Encountering God in the Lunch Line-Up
Michael was desperate for more of God, who met him just when he wasn't expecting!
July 2000 is a time I will never forget and a time that changed my life forever.
"I felt I had become 'stuck' in my walk with God."
I attended “The Party Is Here” conference at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. I was desperate for more of God and I felt I had become 'stuck' in my walk with God.
The atmosphere at the conference was charged with excitement. There was so much freedom and joy, beyond anything I had ever experienced. I wanted to experience this, but it was so hard to open up. I attended every meeting and went up every time during ministry, only to watch everyone else being touched by God but me.
It was near the end of the conference and I had almost resigned myself that maybe this was not for me. It was lunchtime and I made my way to the cafeteria. I was standing in line for lunch at the church waiting for my turn. There was a lady with a hole punch who would punch our lunch passes showing that we had been served that particular meal.
As I approached her I could feel the presence of the Lord coming upon me. I had felt His presence many times but I was not prepared for the encounter that awaited me. With a kind face and a pleasant voice the lady with the hole punch looked at me and said, “May I punch your ticket please?”
"Memories from my teenage years came rushing back."
At that moment God decided to reveal His Father’s Love to me. My Heavenly Daddy punched my ticket! An overwhelming sense of His presence and love flooded me. I started crying and fell to the floor, right there in the lunch line!
Memories from my teenage years came rushing back. My father and I had often been at odds during those times. God showed me how I had dishonored my father and how he had done the best he could consider the father wounds he had. I experienced compassion and love for my Dad in a way I had never experienced before. On that floor in the lunch line my relationship with my Dad was completely and totally restored.
I was laying on the floor a complete mess and thinking, "God, in front of everybody! Really? Why here?" But it was so wonderful I didn’t care.
The lady in the lunch line leaned down, patted me on the back and said, “It’s ok, this happens to a lot of people around here, but I still need to punch your ticket!” I lifted my ticket up so she could punch it, got my salad, crawled to the wall and cried like a baby the entire meal.
The rest of that day was incredible! I was filled with so much joy and walked with a constant awareness of the manifest presence of my Heavenly Daddy.
There was a box in the church for testimonies. As I walked by it the Lord spoke to me and told me to fill out a testimony of my experience and put it in the box. I thought to myself, “Well, there are at least a couple of thousand people here, what are the odds they will call me to go up?” Guess whom the first person called to come up on the platform that night was?
I really do not remember a lot of being on the platform. The presence of God was so thick. I was sharing what happened in the lunch line and the next thing I remember I was on the floor and a couple of the ushers carried me off the platform to the side. Carol Arnott came over, sat beside me and soaked me in prayer almost the entire message.
On the airplane trip back home to North Carolina I became aware of a grapefruit size ball of heat in the middle of my chest. I had never heard of a “glory ball” before. I turned to Bob, the Methodist pastor I had come with and told him, “I think I received an impartation in Toronto”. He invited me to come to his church that Wednesday night and share.
“I am stuck, I am stuck!”
Bob pastored a small rural conservative Methodist Church in eastern North Carolina. I was so hungry for a move of God like I had just experienced in Toronto. I was determined that I would not push or try to make anything happen. I just wanted God to show up! I did not sense anything special in worship though I could still feel the "glory ball" inside my chest. After the last song everyone sat down except one of the elders, an elderly lady.
She was just frozen in place; everyone stared at her wondering why she was not setting down. Then she cried out, “I am stuck, I am stuck!” Another one of the elders of the church decided he was going to get up to help her, when he stood up the fire of God came in. He was slammed back into the pew, baptized in the Holy Spirit and started shouting in tongues!
God had come; it was sovereign, in His way!
I stood up and gave the shortest sermon I had ever preached, “The altar is open”. Everyone ran and fell before the altar. It was so beautiful!
The next few months at that church were wonderful. Heaven opened over that little church and many people came, were touched by the presence of God and were changed forever!
1 John 2:27 tells us that the anointing we receive from Jesus abides in us! This means the impartation I received that day is still there! We are experiencing an awesome move of the God in our church now and I believe the seed of that move was imparted to me in July of 2000.
The impartation you received is still there! Allow Holy Spirit to blow over that flame and watch what happens.