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Author Topic: The God Grab Bag  (Read 84735 times)
Chuck Miller
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« Reply #270 on: September 27, 2005, 02:27:58 am »

I have posted an articlre that was too lengthy for one post, so I have done it in two.  Please read first, the one preceding the following post
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fuloboloney
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« Reply #271 on: September 27, 2005, 09:14:04 pm »

I have posted an articlre that was too lengthy for one post, so I have done it in two.  Please read first, the one preceding the following post

Chuck,

Enjoyed reading about your evangelistic trip to Hungary.  How do you know when God is leading you to go somewhere, Europe, for example?  (You tied in desire).  And then how did you know you should go to Hungary?  Did you look for confirmations? or did you simply know?

Max
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #272 on: September 27, 2005, 09:43:44 pm »

I read the post below about the trip to Hungary, and think it's great that the Lord led
you to go there. The story of the person suddenly becoming repentant though reminded
me of something that happened in the past that was disconcerting to say the least. I
may have told this story before, but it shows how sometimes the emotions can truly mislead
you into thinking you have had a "glorious" experience, when the opposite is actually true.

We were out evangelizing on Van Nuys Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley several years ago,
and I was with another brother spreading the good news. As was our habit, when one brother
(or sister) was preaching, the other would pray fervently for salvation. We came upon a group
of three young guys sitting on their car, and we began to preach. At first they heckled us, and
made fun of us. Then one of them stood up and walked closer, expressing a desire to hear more.

I began to pray fervently as the other spoke to him. I then took over and continued to preach
to the young man. His whole face began to change, and he began to look like he wanted to
cry. His eyes actually became teary, and he said that it was a wonderful story and wanted to know
how he could have what we had. I asked him if he would like to receive Christ and he said he
did. As we bowed our heads a great feeling of glory filled me, and I was thrilled with the deepest
joy that this young man wanted to receive the Lord.

We prayed, and when the guy lifted his head he was actually tearful. We then gave him some lit-
erature, and I asked for his phone number so that I could follow-up and see how he was doing. He
asked me to hold on a minute, and went to the back of his car and returned with a piece of paper
with his phone number on it. He told us how thankful he was, and how he knew that this very night
his life had been changed. We hugged him and walked off to do more evangelizing.


The other brother and I walked off praising the Lord and rejoicing. I had prayed so fervently, and so
had the other brother, and this young man had come to Christ!!!  The next evening I called the number to invite the guy to a Bible study in a few days. I dialed, and a voice answered. I asked for the young man by name, and the lady said no such person was there. I asked what number I had dialed and she said something like "Why no, this is Bethel Temple in Woodland Hills".

Then it suddenly became clear what had happened. This young man had faked the whole thing, even to the point of crying fake tears. He had walked to the back of the car to get the number to his(I think he may have been Jewish) Temple, and gave it to me. I was dumb struck!! It had all "seemed" so real!!! And the great joy and rejoicing seemed so Heavenly!! It taught me a great
lesson---that only God knows who "really" has accepted him. One person may accept Christ, and it appears nothing has happened, but inside an eternal work of the Holy Spirit has taken place. In another, there may be tears, and great shouting, etc., but it is all emotion, and nothing has really
taken place. And in another a sham may take place as it did that night on the Boulevard.

The next Wednesday I saw the same young man on the street. He said his friends had put him up
to it. I warned him(though I must say I also thought it was kind of funny he could pull the whole thing off as he did---maybe he should become an actor), and told him it was an awful and horrible
thing to mock the Holy Spirit as he had done. Who knows? Maybe something about what happened
eventually led him to the Lord. But my point is that only God truly knows the heart, and only the Word of God alone can transform a heart. I had been decieved by my feelings into believing a glorious thing had taken place, when in truth I had been duped by a kid.

This, of course, does not take away from all of the truly glorious acts of salvation that have taken place, or the possible salvation of the man in Hungary. You may have been led by God to go to Hungary for that one man alone. Who knows what amazing things the Lord can accomplish? With God anything is possible!!!


--Joe
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 09:59:02 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
Chuck Miller
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« Reply #273 on: September 28, 2005, 12:12:11 am »

Max,

I’m not going to try to tell you that it was the Lord who put Hungary on my mind.   I don’t know what did, but it worked out well.  I think there are times when we just step out in faith and the Lord directs our path.  And I do believe He provides along the way to let us know that He is doing so.  I could tell of many  more experiences where I found that to be true.  And why shouldn’t He?  And why wouldn’t He?  Unless, of course, we are operating in the flesh and just doing it for self aggrandizement.

