OK. In light of my day yesterday, I’m going to share a testimony with you. This is something that happened many years ago (maybe 10 or so?). Why I haven’t told this until now, I don’t know.
It was early one summer morning and I felt led to go and take a walk along a beach on the shore of Lake Ontario. I felt like just getting away from everything for a while, to just walk.. and pray.. with my feet in the sand. So, I took a short 20 minute drive in the car.. and I went to the beach.
The beach was almost deserted when I got there. It was still pretty early. I was there only a short time though when I came across a young man and a woman who were on their hands and knees and were digging for something in the sand. It was pretty clear to me by the expressions on their faces (and their “vibes”) that they had lost something that was pretty important. So I stopped and asked them what they were doing.
Apparently, the man was in town from New Jersey and was visiting the woman and her family, and they all were at the beach the day before when this man somehow lost his only set of keys to his car in the sand. They had scoured the beach the day before but to no avail. To make matters worse, this man’s car was parked in a place where it could not remain for long, so it was towed away to a garage.
The first thing that I did was ask these folks if they had prayed and had asked the Lord for help finding the keys. They said that they had. The man then introduced himself to me as a street preacher and evangelist from New Jersey, and the woman went on to tell me some things about her rather deep faith too.
I then got down on my knees with these folks and we all prayed together. Almost immediately into praying I said, “I’ve got to be honest. I have no witness to look in the sand right now. I don’t believe that we’re supposed to be digging for the keys now. It will work out. Let’s just spend some time together in worship and in prayer.” Surprisingly, they both agreed with me.
We prayed for a while, and we talked, and then the woman invited me to come back with them to their house. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had other plans. But somehow going to the house seemed to be important. So I went.
The family lived in an extremely poor section of the city, and there were many people living in the house. I was introduced to them all. The major discussion going on in the house was about how to get the money together to get another key made. Apparently, it was a “Smart Key” that was lost, and the replacement was going to be about $200, and this (along with towing charges) was way more than what all of the house-members together could come up with. I shared that I was certainly willing to help, but that I needed to discern exactly what that “help” was supposed to be.
A retreat to the front porch and some quiet time alone with the Lord brought me the answer. I was to leave. So I said goodbye to everyone, wished them all well, and I left. When I got in my car I said, “Where to, Lord?” He said, “To the beach.” Made perfect sense to me… until He told me, “I want you to go to Sea-Breeze Beach, David.” Now, beloved, Sea-Breeze Beach was 3-4 miles away from where these people said that they had lost the keys.
The Lord was clearly up to His stuff again.
Well, when I got to Sea-Breeze, I see a man with a metal detector working his way over and through the sand. This seemed to be a no-brainer now, so I went over to this guy, explained the whole situation, and I asked if he might be kind-hearted enough to consider riding with me to the other beach to give a shot at finding the keys with his detector. He said that he would do it. So, we got in my car, and we were off.
Even the short ride to the other beach was an interesting one, for this man (for many reasons) was very broken and was in dire need of some help/advice. Now, just guess who showed up to help him? Yeah, the Lord did, and a word flowed to this guy which brought the poor soul to tears. No doubt that there was a whole lot of inner hurt that was being healed.
Anyway, we got to the beach and I pointed out an area of about 100′ x 200′ and I said, “They think that they lost the keys somewhere around here. You do what you do, and I’m gonna go sit down on that log over there and pray. OK?” He agreed, and in about 3 minutes I heard the detector buzzing and clicking like crazy. The guy took his shovel, stuck it in the sand, and out from the sand came the beautiful glimmer of KEYS! What a blessing!
Hang on though. This story has a twist. That’s why I’m telling it now…
Jubilantly, I take this beloved man back to where I found him and I tell him that I can’t thank him enough for his help. He was so touched to be involved in it all and was so caught up in the anointing of the event that he (with tear filled eyes) thanked me and God for being allowed to even help. We hugged and parted ways.
I then (and rather excitedly) got in my car and headed for the house in the city to return the keys to their rightful owner (this is why it was so important for me to go back to the house as I did earlier). I pull up to the house in my car, and I see the man who lost the keys sitting on the front porch looking rather depressed. He sees me coming and he says, “David, what are you doing here?” I just smile and reach into my pocket and pull out the keys! As you can imagine, the whole house pretty much basted off – people laughing and crying and praising God at what seemed like a miracle. I explained to them all what happened. I then said to the man with the keys, “Let’s go get your car, man.” And get his car we did. I then said goodbye at the garage and I simply went my way.
Here’s where the twist comes in…
A week or so later, I was in the city with a friend and I thought that it might be nice to drop by the house where I had met everyone on the day of the lost key event, just to see how they all were doing. We drove to the house. I parked my car in the street, and as we were walking toward the house I could see the brother to whom the keys were returned. I was rather excited to see him again.
My excitement didn’t last long though, for before I got to the bottom of the steps to the porch I could sense that something was “off” (that “vibes” thing again). This “off-edness” was soon confirmed when I said, “Xxxxx! (sorry, but I don’t remember his name anymore at 10 years later) How are you doing?” His response to me was rather cold and put-offish. This was a bit perplexing to me. What could this possibly be about? I fumbled around a little bit with words trying to spark a friendly conversation, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. There seemed to be heaviness and darkness of spirit all around, and this was obviously manifesting as extreme unfriendliness toward me. I was dumbfounded. So me, not being real shy, said, “WHAT is going on? Why are you so cold and non receptive toward me? This guy then says to me, “David, I am a ‘ONENESS PREACHER’ who teaches that Jesus was a manifestation of the Father who had left heaven to manifest as Jesus. I teach that THEY ARE THE SAME PERSON, and YOU teach something other than ONENESS, so I can have no fellowship with you. You need to leave.”
I was utterly shocked and amazed (and pretty sad, too). I don’t know if I even said anything else, but rather just looked to my friend, nodded a “let’s go” to him, and we were off.
That’s it. That’s the testimony. Of what? You tell me.
My take on this is that doctrine (teaching) is good, but it becomes so terribly divisive when it becomes dogma. This, of course, is plainly shown to us here. Also, there is much ambition (and competition) in Christendom today, and with regard to the man with the keys, he clearly came to town with an agenda to teach and preach to others, and it also seems pretty plain (to me anyway) that he felt very intimidated by Christ at work in me, and this is most likely because he desired to have preeminence among the people.
With these things in mind, beloved, if you are going through tough things right now, even feel as though you are being stripped of self in almost every way imaginable and are being brought lower and lower and lower, be greatly encouraged, for it is in this way that the Lord is taking many of us OUT from the mixture and corruption of the Church under Pentecost, and is making us ready for (even making us into) a MUCH purer expression of His Kingdom.