“The most glorious coming and appearance of the Son of God may well be reckoned into His people’s glory. For their sake He came into the world, suffered, died, rose, ascended, and for their sake it is that He will return. To this end will Christ come again to receive His people unto Himself, that where He is, there they may be also. The bridegroom’s departure was not upon divorce. He did not leave us with a purpose to return no more. He hath left pledges enough to assure us of the contrary. We have His word, His many promises, His sacraments, which show forth His death till He come; and His Spirit, to direct, sanctify, and comfort till He return. We have frequent tokens of love from Him, to show us He forgets not His promise, nor us.” -Richard Baxter
A Token Only God Could Send
Sunday evening we visited a church where God presented just such a token of love to our youngest son. The sermon was coming to a close, and the minister whom we had never met looked right toward my boys and began to prophecy. At first we weren’t sure which one he was addressing, but the moment he referred to the “young man” as an “engineer,” our jaws dropped.
I looked down the aisle and saw our resident engineer, mouth agape but smiling as big as a person can smile and nodding his head vigorously. He knew who this was for! No doubt! And he was most obviously amazed!
Clearly granted knowledge as a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8), the minister began to publicly describe astoundingly specific details about our son: the way he tends to think, his strengths, and multiple atypical subjects which we’ve recently discussed at length. He pinpointed questions my son has had and prayers I’ve prayed over him. Many prayers.
Just as I began to marvel at how he was addressing so many of my specific prayers, he said to my son, “Many prayers have been prayed over you. Many! You are very loved!”
He presented a glimpse into our son’s future which makes perfect sense and fits conversations we’ve begun to have not only with him, but also with others in his life who know him and are noticing things—wonderful, God-given things.
Then the minister invited the people in the room to lay hands on him and pray for him, and Joel and I reached for our young engineer…when the minister walked straight to our other son to lay hands on and pray for him. What?!? I was confused. Joel was confused. Andy was confused. Johnny was confused.
As we would later hear, our oldest was quite sure the prophecy was for his brother, but there he was with people gathered around him, laying hands on him and praying for him regarding everything said plus an intriguing new word: “patents!”
That made even more sense…if it were for the son sitting next to the hub of the prayer circle. You know…the one who always has some new machine in the works. “Lord, I’m confused,” I prayed. “The other one is currently inventing robots in my basement. Patents? That sounds like Andy, not Johnny. Please help me understand.”
Friends, God is so good. When we ask Him for wisdom, we can expect Him to respond. For this very reason, one of my favorite verses has always been James 1:5:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
He loves it when we ask Him for understanding, and He does not turn us away when we do.
You know what? My Lord responded immediately with all the tenderness, clarity, and authority I’ve reliably learned to receive: “Yes, this was for Andy. 100%. But I’ve allowed this because there are things in Johnny which he has dismissed. He needed a reminder, and this is to bless him too.” Ah! Yes! Knowing what I know about my two boys and the things I had just heard in the prophecy it all made sense.
Knowing what I know about my youngest, this assurance would do him good. “He will be glad to hear it when I get a chance to tell him after the service,” I determined.
I looked down the row at him, head bowed, hand on his brother’s shoulder, earnestly praying and willing to share the blessing even though I knew he didn’t yet understand all that was going on. Then I reached my own hand out to his shoulder and trusted God to bestow all the gifts He wants to give.
Friends, you can’t hide anything in a church that walks in Pentecostal power. God speaks to people. He shares things. But that’s okay! Things like this are tokens of love for the people He purchased and will soon return to possess.
“Oh, what a Savior Isn’t He wonderful? Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen Bow down before Him For He is Lord of all Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen …O come to the altar The Father’s arms are open wide Forgiveness was bought with The precious blood of Jesus Christ” -Elevation Worship
A Fitting Token
You may be wondering why God sometimes works in such public ways? Why wouldn’t the preacher speak to our son privately at the end instead of putting him on the spot like that? First, let me ask you this: why would it be a problem? Perhaps if it were a false prophecy? I suppose that would be a concern, but this surely wasn’t. It was too real. Too specific. Too much to be coincidence or guesswork. (And I’ve seen guess “prophecies” before in other places. Not cool.) But a true prophet needs not hesitate to speak in public, especially if that is how the Lord directs him or her to do it. Now, let me answer why God might have directed the prophet to do it: because those boys needed to see God move in a personal and public way.
I’ve prayed all their lives that God would reveal Himself to them in a very personal way. The challenge of growing up with two parents who are so committed to the Lord is that sometimes they don’t realize when their kids lack the same motivation to follow Christ. True commitment is born of a personal encounter with God. You don’t give your all for somebody else’s passion.
I have never wanted this to happen to them, so I’ve always prayed God would reveal Himself to them in a very personal way. Stories of what God has done in our lives as parents aren’t good enough. No, the next generation needs to see for themselves!
I’ve been especially praying this through what has proven to be one of the tougher seasons of our lives.
If the enemy were going to have his way, it would seem he could easily overwhelm them with circumstances and massive disappointments which might cause them to believe themselves abandoned by a God who purchased them then ascended to heaven only to forget them. But what an opportunity this could be for them to see they are in no way forgotten! What an opportunity for God to send them a token of His love!
So personal makes sense, but why public?
I can’t think of a better scenario for God to affirm them than in a public place because just under a year ago, these same kids were being maligned and abused in very public ways. Those they should have been able to trust lied about them in front of many. Framed them. Tried to gaslight them. Falsely accused them. Yelled at them. Even screeched and screamed at them. Wrote nasty emails about them. Did everything they could to destroy them.
And just a month ago, as my kids tried to make a new friend—someone in an entirely different circle—wouldn’t you know but the potential new friend “happened” to interact with someone from the old circle who did their level best to carry on the destructive campaign and further malign my kids and their chance at a fresh start.
“How valuable could they possibly be to the King that Satan is trying this hard to destroy them while they’re still young?” I mused.
Valuable enough to speak to a stranger to call them out from a stage. Valuable enough to bless them in front of a loving congregation of devoted Christ followers. Valuable enough to send a token of love that calls forth the Giant in them.
I don’t believe they’ll ever forget it.
And I hope you don’t either.
Understand that, you, my friend, are not forgotten either. God reads your mail too. And He affectionately sends tokens of love your way until He returns to draw you into His Forever Kingdom where you might dwell with Him in perfection (far from the cares of this world!) for eternity.
Do you notice them?
If you’re in need of a fresh revelation of God—a personal touch from His Spirit—ask. He longs to show Himself to you too!
To God be the glory!