Joyce Strong Ministries

Stories

Glimpses of God Moments

 

St. Petersburg, Russia, Spring 2015

At the last moment, God changed the messages I had planned for both Father’s Heart Community and All Nations Church.  During the worship at Father's Heart and just just twenty minutes before I was to preach, Rabbi Andrey asked me to change the message and share instead on a subject that was very painful and personal to our daughter and her family.  I was suddenly thrust into a very dark time, one that I had chosen to block from my mind on this trip.  For those twenty minutes of remaining worship time, I could do no more than cry and beg God to show me how to present it.   Then peace came and I knew the answer.  I was still teary, but I could see the tragedy from God's perspective and how it truly was being used to was redemptive.   As a result, God convicted many hearts and gave hope to many others.  It was a sobering and beautiful time before the Lord.

 

That was at Shabbat on Saturday.  Then early Sunday morning at All Nations Church, the message I had planned suddenly felt lifeless to me.    With no notes and feeling that I should be scared to death, I simply began speaking.  God then took me on a rapid journey through the most eclectic, yet passionate sermon I have ever given about intimacy with God and the need to grow up!  I had no idea where it would end up, but there was no turning back.  This congregation, made up of graduate students from around the world, tracked tightly with me and responded to whatever the Holy Spirit was saying to them. 

As I finished, He gave me a vision of a river of living water, crystal clear, gently flowing into the room, knee deep, washing over their feet, and moving in waves about the room.  I described it to them as it unfolded.  In the vision, I saw them bending down, thirsty, cupping their hands and drinking of its purity, while new people began joining them from outside—thirsty men and women searching for Jesus, the giver of the living water. 

I had brought along a Hillsong music video titled Oceans sung in English, with lyrics written in Russian.  After prayer, as it played on the screen, people began singing it softly, reverently, in Russian and English simultaneously.  It sounded like heaven as the two languages floated softly around us. I simply wept as the visitation of God settled upon us.  I’m crying now just trying to describe it.         

All morning God had been preparing us for what is to come in a world more and more at odds with the Gospel, one in which we must live in intimacy with Him if we are to stand.  They knew it and I knew it.  And we were all embracing the challenge.

 

Stories are soon to come, especially of Blessings Hope children!