Cast into the Sea
One of my mentors in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Doctor James Earl, was an elder at Shiloh Ministries. We became fast friends relatively soon after Pam and I first became members of Shiloh.
One day, out of kindness and seeing we did not have the resources Doctor Earl purchased for me a badly needed suit costing somewhere in the range of $500.00. To us, that was a lot of money in 1985.
Several days later, after receiving the suit, Pam and I arrived with our daughter for Sunday morning services at the new church facilities. Shiloh Ministries had recently moved services from in-town to a beautiful ranch-house in the Coronado National Park near Miracle Valley, Arizona.
Rain began to fall just as we were pulling up to the church and it was raining soundly. The Lord had been pressing into my heart a section of scripture and I was taking it too literally, which, when I was younger was my norm. I had begun reading the scriptures which basically said, “If you say to that mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and doubt nothing it will be cast into the sea.” (Matthew 21:21) As I said, I took this very literally.
So now, I’m sitting in my car with my wife and daughter and wearing that new $500.00 suit. And know I walking right with the Lord and living a godly lifestyle and I believe God will hear my cry and answer my prayer. (Of course, none of which is really relevant.) Therefore, I call out to the Lord (literally) “Lord, I command the rain to stop in the name of Jesus!” The rains continue to pour.
Nothing is happening? Several more times with every ounce of faith I can muster I call on the name of the Lord, “Lord, I command the rains to stop in the name of Jesus!” Nothing happens?
Now I’m annoyed with the Lord. Why won’t God answer my prayer? Arrogantly I think, “MY PRAYER!” I know You can hear me Lord, this is Steven Harrel’s prayer of faith; still no change in the weather.
Like the angry and foolish young idiot I was at that time, I say to my wife, “Fine, if God wants my new suit to get ruined then so be it.” (I know, really, really stupid and arrogantly foolish. But, we all have to grow up eventually)
Then, I get out of my car in the full downpour, grabbed my guitar from the trunk and walk through the pouring rain into the church entrance.
Wouldn’t you know it… Pastor Larry Deason looks up from where he was kneeling and talking with a little girl and sees me soaking wet from the storm. Then, with no more effort than a common request, Larry looks up towards the heavens and says, “Ah Lord! We can’t have everybody coming in here and getting all wet. Lord, in Jesus name please cause the rain to subside until everybody gets into church.”
I kid you not; 30 seconds did not elapse before the rain came to an immediate and complete halt over the church. The skies remained rain free for the next 30 to 40 minutes.
Instead of overjoyed, I was furious! How could the Lord let me down like that and cause the rain to stop for Larry and not for me! Boo-hoo I cried! Poor little Stevie got his feeling hurt. Ha – lol, right.
Thus began a six month journey with the Lord teaching me the meaning of, “If you say to that mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and doubt nothing it will be cast into the sea.”
A true testing of my faith began and took nearly six months.
The day of the rainstorm I dogmatically believed I could command something in some version of the Lord’s will. Not too bright, I know. At the end of that six month period I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed utterly shattered regarding faith. I remember saying to my wife, “If the promises from the Lord in His Word are not trustworthy (i.e. say unto that mountain) then the promises about salvation may not be trustworthy either.” However, within moments I heard the voice of the Lord speaking into my spirit and saying, “If I tell you to speak to that mountain and command it into the sea and then you command it into the sea, the mountain will be cast into the sea. Just because you think I should do something does not mean it is My will. I will not have people all over the world changing the natural order of things at their individual whims.”
Suddenly I understood: if God directs someone to heal another person or do a miracle or cast a mountain into the sea then when that person obeys God’s voice – the power of God will flow like waters to the sea. I know there is more to speaking healing or Words of Knowledge, but this was the beginning of my understanding with this issue.
Thanks You, my Lord!
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Thanks for reading:) Steve