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The London Train Platform Experience

trainwait

You must make up your mind what you believe

I had been a Christian for a few months and found myself sitting on a platform in London on this particular day, waiting for the next train.

A man came by and sat down on my left and I thought nothing of it.A minute later, I saw a man on the opposite platform walking to and fro, mumbling to himself and occasionally calling out to no-one in particular.

Viewing this as a ministry opportunity, I leaned over to the man on my left and asked, “Do you know what his problem is?” He answered right back, “What’s his problem?” I smiled and responded, “He’s probably demonically oppressed,” and then continued, “do you know there’s a world beyond this physical one?

This is when things got interesting.He gave me a wan smile and said to me, “I guess you’re a Christian.Listen to this…”He then launched into a short burst of speaking in tongues.I was surprised but managed to recover.“I guess you’ve probably heard the gospel before”, I said with a grin.

You listen to me,” he demanded.“I was in the ministry for years and was in ministry school.”“But,” he continued, “we prayed and prayed and God didn’t heal the seven sick people we prayed for.They all died.That’s when I left the ministry.”

I didn’t know too much about the Word but I replied that our faith in God did not depend on who got healed or not.I told him I didn’t understand why those people didn’t get healed as I wasn’t there.But I said, God was still faithful and He was and is still our Healer.

He wasn’t moved, as our train pulled in.“All I want”, he said, “is one minute when I die, to say my piece and tell God how I feel about it.So much power over there when we need it here!”I patiently responded that it wouldn’t play out that way, that no one gets to vent in heaven.

The funny thing was that as he kept telling me how he didn’t want anything to do with Christianity, he kept talking about God and what he wanted to say to him.I tried to talk with him before my stop, about 15 minutes later and he kept asking me to refute what he was saying, but he was way too angry.I just told Him over and over that God loved him and was faithful.My stop came along first and I got off the train.

This man was in a place that I’ve seen others get to over the years since that day in 1987.I refer to people who have seen failures over and over, particularly ministers- folks who have had to comfort the bereaved again and again.It can be heartbreaking and I can even understand mentally, how he arrived at that place.I have been tempted too.Tempted to just walk away and not even bother to pray any more – just send people to the doctors and leave it to others who are willing to test their faith and face the risk of failure.

I’ll be honest though and share the determination I made years ago that no matter how many tragedies I see, God is still a Healer and His Word is still true.What’s the worst that could happen?We go to be with the Lord, which is better by far.Why would I want to arrive in heaven, with the thought in my heart: “you didn’t believe in God’s healing promises!”No, I won’t be condemned for it, but why not fight, why not believe, why not engage?

Paul said, “Fight the good fight of faith..” (1 Timothy 6:12).He said “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…”(Ephesians 6:12) .He continues, “Run in such a way as to win the prize…” (1 Corinthians 9:24).

Do we have this thought that it will always be easy, especially in the West?Do we think that healings are not a prize to be fought bitterly for, in prayer?

Jesus said, “This kind can come out only by prayer.….” (Mark 9:29).Do we still pray and fast, or are we caught up with activities that just engage the flesh?Is there too much “seeker-friendliness”, with mime and dance and too little all-night prayer and intercession?God help us!Philip didn’t need street mime and dance to cause Holy Spirit-led havoc in Samaria, did he?

As we struggle with church programs and ‘church growth’ activities, we’re wearing ourselves out with “stuff”.If one blind person received sight in your church each week, even with 4 services on Sunday, you would have lines that stretched for blocks.You would need the police to keep order.

Our leaders are so afraid to preach, teach and demonstrate healing though, that for many, this is beyond their reach. It’s at a point where so many just don’t believe anymore.Like my friend on the train, they may have started with zeal, but disappointments got the better of them.They not only refuse to believe now, but are deeply bitter at unrealized hope.

Like my friend the real cause of the bitterness is that they know healing is there and is real, but somehow or the other, they could never attain it. That’s where the broken heart and deep bitterness comes from, “..so much power over there when we need it here!

There is a path to healing in our churches.It is not easy, but it is not obscure either.Preach it, teach it, pray for it, minister it, and repeat over and over until breakthrough comes.What if it tarries?Read John Wimber’s story if you find the time (Power Healing).You simply continue as a church until breakthrough comes.