As for Joe raising the possibility that the young man may not have gotten saved, I would have to acknowledge that possibility.  It’s rather sobering to think that he could have been faking, but that’s something we can’t control.  God says that His word does not come back void, but accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent. (Is 55:11). I believe that when the Spirit of God witnesses to the heart of one who and understands and rejects the gospel, that one commits the unpardonable sin, for he makes God a liar (1 John 5:7-9).
It is sobering because it may be damnation that the word accomplishes, since that one can not say, “I didn’t know.”

While witnessing in parks in Vienna, there were several times when the person with whom I was sharing would say something like, “This has been very strange, because I don’t ever come to this place, but for some reason, I felt led to come here today.”  You would find it hard to convince me that it wasn’t the hand of God that led them.   

I believe that the Lord allows us to experience His doing these things to encourage us, but at times withholds knowledge of the results of our evangelizing so that we don’t get proud and boastful. But what joy we experience when He does show us.   

Chuck
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #274 on: September 28, 2005, 12:47:05 am »

Chuck---

Please forgive me if you got the impression I was saying that the man you encountered might
be "faking". I'm not inferring that at all. In fact, I said it's very possible that God led you to Hungary
to minister to that man alone. Who knows?  Your post simply brought back a memory I had of
someone changing before my eyes who was actually "acting". I don't imply that was the case with
the man you encountered at all. I have the strongest confidence that the Lord used you to either
lead the man to the Lord, or to plant the seed that might later sprout.

Even in the case of the "faker" I encountered, there may have been something planted that might
have later born fruit. As the Lord said His Word never returns to him void. What I was basically re-
ferring to was "impressions" we might have, that we think are very spiritual, but which might be
just the acting of our own emotions. At faith healing sessions people get highly emotional, "claim"
healings, but then later find they were not healed at all. It was just a very clear memory that came
back to me while reading your post. It wasn't meant to cast doubt on what you posted.

Thanks,Joe
« Last Edit: September 28, 2005, 05:09:07 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Elizabeth H
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« Reply #275 on: September 28, 2005, 04:51:02 am »

I think there are times when we just step out in faith and the Lord directs our path.  And I do believe He provides along the way to let us know that He is doing so.  I could tell of many  more experiences where I found that to be true.  And why shouldn’t He?  And why wouldn’t He?  Unless, of course, we are operating in the flesh and just doing it for self aggrandizement.

I believe that the Lord allows us to experience His doing these things to encourage us, but at times withholds knowledge of the results of our evangelizing so that we don’t get proud and boastful. But what joy we experience when He does show us.   

Chuck

Thank you for this, Chuck. You put into words what has also been my experience and I am grateful.
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Chuck Miller
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« Reply #276 on: September 28, 2005, 06:41:17 am »

Hey Joe,

No offense taken.  I know what you were saying and I agree.  That’s the awesome thing about sharing.  There’s no magic formula and no surefire method.  The power is in the word and the Holy Spirit.  We’re just the instruments God has chosen to use, and He won’t be subservient to our methodology.  And I wouldn't be at all surprised if your deceiver didn't wind up getting saved. 

When Chuck and I were in Austria about 5 years ago, a pastor friend, Al,  invited us to dinner to meet a young Turkish man that he had been spending time with, but just didn’t seem to making any progress.  He was a very affable guy and a real thinker, but he was trying to make an intellectual decision concerning what he should believe. He said, “I want to study all of the religions and decide which one is the “true religion.” 

I had previously spent some time with a brother who had the greatest comeback I had ever heard to answer this type of objection, and I decide that this Turkish man was one who might respond to it. 

I told him that I agreed that it was something he should do and discover which “book” was the true book and who’s God was the true God.  He seemed a bit surprised that I didn’t try to argue with him and convince him that Christianity and the Bible were what he was looking for.

I said, “Look, I can’t prove to you that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is God and I wouldn’t begin to try.  First of all, it’s not purely an intellectual matter, so it’s not like a geometric equation to which we can attach our Q.E.D.  It is a spiritual matter, because God is spirit and communicates His truth to us in the spiritual realm.  Then, too, unless God reveals Himself to you, you can't make any meaningful decision about Christianity  So, as I said, I can’t prove to you that the Bible is God’s Word ---- But He can.

