GOD’S HEART FOR ALL PEOPLE
Drug Addicts, Prostitutes and Homeless
One summer a group of us from Christ for the Nations Bible College went to the inner city of Manhattan in New York on a short-term missions trip. One of the ministries we collaborated with was David Wilkerson’s ministry called the Upper Room — a place where people in need could go for a warm meal, clothing, and to hear the Gospel.
The smell of urine and feces permeated the area. It was not unusual to find someone passed out on the front steps of the building where we were ministering. A lot of people who came to the Upper Room were high and/or drunk. I remember one man passing out on the floor, and it didn’t even phase the others. They just stopped and stared like it was common to see that.
Wall Street Moguls
Some days we just prayed and asked God where He wanted us to go, what He wanted us to do, and who He wanted us to approach. They weren’t always the destitute who were strung out on drugs. Sometimes God wanted us to approach the people dressed in their Giorgio Armani suits. The needy in this world don’t all look the same. Sometimes needy people are well dressed and have a lot of money. But they still need the same Savior and Deliverer as the drug addicts.
After one particular exhausting day of ministry, we went back to the YWAM base where we were staying and went to bed. That night God gave me the most vivid dream and placed His calling on my life.
In my dream, I wanted so desperately to HUG God! I went looking for Him, but I couldn’t find Him anywhere. I looked and looked. He wasn’t in the building we were in. I even went to the church, and He wasn’t there either. I went to look for Him on the streets. There I finally found Him at the end of this really long line of broken, sick and hopeless people. I noticed that these people were standing in line to hug Him, so I got in line, too. I’ve been broken, sick and hopeless before. When it was their turn to hug Him, they left His embrace whole, healed and hopeful! Picture dark gloomy clouds before they embraced Jesus, and
At last it was my turn to hug God. And as I did, I was made whole, and … He disappeared, at least to my natural eyes. It was then that the people standing in line started to go through MY arms, and they left MY embrace whole, healed and hopeful.
I am first called to embrace God in all areas of my own life. Embrace everything He is and everything He wants to do IN me. Then I will be more equipped and empowered for what He wants to do THROUGH me.
Christ in me and the anointing of His presence is the only thing that will bring wholeness, healing and hope to others as I pour myself out on His behalf. It is Christ through me!
I have not always done this perfectly — far from it! I’ve stumbled and I’ve fallen. I’ve drifted with indifference and have gotten entangled with sin. But that dream has never left me! God will not let me forget it. So whether I write books, speak messages of hope or am at home raising my boys …
…this world WILL KNOW His embrace through ME as I embrace Him first.