September 22, 2006

God on the Soccer Field

Last night I was playing soccer with 20 Arab Muslim men. About 5 minutes into the game, one of the players seriously hurt his ankle and was carried off the field. They put some ice on his foot/ankle and we finished the 1st half.

I knew that God had me there on assignment. I went up, sat down next to the man and asked him to tell me where the pain was. After showing me, I took off the ice pack and put my hand on his ankle and began to ask the Holy Spirit to come and bring the Kingdom.

I prayed for a minute or so and then asked him, "How is it"? He checked it out told me that the pain was definitely less. I continued to pray. I felt the presence of the Lord and told him that something was happening right at that time.

After praying a second time, he was a bit surprised. He wondered what I had done. I hadn't asked him; I just sat down, took off the ice pack and put my hand on his foot.

He wasn't 100%, but he got up and began to walk around. I came up next to him and told him that God had done a work of healing in his ankle and to receive the complete healing "by faith".

I played the worst soccer match I can ever remember playing - but my purpose last night was obviously a different one.

September 19, 2006

What Means These Stones?

After crossing a river, a certain group of people were commanded to go back to the middle of the river and collect some stones to build a monument so when their children asked, "What means these stones?" (KJV), they would have the opportunity to testify about what God had done for them to the next generation. The "stone-layer" generation had a definite point of reference-- a definite encounter with the Holy-- that they could recount. There was content and memory in the answer to the question: "What means these stones?"

In the third chapter of Galatians, Paul writes, "This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?" Later in the same chapter, he writes again, "Therefore, He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the Law or by the hearing of faith?" Acoording to Paul, the "stones from the river" for the Galatia church were 1) encounters with God through the presence of the Spirit and 2) the miracles done among them through those encounters. Note well that Paul's litmus test for the church of Galatia was an experiential encounter with the living God; otherwise, his entire argument is incoherent. To extrapolate this out further, think of the answer to his questions. He obviously means for his audience to answer, "Well, it was by the hearing of faith." What was by the hearing of faith? The reception of the Holy Spirit and the working of miracles. Could one really walk away from receiving the Holy Spirit and seeing miracles and not have it, "encroach upon" one's life in a memorable fashion? Paul doesn't refer the Galatian church back to some arcane teaching or style of worship or some program he left to help them answer the Judiazers in the church, "This ONLY I want to learn from you. . ." He refers them back to a corporate encounter with the Living God. What means these stones?

Last night I had the honor of Kingdomizing a neighbor with DJ. Not only was his leg and hip healed, I received some other words for him as well. I told him that he was a fruitful person and his words were fruit, i.e., encouragement and comfort to other people. I also told him that God had a secure/secret place in Himself that He was calling him into. We also quoted Matt. 7:7 to him and encouraged him to keep asking, knocking, and seeking. Finally, we just laid hands on him again and prayed into all these things the Lord had given us. As he was standing and receiving prayer, the Spirit came upon him and, later, he said he could feel something all over his head, shoulders, and chest. As we walked away last night, he thanked us profusely. Mohmd. now has his reference point for the presence of God. He has his stone monument of healing and encounter. The most beautiful part of the whole story, like the ones in the Old Testament and in Galatia, is its gratuity. The Father simply loves people and this is what He does because it is Who He is.

Was it by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Lest we forget, we blog.

What means these posts?

SYRIAN MUSLIM HEALED

A couple of nights ago in an Arab restaurant, the Lord spoke to me through a word of knowledge that our waiter’s had a problem in his left knee, a Syrian Muslim named Muhammad. When I asked about it, he explained that he had suffered a condition in his entire left leg since he was young – I found out later he had an unstable knee/leg and a flat foot. He limped slightly.

I tried to explain to this young Muslim man how the Lord revealed to me that he needed healing in his leg and that I was confident God was going to do something special if he allowed us to pray. God doesn’t give us words of knowledge unless He intends to do something.

I also had to explain clearly that he didn’t have to pay any money. I needed to make that clear because in his religion there are also so-called ‘healers’. Interestingly, most (if not every) Islamic healers demand some ridiculous sum of money to pray for their ‘client’s’ healing and/or to try and deliver them from demons. I explained to him that as Christians, “freely we have received, freely we give”.

He explained that every night he got off work at midnight. I told him that was no problem and to call me (I gave him my card) when he wanted the prayer for healing. He was quite nervous about the invitation – he even said, “I’ve just moved here and I am a bit scared”. To be honest, a western man from another religion had just approached him with a word from the Lord claiming that God wanted to heal him and was trying to arrange a time for him to meet with a complete stranger. What would you do?

The next morning when I woke up, their was a long text message on my mobile phone explaining that he wanted me to come whenever it was convenient to pray. I told him I would be there that night (last night).

I took a friend with me, “Isaac of Nineveh”, and we drove back to his accommodation. We shared some testimonies of healing with him, and gave him a quick understanding of Kingdom theology and the substance of the part of the Lord’s prayer, “thy will be done, on earth (i.e. in Muhammad’s leg) as it is in heaven”. Isaac also had some prophetic words for him, which he gave. He also said that the Lord would deliver Muh’d from his addiction to smoking if he wanted.

We began to pray for him and the Spirit of the Lord began to come immediately and minister to his leg. Through words of knowledge, the Lord gave me indications of where He was working in the leg. Muh’d told me he felt tingling in his knee area. We prayed for about 10 minutes or so and then asked him to get up and “check it out”.

As he began to walk, he was visibly surprised as he noticed a marked difference in the stability in the leg when he walked. He did some things he couldn’t do before. The Lord had done a powerful thing in his “bum leg” and he was able to walk normally. The degree of healing was evident in his reaction – he was clearly shocked at what had happened.

We don’t know at this point if the leg is completely healed from all that was wrong with it – we told him to check it out over the course of the next few days and to call us with the report. Even as we were leaving, the Lord was continuing a healing work in his leg.

First there was the healing (DEMONSTRATION) showing Muhammad God's love, and before we left, I was able to share (PROCLAMATION) with our new Syrian friend about this unconditional love (a totally foreign concept in Islam) that the Father has for him. May the 'tractor beam' of God's love, capture this man and bring him soon into His Kingdom.

Other stuff also happened, but I’ll leave that for Isaac to write about.