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Key to the City

photo credit: via photopin cc
photo credit: via photopin cc

A few years back Billy Graham was coming to New York City. It was a Big Deal. His team came before him and contacted every church in the tri-state area. Church members everywhere in a 50-mile (I am guessing at 50) radius were recruited and trained as counselors and ushers. There were local and regional prayer gatherings. There were classes set up for follow up after the big event, and training for those who would receive a large influx of attenders in the following weeks.

It is a great system, and it is set up to insure that no one falls through the cracks. That if someone comes to the moment of ‘decision’ they would be able to navigate their way to grace.

If you wanted to reach your town or city with the gospel message, where would you start?

  • Would you start by approaching the mayor perhaps?
  • Prayer walks around all the neighborhoods?
  • Postcards in every mailbox?
  • Street theater?
  • A booth in the town flea market?
  • Knock on every door?
  • Signs in the front yard?

(Just for the record, I have been involved in almost every one of these strategies – I am for them all.)

Jesus had another plan. Jesus plan in John 4 was pretty simple. ~I am going to head down to the well in Sychar in Samaria, and sit at the well. I sense that I am supposed to skip lunch and see what happens~

The Word tells us that Jesus only did and said what He heard and saw with the Father, and I am not sure how clear those pictures were, and how much detail He got in advance. I feel like it was impressions, because I get that, but I know people who hear things and obey – more like taking dictation, and others who see scenarios in their spirit’s eye and have a better idea of how things are going to break.

We are told most Jews go around Samaria to get from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. Not Jesus:

He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
But He needed to go through Samaria. (John 4:3-4 NKJV)

Then there was a divine appointment.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. (John 4:7 NKJV)

Conversation ensued (see the last couple weeks worth of posts if you want details)

And in a few short minutes an evangelist was born.

And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” (John 4:39 NASB)

Hmmm – sounds like the key to the city was a woman with a broken life, bad reputation, and a deep draught of living water. [Click to Tweet]

photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc
photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc

I have a couple take-aways today.

First, planning is great – plan, pray, strategize – all great, but as you execute your plan, keep listening for the Spirit of God on the inside and be willing to go with His plan. Even if you don’t have a plan laid out, let your plan be to listen for the Master’s plan.

Next don’t discount anyone the Father puts in your path. Woe to me if the Lord puts a person in my life who I deem unworthy of or maybe impenetrable with the gospel.

Finally, perhaps you see yourself as damaged goods (a leaky bucket). Maybe you’ve screwed up every relationship you have ever been in, or perhaps more people than you can count have abandoned you. You have become jaded and disheartened because every thing you have ever set out to do has fallen apart before you. Your reputation has betrayed you, and you have nothing to offer.

You, like the woman at the well, need a drink, a drink of living water. One drink from this fountain and a river will form inside of you and flow to your city.

This woman with a past and no hope or vision for a future tuned out to be the key to the city.

What will God unlock with you today?

BenI am psyched about the possibilities.

See you tomorrow.


0 thoughts on “Key to the City

  1. Glenn

    Awesome post Ben! Got me thinking about what the key to my city is. A great reminder that the Father knows. This has to be one if my fav stories in the bible and one of my fav posts of yours ben. Bless you mate

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thanks much Glenn. I could not agree more, and the more i poke at this story, the more deeply i love it.

      Thank you for the encouragement.


  2. My Tropical Home

    I liked this, I really did. I'm one of those leaky buckets and I sense that God wants me to just keep pouring while He takes care of the leaks. Isn't our God amazing? Thanks for the wonderful post.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thank you Mary, that is a great encouragement to me! I love what you said here, that he heals from the inside out. Like John says - prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers!

      Bless you Mary

    1. Ben Nelson

      i am with you - and i feel that is super valuable. We have gotten great insights from the Lord doing that, but I just don't want us to miss the whispers in our day to day.

  3. Caddo Veil

    I'm psyched too, Ben--like practically 24/7 psyched. I don't know if you ever listen to Joseph Prince (New Creation Church, Singapore), but I get so blessed by his teaching--and something he's been saying lately is that we should not be reluctant to pray/minister out our "lack". For one thing, if we're aware of our lack--we know whatever we're doing is not in our own strength, that God will be the provision; and for another, as we pray and serve from our lack, we open up a conduit for His grace so that we will see the manifestation in our own lives--of what we are praying for others. Ex: Abraham did not wait till the birth of Isaac, to begin praying for other families--He was faithful and obeyed, and sure 'nuff, saw God's promise to him manifested when Isaac came along. So, if I'm in need of healing, or a job--I will not let my lack stop me from praying for others who need healing, or a job. It's not about my lack or riches--it's about my obedience to, and faith in, the One Who Provides--God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you and the fam BIG--love, sis Caddo

    1. Ben Nelson

      You are indeed a rock star! that is a great word Caddo. I always loved that Abraham had the name Father of many nations for decades as a man with no children. Thank you for bringing us back to Abe.

      Bless you right back!


    1. Ben Nelson

      I agree. We are so quick to write people off - including ourselves - as useless in the kingdom because of our past, or our inadequacies, or our weakness, but God is clear that our weakness just makes Him look good - give Him a place to show off.


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