The Encounter III > How big is your Gotham? Your personal assignment from God. Is it just your family? I have seen cases where that in itself might be all a person could do, but for most of us, God expects something more. And how do we go about answering that call? Do we give our all, or… something much less…something less sacrificial… something much more “man-made than God-made”. What is the secret side of our Priesthood? What is God’s Covering, his Cloaking, his Anointing? What does it mean to be a “caped crusader” for God? Batman had his secret side, and if I’m a proper Priest of God, so do I.
But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret… And when you pray…go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in secret… And when you fast… don’t make it obvious… then no one will notice you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in secret…and your Father who sees everything, will reward you. (Excerpts of Matthew 6: 1-18)
Don had a smile on his face as he cruised around the parking lot in his 97 Honda Civic. What a story this car could tell. Everything from the white rear bumper on a silver-gray car, to the rumpled hood, the soldered gas tank, the repaired brake lines, the fact the car sat for three years and the alternator was locked up when he started it. Soaking it with WD40 and forcing it to turn actually worked, and somehow he now had this great job as a “Watchman”, a guard, cruising around a parking lot in a bad area of town, keeping order, protecting, while a small yellow bubble light flashed repeatedly on the roof of his silver-gray car. In some respects it was ridiculous, but in others it was awesome.
His prayers were being answered. So much was happening! When he hired on as part-time, working the evening shift, who could have known the day shift guy would suddenly, without warning, quit! And he was offered the full-time, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday position. God knew. And now his work schedule was as perfect as it could get. Not only that, but he could pray while in that car, and listen to things on radio, preaching, books on tape, etc. etc. The physical need was met and a strategic position acquired, all in one moment, after that very bad day when he chickened out on the Starbucks job and came home depressed. Then he looked out the window and saw this little car waiting to be fixed. Reluctantly he obeyed God’s lead, and now he sat in the car smiling, for God is good and always has a plan.
When the door opened for day-shift, Don was once again able to reconnect with “Oasis of Hope Church” and help with the ministry birthing at that government housing apartment complex. The need was great, and when he reconnected he discovered there was talk of expansion! The Southern Baptist liked what Chris was doing, they had plans to send teams and help him expand to three new complexes! Soon he would have a ministry outreach every week! But this was only one opportunity whose door was opening, and these other two really had his attention.
Pastor Kerry and his wife Twyla. Their Church on Mass. Ave. and the special assignment from God on Pastor Kerry’s heart, that of reaching the “creative people” of the city. You see, the purpose of this ministry was not geographical as much as it was “gifting oriented”. Pastor Kerry, as an artist, had a heart to reach out to other creative type people, which just happened to include “writers”. Don pondered what this special door could lead to? He had always felt a bit of a loner, misunderstood by others who did not have his pondering ways, because he thought deep about things, sought out solitude, as in his little car cruising around, so he could ponder things and create stories revealing the treasures he uncovered in God. What might this new connection lead to? Only God knew. Pastor Kerry wanted to read his newest story as soon as it was ready.
He thought about the unexpected call from a past disciple. How did God resurrect this old connection? Years had passed and this brother was in sore straights. They met after work and spent three hours together. This meeting had started at a Burger King and ended up in prayer in a secluded cemetery. God’s ways are unique, and His Presence had been strong while they prayed, but what could he leave this brother with? A story he had written, “Flapless”. That story had continued to minister, teach, and uplift, long after the two had parted, until they would meet again in one month, and Don was working on another story called, “Grasping the Wind”. God was still using his gift for writing, but how much more might God have planned?
However, the vision itself, that was the other unknown door. He had not been able to convince anyone at the Pentecostal Church to take up this vision. Perhaps because it was still untried. So the vision fell to him alone, to figure it out, to see what God would do, how do you reach your own neighborhood for Christ? The plan was slowly coming together and soon it would launch, but not without complete dedication to the “SECRET THINGS” of our Priesthood in Christ.
Yes, Don knew full well that was how he had gotten this far, and if it were to continue, then so must his Priesthood habits. After his year sabbatical, he fully understood that being a Christian was more than just being a “good person”, but there was a Priesthood. A Priesthood that God spent 4,000 years paying the price for, and when he ripped that veil in two, in the temple, when Christ gave his life on that cross, God the Father said, “Finally! IT is done!” Finally a supernatural life unlike any other was available for God’s people. Now we could be Caped Crusaders, if we are faithful to the secret things.
God is disgusted with his “SPOTLIIGHT seeking people”, who caught up in pride and desire for admiration, hide in their Church Boxes, proclaiming great things in the safety of their own, while neglecting the lost multitudes all around them, even in their very own neighborhood. We live in a day when some Christians make great and expensive journeys to minister one week in a land whose language they do not even speak, and yet they fail to try and reach their own neighborhood or city where they live all year long. What logical sense does this make? These people speak from pulpits as if they are examples?
We need to wake up. We are losing our own country while we hide in our church boxes listening to speakers who hide in the box too. Is it so brave to go to other church boxes in other countries where the people greet you with open arms, and need your money? Perhaps I should not speak such things? I who would compare Christianity to being a Caped Crusader? A Batman? How ridiculous. But if only Christians would be as faithful to the secret things of God, as Batman was to his secret things.
Is our Gotham lost? We are losing it more every day if we do not wake up to this vision. One year alone with God did this to me. I have more to say about this secret life. And there is a book growing, “Grasping the Wind”, written by a Christian Batman, with a neighborhood to reach and a city to save, one secret thing at a time, as it is revealed.