In Episode 4 of my new series, Questions With God, I ask the question, "Does experience mean anything in the kingdom of God?" The genesis of this question came out of the frustration I would often hear from people who watched my films, got fired up to do the same things they saw, then fell flat on their faces when they stepped out in faith to pray for people.
There has always been a tendency to view ministers as somehow different from the rest of us. Put someone up on a stage, and suddenly they're an expert. This can often lead to people chasing certain speakers or ministers around the country, trying to get them to lay hands on them and pray for them because they are more likely to "bring healing" than if anyone else prayed for them. I have seen people's faces fall when they had been standing in line, waiting to receive prayer from the speaker they had just heard, only to then be told that the speaker has to leave, but there are others here who would love to pray for you. You can see the gears turning in their heads. They wanted the varsity to pray for them, but now they're stuck with the JV instead.
Personally, I have been on both sides of this question. While filming my second movie, Furious Love, I filmed a young girl with lockjaw in Africa whose father had driven nearly six hours for his little girl to receive healing. I was positive that God was going to heal this sweet girl, but I found myself getting more and more angry at God as minutes passed by and nothing was happening. As the little girl walked away with tears streaming down her cheeks, knowing that she wasn't going to be healed today, I remember wrestling with God that it sometimes felt like I had more compassion for people than He did.
Then again, while filming that same movie, I watched as a group of professional ministers prayed for a man's leg to be healed, and nothing ever changed. They then turned to me and asked if I wanted to give it a shot. Nope. Thanks, but no thanks. But of course, I couldn't actually admit that I was a jerk, so I reluctantly stepped forward to pray for this guy. It's not that I had little faith, I had no faith. In fact, I'm not sure I even ever prayed for the guy. I knew the camera was on me, and I'd never really prayed for healing before. When I finally stood up and asked the guy to test it, he smiled and said it was all better. I honestly couldn't believe it.
As hard as I work to try to understand God more, I realize that I'm never going to really understand Him, and I'm fine with that. The journey of discovery with Him is so fun and so rich with surprises that I've stopped caring if I ever get to the bottom of a mystery I'm pursuing. Does experience matter in God's kingdom? Maybe yes, maybe no. I've seen both sides of the coin. And you know what? I'm okay with that. If you need healing, then by all means go after it, try to get the person with experience to pray for you. But don't be surprised if your healing comes from someone else who's only praying for you because they were shamed into it. God is no respecter of persons, and I'm pretty sure He's got an awesome sense of humor as well.
Darren Wilson is the Founder and CEO of WP Films and the creator of various films, including Finger of God, Father of Lights, and Holy Ghost. His newest TV series, Adventures With God, can be seen on various Christian networks around the world and purchased at his website: wpfilm.com, as well as his newest book, God Adventures.
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