Over the years I feel like God has given me a pretty good way to approach strangers for ministry. What I mean by that is how I step through the door for healing, prophecy, or however else the Lord wants me to minister. There was a lot of trial and error which resulted in some very awkward experiences but overall I’ve never really been concerned that someone wouldn’t give me permission to speak to them.
That is until the day I met a woman we’ll call, Ruby.
I didn’t notice Ruby until I walked by her and my spirit stirred. I continued on for a few steps and then turned around. Ruby was a hard-looking woman, like a Bulldog daring someone to come over and say the wrong thing.
The anger was obvious but superficial, like stale icing over moist cake. God was revealing the beauty within her, the plans he’d sketched out for her, and all of the desires he had for her. Loaded with that information, I made my way over.
“Hey, I’m Jesse.” Ruby glanced at my hand and then at me with nothing to indicate she was going to greet me back. I just stood there like a statue, watching her eyes narrow and wondering if this was the day I’d get punched in the face.
After another few awkward seconds, she gripped my hand. “Ruby.”
I glanced at the guy she was with, a stern-looking fellow, and cleared my throat. “Sometimes the Lord gives me different things for different people. Would it be okay if I shared what he gave me for you?”
She hesitated and for what might have been the first time, I didn’t know which way it was gonna go. In my experience, most people will give permission to spare feelings or whatnot even if they have no interest in God at all. Ruby wasn’t gonna play that game. I knew that if she didn’t want something to happen, it wasn’t gonna happen.
“Okay,” she finally said while I breathed a sigh of relief.
“So when I walked past you I saw an amazing crown sitting on top of your head. It had a ton of jewels in it that were all sparkling together. What I sense the Lord is saying is that he has placed a crown of glory on your head.”
I went on to explain how I felt the overwhelming love God has for her when I walked by and all of the discomfort I sensed earlier melted into a pool of God’s goodness, even though her expression wasn’t changing.
“And it’s not just that,” I continued. “God has given you a powerful voice and when you speak, things happen. I see the mountains and obstacles looming in front of you turning to dust at one word from your mouth.” The words flowed, speaking to how strong she was and how it wasn’t just hard mountains she could eliminate but also the cold hearts of people around her. “God has given you the ability to speak to hard, cold hearts and watch them break, melt, and be transformed in the love of Jesus. And that’s where all your real power comes from – Love.”
It was during this last part that I saw the cracks in her carefully guarded expression. She tried so hard not to be impacted but God’s love is relentless and her defenses couldn’t stand against the assault.
When I was finished, she held her hand and gave me a grateful look. “Thank you so much.”
There are two things I’d like to point out from this encounter that are for all of us. The first is don’t be afraid or deterred by what you see on the outside.
I’ve said this a number of times but it doesn’t take any kind of special spiritual gift to look at a person and see the bad. Everyone can do that. But when we can look at a person and see past the superficial, into the treasure of who God created them to be, we are operating in the love of God which is the most important gift of all.
When we can see the beauty of those around us, we will find the courage to move and be as God leads us to move and be.
The second is to realize that Ruby doesn’t have exclusive rights to that crown of Glory. There’s one on your head as well. And that voice, the one that turns hard mountains into dust, that’s also inside of you!
I wrote last week about the unmeasurable, unlimited, and surpassing power that’s in ALL who believe. Remember that you’re one with Yeshua and because of that nothing is impossible for you. Nothing has the power to destroy you or keep you from the abundant life Jesus came to bring. And in the times that doesn’t seem true, recognize the lies coming at you and flip your perspective back to the truth of who you are in Christ.
Jesse and Kara Birkey