My local church is having a week of prayer. Last night, some other churches came in to join us and so the place was full of people I didn’t know. At the start of the night, a man approached me and immediately started to tell me about the pain he was in. He had a sore finger. He didn’t raise or show me his finger, but I could make out a plaster on his finger by his side. We departed and I found a spot to pray.
Much later, after many people had left, I started to feel the anointing on my hands. Unusually, I could feel it more intensely on the tip of a certain finger. This was a bit strange, but it reminded me of the man with a sore finger I met at the start of the night. So, I sought him out to ask him if we could see if the Lord would heal his finger.
Unfortunately, when I looked for him, I couldn’t find him. I could hear Pastor C shouting in the background “has anyone found any keys”. I went around every corner of the large hall inspecting each group of people, but the man was not in any of them. He had already left. This puzzled me as I couldn’t understand why the Lord gave me this sensation in my finger if the man wasn’t there anymore. I remember thinking “Lord, why do I feel this so powerfully on my finger when the man is not here”. Am I misreading something?
Just as I was wondering about this, someone came rushing back in through the doors from outside. It was the man with the sore finger! It was his car keys that Pastor C was shouting about and asking if anyone had them. I went straight up to him and asked him, “What is it that is wrong with your finger?”.
He raised his hand and showed me his finger. It was infected and swollen. It looked like he had an accident and sliced right through it. Then I started to doubt. I thought to myself, there is no way I can heal that (even though I know it is not me but the Lord who does the healing). I sort of stood there as he chatted to his mate, battling with my own mind, trying to come up with the courage to ask for him to give me his hand so that I could pray and ask Jesus to heal his finger.
Suddenly I start to overthink - this is a mistake, a miscalculation – this whole situation that I find myself in is a fluke. Here I am, in my own local church hall; never would there be a safer place to exercise a spiritual gift and never would I have a clearer signal from the Lord.
Yet I hesitated, and the man suddenly turned and went out the door. I then had another inner battle with myself. Should I run out after him or is it too late? Then I started to convince myself that the chance had gone, until it really did go, and it was too late.
I get these situations or appointments where I have the chance to share the gospel, the chance to help bring a lost soul to Christ; or in this case to heal a person and demonstrate the mighty power of God – and I do nothing. I keep having so many chances to step out in faith and be part of something great, but I never do because of fear and doubt.
The fear of humiliation and ridicule starts to grow in my mind. The Lord lines everything up for me, he gives me confirmation, a dream, a word, some signal or coincidence. I cannot fail. It is impossible for me to fail. Yet, I do my own miracle and make the impossible possible. I fail. Why did I fail? I fail because I didn’t even try.
From being fully charged up just before the end of the meeting, I went home feeling awful. I did some soul searching and wondered if I was worthy of having what the Lord had given me. The Lord is wasting His time with me, He should go to someone who has the guts to actually step out for Him. I go to the word and even the scriptures seem to torment me. I think of Luke 12:48…
He who has been given much, much will be expected.
I say to God “Lord, you have chosen the wrong man! If you have given me gifts, then take them off me and give them to someone who will put them to use. They are wasted on me!”
I am not saying it out loud, but I am thinking it. I’m telling God that what he has given me is wasted on me. I am now making God, who is infallible, out to be fallible. I have gone from doubting myself to doubting God – and the transition from doubting myself to doubting God was so smooth, so invisible – that I had not even realised it had happened.
Does God not know the end from the beginning? How can I possibly tell God that He has the wrong person – do I know better than Him? Of course not.
The Lord drops a bomb in my mind, and I hear in my spirit “Galatians 3:4”.
I reach for the bible, almost sure that this is just my imagination. I have no idea what Galatians 3:4 says and I look it up and I notice it is a very short verse. I begin to read.
Have you experienced so much in vain, if it really was in vain?
I don’t think there is a more fitting verse in the whole bible than the one the Lord just gave me for that situation. It was the scriptural equivalent to a good kick up the arse.
How easily we forget all that we’ve been through, like it didn’t matter. Thank God for His mercy. Not only that, but my big failure has now become my main motivator. When I am afraid to step out in faith, I remember back to these moments when I didn’t step out, and I remember my profound regret afterwards. I will remember this regret on the next divine appointment, so that this all won’t have been experienced in vain.