It’s amazing how being obedient to a word from the Lord can mean life or death. In April, 1998, I had just returned home from a Christian women’s conference in Kansas City. It had emphasized that God speaks today, and that we need to learn to be sensitive to Him.
All I wanted to do once I was home was worship and pray, so that’s just what I did. (My husband, Tom, was out of town for the week, which helped to free my time). The only other thing I planned to do was drive my brand-new car to my weekly massage therapy session.
While praying and worshiping, a soft, persistent “thought” started coming to me. It was: “You do not need to go to massage.” It seemed strange, and I finally dismissed it. As I was about to go to sleep that night, the thought came again.
As I awoke the next morning, the same thought kept coming to me over and over. However, it had now changed to “Do not go to massage.” I prayed for discernment, since evil spirits can speak to us, as well as the Holy Spirit. My natural mind could not imagine that God would tell me not to do something that I looked forward to each week, and that helped my physical body so much. I could not see any reason not to go. As I lay in bed, I finally prayed, “Lord, if this is You, You have to confirm it, or I’m going to massage.” I lay there listening, asking Him to open my spiritual ears, and my understanding.
Suddenly, I heard a still, small voice whisper “Ashdod.” I had no idea what that meant. I was completely puzzled, but I knew the word had not come from my own mind. Then the thought came to go downstairs and look it up in the Strong’s Concordance, (which I rarely use). When I looked it up, it said it was a city in Israel.
In I Samuel 5, the Bible stated that when the Philistines defeated Israel, they captured the ark of God (which is commonly called the Ark of the Covenant, where God’s presence dwelt), and took it to Ashdod. As a result, “…the hand of God was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and he ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory.” (The footnote explained it was probably bubonic plague, with the symptoms being swollen lymph glands, or tumors).
I said, “Lord, what does this have to do with massage?!” Silence. Then I said, “I know you commune with our spirits, not our minds, so I’m not going to try to figure this out. It’s impossible anyway. I’m just going to sit here and wait on You. Please reveal what this has to do with massage, or I’m going to go.”
As I quietly waited on the Lord for just a few moments, suddenly a revelation welled up in my heart!! It was that, as a Christian, I am the present-day “carrier” (or ark) of His presence. If I allowed myself to go somewhere I wasn’t supposed to go, something terrible would happen, just like it did when the Philistines took the ark to Ashdod!
My conviction that God had spoken to me was so strong, I immediately cancelled my appointment. I told the therapist I didn’t know why, but I was sure God was speaking to me.
Next I prayed about whether or not to take my father-in-law to lunch, as I usually did before massage. I felt that was okay. After lunch, I returned him to Maple Knoll, a retirement community. I thought I’d go to Winton Woods to walk, in place of the massage. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I’d better pray about that as well. When I prayed, the words that came to me were: “Go home immediately.” I didn’t understand, and I really wanted to walk, but I obeyed. Perhaps an important message was on my answering machine, I thought. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t to go to massage.
As I began to turn into my driveway, suddenly it took all my strength to make the steering wheel turn on my new Chrysler! I couldn’t believe it! By the time I got up the drive, and strained to turn the car into the garage, my power steering went out totally!
God had protected me from catastrophe! Had I gone to massage, I would have been in the high-speed lane of I-275 when the steering went out. I would have had no control of my car, driving at a high rate of speed. I would not have been able to navigate the curves of I-275.
I am certain the Lord saved my life, and I’ll be eternally grateful. I don’t want to leave this earth until I have fulfilled all the purposes for which He’s created me!
The men at the Chrysler garage said they had never seen this happen on a new Chrysler before. They were baffled as to what caused it. Only God knows—and He knows everything! God is good, and He speaks today!