Explosive Glory From A Tent
I just spent the week in Hanford, California, a small town near Fresno where I lived for five years, twenty or so years ago. The time in Hanford was spent because evangelist Mario Murillo had a large tent crusade meeting there, and I signed up to be a volunteer.
On the initial Saturday meeting for the volunteers, we had a time of worship, and Mario himself spoke to us. I sensed so much fervor and excitement for Jesus there in the tent during the meeting, the air was electric. In fact, after Mario finished and we split into teams and had some initial training and we headed out, I got into my rental car to leave, and as I left the parking lot and got out onto the road, there was a very loud BANG! right there in the cabin of the car. It was so loud it hurt my ears and one ear was slightly ringing. I looked around, there was nothing I could see that would make such a loud sound. My phone hadn't exploded. There wasn't a pebble mark on the windshield, but then it was way too loud for it to have been that anyway. The next morning I looked around the interior and exterior of the car, I saw no sign of damage that could make such a loud sound. The only thing I was able to put on the table for consideration was that the glory of God was there with me and He presented a sign of a lightning strike, right there inside the cabin!
I ended up spending hours each day on my feet greeting people as they came in and offering to pray for them. Some of them did request prayer, and most of the people requesting prayer requested healing. I personally did not see much healing at the point of our prayer, but, wow, did we see a lot of healings inside the tent while Mario Murillo spoke!
It's a curious thing, how God orchestrates the assignment of angels on the basis of not merely individual workers but on the favor individuals like Mario Murillo has. Over the previous year I'd been given lesson after lesson about how "any of us and all of us are told to go out and heal the sick". And actually that is true. The prayers of godly people avail much.
I really don't know what the ratio was of broken people versus healed people at Mario's meetings. I really wanted to believe that Jesus would heal every single person who came for a healing; I mean, after all, each of them came with some kind of faith, faith enough to pull themselves together to show up, right? But, for whatever reason, many people left the tent limping. Still broken. Still suffering.
And I don't have any answers about that. I do know that some if not many of those people will go home and the healing power of God will have a slow and eventual effect such that it could be hours or even days or weeks before the healing is realized. God works with different people, differently, and for different reasons.
Perhaps it's as simple as how many angels are in the room, and how long those angels had been standing before the throne of God "collecting" His glory before proceeding to their task. Or, perhaps, rather, there are layers upon layers of unseen hindrances that must be meticulously and carefully peeled away by patient angels or by the spirit of God before healings can take place, hindrances like demons that have attached themselves, or perhaps even some sort of putrid artifact of spiritual activity that can collect as a skin or as baggage upon a person. Not much is said in the Bible about realities that go on in the spiritual realm; we can speculate all day long and not get anywhere.
What matters is that we are tasked alongside the angels to obey our Commander-In-Chief. We do not see the angels, and the angels are often tasked to help us and encourage us, but nonetheless we are tasked to work with them, to work with Him, in partnership with Him, for the sake of His kingdom, and indeed that is why we are created.
How far off I was in understanding Christianity and my role as a human being for so many years, not realizing that we were not created merely to be a subject of God's love, but to serve Him willingly as the very essence of our purpose and meaning for being. Suddenly the notion of so many people going to hell doesn't seem like such an unfair proposition, considering how Lucifer's greatest error was simply in having a selfish outlook on life.
Don't get me wrong, nothing in the prior paragraph is intended to suggest a theological assertion of who gets into heaven and who doesn't. I'm just adding some personal perspective to God's choices in allowing them who reject Jesus to end up in Hell. We were, in actual fact, created for the purposes of good works (Ephesians 2:10). All good things come from Him; only by knowing Him can we identify good works, by obeying Him, He who saved us. How can we even discuss good works and obeying Him if we've not gotten past not rejecting Him?
So this week has been a vacation with Jesus. But it has also added more perspective. Now is not a year or season to be nonchalantly disregardful of our callings, to be passive, or to be complacent. We are a part of an army, and He needs us. Not because He can't go without us, but because that's what we're created for.