Note: This article originally appeared on charismamag.com in December 2006.
Have you ever had a prophetic word from God that was beyond what you could ask, think or imagine? God loves to blow up our little boxes. What price did you pay before the word came to pass?
The reason I ask is because many Christians eagerly desire the prophetic without having a clue what it will cost them. We want to receive a prophetic word. We don't realize the price.
How much will it cost to follow Jesus? Everything.
Just ask Mary.
Luke 1:26 tells us, "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
"And the angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you'" (NIV).
What would you do if an angel showed up on your doorstep, proclaiming, "Greetings, you are highly favored"? Would you jump up and down saying: "Hooray! God is here"?
I don't think so. Perhaps you would fall on your face. You would tremble before the Lord. You would be wrecked, completely undone, ruined forever. With one look of His eyes, there is no turning back.
That was Mary's response. When the angel appeared, she wasn't overjoyed. She was terrified.
Luke 1:29-30 says, "Mary was greatly troubled at [the angel's] words and wondered what kind of a greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you've found favor with God.'"
I can identify with Mary. You see, when I was 16 years old, I had a radical visitation from God.
The Cost of an Encounter
I had been a Christian only five months when God spoke audibly to me. He told me that I would be a missionary and minister. He told me to go to Africa, Asia and England.
I was forever transformed. I alternated between sobbing and laughing. Then I began running after that prophetic vision with all my heart. Thirty years later, I'm still chasing after my God dreams.
I love running into the darkest of the darkness to see His glorious light shine forth. I have never looked to the right or to the left, or glanced back. I could not imagine doing anything but laying down my life for love's sake.
Why? Because He ruined me with His love. I promised Jesus, "I will do whatever you ask no matter the cost."
After that experience, I followed the word and began to preach the gospel. As a 16-year-old girl, I first preached to Alzheimer's patients, drug addicts—anyone who would listen. Eventually I preached in Asia and England and all over the world. Today I live and minister in Mozambique, Africa.
When God visited me and promised me something so much beyond myself, I had a choice. At the time, I had never even heard of women preachers. But I chose not to doubt and look to the natural. I believed His word. He told me to preach, so I preached. That word has cost me everything. But it is my greatest joy and privilege. There is nothing He could ever ask of me that I would not gladly give.
Over the years I have watched God do countless miracles. As I have laid my little life down, I am now watching a nation run to Him.
I have been shot at, thrown in jail, slandered, stabbed, diagnosed then healed of many terminal illnesses and experienced trials too great to tell.
My family has been without food, water or support. We have been beaten, threatened and had all manner of evil spoken against us. But this is nothing compared to the all-surpassing joy of knowing Him.
Jesus is my model and hero. He spared nothing and gave up the riches of heaven as the ultimate missionary. He came down to Earth just for us. Jesus was love incarnate. Every day, He poured forth limitless, unceasing love to each and every person in front of Him no matter the pain of it all.
Now our job on Earth is to follow His example, and love no matter the cost. No matter how impossible a prophetic word seems, we must follow the Lamb who was slain, to give Him the just reward for His sufferings. God challenges me every day to remain in love no matter the trials and tribulations.
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