Well, what if it still doesn’t come, you ask?Better to enter heaven declaring the truths of God’s Word and kingdom than to give up.I will never give in or give up.For me though, healing has already come, over and over again.  May such steadfastness undergird your own soul, may the Holy Spirit encourage you and reward as you persist in seeing the manifest promises of God fulfilled in your life and the lives of those around you. Amen.

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13 Responses to "The London Train Platform Experience"

  1. jeff says:

    you’re judging this guy for giving up but you never sought to understand his side. you never asked about his perspective or experience and you obviously don’t know what its like. I do. I’ve suffered for 10 years with intense pain and major damage to my body. I have done everything the bible says about healing and nothing good has happened. just have gotten worse. more and more suffering as time goes on. if you don’t know what that’s like, then you can’t possibly understand this man at the bus stop. you say you will never give up, but I’m sure that’s what that man you talked to once thought also or else he wouldn’t have received the gift of tongues. have some compassion for that guy. don’t judge him. pray for him. weep for him. lose your pride and try to see what its like to be him. when Jesus looked out over Jerusalem he weeped. Be like that. you can’t imagine the turmoil and pain this man is in. do you know what it is like to pray for those you love and have them die, repeatedly over and over for this to happen to you? I do. you read the bible and it tells you promises, you do it, and nothing happens. that’s why this man lost his faith. Because the one he loved, the one he counted on let him down. Its disappointing to read your story here about how you handled this situation. how about, “I can’t imagine what he must be going through. it breaks my heart to see this. so I prayed for him right then.” lose the pride and judgment. get some compassion. you’ll be better off.

  2. visitor says:

    I’m gonna take a chance on this website and see where it goes.

    A vessel that was in the corner, had the appearance of cleanliness. So, the maid poured water into it to offer the gardeners. They were all thirsty, and readily accepted this water being poured out without any prejudice or second thought. After they took the first sip, for some of them it was a first gulp, they all spewed the water out of their mouths with faces depicting distaste.

    The maid became worried and asked, “What is wrong? Is something wrong with the water?” They replied (in one tone), “you try it!” So she did. She also spat the water out after the first sip. She quickly examined her glass looking for evidence of the distaste, but there was none.

    One of the men asked, “Where did you get the water?” She exclaimed, “out of the tap, as usual!” The man then said, “did you take time to thoroughly cleanse the water vessel before pouring fresh water into it?” She now recognising her error, answered with a shamed face, “No, I did not.”

    His reply was, “Then it is impossible to quench the thirst of the thirsty, when the water vessel is polluted. Despite the non-polluted water that was poured into it.”

    This story I just made up to express my thoughts on this subject. His giving up has nothing to do with a lacking of faith, nor with the healing power of God. But a case of trying to “quench the thirst with unclean water or the blind leading the blind”. The healing should start with the vessels used for performing the healing. I could elaborate on this some more, but this is just a response.

  3. Dave Hayes says:

    I love this post. I’m new to your blog – but I love what I’ve seen so far. It’s very encouraging. Looks like you might live near me? I also serve in a healing ministry – as a paramedic in Tacoma. I have a blog about divine healing & the medical profession. I post a lot of other observations about God and whatever He and I are doing on any given day. Check it out – let me know what you think.

    be blessed!

    Dave
    http://mobileintensiveprayerunit.blogspot.com/

  4. Andy says:

    If a man obey’s my teaching I and the Father will come and live with him. Baptism in the Spirit.

    If you believe in the one who he sent you will do greater things. Healing.

    Sometimes I believe its simply a child like faith on Jesus bridging the divide between man and God that brings down the power. Its so simple, we miss it when we attempt to heal ourselves. Jesus is the Father’s will revealed. Faith in Jesus is what gives us the righteousness to access the power of the Father to heal. We miss this when we try to heal the sick. Its all in what Jesus did, and we have to accept it like salvation – an unmerited gift. Get this wrong and the power won’t flow. Jesus and what he did on the cross is what bridges the divide between God and man. Nothing else does.

