I don’t have any sermon notes due to the fact that I was unable to attend the service this week. I was called to a small town in Alabama to do some cheerleading routine choreography for a small gym. When I returned Sunday evening and asked my wife what the sermon was about I couldn’t help but giggle and look to my Lord with a grin both on my face and in my heart.
My wife told me that the sermon was about the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. She informed me that it was all about the divine appointment. How this short tax collector wanted to see what all of the commotion over this Jesus guys was all about. He couldn’t see over the crowds as He was passing by so he ran up ahead and climbed up in a tree just to get a glimpse of the one they are all talking about. As Jesus approached him He called him down from the tree and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for a party. Zach had no idea what was about to happen. He just wanted to see what was up with this dude everyone was going crazy over and on the road where their paths crossed his life was changed forever.
There is a little more exegesis of this passage and a whole lot more theological value to it, but that is kind of the summary of the story which is enough for this blog considering though I wasn’t there on Sunday to hear the sermon, I was smack dab in the middle of it through a life experience of my own.
As we pulled into this small town in Alabama we could feel the pain. There was hurt and if you ask me a strong demonic presence. Though there were about 15 churches in this small mill town it still felt like the spiritual climate was foggy to say the least. On Saturday morning we met the owner of the gym and she greeted us with kindness and a bit of hidden emotion. Within the first ten minutes of meeting the owner we were let into her emotional state by way of conversation bout what she was going through at present. We prayed with her for healing of a physical ailment because I sensed the Spirit telling me He wanted to heal her.
Saturday night while I prepared for bed I felt overwhelmed by a desire to pray for her. I prayed for her and prayed for her healing for a while that night. On Sunday morning I was overwhelmed with emotion while praying in the shower. Unknowingly to me I spent an hour in the shower just praying and worshiping God. I didn’t know, it felt like 10, 15 minutes tops. I just kept praying that God would stretch out her hand and heal her.
When we arrived at the gym Sunday afternoon to finish up the job we sat for a while talking with the owner about her amazing art work, that if you ask me needs to be sold for all to enjoy. This lead to a deep spiritual conversation in which she recognized that she had never submitted herself to the lordship of Jesus Christ. She had only given Him her mind, but not her full heart. She was held bondage by guilt, depression, and even a little anger and resentment. The chains of her past clung to her like irons welded to a slave, oppressing her and keeping her unjustly from experiencing freedom and life. That afternoon, in her office, we sat with her and listened to her pain. The Spirit prompted me to share with her the freedom in Christ and the challenges of a disciple. Her response was a desire to commit her life to Christ and to stop trying to cope and live it on her own. In a time of confession and forgiveness not only received by her from God, but given by her to some who had done ill towards her, right then and there she called out to Jesus to take over her life and we watched as the chains fell to the floor and the enemy fled from her and the holy fire from the Lord.
During our time of prayer the sky opened up and poured rain on the building we were in. After our time of prayer with her face glowing from the tears running down her face she laughed and a smile that was no longer forced on her face said, “Do you hear the rain? He is washing it all away.” Halleluja!!!
It was my job to be there that weekend. Not to do choreography, but it was a divine appointment set by the All Knowing God for us to cross paths at that moment in time. Not only to watch her set free, but for those of us who were a part of it to be encouraged and for the Holy Spirit to fan into flames the fire within us. There are no coincidences only appointments. When we live in the Spirit people will climb trees to see Jesus in us. The Lord puts those people in our lives so that we can share the good news of Freedom In Jesus Christ and salvation by His grace through faith in the living Son of God. Pay attention, not only for those people you are to impact, but for those people who He has put in your path to impact you.