Prompted by Holy Spirit
(Please listen to Kyle’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
Hey, my name is Kyle and my wife and I, and our kids, we live in the Dallas, Texas area and are part of a ministry that loves to share the gospel and make disciples. For over 12 plus years, God has called us to really travel the United States to share the gospel and, and honestly, to begin to listen to the Holy Spirit. I didn’t grow up like that, you know, my parents and my brother and sister, we were believers, who grew up in a very conservative church. And that’s not a negative term, but I was just really never introduced to the role of the Holy Spirit. So as we were going out, you know, with the ministry, teaching and training people how to share the gospel, it was becoming clear that we needed to depend upon the Holy Spirit. And that language is weird because it’s divisive.
As I’ve interacted with churches of large and small, conservative and charismatic, whenever you say, “the Holy Spirit” that like did you say, “the Holy Ghost?” What did you mean by the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Jesus and it just becomes this like to me Jesus says, “I have to leave so that I can give you the Holy Spirit.” And I think for me, I had to learn what it meant to listen to the Spirit of God. Do I really trust His voice in Romans 8:14? It talks about those that are led by the Spirit of God are called sons of God. And I wanted to know, what does it mean to be led by the Spirit and, and at times, it meant tuning in to Him and tuning out everything else.
I was specifically in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were doing what was called “Revive Twin Cities,” and I was getting ready to preach at a church called Celebration. I was in the parking lot and I knew what was happening. We had rented out the North High football field, a high school in Minneapolis, kind of one of the rougher parts of the community but we love being there. You know, it’s cold when their nickname, their mascot is the Polar Bears. Okay, so like this is the cool environment that we’re in but I’m getting ready to preach and we’d rented all of the sound equipment. We rented all the chairs and the tables and the stage and all the lights and everything because we’re going to have an outreach for, you know, multiple days, a week outreach. This was going to be our home base. I needed $33,750 by basically noon that day. Here I am preaching and I’m like, “God, nobody knows that I have this need. How on earth am I going to talk about this provision?” And God just said, “Just trust Me.” In fact, I heard very clearly through the Spirit. And when I say “hear,” like it’s something that in my mind, I actually hear in my head. It’s not audible, but I hear this phrase, “bless the feet.”
Now, you’ve got to understand something, my filter is okay, if this is what I heard, if this is really of the Lord, my first filter is does this contradict anything of the Scripture, like well, bless the feet doesn’t contradict anything. I don’t know what it means. But I’m also not going to make my life on it either. So I’m going to go into this church, and we’re going to have this time of prayer before I preach and as I was there, we had a couple team members, my father-in-law was there, one of our team members from Time to Revive was there, and we’re there praying with the intercessors which I can always tell you, you can never go wrong when you hear something from the Lord take it before the Lord in prayer. So that’s exactly what we did. I said, “Hey,” out in the parking lot, “I heard this simple phrase, bless the feet.” Now, let me back up something really kind of fun. Before I walked in, I texted two of our team members, specifically Rich Goodwin’s wife, Shelley, and I texted her, I said, “Hey, by the way, I’m going to be bringing the check with me after church.” And I remember thinking, I don’t know how this is going to happen. $33,750 is not a normal check size that I carry in my back pocket. I don’t ask for money. I’m not the guy who typically goes for the tithes and offerings. I’m not known as that guy. So I hear this phrase, “bless the feet,” we go in, we have a time of prayer at the intercessors we’re praying. And I just said, “Hey, I feel like we’re supposed to bless the feet of somebody today.” I can honestly say with a pure heart, never once did it cross my mind that that was supposed to be me. And so we just started praying and praying and when we’re all done, I was like, Okay, that was good Lord. We didn’t hear any answers.
