Planting the seed

In February my brother Jon called me from Detroit to tell me about the awesome revival meetings that had happened in January in Toronto, Canada, celebrating 25 years of non-stop renewal in the Holy Spirit. So I tuned in on the internet to ‘Catch the Fire’ and was really touched by God. The upshot is that I have been testifying of Christ to so many people since then, everywhere I go: the auto parts store (I’m an auto mechanic), the bank (don’t go there enough), the gas station, all my customers, strangers I run into, etc. So I heard people like Todd White and Shawn Bolz and many others and ended up, with their help, doing a massive boil-down of the Gospel to tell people in, oh, 20 seconds. I want to try to take you into these conversations.

               Message One. “Thanks, Sir, for letting me fix your car. And the really Good News is that the Cross of Jesus means the value God put on your soul. This is how much your soul is worth to God. For it is written, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 – but I don’t tell them that usually; I’m just sayin’). You have a good day.” [20 seconds maybe].

               As I’m telling them this their eyes are always just glued on mine. Many start to quote that most well-known verse with me as I’m telling it to them. When I’m done, I don’t ask them what they think of it or anything. My mission is to plant a Seed of the Kingdom of God in them, that’s all. It’s like Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13: the Sower is God the Father and the Seed is Jesus. The Sower pays no mind about the kind of soil he’s tossing his Seed on, the wayside, the shallow ground, the thorny, or the good ground; that’s not the point of the Parable. Don’t try to judge the person you’re sharing with, just plant a seed in them. Do what God is doing.

               Message Two. “Hey, I appreciate the job you do as a part’s man. But this is the really Good News: The Resurrection of Jesus bodily from the dead means that neither my sin, nor Satan, nor the grave itself has ANY . . . CLAIM . . . ON . . . ME . . . ANYMORE! For it is written, “Jesus was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised again because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25 – but I don’t tell ‘em the Reference so as not to distract them). Have a nice day.” [15 seconds around].

               Again people are just staring into my eyes. I feel locked in their grip. Their soul is being rocked by this most important message. People are always wondering deep inside just what the Cross and the Resurrection means. So I give it to them in a sentence. Of course it means more than this. And again, a Seed just got planted into their soul.

               Message Three. “I enjoy shopping here. But now one more thing: I see there’s an awful wound on you heart. It’s because something really bad happened to you, and you’ve been carrying that scar for a long time now. Is that so? (They have nodded yes every time so far and nobody has slugged me yet). Well let’s take care of this right now. It is written, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows….” (Is. 53:4). This is a Prophecy about what happened at the Cross. May I lay my hand on your shoulder? (Ok). By virtue of the power that’s in Jesus’ Name, I say you are healed! It’s been good to talking to you. Have a nice day.”

               I feel compelled to share Scripture with them because that’s the real Seed. I don’t pray for them to be healed, I announce that they already are (because of the message I just preached). I do this because I can’t find where Jesus or the Apostles actually prayed for any sick folks. He always commanded things like, ‘Rise up and walk’, or ‘Be opened’. Of course I don’t know all the results of this kind of ministry but there’s so much peace and joy sharing it.

               But I can tell you that I know of two people who have been healed so far. 1) Brandon. In February at the grocery store I saw Brandon who I know a little bit. The Holy Spirit had just quickened Is. 53:4 to me and I felt it was for Brandon. So I said to him in the parking lot, “Hey Brandon, can I talk to you for a second? (Ok). I think God showed me that there’s a terrible wound on your soul from something bad that happened to you. Is that right? (He thought for a moment and said, Well, yeah, because of . . . .) Let’s take care of that right now. It is written, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is. 53:4). So because of that I say in Jesus’ Name you are healed of all of it. Have a nice day.”

               I didn’t see Brandon for about two months, not till in April. When I did, I said, “Hey Brandon, how are you doing?” He said, “Well, it used to be I’d have one, two, or three good days in a whole month. The doctors couldn’t figure me out. But since you prayed for me, (I didn’t exactly ‘pray’ for him) I haven’t had a bad day since! I’m taking one day at a time.” Awesome. I never knew what was wrong, but God did.

               2) Lorie. This is a really nice Catholic lady customer of mine, and when I got done with her car, was paid, and she was starting to leave, I said as she sat in the driver’s seat, engine running: “Thanks for the work. I really appreciate it. But I want to say that the Lord is showing me that there is a wound in your soul. It’s bad and it’s been there for a long time. Is that so? (She nodded). May I have your hand? (She stuck it out through the side window). It is written, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is. 53:4). Jesus bore all that pain of yours at the Cross. And by virtue of the power of Jesus’ name, I say you are healed. Hope it’s a good day. Bye.”

               I couldn’t tell anything. But two days later, her boyfriend called me and said, “Whatever you did to my girlfriend, it really worked. She’s a new person. Thanks.” Well, I of course didn’t do it; Christ did, but it sure was exciting to work with him.  I tremble every time I share these three messages. But taking risks with God is so rewarding. Now I’m stuck like this. Every morning I’m praying, Lord I can’t do this without you. Would you please let me be your mouth today. Help me to be bold and be ready. Amen.   

                You can totally do this. This is ‘the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’ (I Cor. 1:21). Remember the Parable of the Sower. Do it, and do it today. It will deepen your communion with God and be an extension of it. And it will have eternal consequences. Thanks for checking this out.        

Tim Halverson

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