“Let me propose this suggestion to you.  Yes, do study all of the religions, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and all of the rest.  Somewhere along the way, take the Bible and open to the Gospel of John.  There are 21 chapters.  I would ask you to read one chapter a day for 21 days, but before you read each day, pray and ask the God of Christianity to show you if He is the true God and if the Bible is His word.  If, by the end of that 21 days, God hasn’t shown you that He is the true God, then put the Bible in your library with all of your other Philosophy books and History books, because it will have no more meaning to you than any of them. 

But don’t do this unless you are prepared to make a decision.  Right now, you really don’t have any decision to make.  But if God reveals Himself to you through His word, then you will have to decide whether to accept or deny His Son as your Savior.  Are you willing to accept my suggestion?”  He aklmodst eagerly agreed and we conversed some more and left.

Chuck and I returned to the States and I did pray for the man, but eventually I didn’t think too much more about him.  However, I wasn’t terribly surprised when about 2 months later, I received an e-mail from Al informing us that the young man had received Jesus as his Savior. .   

I had come to have complete confidence in the power of the word of God and in the Lord’s timing.  If it was in God’s will to reveal Himself to that man at that time, then it was going to happen and he would know that he knew that he knew. Then he had a decision to make and he made the right one.

Praise God for His mercy.

Chuck
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2ram
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« Reply #277 on: September 28, 2005, 08:15:09 am »

Chuck,

Thanks for those stories.  It is a blessing to hear stories of faith.

Marcia
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Chuck Miller
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« Reply #278 on: September 28, 2005, 03:35:22 pm »

Elizabeth and Marcia,

It is always a joy to share stories of the faithfulness of our precious 'Lord.  I'm glad you were encouraged.  I'd like to hear from yourselves and others about how He has worked in your own lives and the lives of others.

God bless,

Chuck 
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Chuck Miller
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« Reply #279 on: September 28, 2005, 04:39:20 pm »

Max,

You wrote:

Chuck,

Enjoyed reading about your evangelistic trip to Hungary.  How do you know when God is leading you to go somewhere, Europe, for example?  (You tied in desire).  And then how did you know you should go to Hungary?  Did you look for confirmations? or did you simply know?

Max
-----------------------------------------

I guess I never fully answered your question so let me add a few thoughts.

We can take it as a given that Jesus wants us to respond to His great commission, but I wouldn’t be so dogmatic as to say that He meant that we have to go to another country.  I know a brother who does more evangelizing in his every day “going” than many missionaries do in foreign countries.  And I’ve seen some on the mission field that should never have been there. 

Why Europe and why Hungary?  Chuck and I went to Europe because he had such a heart for sharing the gospel, and the coming down of the wall opened a door of opportunity to speak to some who had never even heard of God and certainly not the gospel.  Had it not been for him, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I rode along on his coattails at times, and it was always a good ride.  As for "desire"  -  I desire to serve the Lord, but don't always win the battle of the desire to serve Him and the desires of my flesh.

I’m not so sure today that such short evangelistic trips are what Jesus would have us do, but at the time we did it in good faith and God isn’t hindered by our questionable judgments or our shortcomings.  He may re-direct our steps along the way and use it to discipline or teach us more about His ways, but I don’t think we can go too far wrong by admitting that we’re not sure, and just stepping out in faith.  I truly believe he used our efforts in the lives of those with whom we shared.

As for “confirmations” I believe there are times when God gives very strong confirmations and there are other times when there are none.  If it sounds like I’m dodging the question, it’s only because I believe there’s a danger in making absolute statements about how the Lord works. He won’t be put into the proverbial “box” and always respond in the way that we want or expect Him to.

There are many facets of the whole missionary scene with which I am not in total agreement, but that doesn’t mean that I’m right and all missionaries are wrong.  But, having been with one such missionary agency for a year opened my eyes to some of the pitfalls of their modus operandi and their willingness to compromise Godly principals for the sake of putting numbers on a monthly tally sheet.  And yet, God sees the heart, and can use such ones as have His interests at heart to further His purposes and plans - in spite of, not necessarily because of, the agency or denomination with which they are associated.

Anyway, Max, the walk of faith is a rocky one, but a glorious one and it is only in retrospect that I can see what God was doing at a certain time in my life and why He did it.  But we can be assured that He will never leave us or desert us, nor will we ever be ashamed of putting our trust in Him.


In His love and service,

Chuck
 
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