I go up and I begin preaching in front of this congregation. They have two services. When I’m all done, the pastor comes up and the pastor very clearly just says, “I need you to take off your boots.” You know, I live in Texas, and so I had my cowboy boots on, but since summer of July 2014. I take my boots off, I honestly, I scratch my head, I’m like, this is kind of weird. And then I also think, Gosh, I wonder if I have holes in my socks. I mean, I’m thinking all of these fleshly things, you know, and like, I take my boots off and she says, this pastor says, “Hey, by the way, we need to bless this individual’s feet.” And I have to tell you, man, I lost it.
After the first service, this is crazy, after the first service $22,995 and 99 cents was put in my boots. I don’t know if you’ve ever figured out how much money can fit into cowboy boots, at least that much can and in my mind, I’m thinking I can’t believe this is happening. But just so you know, I didn’t know at that moment, right away that there was $22,000. I didn’t know until the end of the service. We’re getting ready to start the second service and again, this pastor comes up, “Take off your shoes, take off your boots.” Now my wife is there, she didn’t get to witness the first service, now the second service–and in my mind, I’m just thinking, and God knows what He’s doing. And He’s preparing my heart and He’s preparing other people’s hearts to put all this together. After the second service, He provided 14, well $14,778 in one set, and it came to a total of $37,774.
I know some people are thinking, right away when they hear this, like obviously–there it is, prosperity gospel. Here we go; guy’s out preaching the message, and he’s getting money filled in his boots. All I can just tell you is, this is, that God provided my needs–what I needed that day. In Matthew 6 it says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you.” My whole desire in the Twin Cities was to advance the kingdom of God to partner with the local church, charismatic and conservative, so that we could take the message of the good news. And after one, after two services, He provided everything we needed. And you know what happened? I wrote a check.
I think of this text, Romans 10:15, it says, “How will they preach unless they are sent Jesus?” This is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things.” And it’s crazy to me how that little voice that I heard in my vehicle, “bless the feet,” led to somebody else out of obedience. Saying, “take the boots off,” led to those that are in the sanctuary, them listening to the Spirit of God, then pouring in. And what do you know, for a whole week we got to advance the gospel! Over 6,000 people got to go out and share the gospel in the Twin Cities for one week. All because God blessed our feet at the beginning.
I think for me, over the course of these 12 years, I really had to trust His voice even when it made no sense. I’ll just tell you there are a lot of people out there that say, “Well, I would love to hear His voice. I don’t know how.” And I just want to encourage you, you know, in John 10, it talks about “My sheep hear My voice.” The Shepherd, Jesus, wants to talk to the sheep, us. And so, look, the part that I’m going to say next. I can’t back up biblically. But I’m going to tell you based on my experiences, I think this is pretty true. I actually believe that as a follower of Christ, because we have the Holy Spirit in us, I actually believe the first voice that we hear is His. I think when we’re doing life, we hear His voice. The second voice that I think we hear is ours trying to figure out, Is that the Lord that just spoke to me? Is that the Holy Spirit that just talked to me? So what are we doing, the whole time we’re processing, I think I just heard from Him. I think I just heard from Him. And then the third voice you hear is Satan saying, “You never heard from Him.” And I think that little process, the enemy has come in and he has literally pulled away all confidence of us, hearing from Him. And so that eventually we just went to spirit and we never trust His voice again.
So when I sent that text to one of our teammates, that I was going to bring a check after the church, I didn’t have anything–I had zero dollars, zero. And, you know, people have asked, “Why would you send a text like that?” And all I can tell you is that without faith, it’s impossible to please the Lord. I really believe we have to give God room to work and the way that happens is through the gift of faith. And someone will say, Well, that’s stupid. Well, it’s just irresponsible. I think over the course of 12 years walking with the Lord in ministry, I just remember those markers that He’s done it in the past, He’s going to do it again. I remember packing a bag being $10,000 short on my way to Seattle and God said, “Pack the bag. I’m going to send you anyway.” And overnight, literally when I woke up at 10 grand in my bank account. Like I believe that this is not the time of money here. I’m talking about God instilling in us that He’s bigger than what we see. When you walk by faith, it allows you to be led by the Spirit. To me, they definitely go together and you have to be led by faith in order to hear from Him. Otherwise, you’ll never believe that you actually heard from Him.
