It’s frightening. Approaching people on the street, praying for people we don’t know, casting out demons, fighting spiritual battles. But this is what Jesus has called us to do. I believe that these activities encapsulate something of the true meaning of Matthew 16:24, where Jesus says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Being a Christian is difficult. We have a certain peace, which comes from knowing that we are right with God. But we also have obstacles to overcome; we go through desert periods, we fast and abstain from many worldly pleasures, we suffer trials, and so on. Not only these things, but as 2 Timothy 3:12 states, “…all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”.
In recent weeks I’ve been learning a lot about how to live out my life as a true Christian, and God has been really challenging me. It started when I watched The Last Reformation movie on YouTube, after stumbling upon it by “chance” one evening (nothing happens by chance). I will never be the same having seen that movie, which depicts a present day movement of people living out the kind of Christian life we find in the Book of Acts.
After watching that movie and having been changed forever, I am now working through an online video course led by Torben Sondergaard, who by God’s grace is leading the Last Reformation movement. The video training, called The Pioneer School, consists of 20 videos and I’ve watched the first five at the time of publishing this post. The message Torben communicates is simple and accessible, but also very powerful. The whole focus is on how to live in obedience to Christ’s teaching as we find it in the Bible, rather than simply going to church every Sunday and leading an otherwise fairly secular life.
I would like to share some experiences from earlier today, when I took to the streets in the area where I live and asked God to give me the courage and boldness to speak to people and pray for people. I had been out yesterday with the same intentions, but due to fear hadn’t approached anyone. By God’s grace, today was very different.
As I left my flat I resolved that I would talk to the first person I encountered. So I introduced myself to a lady who was passing by, and asked her if she needed prayer for anything. She told me she was fine, but had a close friend with a chronic illness. I asked if I could pray for her friend, and she said she was a Christian and that would be fine. As I prayed there on the street I could feel God moving. I have no way of knowing whether this person was healed or not, but I have faith that she was.
Several minutes later I saw the guy who lives in the flat next to me walking down the street. He would have walked past me as I was praying for the lady on the street. I asked him if he needed any prayer (we know each other a little but don’t have much contact, I have invited him to church a few times but he hasn’t joined me yet). He said he had pain in his legs when he walks. I laid a hand on his leg and said a short prayer, and he said the pain had gone! He then brought up the subject of church and said he would like to come with me some time soon 😁
The next people I spoke to were a couple of women, one older and one younger. I asked if they needed prayer for any physical or emotional pain. The younger lady said she was due to go for tests soon because she has been experiencing nausea and sickness, but doesn’t have a diagnosis. She was very open and happy for me to pray, but I could feel the older lady was uncomfortable. I prayed for the younger lady, and asked her how she felt. She said she was feeling no sickness! I felt I wanted to pray for her more and find out more about her, but the older lady was becoming uncomfortable and impatient and wanted to walk away. I felt upset that I could not speak with and pray for these ladies more, and felt regret that I didn’t persevere.
A few minutes later I walked past a train station and there was a guy sat on the railing playing with his phone. I told him I’m a Christian and asked him if he needed prayer for anything, but he adamantly said no, so I wished him well and carried on.
Walking through the park there was a young man and woman who I presumed were a couple, and I introduced myself and asked them if they needed prayer. The man explained that they were brother and sister, and he said that they were having difficulties in their relationship with each other. It’s so honest of him to admit that to me. I laid hands on them and prayed over their relationship and I felt God’s presence. This was one of those prayers where I feel I was definitely in the right place at the right time, and although I cannot know for sure what will happen with them, I trust God to bring healing and restoration.
Next, I encountered a lady and her dog. She had a bright demeanour and was easy to talk to, so I imagined she might be a Christian, but she said she wasn’t. We walked along together talking for a while, and she said she would appreciate prayer for her sisters, as there was strife in the family. We stopped and I prayed for her sisters, and then after we walked on I shared something of the gospel with her. She said she had a Bible but hadn’t read it for a long time. I explained that the first time I read the New Testament it didn’t really speak to me, but then years later, in different circumstances, it spoke to me in a powerful way. The lady said she was about to go on a Yoga retreat in America, and that she had been thinking about books to take with her and after our conversation she would think about taking a Bible. Praise God! I warned her about the deception I had experienced in the New Age spiritual movement, and shared with her from Scripture that the only way to the Father is through the Son, and that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
I spoke to several other people who said they were fine and clearly didn’t want to talk. There were two ladies with a pushchair who I encountered twice. The first time I spoke with them they were quite short with me and went on their way, and when I saw them again, I said hello and smiled, but they ignored me.
God told me to speak to one more person and then call it a day. So I was on my way back to my flat and a man was walking past. I introduced myself as a Christian, and before I could say anything else he replied “I’m a pastor!”. As he quickly shook my hand and walked off I said I was going to ask ask if he wanted healing and we both smiled and that was that! I love God’s sense of humour.
I still have so much to learn about how to be a faithful disciple of Christ. I’m aware that God uses us in such a way that we grow, and although He always tests us He never does so beyond our capacity to cope at any given time. Today was testing, but God was with me, and He was merciful.
I’m so grateful to God for blessing me with all these interactions today, and I feel pleased that when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day I can look back on today and feel as though I was brave and really gave it a shot.
I will continue to watch Torben’s online training and I am planning to meet up with other Christians to go out in a group to evangelise and heal the sick. There is so much power in Jesus’ name, and He is alive and bringing healing and hope to people through His body of believers. I am hoping to use my new YouTube channel to share some of my experiences of walking the Christian walk in the coming months.
Being a disciple of Jesus does not mean simply going to church every Sunday. It means living in the way Jesus commanded in the Bible. It’s tough, but Jesus said, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) If you feel challenged by this calling, you’re not alone. Rest assured, there are other believers who you can connect with who will help and encourage you as you go. If you’d like to talk, feel free to drop me a line. God bless 🙏✞