After mentioning being out of my comfort zone, some of you wanted to know what happened this past weekend.
Some of this will sound crazy to you, but I’m just going to share anyway. Let’s start with a tiny little background information:
Alan Hawkins and I were talking. We discovered he was born the same year as my dad, Don Pauling Sr.. It’s odd, but I really don’t notice the age of a person and I’d always just thought of Alan as being about the same age as me, but at that moment of discovery in our conversation it was easy to see that there are so many similarities between him and my dad. I started to listen to what he said in a different way. It just seems like the right thing to do to give respect to the father figures in one’s life, and this past weekend I started seeing Alan as a father figure.
Alan told me that he believed God had given me authority to impart freedom to those who struggled with pornography or related issues. In other words, God’s testimony in my life had resulted in my being a conduit to bring deliverance in these same areas. I had the choice on whether or not I’d serve as that conduit.
Saturday night, after the service, Alan decided that I needed to make the choice to be that conduit. He told me I was going to lay hands on people and pray for them. He told me to start declaring freedom while doing so.
WAY. OUT. OF. MY. COMFORT. ZONE!
We’re talking “as far as east is from west” outside of my comfort zone. But I did what he said, because this felt like another altar-call moment* (I’ll explain that in the next paragraph). I chose to see him as a father figure and obey what he’d said.
*The last time I’d done such a thing, outside my comfort zone, was when Heath Mooneyham let me know I’d be leading an altar-call type call-for-salvation at the end of service. That turned out really well, dozens of hands went up asking to meet the Jesus I’d discussed in the message I shared, so I continued doing it – and since that day there have been literally thousands who have asked Jesus to take control of their lives and I’ve had to apologize to God for not inviting people to meet Him previously.
Have you ever seen people prayed for and, when touched, they fall over or start shaking or… whatever? Well, that happened last weekend when I did as Alan commanded: head touched, person falls or shakes, Donny freaks a little more.
This introvert ended up spending a very, very long time listening to people and praying for them one-on-one after service. I don’t know how many came up in total, but it was both fulfilling and exhausting.
Here’s the crazy-sounding part…
If you’ve followed my story, you’ve likely heard me talk about that magical time at the very beginning, just after asking God to take control of my life, where He would literally talk to me by whispering in my ear or speaking in dreams. That time ended long ago. It hasn’t happened in a long time. But Saturday night after doing what I was asked to do, God talked to me that way all night long. If a person would have been stationed outside the door to my room I’d have sounded like a crazy man, because I kept responding back audibly. “Okay. Alright. I get it! Yes, I’ll do that.” Etc (my atheist friend John Hunt would say the voices in my head have returned, as he said when I told him about those first encounters long ago).
The weekend was beautiful and it rocked me, hard!