“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Bill and I have had the privilege of walking with hundreds of young adults through the years. It’s what we were made for, what we find joy in. We have been equipping young adults for over 30 years, and what we love about it most is to watch God transform them into Kingdom men and women, willing to take risks and obey what Jesus tells them to do.
A few years ago we designed a ministry school, Life Equipping Community (LEC), where we could do it more intentionally. We basically lived together, spending 4-5 days a week studying the Bible, encountering God through contemplative exercises, experiencing his healing power, learning how to pray for the sick and do the things Jesus commanded us to do, as well as learning how to love, forgive and live in community.
Our students came to us eager and ready to learn all that God had for them, and they changed...
- from not really knowing the Bible, to being able to use it effectively in real life
- from not really knowing how to hear God’s voice, to not only hearing for themselves but also for others
- from not really knowing how to pray for the sick, to being used to bring healing to people’s emotions and bodies
- from not really understanding the importance of forgiveness and acceptance in community, to being willing to confront and receive love from others
- and so much more….
One of my favorite and most recent stories is about Kate. She was our first intern to sign up for LEC last year. She was so eager to learn the Bible and to learn to hear God’s voice, and she was willing to take a risk, to move to a new city, in order to fully give herself to that end, and anything else God had for her.
We covered many subjects in LEC, and one was Healing and the Supernatural. Our interns read John Wimber’s book, Power Healing. At first Kate loved it. But as I read her paper at the end of the course, I heard her disillusionment in the topic. She said she didn’t believe God really healed, because she had never seen it and had never prayed for anyone who was healed. Therefore she had a hard time believing. I had a lot of conversations with her about this, processing her frustration in wanting to believe, but not being able to. I encouraged her to continue praying and to not give up. Let’s just wait and see what God does.
Bill and I took our interns to Scotland for a cross cultural experience to work with Re:Hope church in Glasgow, where they had many opportunities to minister. They were able to pray for the sick as well as offer prophetic words of encouragement to people, mostly complete strangers. Our interns, including Kate, would sit before men and women and ask God to give them a word of encouragement for that person. Our interns were terrified. But as they experienced God speak to them, giving them accurate words of knowledge and/or wisdom, they were blown away at how God spoke directly through them. And when that started happening with Kate, she was changed. She started praying for people that came to her for prayer for physical healing, and many were healed. Kate learned to hear from God. And she learned to obey. Because in her obedience, people were healed.
Now, Kate is attending university, where in her dorm she is beginning a Discovery Bible Study on her floor. She continues to take risks and be bold with her faith. I am grateful to have been a small part in helping her know herself better, know God better and be willing to listen and obey as he leads her.
Nothing brings me greater joy than to help facilitate this kind of process for others—of self-discovery, of realizing they are known and loved by God, and of taking risks into obedience to the Father’s voice.
Would you like to grow in your ability to hear from God for others?
Someone that takes notice of an illness or a downcast spirit is someone that God can use powerfully to bring healing and/or a word of encouragement that can literally change a life. Here are a few ways to bring the Kingdom into a friend’s—or even a stranger’s—life:
1. First, learn to hear God’s voice in the quiet through times of solitude and silence. As you grow accustomed to hearing his voice in the quiet, it will be easier to hear more clearly for others in our noisy world.
2. Ask God to help you take notice when someone you are with shares about their illness or brokenness. Sometimes we are so busy that we rarely even see that someone is sick or discouraged.
3. Be bold to take a risk, and ask if you can pray for them, being confident that God loves to manifest his healing power and/or a word of prophetic encouragement. As you do, they will feel loved at the very least, and maybe even experience healing!
4. Stop for a minute to listen for God’s voice, then share his words of love, hope, identity and courage for your friend. Don’t be afraid to speak or pray over them a scripture, a picture you had as you listened, a word, or something you discern God wants them to hear.
We carry the very presence of Christ with us, so as we learn to be more attentive and obedient, God can use us to bring hope, love and healing into the world, one encounter at a time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Randall serves as the Director of Multi-Generational Ministry as part of CRM's ChurchNEXT Lead Team. She and her husband, Bill, live in Nampa, Idaho, equipping leaders around the world to follow God with wisdom and boldness, and pioneering new expressions of Church that will multiply disciples.