You Have To Ask For A Radical Answer
During what was a particularly emotional service this weekend, I found myself praying at the front of the church with my pastor. That isn’t something I normally do — generally, I remain in my own pew and sing while rocking gently back and forth, as is expected of you. For some reason, it’s seems embarrassing to go forward at times.
But, after a particularly spirited “altar call” requesting that we don’t leave the space without having a radical encounter with Jesus, I found myself heading up to the front. I needed that radical encounter with Jesus.
My pastor had preached about the encounter Saul had with Jesus in Acts Chapter 9 — Saul, whom we now know as Paul, had the most radical encounter with Jesus — and came away from it completely changed in a wonderful way. Paul used to be a man who persecuted Christians, but then be came one of Christ’s most devoted missionaries and preachers.
In this way, Pastor Cameron described how we can be marching along to the beat of our own little drum, thinking that we’ve got everything right and we’re doing the right things — when slam, bang out of no where, we crash into a wall of truth where God shows us what we actually need to do. But it also brings the realization that we were very wrong.
So after this amazing sermon, he uttered those words about the altar and encountering Jesus — and after a bit of stalling, I made my way to the front. The front of the church was filled with people looking for prayer, just like me.
Just as I was about to turn away, thinking it was too crowded and I’d worry about it another time — Pastor Corey, our lead pastor, climbed over a set of pews to get to me.
“Can I pray for you?” he asked.
Friends, those words flooded over me like a comforting blanket.
I don’t remember exactly what I said and it was probably a garbled mess — but I know that the Spirit understood. You see, even when we don’t know what we need to say, the Spirit knows. The Holy Spirit that is within us intercedes for us on our behalf with the Father, translating our deepest, heart-of-heart feelings and thoughts to him.
In response to that, through my pastor, the Lord shared something with me — that there is nothing I can do to make God love me any less or any more.
And friends, if I wasn’t crying already, I definitely was at that point.
There is something absolutely wonderful when we really hear that someone loves us. It’s even more wonderful when we hear that our Heavenly Father loves us. The Lord of Lords and the King of Kings loves me — no matter what. It is not up to me.
He also reminded me that “It is finished.”
Whatever sins were there, that will be there or that continue on have ultimately been “finished” by Jesus’ death on the cross.
I left the altar a little weepy, a little tired but most of all, thankful. But I never would’ve gotten there if I hadn’t left my seat.
We have to let go of this mentality that if we ask for help or admit we’re in need of something, that we are weak or some how inferior. This is not true — and it needs to stop.
If you are in need of help — be it spiritual, mental, physical or any other kind — seek it. Actively say, “Yes, I need prayer,” or whatever you might need. Otherwise, no one will be aware of what you need and you will continue to be in the situation you are in.
If I didn’t take those steps to the front, my Pastor would never have known he needed to climb out and meet me. As it says in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Be blessed my friends, and don’t be afraid to ask — you might really need the answer.