I have a confession to make. I am not the friendliest person in the world. My beloved wife refers to people I befriend as my next victim. She says that because they are often hurt by my lack of participation in the relationship. I don’t always call. I sometimes won’t answer the phone and sometimes, I’m just not available. Even my own two brothers and my aunt complain that I am hard to reach. I am, however, a really nice guy who loves people. Likewise, I am a lot of fun and people enjoy being around me. The problem, however, based on my previous description, is that I don’t really pass the “good” friend test. I know that is a big admission to make. Nonetheless, the Bible says that those who desire friends must first show themselves to be friendly. Well, I don’t do either…speaking of desiring friends and showing myself to be friendly. This, of course, makes things in my life a bit messy. Now, lest I scare some of you off, again, I am not saying that I don’t like people or that I don’t treat the few friends I have well. The problem is that I am one of those “too busy” friends who deals with people when I am available. I just so happens that I am often not available! Some would call it being self-centered or being self-absorbed. That’s me! At least I can own up to it. I am a visionary by nature which means I always see something to work towards. Likewise, what I see inspires the chase in me.
To give you some level of understanding about the extent of my issue, God told me something during a fast early this year (2017). He said that He did not want me to fast from food, He wanted me to fast from me! Wow! It is quite the thing to hear from God, but I knew what He meant. You see, He did not only give me this instruction but He also told me what it looked like and gave me a great promise to look forward to after I mastered fasting from myself.
So what was the problem? The problem was that I was one of those who bought into the “run after God” thingy that was so popular in the Church. That means that I, as a visionary person, picked up my mantle and took off running. Likewise, I never looked back. I left behind friends and family and went full steam ahead. I just burrowed through praying for hours on end. Sometimes, for up to 8 hours straight. I fasted two weeks at a time. I came home and never left my room because I was reading my Bible. I ministered to people left and right. I wrote things to hand out for ministry. Now you’re probably saying, “What’s wrong with all of that?” Well, actually there is nothing wrong about it. That’s how I became so strong in my faith. There was, however, a time when God said to me, “Kevin, it’s time to get down off the mountain.” Then He gave me a vision of a father trying to put a child down in the midst of other children but the child kept climbing back up into the father’s arms. That child was a depiction of me. God wanted me to take all those neat things He had taught me down to the people I formed relationships with. I was learning that God calls us up to take things down. Moses and John are both examples of this idea. Moses was called up on the mountain to give him something to take back down. John was invited to come up through an open door in Heaven to write about some things God wanted to show him. Those things he would later have to bring down to people he had a relationship with. Likewise, I wanted to stay isolated in His presence. I didn’t want to go but God had called me up to send me back down.
I will never forget the time my pastor, Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr., called me into his office to talk. We were talking about my calling to preach. At the time I was supposed to be taking classes but I was not actively pursuing them. He inquired as to why. I told him that the classes at the church were too easy. I did not say that in pride nevertheless, it was the truth! He asked what I meant and gave him an example. I told him that one of the final exam questions for one of my classes was how many animals Noah allowed to enter the ark at one time. He then explained to me that the classes were designed to give basic instruction and were designed that way as a consideration to working people. He then told me that I should enroll in theology courses if I wanted something more in-depth. What happened next was the best thing that happened to me that year. After this part of the discussion, he thought I was being a tad bit arrogant. Looking back at the situation he may have been right. However, that was not my intent. So I explained to him that I did not have a wife. I had no children. I didn’t watch television. I didn’t go to the movies. I didn’t do anything! The only thing I did was read and pray for hours on end and listen to God speak to me. Then he gave me some good advice that is too personal to share here. In a nutshell, he told me to enjoy life before ministry filled up my time. It was later that night when I would have the vision of the child and the father. So I took my pastor’s advice and met some really good prophetic people.
Walking is not a natural human function. It is actually something that we have to learn to do. As an artist, I have studied many different kinds of art. The skill of animation was one of the things that I studied. That means that I had to learn about the body, its various motions, and the physics behind it all. Walking was one of the things I intensely observed. Walking is actually a continuous state of falling. It is taking a step, falling forward, and using the other leg to catch you before you fall. To assist with all of this, the arms usually move counter to each leg and the hips and pelvis make the appropriate adjustment to achieve balance. So what’s my point? My point is learning to walk with God is about achieving balance and taking risks as we move forward. When we walk with God we are in a continuous state of falling forward and catching ourselves. Every time we prophesy to someone we don’t know we are taking a risk and stepping out. When that word turns out to be true that is the other leg catching us before we fall. Then as we do it, again and again, we achieve the same result. This same process goes for healing.
I want you to know that is if okay to walk. That means take your time and grow in Christ. Give yourself permission to take a risk that might result in you falling down. Then get up and take another one. I am still learning this myself. I hate talking to strangers, but I love seeing people healed and blessed. So I am making the same decision to step out and I encourage you to do the same.
