Monday, April 8, 2013

Awaken Your Faith and Move in Spirit

I was led to 1 Corinthians 15 to meditate as it relates to this journey with Christ we are on.
 
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
 
We took a few days to travel to Crimea to see what the Lord might have for us.  We so enjoyed the beauty of southern Ukraine.


How do we see?  This is what I heard in my spirit....  When we walk in our lives as followers of Christ, do we stop to peer into the lives around us?  What would happen if we did?  What would we learn?  What if we used the life-giving spirit inside of us?
 
Meet Vladimir.  He is 72 years old and spends several days a week along the waterfront of the Black Sea playing his accordion.  I looked closer as we came near.  Hearing his music, I knew he loved the sound....he enjoyed what he was doing.  I couldn't find the cannister to collect monies although I was sure there must be one. 
 
 I was compelled to meet him and so I asked my friends to translate for me.  I learned that he once traveled to the US in his early days and had even spent time at Carnegie.  He was a music teacher for many years after studying in school.  He expressed that no one cares for his music and was surprised to receive our small gift for his musical blessing.
 
How did Vladimir come here?  He hadn't washed for a very long time, it was apparent.  While his face showed a beautiful smile, my own heart ached as I felt his.  I had to ask.  Vladimir, what happened to your leg? His response, "When you walk outside of God this happens to you." He never would explain what happened to lose his leg but  he quoted some of what Paul says in scripture.
 “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
Romans 3:11-12
 
I was surprised to hear him quote from scripture and then he said, "It is too late for me."

I asked if I could pray for him and if he would mind if I touched him.  I imagined it had been a long while since someone had embraced him warmly.  He agreed and my friend translated my words of blessing over him.  I prayed for reconciliation in his broken relationships to which he is estranged with his daughter.  I prayed for him to return in hopeful desire to God's plan for him.
Vladimir became my friend that day.  Forever imprinted in my heart, with prayer attached.


     This is the power God has given to us.  That we would not walk anywhere ever again without looking into the hearts of those around us. That we might deliver the precious life giving spirit of Jesus Christ to those who have lost hope or never known hope.  My time with Vladimir was short and I don't know what tomorrow will look like for him but for today I can say without doubt, Love touched him. His glistening eyes spoke thankfulness.  The touch of love in prayer holds the POWER of the Cross!
 
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
     Where, O death, is your sting?”  
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
    When we take time out of our lives for the heart of another, we cannot imagine what God will do with that!  Nine years ago (almost exactly) Randy and I were in Simferopol, Crimea adopting for the first time.  We knew so very little about Ukraine and we were on our own one day to call for a taxi.  God sent us a most adorable young man named Pavel (meaning Paul) out of no where to aid us.  With his little English and our little Russian, he helped us.
    In that tiny moment, Pavel was knit in our hearts too. He had been working at the orphanage and we took photos together over the time of our stay.  I still have it on the refrigerator in the kitchen to be a frequent remembrance of how the Lord answers our every detailed need in His perfect timing.
 
    So two days after we met Vladimir, we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Pavel - nine years since our last meeting!  As we pulled up to the orphanage and I saw him standing there waiting, I felt a rush in my heart and leaped out of the car to hug him.  How does this happen?  How does God do this love thing?  How can he make our hearts love so richly?  Because we pray....and when we pray blessings over those we meet God enlarges our hearts to love even more. 
 
It's the encouragement he has gifted us to give to another.
 
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58
 
And so it just wouldn't be right to stop this post without sharing this darling woman:
One night we were walking back to our hotel from the pizza place we use internet at and passed by a church.  Not looking like a usual church, I asked George about it, when a woman who was walking ahead of us turned around and admonished us NOT to go there because they baptized different than the Orthodox church.
 
Perfect! I couldn't wait to go!
 
So on the Sunday afterwards we walked in without a translator and just smiled and I said, "I love Jesus."  They smiled and as graciously as they could tried to rush to find an English speaker and then appeared, Natasha!  The next day she showed us around the town, shared with me her heart for India and for the deaf.  After her studies with YWAM in England a few months ago she is studying Hindu and readying to travel later in August this year.    This is LOVE- this is how we allow the Lord to move in us and around us.  And how blessed are we to learn that the pastors wife works at the orphanage here in the town and they have offered the use of their minibus should we need it!!
 
There is no such thing as CHANCE with Jesus Christ!  Awaken your faith today to let the spirit of God within you to lead you into your destiny with Him.  His plan is perfect for you and no matter the challenges that come to you, His grace is blissfully secured to bring you through in FULLNESS!
 
Glimpses of the ways He has refreshed us while on our three day adventure to Crimea:
This man is the photographer of all of the work behind me.  When he heard the story of Lucia and Cephas he presented us with this beautiful piece of the Black Sea with a Cross on the rock in the background of the picture.
 
And to the right, two of the best traveling mates! We were so richly loved on by them. Sweet Mary Malone and Jamie Hejl (from Lincoln, Nebraska!) brought us to Balaklava and on the submarine station tour and to the Khersones Ruins.  I think we may have given them a few laughs too.

God knows I love kitties so He provided about a bazillion of them for me to photograph.  Here's one!
 

 

 

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.   1 Corinthians 16:13-14



3 comments:

Christie Minich said...

Oh what a blessing you must have been to be the hands of our Lord to Vladmir! It is never too late.
Oh the lies the enemy tells us.
I wish could hear his music.

Tesseraemum said...

Just Beautiful!!

I just LOVE how the Lord gives us these divine appointments when we ask! Sheri

Lara said...

Thank you, sister, for helping me get my mind off myself and my kids as I prepare for our trip. I pray the Lord uses us in the lives of those that He brings across our path when we go get our kiddos, soon.
God bless you!