Unterensignen - May 17th, 2013
It has always amazed me how the Holy Spirit steps up - sometimes when we least expect it, and so often when we need it the most. The concert in Unterensingen was no exception.
We arrived in Unterensingen in a drizzle, and it was cold. We pulled up to an old Lutheran Church building, and I struggled - only because I was pretty sure it would be "cave-cold" inside, and crowded-small for a full-band. Truth be told, I had also been starting to come down with something, and I was fighting it off with prayer, warfare, and loads of Vitamins and Zinc!
The first cup of gas on my smoldering spirits was Stephan - he came bounding out of his car, and gave us a hearty welcome. He was the local organizer, and could not be more excited to see us. This helped.
But then we got into the church, and it was what I thought. And "heat" was not in season - maybe next month… it wasn't working properly, even though the warden did come to have a look. My spirits began to dive again…
But in came the second cup of gas - Anna. She walked into the church with some friends, just to see if we needed anything beyond the sandwiches, coffee, juice, Appel Strudel, chocolate (German that is), along with an assortment of cheesecake, pie, German Breads, and other assorted cold-cuts… you get the idea.
Yeah. Death-by-hospitality…. and she danced and jumped up and down, waving her arms in the air, and actually began to worship as we slowly made our way into a sound-check that seemed to run like molasses. Watching her respond to worship like that took me up to another level - thank God. Attitude check… time to worship and pray in the middle of the sound-check - rebuke the seeping discouragement and debilitating weakness of striving in one's own strength… yeah, we were being attacked…
But then we needed to have a planning meeting about the next few days - it was no one's fault - we had to do it, but, did it ever drain me. We sat in the back pews after the sound-check in this meeting, and I had to ask the Holy Spirit to smack me like a Bouncer on my attitude.
You ever had one of those moments where you KNOW that you are having attitude, and you KNOW everything you need to do to get out of the rut of listening to lies… but none-the-less… continue to… struggle…
15 minutes to go. We were gathered back stage, and I admit, I was feeling pretty run-over by a truck. Sara, our sound-girl was now feeling feverish, and we gathered around her to pray, when into the back room came Stephan, Ulli, my translator, and a third cup of gas in the form of a man named Pastor Reinhard. He warmly looked at us, and motioned for us to continue praying for Sara, and for the evening. When we were done, we were introduced, and it was obvious this was a caring, loving, godly, man. One hand-shake from him, and the revival hit me like a flame-thrower.
The lift I got from that was nothing short of amazing - I was immediately ready to go out and do the concert, and that weakness and dread left in a heart-beat. The concert went extremely well, and when it was over, and Pastor Reinhard took the microphone to wrap things up, he led into the most incredible time of recommitment to Christ, and intentional decision making. It was obvious that he was moved, and was passing it right along to his congregation, and all the others who had gathered for the concert - and invited them into it full-throttle.
Afterwards he simply said that God had brought us there to throw more gas on the fire that He was starting to stoke up there in that congregation. He thanked us again and again for coming and for helping them move strongly in that direction - that our coming had broken some things that needed torn down, and that we had brought a fresh wind of spirit-filed worship and enthusiasm to them. He enthusiastically looked forward to seeing how things would go forward now. Wow. They actually more did that for us…
But isn't that how God works - He so skillfully and supernaturally uses us to bless and minister to one-another, helping to meet each other's needs, even when we don't even realize it. Stefan, Anna, and Reinhard couldn't have known in the moment how their presence and countenance ministered to me, and of course we were totally humbled and blesses that God would choose to use us to further spark them! How awesome is the Body of Christ when it is functioning as it should!