Last week, I had the opportunity to go to Germany.
“Why did you go to Germany?“, you ask.
I’m glad you asked! I went there because there was about 25,000 – 28,000 Christians gathering to worship Jesus and pursue his heart of seeing the world (specifically Europe) reached with the gospel and saved. There were also amazing speakers like Todd White, Heidi Baker, and Daniel Kolenda, and worship teams like Jake Hamilton and Jesus Culture. I don’t live in Europe, but I prayed about it and felt like I had the Lord’s “OK” to go, so I did!
The conference was called Awakening Europe, and you can watch a bunch of the sessions HERE.
There were some really cool things that happened during the conference, and the Lord was stirring a bunch of things in my heart which had been dormant for a while. It was so good. I just want to tell you one story from that time, though, as this one was especially meaningful for me.
So, it’s the last day of the conference. I had spent all the Euro I had taken out from the ATM at the beginning of the week, and found an ATM to take out a bit more so I could have something to eat the next couple days that I spent in the country. I did a little mental math, “Hmm… so, I’ll need 2 Euro for each of the 3 transit rides I’ll need to take tomorrow, plus about 14 for food for the next 48 hours or so. So, 20 Euros should be all I need. I think I’ll take out a little more than that, though, just in case something goes wrong and I need it. I’d much rather not take a whole bunch of money I can’t use back home with me, but an extra 10 Euro shouldn’t hurt.” So, I make my decision – I’ll take out 30 Euro.
I put my card in, punch my PIN in, press “Withdraw“, and without even thinking about it, I press the “60 Euro” button. There’s no confirmation page, and the machine proceeds to dispense my (relatively) excessive amount of currency.
“That was stupid. Why did I do that? What am I going to do with this extra money? I don’t have enough space in my baggage to buy any gifts for anyone, and that’s way more than I’ll need to be able to eat for the next few days. Why on earth did I press 60?”
I check my watch and realize the last service is about to start. It’s a commissioning service, and Todd White, Ben Fitzgerald, and several others are sharing their heart before a time of praying for everyone and asking Holy Spirit to fill people afresh to be witnesses (Think Acts 1:8). So, having not eaten yet, I stop by a gas station, grab a sandwhich and a water, and make my way back to the stadium.
Once I get there, I find my seat, and the service commences. Great time. Great worship. Great preaching. And great prayer time afterwards. There were a few people who gave me prophetic words about the work that I’m doing, and what the Father wants to bring about in the next while, and I got to share a few words I was getting for other people. Really encouraging stuff.
The service ends, and everyone starts collecting their things to start to head home. I have my bag, hoodie, and water bottle, and I get ready to walk out, when I see a guy that I just feel drawn to for some reason. He’s about 5’5″, wearing a brown leather jacket and a white “Awakening Europe” t-shirt. I try to figure out what it is that I’m feeling drawn too, and I realize that it’s the same feeling I’ve had in the past when I know that the Lord wants me to share a prophetic word with someone. I ask what the word is, and get this vague impression of him having hopes and dreams, but fears that are barriers to those dreams. Nothing really clear, as far as an “amazing word of prophecy” is concerned, but it was something nonetheless.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is this: Many times, the Lord will give us a hint of direction/instruction that we need to follow, but what He’ll give is far from a full picture of what we need to do. It’s scary to step out when we don’t know the full picture. But often it’s about choosing to set sail in those unknown times that brings forth some of the most amazing encounters with Him.
So, I decide to go and talk to the guy.
“Hey man,” I say, “Do you speak English?” (An important question in this country, I’ve learned, as German is the primary language most people were speaking, and I don’t know more than 15 words in German).
“Yeah I do!” he says in an American accent.
“Ok, cool! Hey, so I was just standing over there, and I felt like the Lord wanted me to share something with you. Is that ok?”
“Yeah, of course!”
“Ok, so, when I was standing there, I got this feeling that God has placed some really big plans into your heart. Big plans. Things that have a bunch of aspects to it that look really impossible at times.” He nods his head, with a smile growing on his face. “But, I also felt like there was a lot of fear that has been a part of it as well. Fear that things won’t work out the way you hope they will. Fear that your dreams will simply fall to the ground.” His somberly head lowers a bit, and he nods again.
“Well, I just want to encourage you, man. Go for what the Lord has placed in your heart! He will provide. Those fears that you’re experiencing, throw them off. The Lord will be with you, and work through you, and bring about what He’s put in your heart. Go forward, be faithful, be obedient, and trust Him!”
Then I asked him something I’ve been taught is super important when you share prophetic words with people, “Does that make sense? Does that line up with where you’re at?”
Now he’s got a big smile on his face again. “Man, thank you so much! Yeah, it lines up amazingly. You have no idea what that means to me!”
“Your so welcome! You’re amazing! :)… Now… out of curiosity… What is it that I was talking about?”
“Well…” He replies, “I’ve been living here in Europe for the last several months. I’m getting ready to head back to America in the next few weeks, where my fiancée and I are planning to get married. After the wedding and everything is done, we are planning to move to Nepal, where we’re going to be starting an orphanage.”
“WOW!” I reply.
“Yeah!” he continued, “The thing is, there’s a ton of stuff that’s coming up that’s making this difficult. Most notably of which is the financial side of things. I only have 8 Euros to my name right now. I have no idea how I’m going to get back to America, and when I get back, I have no idea how I’m going to pay for a wedding. From there, we don’t know how we’re going to be able to fund what we need to do in Nepal. I’ve had a lot of concern about this all, so what you shared means a lot to me. Thank you.”
At this point, I’m blown away. “Wow! That’s amazing man. That’s so crazy. Can I pray for you about this stuff?”
“Yeah! I would appreciate that.”
“What’s you’re name?”
So, I prayed for Nicholas. Asked for God’s blessing on him, and thanked Him that He’s promised His providence for we who follow Him. As I was praying, I remembered what had happened at the ATM earlier. I realized it wasn’t a mistake that I had pressed the larger number. It was for Nicholas.
I finished praying, and he says thanks again.
“You’re so welcome, bro! It’s amazing what you’re setting out to do… Now, just one second, there’s something else I’m supposed to do.”
I turned around, grabbed my wallet, and pulled out all but 5 of the Euro in my wallet. Turning back to him, “This is for you.”
He looked at me, jaw slowly dropping and tears welling up in his eyes, “Wh…what?”
I nod my head, “Yup”.
He puts his hand out, and I put the money in his hand, and he starts crying. He comes closer to me, and gives me a big hug.
“Thank you. Thank you so much. You have no idea what this means to me.”
“Dude, you’re amazing, and so loved! Go do what you’re dreaming of! I love you bro!”
“I love you too, man. Thank you so much.”
We departed ways, and I realized a couple things:
First, God really likes to use the things we think are failures or mistakes, and turn them into something marvelous. If you think you’ve screwed something up, look to Jesus. He’s got something epic to do with it in a very short time.
Second, it’s easy to get caught up in various things in life – work, a given project, all the people we need to meet with and talk with this week, etc. – but sometimes we just need to step back, notice the one in front of us, and share the Father’s heart with them. Not to stress about our finances, or how we’re perceived when we’re talking to someone, but just to love, to give of ourselves, our time, and even our money, and to shine His love, wherever we are.