Nathan is the outreach pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California which means he is committed to activate the Body of Christ at Bethel to reach the lost in their city. However, there are no geographical barriers for the desire to reach the lost and when Nathan traveled to Orlando to attend “The Send”, he encountered someone else with a hungry heart for the things of God.
It all happened at Phoenix airport, when he was about to board the plane to fly to Orlando. Until then this had been a pretty normal, boring day and as he looked around he saw many other bored faces going through the usual routines which preceded travelling by plane.
When he gave his boarding pass to the gate attendant, he said “God bless” and gave it no second thought: “I’m usually intentional about saying this just to let people know I am a Christian and I love Jesus, but this time I honestly said it out of habit and was not expecting much to happen”. Little did he know.
As he I kept moving towards the bridge, the gate attendant stopped boarding the rest of the passengers and went running after Nathan. When he reached Nathan, he stopped him and asked: “Who are you?” Nathan replied: “I’m just a Christian but I’m not on my own, we are going as a big group to Orlando to share the love of Jesus with people”. The man replied: “I want to thank you for being bold. I believe in Jesus but I’m not used to meeting bold Christians who are public about their faith”.
While he was saying this, Nathan could see clearly a hunger on this man’s life to experience a real touch from God. He was so hungry for something real, something beyond words and ideas. He was tired of private Christianity. This man stood there and held his hands out while Nathan prayed for him and suddenly the Lord gave Nathan a word of knowledge about his knee. The man explained that in 1996 he had been involved in a drive by shooting: “One of the bullets hit my knee and the other bullet killed my brother”. That experience led him to Jesus and the desire of his heart now is to make Jesus famous. Nathan blessed him and prayed for him and went on to board the plane.
After everybody had boarded, Nathan’s new friend came on the plane, grabbed the mic and said: “Thank you for being bold for Jesus, thank you for what you are doing”. That impacted Nathan so deeply he couldn’t stop thinking about it. As he was sitting there on the plane God started talking to him saying: “Nathan, people are starving for an encounter with me”.
He remembered when he first saw that gate attendant how he didn’t look hungry at all, he actually looked a little bored going through his normal work routines, but the second time he looked at him, after being chased down, he could clearly see this man’s hunger for more of God. Again, God spoke to Nathan: “Don’t be the judge of whether somebody is ready or not, just be bold in your faith”.
In a mundane moment, on a normal day, with the simple words “God bless”, a man ‘put out bait’ for another man who was hungry to latch on to, and both of them were forever changed by this experience.
Nathan: “I feel such a grace to be bold for Jesus and I know this is what has been poured out at ‘The Send’. There were 58,000 people there but it wasn’t just for the people there. It’s something that the Holy Spirit is pouring out across the Body of Christ. He is activating people to boldness and I am just excited to see what God does through our willingness. He is not looking for the powerful, the mighty, the anointed, He is just looking for the willing. He is looking for the person who will open their mouth. These are exciting times to be alive.”
Nathan’s prayer over you:
I pray for encounters with the Father where He will deliver you from pressure of striving and give you the grace to go, to preach and to demonstrate the Gospel. May fresh boldness rest on you and may you have the joy of being obedient as you respond to the move of the Spirit. May you be nourished and rejuvenated as you responde, just like Jesus when he said “my food is to do the will of my Father”.
I bless you to catch this wave of the Spirit, this move of God going across the Body of Christ. Even if you don’t feel it, step out and into the wave by faith, and catch this wave of grace.