  5. Will says:

    Thank You Andy, Jesus is coming soon, We need to help others understand the gifts of the Holly spirit, I am learning, again thank You,
    God Blessed Us, let us Put on the full armor and do His will for his glory Amen !!!

  6. Antony says:

    Healing – a lot has to be right
    1) Had all who were sick been delivered that would be a good foundation to defeat the sickness
    2) The nature of the sickness gives us a clue as to the nature of the sin, so you have to attack the sin – be guided by the holy spirit on how to do this.
    3) It doesn’t have to be their sin – it can be the sin of the fathers or the grandfathers or their grandfathers father or the sin of people who have associated with them
    4) Sickness can serve Gods purpose – as in Job.
    5) You always have to ask if it’s Gods will that they be healed
    6) I know others who have rejected God as a consequence of failed healing – it always comes from the ego and taking ownership of the healing – he heals not you – so if someone isn’t healed you must not crucify yourself. There is only room for one on the cross.
    7) Your own sin can be a barrier to healing – make sure you are in a good place before God – pride is how sin entered Gods perfect universe

  7. I LOVE THE LORD AND WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON HEALING BECAUSE OF ONE,S BAD EXPERIENCE. I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR THE HEALING WITHIN MY FAMILY,S RELATIONSHIP ONE TO THE OTHER. IT WAS BECAUSE OF ME THE FATHER THE PROBLEM WAS STARTED. I BACKSLID AND DID SOME HORRIBLE THINGS. I KNOW THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN ME NOW I NEED FORGIVENESS FROM MY CHILDREN.

  8. Steve says:

    If a man obey’s my teaching I and the Father will come and live with him. Baptism in the Spirit.

    If you believe in the one who he sent you will do greater things. Healing.

    Sometimes I believe its simply a child like faith on Jesus bridging the divide between man and God that brings down the power. Its so simple, we miss it when we attempt to heal ourselves. Jesus is the Father’s will revealed. Faith in Jesus is what gives us the righteousness to access the power of the Father to heal. We miss this when we try to heal the sick. Its all in what Jesus did, and we have to accept it like salvation – an unmerited gift. Get this wrong and the power won’t flow. Jesus and what he did on the cross is what bridges the divide between God and man. Nothing else does.

  9. Amy says:

    you’re judging this guy for giving up but you never sought to understand his side. you never asked about his perspective or experience and you obviously don’t know what its like. I do. I’ve suffered for 10 years with intense pain and major damage to my body. I have done everything the bible says about healing and nothing good has happened. just have gotten worse. more and more suffering as time goes on. if you don’t know what that’s like, then you can’t possibly understand this man at the bus stop. you say you will never give up, but I’m sure that’s what that man you talked to once thought also or else he wouldn’t have received the gift of tongues. have some compassion for that guy. don’t judge him. pray for him. weep for him. lose your pride and try to see what its like to be him. when Jesus looked out over Jerusalem he weeped. Be like that. you can’t imagine the turmoil and pain this man is in. do you know what it is like to pray for those you love and have them die, repeatedly over and over for this to happen to you? I do. you read the bible and it tells you promises, you do it, and nothing happens. that’s why this man lost his faith. Because the one he loved, the one he counted on let him down. Its disappointing to read your story here about how you handled this situation. how about, “I can’t imagine what he must be going through. it breaks my heart to see this. so I prayed for him right then.” lose the pride and judgment. get some compassion. you’ll be better off.

    • author says:

      Hi Amy

      I’ve re-read my post and I don’t see any judgment in it. I said I understand how he got to that place. I have just determined in myself never to go to that place. These are choices that we make in life. I have also had my share of praying for people who have died. I have experienced the bitterness and the tears, after 15 years of ministry now, much more than this guy ever had. Thank God, I have also seen miracles and God’s gracious intervention.

      What are the options you are inferring? Giving up or perhaps blaming God? Or, agreeing with people who blame God for sickness? A thousand times, No! Never. This man was not sick, he burned out from his extreme compassion and his church’s failure to prevail in healing. He certainly deserved our compassion, but much more, he deserved the truth. No one will get to vent before God and giving up on your gifts and calling is not to be encouraged.

      I certainly have sympathy for your own situation. Seek those with a rugged faith for healing and gifts of healing. Avoid those without. I will be happy to pray with and for you if I ever come to your church.

