Daily Devotional for Thursday February 22, 2007
Florida State Fair Wrap Up
(Matthew 22:9, 10)
One of the major lessons I try to drive home each day is that God blesses our obedience. We miss many of our blessings by not listening to that "still small voice." I remember last year at this time, taking a few hours one afternoon and attending the Florida State Fair with my wife as we do every year. I was walking up and down the aisles, looking at all of the merchandise being sold, seeing the kids on the rides, spending $20 to try and shoot a basketball in a hoop that was smaller than the ball, and of course eating that great "fair food." As I watched the crowds of people, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart that this is where Liveprayer needed to be.
For many months, the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my memory that we needed to have a presence at the Florida State Fair. With everything else going on, realizing the financial and time commitment involved, I had no real desire to even think about trying to bring Liveprayer to the Fair. One night several months ago as I was praying, God really began to speak to my heart about the opportunity to reach 1/2 million souls, many of them lost and hurting, people who will die and go to hell without Jesus. God didn't need to say any more, and the next day I began to make the arrangements for Liveprayer to be at this year's Florida State Fair.
I really didn't have a gameplan, other then to have a physical presence at the Fair and create a place to pray for people who wanted prayer, while planting seeds by giving as many people as possible the Plan of Salvation. So we rented a 10x10 location on the Midway, secured a tent, and got a local sign company to make some nice Liveprayer banners that had our web address as well as the TV station, days, and time the Liveprayer TV program was on. I was able to get a local appliance rental company to donate the use of a big screen TV and DVD player so that we could play past editions of the Liveprayer TV program to minister to those who were passing by our tent and let those who have never seen the program find out what it is all about.
I was able to get a local computer company donate the use of a computer that we set up in the tent for people to use to send in prayer requests. God moved on the heart of a printer in Texas to donate all of the printing of the flyers we used. I had 2 of the people who work for Liveprayer at the tent from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day to hand out flyers that told about Liveprayer.com and the Liveprayer TV program on one side, and had the Plan of Salvation on the other. They were also available to pray for those who came by our tent and wanted prayer, as well as for anyone who wanted to make a commitment of their heart and life to Christ by faith.
Again, we went into this without any real experience and very naive about we were getting ourselves into. But I knew if we did the basics, let people know about the Liveprayer resources available to them, got the Plan of Salvation in their hands, and were available to pray for people, God would work it all out...AND HE DID!!! Looking back on those 12 days, I can only say that it pays to be obedient. Let me say that again. IT PAYS TO BE OBEDIENT! As I tell you often, our blessings flow from our obedience!!!
First of all, the Florida State Fair was EXACTLY where we needed to be, and more importantly, had to be! I shared a week or so ago a powerful message on preaching to the choir versus reaching the lost masses. The Scientology cult had a presence at the Fair, tricking people into taking a "stress test" and then leading them down the dark path of their cults propaganda. There was an atheist group who also had a presence, selling jewelry, bumper stickers, and books that mocked the Christian faith and glorified satan. As I tell you often, those who oppose God, reject the Truth, deny Christ are bold and fearless in bringing their rebellion to the masses. While the church is hiding behind its walls, satan is busy leading the lost masses to hell without any opposition!
*If those who live in rebellion to God, the Bible, and Jesus can be so bold, why can't those who know God, believe the Bible, and have a personal relationship with His Son???
I can't tell you what a blessing it was for those who worked at the Liveprayer tent during the 12 days and to me personally. I made the commitment to be at the tent 2 hours each day, which really took a toll physically since it ate into my down time during those 12 days. However, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It was worth losing sleep over. Every day, so many people came by and shared how much they enjoyed the TV program or how God spoke to them through the Daily Devotional. Of course, there were also those who came by to tell me how they disagreed with everything I say and that they don't believe in God or the Bible.
One of those was a man who came by when I wasn't there. As he passed by the tent and saw the TV program playing on the TV, he stopped and pointed to me on the screen, stating that "he hated that guy." The person who was working in the tent asked him why he hated me. The young man who was managing an area nightclub, came into the tent and began talking with our person. 15 minutes later was praying to receive Jesus into his heart and life by faith. AMEN!
Last Friday night I was there in the evening when a young man in his early 20s came up and told me how he got saved watching the TV program and it has changed his life. His mom came up a few minutes later and told me that she and her 3 sons had driven all the way from Delray Beach, about 4 1/2 hours, just of come see me. She told me how her son had been battling with drugs and depression that would keep him in his rooms for weeks at a time. After beginning to watch the Liveprayer TV program, he got saved, was delivered from drugs, is now working full time, and following the Lord. She told me it was a miracle from God.
I have already share with you the story of the mother who came to me one night and told me she was planning on having an abortion. The night before, she turned on her TV and the program that night was on abortion. At one point, I looked into the camera and challenged any women who was planning on killing her baby to go watch the video clip of an actual abortion on the Liveprayer website. She did and after watching that clip decided she couldn't kill her baby. I had the joy and privilege of holding that precious baby who was alive because of Liveprayer! You can watch a video of that powerful testimony at: www.liveprayer.com/babytest.cfm
There were so many more great testimonies and wonderful experiences during the 12 days at the Florida State Fair. I was so blessed being there each day and it was one of those times when you know deep in your heart you are right in the center of God's perfect will. Tens of thousands of people received the Liveprayer flyer, hundreds of thousands passed by our tent and saw the TV program, thousands of people sent in prayer requests, and we had the privileged of praying for hundreds of fair-goers and seeing dozens come to faith in Christ. I am still getting emails daily from people whose life we touched at the Fair!
I love you and care about you so much! The lesson again is one of obedience. When we listen to God, when we follow His voice, there is nothing but blessings waiting for us. I pray today that you will keep your spiritual ears open so that you can hear God's voice as He speaks to you each day. He will guide you and direct you as you yield yourself to Him, and bless you as you faithfully follow Him. OUR BLESSINGS FLOW FROM OUR OBEDIENCE! Tens of thousands of lives were touched over the 12 days we were at the Fair and in return, me, those who worked at the tent, were blessed above and beyond all we could have asked or hoped for.
I've already met with Fair officials as we are preparing for next year's fair! Next year we will be in a 50x50 space with a semi-permanent structure. The back 2/3 will be set up like a chapel and seat 60-70 people. Every night next year I will hold a service with lots of great music and a special message. The front 1/3 of our space will have lots of audio/video presentations to challenge people in their beliefs and help them realize that Jesus is their only hope and answer for this life and all eternity. I spoke for hours with many who have spent their lives working in fairs, and as incredible as the experience was this year, next year we will be prepared to take an even greater stand for Christ and expect to see thousands of people coming to the altar to accept Jesus as their Savior.
I want to thank everyone who so faithfully prayed for us during these wonderful 12 days, as well as those who gave to help us cover our Fair expenses. Your prayers were answered above and beyond all we could have asked or hoped for. Please be praying as God guides us in the preparation for next years Florida State Fair, so that we can do an even better job in representing our Lord and the Christian faith. I want to challenge you today. This is where we as followers of Christ need to be. We need to get out of the safety of the four walls of the church and get out into the marketplace, into the fairgrounds!
There is nothing wrong with getting all of the area churches together for a big event, but it is the people who don't go to church who need to hear the message of Christ's love the most. My challenge to you today is to get serious about being a witness for the Lord and taking His Truth and the hope of Christ to those lost and hurting masses who will never step inside of a church, or go to some big Christian event, but will always be at places like the Fair! THAT IS WHERE WE NEED TO BE TO REACH LOST SOULS!!!