Nickels in God’s Pocket

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evangelism on streets

As she left a conference in Atlanta, a woman prayed, “Lord, I’ll do anything for You. Just tell me what You want me to do, and I’ll do it.” In that moment she sensed something: I’m supposed to turn left.

It almost felt like a whim, but desperately wanting to obey God’s voice, the woman turned left. After driving for a little while, she felt as though she was supposed to turn right, so she did. Filled with anticipation, she wondered, Is God actually directing me to go do something right now? This is so exciting!

Before she knew it, the woman ended up in front of a little convenience store, which she sensed was the place the Lord was bringing her. Once inside, she couldn’t wait to see how the Lord would direct her—but the only thing that kept coming to her mind was, Go over in front of the clerk and stand on your head.

Pretty weird, right? How many of us would reach that point and say, “OK, no, that’s not God,” and get back in our car and drive home? The direction this woman was sensing seemed odd enough that she could’ve easily discounted it, though it wasn’t something immoral or unbiblical.

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She prayed, “Lord, are You sure?”

Then she felt nothing. No confirmation.

She hung around, building up her courage and reading chip packages until everybody cleared out of the store. Then she ran up to the register and said, “Hey! Look what I can do!” There happened to be a pole right in front of the clerk, so she did a handstand against it. From her upside-down position, she saw him drop his head and shake it. She swung her legs down and thought, Man, he thinks I’m crazy—a real freak! But she walked up to the register and saw that the clerk was actually crying, so she asked, “What’s the matter?”

He told her, “About half an hour ago, I was sitting here working, and I prayed, ‘God, if You’re real, have somebody come in here and stand on their head.’” The clerk ended up giving his life to Christ as a result of this woman’s obedience to God’s voice, and he has attended the same church she does ever since.

This is an unusual story, but I love it because it exemplifies obedience. When we look back over our lives, we often can recognize moments when we sensed a tiny nudge to step out and take a risk. It’s easy to brush off those nudges and tell ourselves, Nah, that couldn’t be God. Then we continue on our way, attending to the next 10 things on our agenda and missing out on God-given opportunities.

Think about what this woman would’ve let slip by if she had just walked away from her nudge. Jesus tells us, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35, LB). The treasure is in the risk. We are willing to die for Jesus, but are we willing to look foolish for Him?

Interrupted and Available For God to use you, you have to be willing to be interrupted and available. He isn’t necessarily looking for qualified people; He’s looking for available people whom He can use. We should be nickels in God’s pocket that He can use in any way He chooses and at any time.

But the truth is, God will rarely grab us by the collar and make us pray for someone or tell someone something for Him. He wants us to desire to step into kingdom work. Our desires need to sync up with His desires.

It’s easy to lose your nerve or second-guess yourself at the last minute instead of stepping into an opportunity for God to work. The Holy Spirit’s voice was described in 1 Kings 19:12 as “a still small voice” (NKJV). His promptings are often light as a feather that lands on your arm; it would be easy to brush it off and ignore it. Sometimes when we first step into a situation, we don’t get it right away, or what God is doing is not obvious.

God’s gift to you is ability, and your gift to God is availability. Sometimes we fail to recognize that our daily life is filled with opportunities for taking risks—for stepping out and trusting that God is with us and is more than able to meet the needs of the people around us through us.

Years ago, when I first began to step out in prophetic evangelism, I went to the music store to buy drumsticks for the church. I was in a huge hurry, but I noticed a guy playing keyboards in the corner of the store and sporting a rock ‘n’ roll look, with cool hair and sunglasses. I felt as if I should say something to him and, after wrestling with my doubts, walked back to him and stood there listening to him play. Though I believed God wanted to say something to him, I had no clue what. He was an incredible keyboardist, so I said, “Man, you’re really mean on those keyboards.”

He lifted his head but didn’t respond, acting sort of like, “I know I’m really good.”

Then I said, “Hey, do you have a minute? Sometimes the Lord speaks to me about people, and I feel as though there’s something God wants you to know.”

Even then, I still had no clue what God wanted to say to him. This guy continued playing but said, “What is it?”

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