I remember a time when the Lord taught me to be led by His gentle hand beyond my preconceived notions. It happened several years ago during a Sunday morning worship service. Before going to church that morning, I was prompted by the Spirit with a word of knowledge that God wanted to heal a woman named Anna. I pondered over the impression in my spirit and just figured that He wanted it to be shared sometime during the worship service. I also knew, by natural means, that during that selfsame service a very prominent pastor and his wife would be visiting. You guessed it, her name was Anna.
Initially, this led to the usual mental contortions where you wrestle with the idea of whether or not this particular impression is from God. Especially this morning, being that in the back of my mind I knew that an"Anna" was going to be there. Yet, I felt a real sense of deep peace about the truth of the word that God wanted to heal an Anna of foot or lower leg troubles. So I settled it in my heart to follow His leading on the when,how, and where to accomplish this mission.
Upon arriving at the church though I was to be greeted by another layer to my assignment. The moment that we arrived, an associate pastor came up to ask me to fill in for someone who had been assigned to serve at the coffee/greeting table. The person had called to say that they would not be in that morning. Obviously this presented me with an immediate dilemma. Was I to obey and submit to this request for an obvious need for help? Or, do I "go with God" and decline so that I could minster the word that He had given me to share during the service? After all, you only get a few chances to minister to prominent people with what I perceived as such a powerful word of knowledge. Can you just sense the need for some character development here?
A simple peace comforted me from within and I acquiesced to the pastor's request. I must admit thought,that as I cheerfully handed out coffee and greeted guests; I still had prodding thoughts stirring a desire to have been in the service. In this position of service, I would be required to stay outside the double doors that led to the sanctuary for the whole worship gathering. So, in effect, my choice had barred me from fulfilling my preconceived notions of this days ministry in the Spirit. I did understand that God being God could still do what He wanted to do in releasing that healing word to Anna. Whether it be in person or through some other form of media, I knew that if it was true He would see that the word did not return void and would be effectively delivered.
Preconceived notions can really put a stranglehold on a living,creative and loving God's ability to use us in the most effective way. After all, we are simply partners in the implementation of His kingdom come upon the Earth. Though at peace, I was still at times mentally wrestling with ways of helping God get His will accomplished.
My two lady co-workers had been regulars at the booth and were actively carrying on their usual banter. My ear slightly perked up when I heard one tell the other that her foot was hurting her that morning. She went on to relate how at least it was a temporary condition because in a couple of weeks she was scheduled for an operation to correct her ailment. Now, I had gone from a bystander to an engaged listener.
I slowly turned to my co-workers. It was at that moment when it dawned on me that I vaguely recalled the name of one of the ladies. Due to the nature of my enlistment, the three of us had not engaged in the initial pleasantries of introductions. They had greeted me, already knowing my name, and I guess they had assumed that I had ready recall of their names?
It was in that moment that I blurted out," You are Anna!". Taken aback at first, she quizzically replied,"Yes?" She had no clue of all of the bells that were going off in my spirit. " And you have a foot condition!"I uttered in an almost confused fashion. Her interest piqued, "Yes?". She had no way of understanding the state of mind from which these statements were coming. But, for me it had all become so perfectly clear that God had won out. Yet, for Anna, I was looking more and more unhinged with each sputtering comment.
Suddenly, the moment was salvaged. I clearly elaborated to her what was going on behind the curtain so to speak, and how God wanted Anna to be healed today! Anna's heart was opened for Him to move with His healing touch. We prayed in faith that God's overall will was true and that He wants everyone healed. We also prayed in faith specifically that it was His will that Anna be healed of her painful foot and leg condition. All three of us were overjoyed with God's love for this individual in her time of need. Anna said that she felt some relief, and we left it fully trusting God would accomplish what He had started.
After, we both turned to our third partner, and asked if she had needed any prayer? She had just happened to be going back to Vietnam for a family visit in a couple of weeks. So, we prayed for any concerns that she might have on her heart, and let the Lord speak uplifting prophetic words to encourage her on her adventure. Needless to say, I learned that day to follow the gentle hand that leads us over the push of events, and the urgency of my flesh when responding to God's anointing.
It would be several months later before I was to see Anna once again. My wife and I casually ran into her at her workplace. I curiously asked her how her foot was doing, and about the operation. She stated that her foot was now fine, and that she never had the operation. The fact of the matter was she was working that day because of her healing. If she had needed the operation, she would have still been out on medical leave. It was then that the wonder and comforting joy of God just seemed to hold me like a warm blanket.