In the mid 1990s, I (Brian) could count on one hand the people who I knew were actually operating in power evangelism in the streets. I had personal experience of God being active in our church services, but I was hungry to see God’s power at work outside the safety of a church event. Up to that point, I hadn’t really seen God moving “in the streets.” Being part of the Vineyard movement, I had heard all these incredible stories about a man named Blaine Cook. Blaine was a hero of mine in the faith. His personal stories of releasing the power of God in personal encounters with people outside the church stirred up the evangelist in me. I had heard that he would be sharing at a Vineyard church in Chicago, so with a couple of friends, Greg Roberson (a Vineyard pastor) and David Mullikin, I drove from Oklahoma City to Chicago, hoping to gain from his insight and gifting.
Personally, I was really hungry to see this activated in my life. For a couple of years, my wife and I had been attending the Oklahoma City Vineyard church and were familiar with the Vineyard five-step healing model taught by John Wimber. We were seeing healings and demonstrations of God’s power within the church, but I wanted to see more. I wanted to see the power of God outside the church. I reasoned that perhaps if I could get around someone who was doing it, something would rub off.
So, the three of us took off for a fourteen hour drive to Chicago to see Blaine Cook. I remember the atmosphere in the car being charged with excitement. The three of us had lots of faith and expectation. My heart’s cry was, “Oh God, please use me. I want to be used by you to do power evangelism. Oh God, please impart your power.”
We arrived and settled in, and the next morning we attended the first session. To my surprise, Blaine pointed me out of the crowd of hundreds and declared, “God is going to use this man powerfully in power evangelism.”
At that moment the power of God came on me so strongly that I shook and fell to the ground. On the floor, I was overjoyed and thought, “Wow! God heard my prayer! He even used a hero of mine to call me out and speak an impartation!” I could not believe it. I was so filled with faith. I continued to cry out for God to use me for evangelism and give me opportunities to step out in faith.
During our lunch break, the opportunity I prayed for came. Greg, David, and I went to Popeye’s Chicken for lunch. As we walked into the restaurant, I noticed a woman standing in line, and immediately pain began to shoot down my right arm. I had an impression that God wanted me to pray for this woman and release healing to her arm. One would think that I would have been full of faith and excitement in light of the encounter I had that morning and the cry of my heart to be used by God just hours ago. Remember, I had just been called out publicly by a hero of mine who had been used tremendously in power evangelism. I had driven across the country asking for such an encounter. But in the midst of this opportunity, I began to doubt. I told myself, “This isn’t God. This is just my imagination.”
My friend Greg noticed the troubled and puzzled look on my face, and he asked me what was going on. I explained to Greg what I thought I had been given by God and that I believed if we prayed for the woman, her arm would get healed. Greg told me, “What are you waiting for? Go over and tell her what God said and pray for her.”
“NO WAY!” I told him, “I’m not doing that! What if this is just my imagination? What if I am wrong?”
“OK, then,” Greg replied, “I’ll go ask her if your impression is right.”
I replied, “Only on one condition. You cannot tell her that the impression came from me.”
One of the things I love about Greg is that he is fearless. Greg was not called out in a public meeting, and he didn’t get an impartation from God. He did not even get the impression for the woman in line. Yet he had more faith than I had. Greg marched up to the woman as I tried to hide so the woman would not see me. I know as you are reading this you might be thinking, “What a chicken!” I can only agree with you. The chickens being served for lunch that day were not the only chickens in the restaurant.
Greg tapped the woman on the shoulder and she turned around. Greg told her, “See that guy over there,” as he pointed directly at me. “He is a friend of mine, and he felt like the Lord told him that you have a pain in your right arm, and God wants to heal you.” I was embarrassed and cursing Greg in my mind. The woman told Greg that her right arm was hurting her. Greg asked if he could pray for her. She said yes. So right there in line, Greg prayed for the woman. The woman excitedly declared “The pain is gone!” God healed her on the spot.
Rather than rejoicing in God’s graciousness over this healing as I should have done, I immediately thought, “You chicken! THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOUR TESTIMONY!” That day I learned this valuable lesson: God is always at work around you, even when you are a chicken.
Brian Blount - From the Sanctuary to the Streets - Kindle Edition.