On June 7th Pastor Jim Bailey shared about the Quest trip with the youth. He said, “The presence of God was so strong at times.” He told the youth, “We need to ask the Lord what He wants to do and wait for Him to respond.” Pastor Jim told us that any time the Lord’s presence is felt we need to acknowledge the presence of the Lord and we need to find out what the Lord wants to do. I had never had anyone tell me that before.
When The Shepherd’s Way Ministry women’s team went to Municipal Correctional Institution to minister to the women inmates, we worshipped and sang some songs with them. Then I started sharing with them about the many promises and blessings God has for us if we will obey His Word. Some of the scriptures we read and talked about were the following: Deut. 28:2-14, Blessings for obedience; Deut. 31:6, 8, tells us to be strong and of good courage, not to fear, that God will go with us. He will not leave us nor forsake us. This is also promised in Hebrews 13:5. Gal. 3:11-14, 26, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith... For we are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Matt. 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What things? What we eat, drink, and wear. God will provide us a job or ways to meet these needs when we obey His word. Matt. 8:16-17, Tells about Jesus casting out demons and healing all who were sick. Matt.10:1, “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” Mark 16:15-20, in these verses Jesus tells His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel and these signs will follow those who believe. They will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Verse 20, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen”
The presence of God was so strong in that place. I asked the inmates if they could feel God’s presence. They said they could. The Holy Spirit brought to my memory what Pastor Jim had said on Sunday morning about asking the Lord what He wanted to do so we could partner with Him. So I told the ladies what he had said. I said, “Let’s ask the Lord what He wants to do.” So I did. Then I said, “Let’s wait for the Lord to respond.” After a few minutes one of the ladies started weeping uncontrollably. I just waited a few minutes until she calmed down some and asked her if the Lord had spoken to her. She said, “Yes, He said I could do these same things that you had said that Jesus and the disciples did if I would get my life right with God.” I asked her, “How do you get your life right with God?” She said, “I am not sure.” (She had already prayed to be saved.) I told her she needed to repent for not obeying God’s Word. When you repent, you can be in right standing with God. I told her what I John 1:9 said. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Then we can be in right standing with God if we obey His Word. So she prayed and so did some of the other ladies, asking God to forgive them for not obeying His Word. With tears and then smiles on their faces they thanked us for coming and sharing the word with them. They wanted to know when we would be coming again.
By waiting in God’s presence and partnering with what He wanted to do, the Holy Spirit moved on their lives that day and hearts were changed. And some of them heard directly from the Lord themselves.