Let me just say something to people that processes because I’ve, we’ve had many dialogues about listening to the Holy Spirit. I’m not equating this to the equal of Scripture. I’m not equating new revelation. I’m equating, He’s given us the word and He’s now speaking to us and saying, this is how you walk this thing out. I think that’s really important because we’re afraid of how it’s going to come across. I’m past that now. I think, look at the examples in Scripture. You have to get past how you’re perceived, how you are looked at, and even the results. He doesn’t care. He just wants us to have faith and trust Him enough for the next step. It’s the only reason we’re here today. If I were to try to figure it out, a long time ago, we would have been shut down.
Praise God. He’s bigger than us.
If anybody ever says walking with Jesus is boring, I would say, “Try listening to the Holy Spirit. Your life will always be filled. Always be filled with adventure.”
My encouragement that I have, I’ve grown in, is listening to His voice. It’s an everyday–I live in Richardson, a suburb of North Dallas, and my wife and I have been going to church for 17 years and our four kids and after the first service, I very clearly heard the Holy Spirit say, “Go to McDonald’s.” You can say, well, you’re hungry, you know. Or you could rationalize all of these different things, right, that, This is why you went…and look, I really had no reason to go. My wife is serving the kids ministry. My kids are going to youth group. My other two kids are going to Sunday school. So I’m leaving them. I’m taking our car, I’m leaving them at church, and I’m going to McDonald’s. Now in my flesh, I begin to think, Oh, yeah but, in this next hour and a half that my family’s all at church, I can go wash my car. I can go talk to somebody while washing my car. So I begin to come up with these locations that justify not going to McDonald’s.
But man I got to tell you I kept going back to Romans 8. “Those that are led by the Spirit of God are called sons of God.” I want to be led by the Spirit of God at all times. And I think we’ve, we’ve made it crazy. I think we’ve made it weird. To listen to the Spirit of God means you got to go jump from someplace or you got to go, you know, jump through somebody or go…I mean, we make it this extreme, or I’ve got to see some drastic thing. And it’s literally every day, to help us get through life. So for me, I’m like, okay, God, I’m done rationalizing this whole process that I really hear, I heard McDonald’s on Beltline and Coit. I know that. So I walk in, I have my backpack with me. I pull out my computer, I put my headphones in because I begin listening to a message. But I know what I’m doing. I’m there listening and waiting for the right person to come in. And all I’m doing is asking, “Holy Spirit, who do you want me to talk to?”
Honestly, there’s probably 25 people in this McDonald’s and nobody–the LORD, the LORD doesn’t highlight anybody. And you can say, well, “Kyle, where in Scripture does it even see that?” Well think about Jesus when He’s hanging out with the crowd and Zacheus is up in a tree. Jesus clearly is always looking. He’s always sensitive to what’s around, who’s around, and how can I be led in order to reach this person? And so instantly this Grandma, and this grandson (I didn’t know that that was the relation at the time) they come walking in. And I’m telling you, it was so clear. The Holy Spirit said, “Those are the two.”
And so, you know, we always model this off in this process of sharing the gospel, love, listen, discern and respond. I was just in this moment, and in order for me to love them, I needed them to order, sit down, get relaxed, not just jump on them. That would be weird. And that’s why it gets so weird. And so I was just like, Okay, I’m going to just rest on this for a second. In this process, they got their order, and then they sit down. They don’t have their food and I just packed up my bag and I just went right up to them. And normally, I just asked them if there’s anything I could be praying for them. Before I get the words out, this young kid looks at me and he goes, “Hey, you’re Jude’s dad. Right?” And I’m thinking, Wait a minute, my kids in second grade at the local public elementary school and this kid looks at me and says you’re Jude’s dad? And I go, “Man I am.” Instantly I recognized who this kid was just by his name, once he said his name. Then right away, the grandma was totally disarmed. Not like, Hey, this is some weird stranger. My grandson now knows his son. They invited me and we sat down. We ended up having lunch together, and just talking about life.
