"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
There were only three of us planning to go out this last Friday, set to meet at 1am. At about five minutes to one Katie called and told me she had just woken up :)
Julia and I would have been fine to go out just the two of us, but I asked the Lord and believed that if she was still willing to come out we were to wait for her. She really wanted to come so Julia and I took the time to catch up and plan Katie's penance ;)
Katie arrived and we spent time praying and then headed out to the track. At this time it was about an hour later than we would have gotten there. At first the track seemed really quiet, until we got to the end. There were girls, johns and pimps everywhere. We couldn't get to the girls fast enough they would come and go off one corner in a matter of seconds.
It Was A Crazy night
The night felt really intense from the moment we got out there, the women were literally running back and forth from pimps and cops the entire time. Most would say "no" to our gift bag until one girls would say "yes" and then all of them would take one.
One woman tried to recruit us, said she could use some "snow" (eh em... white girls) on her team. She was pretty persistent... maybe she didn't get what we were trying to do down there ;)
Another group of women asked us if we were going to pray, then told us not to, then asked us if we were going to pray, then told us not to... as we walked away they said "pray for us". This interaction is a picture of the battle going on for these women...the tug of war between crying out for God and walking in their own ways. You could almost see the different voices she must have been hearing, "call unto me, I am here and I want to be with you." and that of the enemy "you are not even worth His hearing you, He can't help you anyways." It is a great reminder of how much of the battle is won in prayer and where we need to focus our time. We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.
We very quickly ran out of bags and headed back to the car to see what was left and decide what to do next. A cop pulled up behind us and followed us for some time... thinking this was strange I pulled into a gas station to see what they wanted. The officers pulled up and asked us what we were doing, when we told them their countenance totally changed. They were thankful that we were out there but very concerned for our safety.
As we were leaving the gas station, a car pulled up next to the officers and told them someone had a gun and there was a fight. The cops took off and so did we.The sight of the incident.... the exact corner we had been on talking with the girls the entire time.
God's timing is perfect
There was a lot going on Friday night... I can look back and see God's hand bringing us to the track at a time when there were so many women that we could reach out to and causing us to leave the track when danger was imminent. We had made our plans and He had directed our steps.
I cannot stress enough our need for prayer as we go down to LA, it is clear that we need His protection, it is clear that we need a sensitivity to His Spirit, it is clear that we need to walk in all humility and grace.... we cannot do these things apart from Him.
Worst Case Scenario
I cannot say that there isn't a part of me that says "maybe the risk is too great?" that doesn't ask the question, "Am I willing to be shot? Kidnapped? Robbed? Killed?" These things run through my mind all the time but then so does the truth of eternity. I know where I will be spending eternity, I will be with my King Jesus for all time. Most of the people we meet on a Friday cannot give that answer. Is it worth it to risk my life for theirs? Without a doubt.
I was reading part of our ministry guidelines to my roommate Melissa and it said "you may face, danger, violence.... and worst case scenario, death." to which my roommate replied "or best case scenario". It's true, my best case scenario is to meet my Savior, that is where my hope is. That is why we do what we do, to offer the only true hope to a hopeless and dying world.
God's Miraculous work of salvation
God's work of salvation is an absolute miracle, and one of the miracle's for us as believer's is that He would choose to use us to draw others to Himself. We have been going through Acts at church and I have read the book several times but this time the account of Saul's conversion in chapter 9 stood out to me like never before, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened." If you read just a few verses before you will see that this same man was breathing threats against the saints, imprisoning them and murdering them. His salvation is an absolute miraculous work of God. No one is too far from His strong arm of salvation.
And so we continue to go... we go by the power of His Spirit, like Ananias who was sent to Saul, we say to the Lord "do you know who they are? what they are capable of?" and the Lord replies, "Go for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel." Who knows who God will send us to, or the impact they will have on the kingdom.
Who has God sent you to today? May we have the heart of our Savior who left the 99 to seek after the one. May we be faithful to God's call like Ananias, walking by faith and not by sight.
As always, I ask that you pray for our team and if your heart is stirred will you pray with me now?
We recognize that you are Lord, You are Savior, You have accomplished what we never could. We praise you for the gift of salvation and for drawing us in. We praise You for graciously using our lives to glorify You on this earth. God, you have stirred up our hearts and where there is fear we ask for courage, where there is confusion we ask for clarity, where there is self we ask for Your spirit. We ask for the lost that you would draw them to Your heart, that you would convict them of sin and righteousness and judgment and that those who are perishing would be brought into a saving relationship with You. Amen.