      Blessings
      Bay

  10. hi Amy

    I want to consider some very important words by Jesus Christ on the subject of Prayer.

    John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, And it shall be done for you.”

    Notice immediately the tiny YET ALL important word “IF.” That small word makes the point that getting your prayers answered is conditional. So many people and Christians as well, have believed that prayer is only conditional on the basis that one actually does pray, that is, speaks to God. Once that is accomplished then the onus is on God is to respond either in the positive or the negative.

    In fact, the bible teaches that the actual act of prayer, speaking to God, is NOT SUFFICIENT in and of itself to guarantee God’s will to be accomplished in your life. Naturally, without the actual act of speaking to God, you have no hope in getting any answer at all but that is simply the start.

    The Apostle said that there are two conditions to be met. If you’ll meet these two conditions you can ask whatever you will. Notice it says whatever you will.

    The first is: “if you abide in me.” So you must be in Him before you can abide in Him.

    How is someone in Him? The way you get into Christ is by being BORN AGAIN. I want you to notice that this is a JESUS term not a modern paraphrase that some church or denomination invented or coined to start some kind of a movement. You recall that Jesus said to Nicodemus, “no one enters the kingdom of God without being born again.“

    John 3:1 “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ 3 Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 4 Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ 5 Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.’”

    Now consider what the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian church,
    2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

    So you can see that being born again is being in Christ. Once you get into Christ, you need to stay in good fellowship with Him. The way you stay in good companionship is through the Word of God, feeding or mediating on God’s Word and praying and fellowshipping with the Father.

    1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    Now in John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

    Have you noticed that so many of the promises of the Bible are conditional? Even when it comes to being born again there are conditions that have to be met. Faith and Repentance are just simply examples of them.

    Now thank God His Word gives you the means whereby the conditions can be met. For instance, faith is one of the conditions that has to be met but HE gives you the means whereby faith can be produced. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17

  11. Carole says:

    It is heartwarming and encouraging to read these responses on this topic. God has moved His Church, our Nation and the World so many times by Great Awakenings and He will surely do it again very soon. Miracles of Salvation, Healing and Deliverance will be the manifestations of His real movement.

    We do not need to be angry with God for our unanswered prayers for healing and deliverance, but with ourselves for not pressing forward to obtain the Promise of God through prayer, fasting and fortitude. The Word of our Living God clearly provides the means and method to obtain answers to prayer. It is ourselves we should be angry with, for our own lack of learning God’s directives and lack of character in following the example of Jesus.

    All we need to know is how Jesus Himself performed miracles. He lived a life of purity, fasting, prayer and fellowship with the Father. He was fully knowledgeable of the Scriptures and promises of God and confidently stood his ground against every challenge to the absolute Truth. He was bold and called evil and sickness as they were (Satan’s realm) and confidently bound and cast out the enemy on every hand.

    Let us all challenge ourselves anew to become single-minded in our approach to following the Lord, obeying his Word and standing in prayer for others. Let us commit to living our lives for His glory and use by fasting (even one meal per day), spending quality time with Him alone and in groups, testifying and sharing our faith with others, believing His Word, loving and serving others in order to more fully manifest Jesus Christ as our own resurrected and living Lord.

    Remember, this Christian Life is best lived in unison with other believers. “One can put a thousand to flight, two can put 10,000.”

    Footnote: If you are the only one in your group interested in moving forward with God, be the leader and example and don’t become weary of testing or persecutions, the reward will come by many others joining you to follow Him.

  12. Nigel Wear says:

    God can’t heal emotional pain if people (e.g my daughter’s mother) are purposedly evil in preventing me enjoying her for years. God cannot heal me. I have no doubt He heals others who repent and ask. But if there is nothing to repent and it is another’s evil that preoccupies me and stops me from going forward then where am I left. Pray for what? To get back the years with my daughter taken from me forever? Pray to forget my daughter? Blasphemy against my conscience. Her mother blasphemed her deepest conscience and continues to every minute of the day so I cannot forgive her.
    Ask and it shall be given? Not if it can’t be given. There is nothing to pray for.
    But yes if you have something specific to pray for, God will find a way. I belive that.

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