What a lot of people maybe might not know, part of our ministry is that we help equip and train people to share the gospel. And we’re doing that all over the world. We’ve been invited to go into Uganda. We’ve been invited to go into Kenya and Tanzania, Liberia and Malawi, major African countries, and this little boy had a Uganda, a Kenya, and a Tanzania wristband. And I looked at him and I said, “Man, this is where I’ve been called to start sharing the gospel.” The grandmother just looked at me and she was blown away. In fact, her line was, “frickin foot.” I was like, “frickin foot?” and started laughing. Part of being led by the Spirit is like, don’t be awkward. Like, don’t be awkward to the point where like, what is going on?, like–just kill the awkwardness. I was like, “Did you just say, ‘frickin foot?’” And she goes, “Yeah.” She’s like, “You’re going to Uganda this month, and I’m going to be there the month before. We’re going to miss each other.” And like she saw–and I said, “Hey, look,” and I pulled out this little wristband. As part of our ministry, we just walk people through the gospel. We go through, you know, everybody sins, it leads to death, and the love of God through Christ. And when you have faith in Him, and when you confess who He is, you get life.
I walk them through this colorful wristband and a Bible. He read every verse out loud. Twenty, twenty-five minutes later, this young man comes to know Christ. He’s born again. And I said, “Do you know what it means to be born again? He goes, “Wait a minute, that’s kind of weird. Like, I’m going to get a whole new body?” And you know, the whole time I was thinking, What if I wouldn’t have listened to the Holy Spirit at the local church that said, “Go to McDonald’s.”? What if I would have literally just stayed in my comfort zone of, Nah maybe they’re going to come to me. I think when there’s a shift in the church, that believes the Spirit of God wants to direct us, not for our good, but for His glory, then we might do this more often. The grandma looked at me, she said, “You know, my sister’s been very, very sick, deathly sick in Uganda. Recently, she got healed.” And she said, “I’m going to call her immediately and tell her that God sent somebody to share the gospel with my grandson so that he could get born again.”
Nobody cares about my name. Nobody even knows. I think that’s the shift that needs to happen. That this is about His glory, His honor and His fame, and when you trust the Spirit of God, people’s lives could radically be changed. Who doesn’t want to see and taste this?
You want to know who was really blessed? My son, Jude. Because of my son Jude being a light in his school, his witness allowed me to share with this family. And it became a whole family event. I just left yesterday, so thankful that the Holy Spirit wants to speak to each one of us. And in that, I would just say, “Please, trust the voice.” And I’m going to tell you, you’re not going to always get it right. I don’t bat 100% listening to the Holy Spirit. But as long as it doesn’t contradict the Word of God, what you think you hear, try it. The worst case scenario is you fail. In man’s eyes, it doesn’t work. You get back up, and you try to hear from Him again.
I think all the time–I have four kids and what do I tell my kids? When I tell them the first time, do they always liste? No. If you guys have kids that always listen, Praise the Lord. I don’t. And I love my kids. But with time you know what happens? They do listen. And with time they hear my voice. With time they trust me enough that they’re going to listen. And I think that’s the art of listening. That’s the discipline of listening to the Spirit of God. You have to keep training yourself to listen. You’ve got to spend time in prayer. You’ve got to spend time–stop talking, and more listening. You walk into an environment..I am always walking into a place, “Lord. Holy Spirit? Who do You want me to talk to?” None of these are my thoughts. These are all people that have gone before us, seasoned veterans that have passed this down to me and my prayer is that this could be passed down to the church, so that we could see more people come to know the Lord. It’s hard, but it’s so rewarding and so fulfilling.
If anybody ever says walking with Jesus is boring, I would say, “try listening to the Holy Spirit. Your life will always be filled, always be filled with adventure.” It’s mind blowing to me that Jesus Himself said we will do greater things than Him. The only way that’s possible is through the Holy Spirit.