Pastor Nick Fox was preaching at Rock Harbor a couple months ago, and he mentioned that it is an adventure to follow Jesus. Honestly, for the common Christian, this may not sound like the most revolutionary truth. We’ve heard it. We believe it. But when he said “following Jesus is an adventure”, it hit me in a deeper way. My mind began racing with curiosity. I thought, What if we literally, followed Jesus? What would happen, if a Christian went outside and just listened to the Father’s voice and went where he called them? Personally, I believe God speaks to all of his children. Not just the “gifted ones”. If you are following Jesus, God speaks to you. Just open your ears. Once you understand that God speaks to you and He wants to lead you on an adventure, my idea shouldn’t seem as crazy to you anymore.
The moment I had some time on my hands, I thought I would try this new approach to ministry. Reading the Gospels, you see that Jesus always seemed to know where to go. The disciples saw amazing things because they literally followed Jesus as he walked. If Jesus got in a boat, they got in a boat. If Jesus went to a synagogue, they went to the synagogue. Jesus, as the Author of Life, is the master of adventure.
I was at the anti-mall in Costa Mesa a few hours before church and I saw this as an awesome opportunity to go reveal the Father to some people. I had nothing to lose. I was very aware that maybe nothing would happen. But I also knew that God just might do something awesome. The reward of bringing someone closer to God far outweighs the risk of having awkward encounters with strangers. Once you lose the fear of death, everything else is easy.
I started walking down the street with ears open to see where God might be telling me to go. I felt he wanted me to cross the street, but not yet. Then I felt him say, “Now”. I think the best way to describe the way God was speaking to me during this time would be to call it Holy Spirit nudges. Right when I got to the other side of the street, I looked ahead and saw a guy on a bike heading my way. He stopped at the stoplight that I was heading to, it was almost like bait. I approached him and gave him a friendly greeting,
Me: “Hey buddy how’s it going?”
Him: “I’m good man, you?”
Me: “I’m doing great. Is there anything you might need prayer for?”
Him: “Oh, just blessings man. Anything would help!”
Me: “I notice you got a brace on your knee could I pray for that?”
(His light turned green)
Him: “I gotta get going man, but yeah just pray for blessings! Anything helps brother!”
Me: “Alright man! Have a good day and God bless!”
As he rode away in his bike I just prayed that God would touch His life in a way that would bring him closer to Him. I started laughing and thanked God for giving me an easy warm up. It was a really smooth encounter. I kept walking and asked God if there was somewhere he wanted me to go. I felt like he actually said, “Go get you some coffee.” I wasn’t too sure if that was God or my addiction speaking, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take the chance. As I walked into Cafecito Organico, one of those hipster coffee shops, the first thing I saw was a guy with crutches sitting down. I was like, “Alright God that might’ve been you after all.” I bought my coffee and started procrastinating. I was getting really nervous. Doubt started creeping in. I can’t do this. What if nothing happens? What if everyone thinks I’m weird? Then affirmation came. You can do this. As long as love is involved it’s a success. They probably will think you’re weird, who cares? So I went up to the guy who was speaking with his girlfriend…
Me: “Hey guys how are you all doing?”
Them: “We’re good how are you?” (slightly confused)
Me: “(nervous laugh) I’m good. Do you mind if I ask what happened to your leg?”
Him: “Oh it’s a torn ACL man.”
Me: “Oh really? That sucks bro. Would you mind if I prayed for it? Would that be too weird?”
(I kinda mumbled out of nervousness)
Him: “Ha What?”
Me: (crap I have to say it again) Uh, I’m a Christian and I’ve seen God heal people before, would you be okay if I prayed for you?”
Him: “Ha yea bro I’m down for new things!”
(I got so stoked that this was his response and I was a bit more confident now)
I laid my hand on his shoulder and asked God to heal him. Nothing seemed to happen. I asked him if he went to Rock Harbor. He said no. I briefly told him about the church down the street. He seemed pretty open to it. I didn’t ask him to test his leg out or anything, I just wanted to get out of there at this point. It was a pretty cool experience though, and I felt a substantial seed was planted. You never know what God might’ve done in that guy’s life after that moment. My hope was that it put some curiosity in his heart to find out more about this Jesus guy that this random dude at the coffee shop was so confident in.
So far I got to pray for two people. They were delightful moments, but the most fruitful encounter lay ahead.