The Word on the Street - 10.25.2022
I love this season of the year, not just because I was born in October. Just when one thinks nothing will ever change, all the leaves turn to glory and splendor! We are like the leaves ourselves, falling to the ground. Our time is short. May we also be made vivid by the grace of God, bring a glorious hue forever to the Name of Jesus. And in the end, fall safely into His arms!
My favorite 20th century poet, the Austrian Rainer Maria Rilke, wrote a poem entitled Autumn Day:
Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by. Now overlap the sundials with your shadows, and on the meadows let the wind go free.
Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine; grant them a few more warm transparent days, urge them on to fulfillment then, and press the final sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now, will never have one. Whoever is alone will stay alone, will sit, read, write long letters through the evening, and wander on the boulevards, up and down, restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.
Like Rilke, I suppose, I feel more compelled to speak to God in Autumn, so I prayed for many people today.
Lord, please let the people who have no home find a way to keep warm when the temperature drops. We need more coats! Overshadow with your Power our time with them, let your Spirit, like the wind, blow freely upon hearts of stone, make them flesh again. Grant them, we beg You, a few more warm, transparent days to become fruitful and urge them on to fulfillment with their acceptance of your Son as their only Savior. Prepare us to work in the field with the lost, to help bring them safely from the harvest into your storehouses. Let them not be alone, with us there for them, nor wander on the boulevards restlessly while the dry leaves are blowing. We love these people, Lord, and pray they will be saved.
Tom and I spoke to Les today. At one point in the conversation, Les said that all religions were basically the same. I had learned from Greg Koukl a few weeks earlier in his book, The Story of Reality, how to respond to this assertion. I asked him where you go when you die, according to Hinduism? Reincarnation. Where do you go when you die, according to atheism? Nothingness. Where do you go when you die, according to Christianity? Heaven or hell. But the point is that you logically can’t be in all of these places at the same time, after you die. Reincarnated, nothingness, heaven or hell, take your pick. All religions are not the same. Someone is wrong.
Jamie and I prayed together for Abraham, his two DUI’s cost him his car. He is riding a bike now, but he has a place to stay. I pointed out my favorite statue of the two groups of Carrera marble statues flanking the steps on the western façade of the Capitol, the statue of the prodigal son and his father, bent almost to the ground even in his old age to embrace his son. We are all of us prodigals, receiving the utmost mercy of the Father, humble enough to even permit the punishment of His beloved Son in our place, though we were enemies against Him. May Abraham receive His mercy!
Jamie had me take a photo as the sun hit the cross atop St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It reminded me somehow of another cross I saw high up in the mountains of Transylvania back in 2002. It was carried up the slope by the brave Christians being persecuted under the communist regime in Romania before its overthrow in 1989. The story was that the atheists were afraid to make the dangerous climb themselves, so the cross remained there, a symbol of hope and courage and victory, to this very day.
Kim has a more frightening tale to tell. After two weeks of experiencing Satan at work downtown, she thought it was a good time to remind everyone today to be vigilant, always mindful of our surroundings. Evil is everywhere, Kim says, and downtown is not exempt from that, and yes we are covered by the blood of Jesus, with the presence of the Holy Spirit, but we need to be vigilant and discerning.
We are dealing with many individuals, she says, who are not saved and under many varying influences, which Satan will use to his advantage. Two weeks ago, the group watched someone who appeared to be possessed by an evil spirit, ranting out loud, as he left the area. Last week, an individual was seen who was clearly possessed by a very evil spirit, contorting his body in ways a normal body should not move.
Kim usually prays on her way downtown for protection over everyone coming to do His work, as we are His hands and His feet. She strongly encourages us all to do the same as there is power in prayer.
C.H. Spurgeon spoke about spiritual warfare in a sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1891:
TO BE A CHRISTIAN is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war.
This week, we were out in force and Satan did not make an appearance. But we need to pray for the demon possessed with all our hearts. We need the full armor of God to protect us from the Enemy. Jesus cast out many demons. May he cast out this one who troubles that poor man on the street! Take up the Sword of Truth (Ephesians 6:17), Christian soldier, which is the very Word of God. It is a formidable weapon!
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
There was one man left, Bre, squatting on a step, talking to himself. I was about to leave, when I saw that he was wearing sandals and socks. I called out to him, asked if he needed shoes. He said size 12. Sheri and I found a good deal on a new pair which we hope to give him next weekend. Please pray for Bre, all the people who come to us broken, lost and searching so hard for an answer they might even ask themselves out loud. They need so much more than a pair of new shoes. Use us, Lord!
And that is the Word on the Street!
For more information, or to learn how to join us in reaching people for Jesus, please email Living Water’s Director of Outreach, Mike Bongo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get you plugged in! You will be blessed as you become a blessing to others!