I’ll share with you here a short testimony, something from a recent Toronto trip …
One afternoon, James and I were led through a city park where we encountered a man, a homeless man, and a brother in Christ who was in need of some help. This brother’s name is Peter. We talked and we shared with Peter for quite a while that day, but that is not the point of this writing. No, what I feel led to share with you here is what Peter said to us as we were leaving him. Peter said to us, “Brothers, DO NOT go down George St. That is the most dangerous street in the city, and if you walk down that street they will probably jump you and beat you and perhaps even kill you for whatever money they can get off of you.”
Now, beloved, I’ll share with you here what I shared with Peter then, and that is that the safest place for us to be is smack-dab in the middle of God’s will. God had already led us down George St. earlier that day, and I’ll admit, when we arrived there things did look pretty bad. There were many homeless people round about, and there were gangs of other people who were either buying drugs, selling them or doing them. I had been on this street before and I had seen all-out brawls breakout. It is not uncommon to see pools of blood or blood stains on the street and sidewalks there from the incessant fights. This is a pretty lawless place.
Anyway, this day, James and I were walking down the right side of the street but I felt led to cross over to the other side of the street so that I could walk through the midst of a large group of people who were assembled on the sidewalk there. I knew that drugs were being sold there, and I also knew that (for some reason) the Lord wanted me to pass right through it all.
Well, as you can probably imagine, the attention of many people was drawn my way as I walked towards the crowd. Most of the looks that I got then were not very friendly ones. Some people seemed to be rather alarmed by my presence. Other people seemed to be suspicious of me or even angry with me. As I got closer to them all, a man (who many others were gathered around) called to me. He said (with a raised eyebrow), “You lookin to get high, too?” To this I simply smiled and replied, “No, man, we’re servants of the Lord; missionaries.” This guy then smiled back and said, “You know what? I could tell that. I somehow knew that about you.”
Now, this may not seem all that interesting to you, beloved, but the crowd of people then parted so that we could pass on through in peace. The looks on people’s faces also changed then from that of fear and anger and suspicion to something that was rather pleasant and even respectful. It seemed to me then that in the midst of what was hell on earth for many of the people there, we somehow represented something that was good and of God to them, and we were shown favor and respect from them because of that.
Now, we have had very similar experiences to this in NYC and in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. In the Tenderloin, Tim and I would sometimes just walk the streets for hours and pray, and junkies and drug dealers would come up to us and say “Who are you guys. Are you cops?” We would tell them who we are and what it is that we do, and many of these people would then get quite convicted, apologize, and ask us to pray for them. This would then open up tremendous opportunities for us to demonstrate God’s unconditional love and mercy and grace to these dear people.
Anyway, I want to keep this real short, so I’ll just end it here. There are some more exciting (or more touching) things that I could share with you from this latest Toronto trip, but this seems to be what I am supposed to share for now. I sure hope that you get something from it. I think that I might be sharing on this now because God wants us to know a little more about simply walking in spiritual authority. As far as I understand it, spiritual authority can be recognized in the people who step out and exercise it, and this even by those who are oppressed or possessed by demonic spirits. This has to do with that “Paul I know, and Jesus I know, but who are you?” thing.
Beloved, we have come to a day when God’s “sons” are going to have to do a little more than just talk about their spiritual authority. They’re really gonna have to live it. This will take a bit of stepping out on our part, dear ones, not just in city streets like I have described above, but in the world and the lives of people who are already all around us!
The fields are white and are ready for harvest, beloved, but the laborers are few. A sister told me the other day that the verse “Jesus wept” keeps coming up. I think I know why He might be weeping. — D