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Pleasing to the Lord- Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Proverbs 16:7

Before the 40-day tent revival began, I was under the impression that we had to get a petition signed from any neighbor who owned property within 100 feet of the tent. The owners needed to give us approval to put up a tent. Well, even though the majority of the owners gave us approval (all did but one), we didn’t need the signatures. It was an old city-code that hadn’t been removed from the internet. Thankfully the tent could still go up. But regardless of not needing the petition signed, I was now made aware of who our neighbors were, and what they thought of the upcoming 40-day tent revival.

And one of those neighbors was a small apartment complex that is literally within 30 feet of all the action. There aren’t many tenants that live in the green, old apartments; but enough people live there to hear everything through their thin and old walls. What can they hear? They can hear the piano playing, the guitar strumming, the drums beating, the shofar blowing, and the preaching preaching. So at the beginning of the 40-day tent revival, one gentleman came and let me know about all that he hears He instructed me that he didn’t have a problem with “religion” stuff, but he wanted us to respect them as neighbors. I assured him that I also live in this neighborhood and that I would do my best to monitor the sound. Then another night, he came out and talked to me again. But this time he let me know that the music was beautiful. He liked it. I couldn’t believe how the Spirit was beginning to stir his heart. Then other nights, he has come out completely drunk and decided to take all of his frustrations out on a volunteer. So by God’s grace, I would approach the neighbor each and every time, and he would completely change his demeanor by the end of our talk. He was calm and relaxed. There was a sense of peace that resulted from our conversation(s). Just remember, this is only one neighbor.

Then there is another neighbor (same apartment complex) who came to the tent one afternoon when a worship team was doing a sound check early. But he wasn’t coming to listen to the music. He was there to let out his frustrations. He was there to vent. And apparently, he let our head volunteer know that he wasn’t happy with the situation. He wasn’t pleased with the volume of the music. He wasn’t happy with the drummer. So immediately I get a phone call, and asked if I would address the issue with him.

I did, and the conversation went well. In fact, I was floored at how calm the neighbor was. I listened to his concerns and then told him how I would be pro-active about the volume of the music. He shook my hand and left content. He didn’t swear or raise his voice, like he did with other volunteers. He thanked me for the time, and went on back to his apartment. Then a couple of days later, he came up to me and just wanted to let me know that the noise has been much better. In fact, he said it has been 80% better (there is always room for improvement). I just smiled. Praise the Lord.

Then this past weekend, he came INSIDE THE TENT, and sat next to me. I took a deep breath, and thought, “Oh boy, now what?” But He wanted to let me know that the worship team was good. He said, “The singers tonight know how to sing. And the musicians know how to play.” He was there not to complain but to talk. He then asked me what church the worship team was from. He asked me what church I was from. This man’s heart was slowly softening.

As I woke up this morning, I began to think about the two neighbors who were beginning to soften towards the tent-revival and the message of Jesus Christ. From outside the tent, they could be viewed as the “enemies” of the 40-day tent revival. But I was grateful and thankful for how things have developed. The neighbors have not bee hostile or violent. In fact, they haven’t even called the cops. Why? I don’t know for sure (because we have had our moments with them), but maybe the Lord is pleased with what we are doing. Maybe we are seeing the words of Proverbs 16:7 come to fruition. Solomon wrote, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Trust me, there are still neighbors that need to be won over to the Lord, and businesses that need to soften their hearts towards us, but overall, I believe our ways have been pleasing to Him. And as a result, even our neighbors 30 feet away are hearing the word of God through our actions, the preaching of the Word of God, and singing and playing worship songs.
-klm
" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan