if you are willing, you will find it.  Accept that He has a unique plan for you.  Often we need to lay aside our own plan and ask, before He reveals His plans for us.     

 

Ask God today, “What do you want me to do?” 

 

And expect an answer within two weeks!

 

Four steps towards your destiny:

 

1.    Hear directly from God

 

2.    Maintain right relationships

 

3.    Get the timing right

 

4.    Step out in faith.