You know that feeling when your workday is complete? It’s time to relax, hang with friends, or just grab some “me” time. My day was over, and I wanted to go home and unwind. The Spirit had other plans for me…
But as I drove home, I felt a burden to go visit Amy, a teenager in our ministry who was living in a crisis-pregnancy care center. Beth, the director, encouraged the girls to attend a local church, and several came to our youth group. Amy, who’d been attending for several weeks, had a hard shell and acted like she hated everything.
I didn’t want to go visit Amy and knew she didn’t want to see me. She was harsh and bitter, mad that life wasn’t fair. But the nudge I felt to visit her was strong. God seemed to be sitting next to me saying, “Brandon, go have a conversation about Jesus with Amy.”
I thought, “This isn’t God. It must be the day-old pepperoni pizza I ate earlier.” But the feeling remained. Although I didn’t hear an audible voice, the message was loud and clear: “Go visit Amy!”
I wavered and resisted. “This is weird,” I thought. “Why would I do that? I’m a guy; she’s a pregnant teen. Visiting her would be inappropriate.”
I made excuses. “Why me?” I thought. “Why not Beth? She gets paid to do that and lives in the same building as Amy. This is inconvenient. I have other things to do…like nothing. I just want to go home and do nothing!”
The pull to visit Amy grew stronger, and the reality of doing ministry became clearer. So I turned the car around and drove to the center. When I knocked, Beth answered. I asked if I could visit with Amy for a while. “She’s doing homework,” Beth said, “but I guess that would be okay.”
When Amy came to the door, I asked if we could sit on the porch and talk. At first, I kept the conversation light, asking about her day and her homework. Then I asked about her life. She explained she was angry at the world for getting her pregnant. I reminded her she played a big part in that. We laughed.
I asked Amy if she considered herself a Christian, and she said no—because she had way too much hate in her heart. She knew if she became a Christian, she’d have to forgive her boyfriend for getting her pregnant. She said, and I quote, “I want to make a voodoo doll of him so I can destroy him.”
We talked about life, about Jesus, and about submitting our hearts and our anger to the only One who can really bear our burdens. I told Amy she didn’t have to worry about punishing her boyfriend; that wasn’t her job. Her desire to see him punished was a load too great to carry. She teared up, realizing she was carrying an unnecessary burden—a burden that was keeping her from experiencing a greater joy.
I asked Amy if she wanted to give her life to Jesus. She said, “I’m ready,” so we prayed a prayer of confession and repentance. Romans 10:9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Amy did that, and her burden was lifted.
Mine was, too. At that moment, I knew visiting the pregnancy center was a nudge from the Holy Spirit, not a weird feeling from indigestion.
“What do I do now?” Amy asked. I said she needed to tell somebody her news. She looked terrified, but I encouraged her to go inside and tell Beth she’d given her life to Jesus. I couldn’t hear their conversation but saw it from a distance. The two embraced, shed many tears, and then Amy headed back to her homework.
Beth came outside, looked at me, and said, “My husband and I had given up on Amy. Her heart has been so hard. She’s been incredibly unresponsive, and we never thought this would happen.” Then she added, “Thank you for your obedience.”
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]In youth ministry, one of our goals is to help teenagers be sensitive to what God is calling them to do.[/tweet_box] When we get a crazy or uncomfortable nudge, we need to discern whether it’s coming from the Holy Spirit. It’s important to test that thought or feeling according to Scripture. At times, it will be clear that God is asking us to do something, and if we listen and obey, we can be an extension of his supernatural work.
Step into the supernatural
This doesn’t always have to involve what we consider “big,” life-changing actions. For example, we step out in the supernatural when we:
- listen for God’s voice,
- don’t resist what God is calling us to do,
- talk to non-Christians about Jesus,
- walk in God’s will,
- use the gifts God has given us to make Jesus known,
- ask God to use us,
- ask a friend how we can pray for him or her, and
- love God and love others,
The important first step in having our own intimate relationship with Jesus. [tweet_dis]The more we’re connected to Jesus, the easier it is to hear his voice[/tweet_dis]—and to trust him when he calls us to act.