I have a confession to make: I've asked God for something, and it might make life slightly unbearable for those closest to me who will feel the heat. Don't worry- I didn't ask God for something bad- it's all in His will.
Here's how it happened. A couple Sundays ago was Motorcycle Sunday at our church. God bless these wild-lookin' guys (and gals) who come roaring into the church parking lot. You do know, don't you, that these burly men are not only big and husky on the outside, but they've got these big hearts for God as well. The preacher had on a green bandana around his head (loved the color- "excuse me, sir, where did you buy that?") and the power of God pulsing through him as he preached.
We don't normally have a lot of upfront altar calls or "Come for prayer up front here"- we're a bit understated in our expression of faith, in our weeping over sin, in our calling out for God to help us. (Check with me in a year and I hope to tell you God has blown the lid off our church!)
So when the altar call came, and the motorcycle preacher calls his "ministry team" to stand in the front to pray for people, you could have your choice of big, scary looking men to pray over you- if you went forward.
Go forward, I did. I mean, nothing against demure, refined women with conservative dress and sweet smiles, but I'd like the chance of something a little more powerful than that to rub off on me. (But I do know some wild, all-out older women of God that you feel a little shaky when they head towards you to pray over you! More on that another time. Just remind me to tell you about Halley).
So there I am, walking up to this burly guy and his buddy next to him.
"What do you want prayer for?" they ask.
"I'd like prayer for..." I hesitated.
"Yes?" (Now remember, we're practically shouting as the worship team is blasting their music
"I'd like prayer for....boldness," I said.
The one guy smiles at me, nodding his head in agreement, as if to say "Little lady, you aint seen nothing yet!"
And then they prayed for me. Prayed- I don't know what- but I walked back to my seat thinking, "Oh God, I'm already a bit much for my family to handle- what'll I become next?"
I'll tell you what I'm going to become. I'm going to become a KEEPER.
"That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us" 2 Tim. 1:14
I'm also going to become bold (makes sense, since I asked for it!) about what's IN me, and I'm going to "stir it up" alot.
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands." 2 Tim 1:6
Or as the Amplified version words it "stir up-rekindle the embers, fan the flame and keep burning- the gracious gift of God, the inner fire that is in you..."
Now if I do this, and I propose to do so, I can't make any disclaimers about potential liability to those around me. As that famous saying goes "When you're on fire for the Lord, people will come around to watch you burn."
Don't worry- I don't plan on doing anything needlessly wild for the sake of trying to SHOW that I'm bold. I know boldness isn't in wearing a leather skirt and riding a harley down the street- although I will do so if required by the Lord. As well as climb to a mountain peak "and there proclaim,'Behold Your God!'"
If you'd like to join me in this venture into boldness- for His Sake, and the sake of all those who need to know His power to overcome- then, as the Living version words it "I want to remind you to stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you...."
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get another log for the fire.