story from the field
Submitted by Marti Evans, One Step Ministries
The purpose of One Step Ministries is to "bring glory to God by telling of His wonderful works." The avenue He has most often used to do that has been in a retreat setting, facilitating the 'Walking Workshop.' And so it was, at a recent event at the beach...
The format is 'My Story,' 'Your Story,' 'God's Story.' At the short introduction on Friday evening, I let the ladies know that every aspect of the weekend has been covered in prayer, and we no longer wonder if God will show up, but rather now, we expect Him to come. For Jesus sees us.
He has done SO much more than we could think or imagine.
The twelve of us loved, laughed, listened and accepted each other right where we were. We state it is a 'No Judgement - Crying Allowed Zone.'
During the 'Your Story' time, God strategically paired Jill with Lisa, an addict for 38 years, dramatically rescued from that life to life eternal two years ago. They had never met before this weekend and names are drawn 'randomly,' though nothing is random with Him. During their walking time together, sharing their own stories, Jill confided in Lisa that she had not trusted in Christ, never believing she was 'worthy enough' for Him. Though she sat in a church all her life and heard that Jesus died for everyone, she just could not see herself as 'everyone.' Shame ran deep. It broke Lisa's heart that Jill did not know or feel God's love like she now did. Lisa began to pray earnestly for Jill. A seed was planted in Jill that she was worthy and oh, so loved.
On Sunday morning, we sang for quite a while, ending with 'O Come to the Altar.' Jill was crying throughout most of the worship. As I came up to speak, our eyes connected and I blew her a kiss. After sharing a little, I passed around a jar with slips of paper with Scriptures on them for each woman to take and read one or two. I stated that this process of choosing which verses to use takes me a few hours, as I pray and seek Him. This time, all the verses were in Psalms. I told the ladies not to be surprised if the verse they read is just for them, for He sees and knows exactly what they need. After they are passed around, the women each take a turn reading. When it got to Jill's turn, she read:
"I will not die, but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done." Psalm 118:17
Then she blurted out, "I am not saved!"
Oh my, I had no idea! I walked over to her, took her hands and asked, "Do you believe that Jesus died, that He was buried, that He rose again, and on that cross, He took all your sin and all your shame? Do you want to be saved?"
She said, "Yes. Yes, I do!"
I replied, "The Word says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
Relief. Joy. Peace. All flooded this dear woman's face. Jill, who was churched and very well versed. Jill, who was wracked with guilt and shame and unworthiness. Jill, who is one of the 'everyone' that Jesus died for. Oh, He did an amazing thing, this amazing King of ours!
The rest of the room erupted in cheers. I asked Marisa and Arin, who beautifully led the worship, if they could play 'Jesus Paid It All.' We embraced, we sang loudly and we welcomed our new baby sister into our family, the family of God!
This dear one is exploding with thanksgiving! Jill has been telling of His wonderful works, and most are shocked to learn she didn't know Jesus. Rejoice with us and the angels in heaven over this one who has come to Him, just as she was, and is now set free!
Jesus said, "Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." John 4:35