June 7, 2021 | Michael Guidera, IFA Contributing Writer
The power needed for us live, act, and even pray for our nation is available when we understand the Kingdom of God and walk in it. An understanding and connection to the Kingdom and all its resources is available to us as believers and is crucial for us to sustain ourselves at this time in our troubled nation. I encountered the Kingdom of God and want to share that with you.
I love trees. I live at the edge of the central valley in California where the hills just begin their upward push to become the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range. It can be quite warm here in the summer, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees for weeks at a time. In my suburban home, I have planted trees all around the perimeter to shade the house and yard from the intense heat. When you first plant small trees, it is difficult to imagine how big they will grow. After 10 to 20 years, they needed trimming. I called a tree service. They showed up one day last year. I was working at home. Three people showed up—a foreman, a young woman who picked up the cut branches and dragged them out front to the grinder, and Casey, a small wiry fellow who actually climbed into the trees to trim them.
The largest tree is in my front yard, just outside the window upstairs where I work. I was amazed at Casey’s ability. He was like a monkey, climbing around in the tree. He had this keen sense which branches would support his weight. He climbed high up into the tree to trim it.
I went back outside a few hours later to observe their progress. While I was walking in my backyard, I found an object laying on the grass. It looked like a medallion of some sort, about 3 inches in diameter. I picked it up. It was part ceramic and part metal, like brass. On the front were the words “Put on The Full Armor of God.” There was also a figure of the Roman soldier with his armor and scripture from Ephesians 6. It was really beautiful. I picked it up and the young woman came over to look at it. I asked if it was hers. She said, “No.” I put it in my pocket and walked out around the side of my house to ask Casey. I pulled it out of my pocket and asked “Is this yours?” He immediately shoved his hands in his pockets and realized it was missing. He was really surprised and asked me where I found it. I told him. He was very thankful that I found it. He told me that he carries it with him every day in his pocket and that he has never lost it before, even climbing around in trees in precarious positions. He could not figure out how it could just be sitting on the grass in my backyard, as he could not remember doing anything in that vicinity to make it fall out of his pocket. I sensed something when I saw how shook-up he was over the thought of losing it. I asked how he acquired it, but the supervisor came up to us and told him to get back to work, so I went back into the house.
About 30 minutes later, my dog started bugging me for his daily walk, so I got his leash and out we went. The crew was finishing up so I took a quick look at all the trees and shrubs and was very satisfied with the work they had done. I headed out on my walk and about ¼ mile into it, I had this strong feeling that I was to go back and talk to Casey. My first inclination was this is silly, just go on your walk. So, I continued, but the feeling became stronger that I should go back. I turned around and headed back home. I started praying and asked God, “Is this really You persuading me to go back?” The feeling to return became stronger. I then prayed, “What am I supposed to say to him, he is a total stranger to me?” I felt God reassure me not to worry about that but to just get home and start a conversation with him. As I was walking, I felt a little stressed now, as I was worried they would have packed up and gone to the next job. (I also didn’t want to look like a fool.) But when I got to the house the crew was still cleaning up and putting away all the equipment they used.
I went up to Casey and asked him how he obtained the medallion. He looked at me troubled and said it was a long story.
“After a few years of marriage and the birth of 2 kids, my wife had an affair with my best friend. She left me and married him. I was so devastated I lost my job, became depressed, and checked into a mental facility for treatment. I was discharged, lost my house, and ended up homeless. I found my way to the Gospel Mission. I was there for a few months and heard the gospel message. (He did not make it clear whether he accepted the Lord there or had before.) Part of their rehab program was to take a class where they taught us Ephesians 6. After graduating from the class, they gave us this medallion that you found. It’s something to remind me of the battle we are in. I carry it with me every single day.”
I was deeply touched by his story. I could see Casey was still struggling with the pain of his wife’s infidelity and marriage to his best friend. I said, “Casey, I understand your pain. You were betrayed. I have been betrayed by a spouse too. It is the most devastating event I have ever endured.” I then put my hand around an imaginary knife and placed the blade end of it over my heart and spoke these words, “It’s like a dagger being thrust into your heart”! He looked at me startled; tears came quickly. He took his hand around the imaginary knife handle, pulled it away from me, and put to his chest and said, “Six months ago I took my hunting knife and got the tip about 1/8 in. into my chest between two ribs just over my heart. I was about to thrust it in and end my life, and I heard an audible voice say “stop.” I knew it was God.
