Do you ever feel like your life reminds you of a TV sitcom? There could easily be a few good episodes made from the story I want to tell you today!
In my last post I shared that I have been trying to take Jesus’ words more seriously in my life. So about five months ago I began to pray through my streets for God’s Kingdom to come. What has happened since then, is undeniably the movement of God.
Stuff Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighborand hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
What do you do… when your neighbor and your enemy could easily be considered both?
I’m not sure what the best definition is for enemy. But one that works for me would be: anyone who causes you to feel or be physically or emotionally unsafe.
When I bought my house a few years ago it was clear from the start that there was something that wasn’t quite right with the house right next door. It didn’t seem like anyone lived there consistently, and then there were weeks and months where people would come in and out with large black bags and buckets.
This would happen at all hours of the day and night… and they drove a white van with no windows. #definitionofcreepy
We met a man who stated that he owned the house and was fixing it up so it could be a rental. He was a tall, powerful looking man with a buzz cut. During these encounters he made some comments that clearly stated that he was not to be messed with. When I would walk away from a conversation feeling physically unsafe, I begin to wonder if we have an enemy; an enemy who is also our neighbor.
It didn’t take long before it was clear that the house next door was not a rental property needing repairs, but a grow house, where marijuana was being grown and a drug business was being organized.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves being interviewed by undercover cops, being asked if we would be willing to provide our property as a stakeout and being told that we should stay away from the people coming in and out of the property.
How do you love your neighbor when they very well might also be your enemy?
There isn’t an easy answer to that, but we did our best. Right around the time I began my prayer walks, things with the drug house were feeling more and more unsafe and fear began to creep into our house.
One night, as we were spending time together as a community, we prayed for the situation: For safety and that the Kingdom would come. We prayed for the couple, who were seemingly running the drug operation, and we prayed for their little girl who was often with them. We prayed in Jesus’ name that God’s will would be done.
Four days later, there was a major drug bust and the police arrested the drug dealers. Over $150,000 of marijuana and drug paraphernalia was taken out of the house that day and later that week three other drug houses were shut down all connected to the house next door to mine.
This was a clearly an answer to prayer. But more importantly, evidence of the Kingdom coming on Adams Street as justice is close to the heart of God.
Let me tell you, what happened next is just as near to God’s heart.