The Benefits of Walking
Did you know that there are some benefits to walking versus running? Two of which are seeing better and hearing better. The Bible says that a man named Enoch walked with God. Everyone has heroes or people that they would like to be like. Enoch is one of the biblical heroes I looked up to. One thing his life taught me is that you see more when you walk. Have you ever tried to run really fast and pay attention to the details around you. It is really hard to do. Have you ever considered the many beautiful things that you could not see because they were a blur to you while running? This is one of the benefits of walking—clear vision. You can see more when you walk with God than if you run after Him. I mean that in a couple of ways. First, you can see life better. You can see the people around you, your children’s first dance, your spouse’s face, your friends’ smile. Second, you can see better spiritually. Notice that every person God gave a vision to was sleep or not moving. Now that doesn’t imply that we cannot see visions while we are out and about. I see them all the time while I’m out. But I’ve never seen them while I was running around. I was always casually walking when they occurred. What are you missing moving about too fast?
My problem with relationships stems from my need to run and conquer. I alway have something else to do for God. I always have my next blog to write. I always have my next video to record. My next book chapter to produce. I always have something I need pray about or someone I need to pray for, but I never have time for the people I am actually praying about. I wonder how many awesome people were a blur to me while I was running after God? I wonder how many awesome people were a blur to you? How many of your family gathering have you missed? How many smiles have you not seen? How many ministry opportunities were a blur because you were on your way to next ministry event.
Jesus was on His way to heal a sick little girl when a woman with an issue of blood touched Him. I admire Jesus so much in this situation. I admire Him because even though He had somewhere He needed to be, He still had time for this woman. He could have just kept going and let the woman have her private healing. I mean think about it. Why did He need to address this woman? The issue was resolved and the unsolved issue with the sick little girl was still ahead of Him. Why lose time giving attention to a finished work? That is how we think. That is how I think sometimes. But I am learning to walk so that I can see the beautiful faces of God’s people. I am learning that it is ok to take time out from writing and recording to listen to the voice of people. I am far from where I want to be, but I am getting there.
Jesus also teaches us that walking not only allows us to see better but hear better. While He was walking He took time out to listen to this woman. He did not seem the least bit overwhelmed by thoughts that said, “Look, lady, I don’t have time for this. Say what you have to say quickly. I’m late for my miracle crusade.” He was incredibly patient in light of what lay ahead of Him. Was the emergency ahead of Him urgent? Yes. It was to the father of a dying child! It was to the one who needed the miracle! But it was not urgent to God. Also, notice that the disciples didn’t try to hurry Him along either. Ever wonder why? I mean they knew He had somewhere to be. Why didn’t they press Him to move on? I believe it had to do with trust. You see, when you walk with the Someone that has the power of change in His hands, you don’t worry. To God, one situation is no bigger than another. None of them are too big for Him to solve. That means you and I can walk with God not fearing that stopping to help someone along the way might make the situation ahead of us worse. Even though it may get worse! However, no matter how different our problems appear to be, the bottom line is God solves problems. What’s one more. A sick girl became a dead girl. In contrast, a sick woman became a healed woman. Finally, a scared father became a grieving father. But, the same God who took the time to speak and listen intently to this hurting woman is the same God who fixed every one of the situations before Him. See, the girl was raised, the father was happy, and the woman with the issue of blood was healed. God changed everyone’s situation and He didn’t have to run around to do it. In fact, I dare say that the only reason He could see these various needs around Him was because He was walking. Are you moving slow enough to see the needs and hears the cries of the hearts around you? Or is everything a blur?
God is a Walker
So why should you walk with God instead of running? Simple. God is a walker! So if it is our responsibility to follow the lead of His Spirit, then why are we getting ahead of Him? Why are we trying to run beside a walking God? Remember this passage, “Can two WALK TOGETHER except they agree.”
So where does this error in thinking come from? It comes from our loose interpretation of Habakkuk’s statement in chapter 2. He, speaking of vision, said to make it plain on tablets so that those who see it can run it. The problem is not often with the application of truth in this passage. Most people use it as a business vision model. I do also. It has great truth regarding the principle of vision. It does, however, have a real interpretation that has nothing to do with business vision. In fact, Habakkuk was giving a grim prophecy and the vision he was to make plain was meant to cause them to run in fear of what God was going to do. As you can see it is quite different from how it is preached.
The idea, however, that we must run with the vision came from this passage. Like I said, it has great truth in it and often it can be applied to encourage people to be inspired by a vision. Let me say again that this idea is very true and admirable to teach and preach. Nonetheless, when it comes to God, the truth is that He would rather walk than run. He stresses patience over hasty action. Being slow of speech and swift to hear. God is not in a hurry. We are! For some reason, we seem to think that we need to pulverize the world with the Gospel. The Gospel that we often don’t ever live out. And in our rush to get people evangelized we neglect that they are hungry. Or that they are hurting. Or that they are needy. We just want to say our part and rush on to the next life moment. Jesus, however, preached the Gospel as He spent time walking. Even in a storm, He is seen walking. Even the Father was even heard walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. God is always “chillin” as we say where I’m from. That is what makes talking to Him so much fun and reassuring. Just imagine if you told God your bill was late and the bank was coming to take your car and He freaked out. What if He started making hasty decisions about what to do? It would freak you out. The fact that He voice is calming settles us in knowing that He has everything under control. He is walking. Guess what? He is inviting you to walk too!
Welcome to Doing Life Of Fire!