Tuesday, November 11, 2014

That Still, Small Voice

We arrived at Hebron on time this morning, which turned out to be a blessing to Flip, who was late and lamenting. "The problem is," he told me, "I hear the Lord telling me to get up because I have a lot to do, but somehow I find myself rolling over and just going back to sleep." I told him how it was a blessing to know that even he struggles with this. And I shared that one of the things God has been working on me about lately is to learn to listen to that "still, small voice" of the Holy Spirit and to obey Him.

Growing up in a very non-charismatic environment, the Holy Spirit was probably unintentionally minimized as a reactionary response. But as I've grown in my spiritual walk, I've realized more and more how dependent I am upon the Holy Spirit. We are told, after all, that "without me, you can do nothing." What makes us think that we can simply muster up enough strength or spiritual fortitude to do anything in our own power? That we can depend on our own wisdom (which is, as the Bible says, foolishness to God)? Even much of our spirituality can lead us into relying on our actions...what we DO to become more sanctified and pleasing to the Lord. We do, do, do and forget that our "doing" is impossible without Him!

As I sit here writing these words, I am reminded that I can't even write without Him! And I pray for the words to effectively communicate...for the Holy Spirit to fill me so that my words are His words and not my own.

Since going out to the abortion mill regularly, the Holy Spirit and His work has become so much more familiar to me. All the phrases I would hear about listening to the Holy Spirit and simply allowing Him to speak through us suddenly have become very real. It is one thing to hear these common Christian phrases and yet another to experience them so vividly every week. To literally not know what I will say as I grab that microphone, set aside my "notes," and pray for Him to fill me. And, just as He promises, He does just that. I open my mouth and things come out that I did not plan, thoughts and whole outlines flow into my head like a steady, dependable stream of refreshing water. And the more I taste them, the more I crave them! I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Not in some mystical, flop-on-the-floor showy kind of way, but in a way that is real and genuine. A way that is quiet just as is the nature of that still, small voice. I want God to be glorified and me to stand back in amazement at His presence once again.

And so it surprises me somewhat when those feelings come. The feelings that should not, logically, be there.

"I don't want to go to the mill today."
"What if I get on the mic and don't have anything to say?"
"Maybe I should take a break from ministry."

I've dealt with them often enough to know that they are usually not even true feelings, but the inevitable spiritual struggle in the battleground of my mind. I am thankful that as quickly as they come, they usually leave just as fast. Today, I had flashes of all these thoughts, but the one that caught me most off-guard was the second one. Me? Not want to speak on the mic? It is just not typical. From the first day I went to the mill, I have been speaking on the microphone. This is my comfort zone. And I have experienced amazing moments of supernatural clarity and speech. But today I felt mild apprehension, which I expressed to Flip. He prayed over me and, in obedience to that still, small voice, I grabbed the mic and began to speak. And as I read the Scripture the Holy Spirit led me to, that refreshing stream trickled and then poured. Out flowed everything He wanted me to say. And the ones to whom He was speaking walked out moments later and told Flip and the others in the driveway that they had chosen life!

That still, small voice was faithfully at work this morning and we listened. And as we prayed for faith "above all," as Ephesians 6:16 commands, we know that He was at work in other hearts, as well. We may not see results here, but we have faith that we will see them someday in eternity!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Humble and the Proud

This morning started off with lots of activity! The moment the RV arrived, a couple pulled up in their car and I approached and asked them if they were there for an ultrasound. It ended up being a couple that Sarah had met a couple weeks ago, so I ushered them onto the RV and talked with them a moment while Sarah walked over from across the street to meet them. Sherry, our nurse today, arrived a few minutes later, so with things taken care of, I walked back over to the entrance of the mill.

Not too long after, a car pulled into the driveway and pulled to the side of the lot. The woman got out and walked into the mill, but the man pulled over to me and rolled down his window. I crossed the "forbidden line" to talk to him, but fortunately no one from the mill came out to reprimand me and I am so thankful, as the conversation was a fruitful one. He was Hispanic, but understood much of what I said and looked concerned, especially seeing the sign of the aborted baby. Conviction was on his face as he looked at the Tiny Hands booklet I gave him, but he said he couldn't read it. So I called to Elleina and asked her to bring a Spanish copy for him. I was surprised as he took it and sat there, reading the enclosed Spanish tract so intently that he was mouthing each word. He then flipped through the book and asked if he could have it. "Yes, absolutely," I said, and I asked him to go inside and give it to his girlfriend and tell her we were there to help. I gently encouraged him that this was his baby, too, and that he had a right to speak on his baby's behalf...that he needed to speak up for his baby! "This is not good," he said. "It's not good."

It was one of the most beautiful sights to see him back his car up, put it in park while still running, and jump out of his car and literally run toward the door! There was urgency not only in his expression, but also in his action! I will never forget that response and I wish so much that this was the response of all the men we spoke to today. I wish it was always the response to the truth. But sadly, it was not today and is not on any other typical day. I think of the distinctly opposite responses, including a man who just smirked sarcastically and casually said, "No, she don't need no help. How much do you get paid to do this?"
"Nothing, sir. We do this because we love the Lord and we love babies." His girlfriend sat in the passenger seat, silent and full of guilt and pain. But when I said, "Why don't you let her speak? Why don't you ask her if she wants to talk to us?" and he did, she turned down the offer of help and the boyfriend pulled away. Interestingly, despite the hardness of the man and her rejection of our help, I do have to note that they were pulling out of the driveway and I don't know if they ended up returning. So, God may still be at work here and perhaps this was a save. God knows.

I think also of the man who slowed his vehicle down on the street and then slowly turned down Denmark street across from the driveway. I thought it was just a passing curious driver...until he flew across the street into the entrance, scraping the bottom of his SUV on the driveway. When he pulled back out, I confronted him with the sign of the aborted baby and asked him why he brought someone here. Incredulous and with a note of sarcasm, he said, "I don't know what you're talking about. She's not here for an abortion. It's just a check-up."
"But why would you bring her to a place like this for a check-up when there are so many other places she could go? We can help her find another clinic. Why support a place that kills babies?"
"It's not my money. She can do what she wants with her money."

And I think finally of the man who brought a young girl, probably his own daughter, through the gates of hell to murder her unborn baby. He looked hard and cold and barely gave us a glance as he sped into the lot. But I wonder if she would have talked to us if not for his evil influence. How many girls are broken and hardened at such young ages because of their sin, compounded by sinful parents who help them in their attempt to cover their sin and "fix" it? The sin cycle continues on and on...unless Jesus enters into the muck and mire and breaks it with the power of His blood! Repentance is the only hope for those who are hopelessly enslaved to their sin!

And that Gospel message...the true hope for true and lasting change...is the reason for the record number of babies saved so far this year from abortion through Cities4Life: 450+! It is not about what the "woman really wants" or what will be best for her or any of the other humanistic arguments that I've sadly heard from other ministries. It is about the Gospel. It is always about the Gospel! It starts there and it ends there. It is about opening God's Word and showing sinners their need of a Savior...showing them why they can't stop the sin cycle on their own, through their own power. Helping them to see that it is about far more than just a choice that will affect their lives here...it's about a choice that will affect their lives for eternity. And not just their lives, but the lives of their unborn children who have no say in the matter.

To my knowledge, there were no saves today, except possibly the one. But what a day to see the stark difference between the humble and the proud. I pray that man continues to be convicted, and that he will repent and allow Jesus to save him. And I pray that his girlfriend read the Tiny Hands that he heroically brought to her and was convicted enough to not go through with it. Please pray for their salvation!