Wednesday, July 1 –
Waking up, we found that CHOP and the precinct had been taken back by police without major incident at 5 am. There were over 40 arrests and they were actively cleaning out tents and belongings.
We headed down to see what was left without any plans to be able to do ministry there. We intended on taking a few before and after photos and seeing if any of the CHOP-pers were there. Along the way, we found many on the streets who had been a part of this community. As we walked the perimeter, we found a group of protesters opposite the police at the top of the road that used to lead to CHOP. They were swearing, jeering, and spitting at the police from one side of the police tape.
Rick was there with a megaphone riling the crowd up. Most of the protesters did not seem to be the people who we met in the zone while we were in there. Apparently, many had turned up because there was quite a media presence everywhere. We walked in and among the crowd of maybe 75 people declaring peace and praying in tongues.
Before long Charlie and Pastor Darren asked if they could pray for one of the main protesters who was on crutches. He was reluctant to let them pray until Jim came over and told him how his knee had been healed earlier in the week. He said “This stuff works!”
He allowed us to pray for him but told us he was not giving us any money. Charlie assured him that we were not taking donations for prayers, but that he just wanted him to be healed in case he needed to run later.
After that Charlie asked Rick if he wanted prayer. Rick walked away from the police line and allowed us to pray for him. He was almost falling out in the Spirit as we declared peace over him. When we were finished, he went back to the front of the protest and there was a marked difference of the peaceful protesting that was now coming out of him. He was encouraging everyone not to swear, spit, taunt, abuse or attack the police in any way.
Aaron found a young man he had been ministering to the day before and God began to touch him in such a way that he had to help him to the ground so not to draw attention to him.
A little later, Aaron and I recognized a young man from the tent village who had thought we were feds. As we were talking to him, Anton came up complaining of a hurt leg. Apparently he was in the tent village and was shot by a rubber bullet for not leaving. He was there to protest because both his parents had been killed by police officers. Ironically, he mentioned that he had just traded his weed for a beer. We asked if we could pray for him, and and as we did, all the pain left his leg. After further conversation, we discovered that he had been diagnosed with stage two cancer. As we prayed for him a second time, he was visibly delivered in such a way that his friend who was smoking weed said “I saw that man!” This opened a door to pray for him as well. Jude’s leg, that had been in constant pain from breaking it over a year earlier, was healed by the power of God, but he was unwilling to give his life to God. There were a few other opportunities to pray for individuals, but this was about the time we headed home for the day.
As our trip concluded, it was interesting to look back on some of the unique things that took place during this trip. Our first night there, God connected us with one of the main leaders. This connection allowed us to return again and be welcomed and accepted even after our lives were openly threatened. I personally had never been directly told that if I came back somewhere that I would be killed. Obviously, this was just an intimidation tactic of the enemy.
Another astounding thing that took place was the way that God was willing to touch, heal, and deliver those who we would deem as unrighteous and unworthy. A young man who was smoking weed had his ears opened to hear. A guy in the middle of shooting up heroin was touched in such a way that all effects from the drugs were removed. Another person was healed and delivered and never even dropped his beer.
Personally, I would not have chosen any of these individuals to receive anything if the power was coming from me. They were undeserving because of their actions… but aren’t we all unworthy of the grace of God? Dwelling on this later God led me to Exodus 33. In this chapter, Moses and the people were all in agreement with God that they were unrighteous and unworthy of The Presence of The Lord. Moses took his own tent outside of the camp and visibly met with God there. He would take what he received in that place and bring it to the people. It is from this place of abiding in the glory of God that Moses begins to intercede for an unholy, unworthy people. He will not move from that place until God pours out His presence upon this people. He will not go without the undeserving people. This is what we are designed to do.
We, who were once unworthy ourselves but now made righteous by the blood of Jesus, must commit our lives to getting in the glory of God. From that place, we will receive the power and the compassion to take that glory out and display the power of God to those obviously unrighteous people. God loves, cares for, and desires to release His glory on all of His creation. We are to be the vessels of his glory to all people. As has been said, “if not you, then who? If not now, then when?” This is who Jesus was, a vessel of the glory, righteousness, and truth of God to a lost and dying world. Why would you expect to do anything different?
I want to encourage you to go out and do it. You do not have to travel to the dark and scary places. You have your own place to release what you have been given. You make the commitment to daily walk in the glory of God and then take that glory to the people around you. One of the hardest obstacles to overcome is your selfish, pride that will cause you to walk past those who make you uncomfortable or are annoying to you… or those who you might see as undeserving of this gift of God. However, may I remind you, that is who we all were before the righteousness of Jesus changed us.
You have been chosen!!! Now is the time!!! Now is your time live in the glory and declare it to all mankind!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!