I cannot begin to remember how many times I've heard preachers speak of God "moving in an awesome way" during a worship service. Normally, it's following a service in which 1 or 2 or 3 couples have joined our church, perhaps by "transfer of letter from a sister church". Sometimes, by profession of faith, and occasionally someone by praying at the altar. Well, with my vision problems (I can't see inside their hearts), I really can't dispute that claim, but last evening, I saw a real, genuine, slam-dunk move of the Holy Spirit, right in our midst.
Every Wednesday evening at church, I meet with a small group of guys (even though ladies are welcome, too) and we study the Bible. Somewhere between four and five years ago, we'd studied the Baptist Faith & Message, at some length, and the guys wanted to continue meeting, when we'd finished. I asked what they wanted to study, and someone suggested Romans. So, we did, and we've just continued plowing on, book by book, ever since.
We have no agenda, and only two rules: we chase all rabbits & deal with all questions, and we don't have any other rules. Most weeks, it's the Spiritual highlight of my week.
Last evening, there were five of us regulars .. the guys are from 73 (me) to early 40's .. plus we were joined by one new guy. A young man named Shea. He'd come to the church with his aunt (and FBC member), and she brought him to our room and asked if he could sit in.
We said "of course", and had introductions all around. Then, we launched back into the Book of Revelation .. the letter to the church at Thyatira.
Shea had said he didn't have a lot of knowledge about the Bible, but he seemed interested enough in the discussion and questions we were tossing around.
About halfway through the hour, I had noted a continued "uncertainty" in what Shea was saying, so I stopped mid-sentence and asked him where he was going to spend eternity. He said he wasn't sure, so I stood up, motioned for him to come with me, and told the rest of the guys to carry on .. we'd be gone a few minutes.
Then Shea and I went to the room across the hall and sat down and we talked.
I had him read Romans 10:9 & 10 and then asked him if what that verse said was necessary to be saved was true about him. I explained carefully what the words meant .. confess .. Lord .. believe .. and he said yes, it was. I then asked him what that passage then said about him. After prodding for several minutes, he finally acknowledged it said he would be saved. And I made him say it until he picked up a little enthusiasm about it, as if he finally got it.
Mario Murillo once said "I always knew
it but I never realized
We talked about it a while. He said he'd come that night because he knew he needed to be involved in church, he needed to learn more, and he'd told his aunt that he didn't know where he'd go at church, but he was going, for sure.
We also talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in "convicting the world...", being the same word "world" used in John 3:16. We talked about the fact that his desire to come and study wasn't just intellectual curiosity, but it was the Holy Spirit moving in his life.
I must say it's been quite a while since I've seen such an earnest desire to get involved & learn, and since I've seen someone with such zeal for it. Even though, as I explained, he'd dropped in partway through one of the really tough books to interpret.
When we went back to the other room, I said "So .. tell'em what you are, Shea". He said "I'm a Christian!" Somehow, somewhere, though, after he'd put his trust in Jesus years ago, somebody dropped a ball somewhere, and there'd been zero discipleship. I hope we had the privliege, last night, of setting him on that path. He did say, unsolicited, that he would
Thanks, God. I needed that.