We both stood there looking at each other. Tears were flowing down his face. He looked at me and said “God is here right now with us; do you sense Him?” I agreed, awestruck by the accuracy of the words I spoke without even knowing it. It was a surreal moment. It was like a portal opened up and the presence of God was so tangible. The words spoken were beyond coincidence, and we both knew it.
I asked, “Casey, are you still struggling with suicidal thoughts?” He cried and said yes, that at times he was tormented by it. I silently asked God what I should say. I then knew that I was to give him the tools needed to resist this enemy that was tormenting him and encourage him. I shared with him that he has the power over the enemy that works through his mind to torment him. I prayed for him about his current situation and rebuked that spirit of suicide. I told him that if it should come back and torment him, to take authority over it and rebuke it. Then, walk away from it. Continue to do this and over time it will not bother you anymore. For He that lives in you is greater than he that lives in the world. We also talked about forgiveness. I told him to stay faithful to God and in time He will restore all that you have lost.
Time was short as the crew had loaded all the tools into their truck. Casey thanked me for reaching out to him. We hugged, and felt a kinship in our experience with God himself. I told him, “Whenever you feel discouraged, remember this day. God loves you so much He set up this meeting and included Himself. He is real and close to you always.” He nodded and departed.
I write this encounter as just a brief glimpse into the Kingdom of God and how it operates in a believer’s life. The one thing that impressed me was that the only thing I “did” was be available and possibly risk looking like a fool. I simply wanted to obey God. All the work was done by God. He arranged our meeting with the medallion. Casey was dumbfounded how he could have lost it. He truly could not explain it. Secondly, a word was spoken from God concerning the dagger in the heart. When those words were spoken, it’s like it opened up a portal from the heavenlies to bring the Spirit to us. That is the only way I know how to describe it. I had no idea what those words would mean to Casey. After I spoke and prayed, I knew exactly what to say with confidence. This was not a typical day for me. I am still learning about the Kingdom and how to walk in it. I have much to learn.
This encounter taught me something about my relationship with God. As an Intercessor, at times I feel like I must pray for the nation because it’s going downhill so fast. I must do something to stop it! I believe Jesus says My burden is light, because when in right relationship with Him and an understanding of the Kingdom of God, He works through us to actually further His Kingdom into the world. He does it through His power, not mine. That is why, I believe Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:20, For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in power. In this experience, the power of God was overwhelming. It was like I was a part of it, but also I had to get out of the way. Like God was using me but also saying, “Get out of the way, Mike, and let Me minister.” My role was simply to bring the Kingdom to Casey. I am still learning how to do this as an Intercessor when praying for the nation.
As I read the Bible, the more I see that the main message of Jesus to the world was to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. The Kingdom is here now. He said, “Seek first the Kingdom.” This experience with Casey showed me why I should keep seeking it to understand it and how it works in my life. As I seek it, the more God opens it up to me, little by little. The Kingdom is experiential, it is all about interacting with God on a personal level. It is not about establishing a religion to practice, its about establishing a living relationship with God himself. The Kingdom of God on earth today is evidence of the incredible love He has for us. He has created this Kingdom for us to walk into and commune with Him. The appropriation of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is the key that opens the door to the Kingdom. To enter the Kingdom, you must be born again, John 3:3. Our efforts are to seek it and learn to walk into it. I believe the knowledge of the Kingdom, what it is and what it means to us, is key to doing anything effective for God, whether its intercession or any other type of ministry. We must prioritize it over everything else to find it and walk in it. When we walk in it, as Jesus says, my burden is light.
Father, thank you for your wonderful plan for mankind. Thank you that You have created Your Kingdom that will eventually rule over all the earth. All other earthly kingdoms will perish, but Yours will prevail. I pray You lead us all to discover Your Kingdom and teach us how to walk in it every day. Give us understanding in praying for our nation. Show us how to unleash Your power in our prayers. Transform our minds through the washing of the word to hear Your Spirit guide us to be more effective in prayer.
How were you encouraged by this article? Let us know in the comments below!
Michael Guidera is an IFA intercessor, retired from a 35 year career developing implantable medical devices that have brought help and relief to thousands of people.