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You're not going to believe this but...

That's what a woman I know said to me in reference to her son, and what God did for their family.

We met her and her husband a few weeks ago, delivering into their hands some supplies for their organization. As they went to leave that day, I asked if we could pray together for the use of the items and their work. They agreed and we all gathered in a circle. If you've never felt the Holy Spirit of Jesus enter your moment this may be tough to explain, but God showed up during that prayer. Our new friend began to weep in His Presence, tearfully, she waited for us to finish praying for the mission we were all on, and then asked us to pray for her son.

And we did.

Fast forward to today. As I walked with her and her husband, to their car, I wanted to ask about their son, but she beat me to it.

"You're not going to believe this... never mind, yes, you will. Since you prayed, my son has had a complete turn-around in his life." She chose her words carefully. The Lord had gone to work on their behalf. They were beyond grateful. They asked us to pray for him as often as he comes to our mind because "obviously, we have a direct line to God." Those were her words, not mine.

This is the reaction a person has when God Almighty proves He is real, He loves us, and He wants to be in our lives. It's the struggle that a smoldering candle has when we try to coax it back into a gentle flame. It's what happens when the Living God touches someone's pain and His heaven comes into their world and they are faced with a terrifying yet, hope igniting, thought, "Maybe God IS real."

The visible evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming to the believer. Isn't it?

I mean, somewhere around the ten year mark of my being 'born again' (2000 AD'ish) I had spent years arguing with people as a means of trying to make them believe that God is our heavenly Father, who really does love us, and wants us to know Him now. I was a holy veteran who had won many discussions to defend my own beliefs as well. If you are in the kingdom of God, it's hard to imagine being blind to God. I wanted everybody to join me, but not everyone does. I wanted everyone to see as clearly as I did.

Face it, we were blind, and now we see!

But how does a Once-Blind-Now-Seeing Person with real evidence of God convince the Still-Blind Person that they too can be healed of their blindness? That they can know God?

It's a complicated issue that requires that we abide in Christ and His words abide in us.

On the one hand, the Lord Jesus is strengthing our faith daily. Today, a literal mountain of evidence of the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit in my life has materialized into volumes of written, answered, requests and prayers. In thirty years I have witnessed the Lord working in so many ways that to hear anyone suggest that God doesn't exist or that Jesus isn't real stirs up pity in my heart for them. Pity because they don't know Jesus like I do. And also, if some poor athiest come across my path with an argument, mistakenly thinking they want to attack my trust in My God, it's not a fair fight anymore... because My God stands behind me. I abide in Him, and He in me.

On the other hand, I can't unload thirty years of experience with Christ into a five minute encounter with a person who's life has been destroyed by some tragedy. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted remember? He moves us near to that hurting person because He is near to that hurting person, longing to pour out His love and healing.

I'll admit, during the first decade of my following Jesus I didn't care much about such things as love. They went in one ear and out the other. My life was full of debates about macro and micro evolution, dinosaurs on Noah's ark, and the miracles of God's creation all around us. Mix in a healthy dose of conservative political opinions and my own wrong conclusions about everything (that God was still patiently unravelling and straightening out) and you can imagine Heather and I lived a fairly exciting life. Back then, at work, I was called, "Jesus Dave," because I always had a testimony of something the Lord was doing in my life ready to pounce, I mean share, with others.

I won arguments, but not souls.

It takes more to win souls.

It takes love.

It may relieve you to know that I have settled down in the last twenty years. I have moved on to calmer waters, so to speak. I prefer understanding over convincing, listening over speaking, praying and trusting the Lord to handle things instead of trying to control them myself. More and more I only speak God's words when I must, knowing that if someone is being drawn to Christ it is usually best if I simply ask Jesus to intervene in their life and watch Him work. This is God loving people.

God working in someone's life is the most powerful evidence of all. Isn't it?

I hope you see the evidence I'm talking about.

It's when the Living God answers our prayer.

Think about this, in its simplest form, the following scene has played out over and over and over again in my life. (And Heather's too.)

Step 1: Happy Christian is minding their own business, living life and loving God.

Step 2: Happy Christian prays for the Lord to use them more.

Step 3: The Lord hears the prayer and answers immediately.

Time Passes.

Step 4: Happy Christian encounters Hurting Person and listens to their painful story.

Step 5: The Holy Spirit fills Happy Christian with compassion for Hurting Person.

Step 6: Happy Christian talks to the Lord about Hurting person, asking for help.

Step 7: The Lord sends Hurting Person help immediately.

Time Passes.

Step 8: Help arrives for Hurting Person, in God's time, in God's very creative way.

Time Passes.

Step 9: When they meet again, Once-Hurting-Now-Helped Person says to Happy Christian, "You're not going to believe this but..."

The Once-Hurting-Now-Helped Person smiles, struggling to reconcile their unbelief in Jesus with the obvious evidence of His existence... answered prayer.

Our new friends, the woman above and her husband, now know this evidence. He is real to them.

Or how about this, several years ago, another friend had a cousin by marraige who got ran over by a car, deliberately, twice! This cousin was in the hospital in a - body broken to pieces, brain fluid coming out, critical condition, comatose, call the family, it's going to be over soon - situation. I did what the Lord taught all of us to do. I went to Him and asked for a miracle.

At the same time, during the same week, another friend had an elderly relative who had fallen into a coma due to infection in his blood. I did what the Lord taught all of us to do. I went to Him and asked for another miracle.

No, it wasn't easy to even say, "I will pray for you and your family. I will ask the Lord to undo this mess." It's scary to act like a little child in a world of adults who believe they are right and you are wrong for believing in silly fairy tales about Jesus. Even if you've been following the Lord for fifty years, I think you will always have to break through that barrier of reaching into heaven to talk with God. Doubt will always try to stop you.

But if you press through, into the Presence of the Lord Jesus... wow! Awestruck doesn't begin to describe it when you get the privilege of seeing our Father in heaven do His best work.

It was mind-blowing when the next time I saw both individuals, the first friend said, "You're not going to believe this but... that guy woke up from the coma, started pulling tubes and monitors off his body and demanded to be let out of his bed!" He was already out of the hospital by the time I heard about it.

The second friend, likewise said, "You're not going to believe this but... that guy woke up from the coma, started pulling tubes..." You get the picture.

It took me a while, but after a dozen more answered prayers or so I finally came up with a response that demonstrated that I actually believed that God would answer my own requests.

"You're not going to believe this," a person I prayed for, begins to say.

"Yes, I will. But please tell me the story of what happened. I would love to hear it."

Believing with you my friends, Pastor David.

(The photos are from Whiteface Mountain, NY. We went there the other day for a recharge.)

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