October 20, 2006

Thoughts about Biographies

As I am reading a biography about the greatest healing evangelist of the healing revival of the 1950’s, I am challenged to reject two popular positions that Christians hold today. The first, and by far the most common, is for us to think that the days of the Bible were unique and special and that we aren’t to expect the things we read about to happen today in our daily lives and ministries. The second position, which is common in some Charismatic circles is that we will see the Bible days revisited one day (at some point in the future) and even that the miracles in the Book of Acts will be exceeded before Christ returns. Both of these positions effectively leave us either romanticizing about the past, or dreaming about the future all the while leaving us expecting very little today.

Then I read about the move of God in the 1940’s and 50’s. The miracles and their frequency was on the same level as what we read in the Gospels and Acts in many meetings. There were meetings in which “all were healed” as was often the case in Jesus’ own ministry on the earth. The healing revival from the middle of the last century serves to destroy the position that views the ministry of Jesus and His Apostles as unique and unrepeatable. It also challenges those that relegate the majority of those miracles to a future end-time move of God.

I read these biographies and am called to account. Why not me? Or if such an individual anointing (as it rested on certain individuals in the Revival) is not advisable due to the almost unimaginable responsibility and demand that such an anointing places on a single person, why not us?

That is my vision. I agree with those who make the point that a corporate anointing (i.e. an anointing placed upon a group/ministry/church rather than on an individual) serves to safeguard against many of the problems that an individual having the anointing alone would face.

That being said, why can’t our little ministry team contend for and expect to grow in the anointing until we too see “everyone healed”? Individual healing evangelists in the 40’s and 50’s saw this happen in a number of different meetings.

Some will dismiss what I am saying by making the ever-so-common appeal to God’s Sovereignty – i.e. that was a special time, where God did a special thing. As spiritual as that sounds, it really seems to be a cop-out for many people to explain away their own current lack of power and unbelief.

With the Scriptures as our standard, and the healing revival (or other incredible moves of God) as our modern-day application, we must believe that God wants to do through us now what He has illustrated is what He always does when we are willing to believe Him – to really, truly believe that He is unchanging, no respecter of persons and that His Kingdom is ever increasing, ever being manifested, and that it is this very same Kingdom reality that we are called to demonstrate to a lost and dying world.

October 17, 2006

You Just Never Know!

Last night we were at a meeting where the Lord showed up. The next morning, the sore throat I've been fighting all week was all but gone. I know it's not a resurrection from the dead, but we must remember to "acknowledge Him in all our ways." I'm grateful for what the Lord did for me, but I'm also grateful for what He did through me.

About a month ago, we went to a meeting with some fellow believers from the sub-continent. At this meeting, I was able to pray for a girl whom the Lord had highlighted for prayer a few days prior. Among other things, she had a painful bone spur on the back of her right hand. I laid hands on it and prayed for the Lord to remove it. Nothing happened. . .then. At this meeting last night, she comes up to me and shows me her hand and there was no bone spur and no pain. You just never know when the healing comes; we have to be faithful to pray for it.

After the meeting, we headed out to the streets. In a little restaurant, we ran into some guys from Nepal. We asked them if they needed any healing. One man said that his right forearm had pain in it from time to time. So, we prayed for his arm and while we were praying, I felt the tendons moving underneath the skin all on their own, i.e., the man wasn't moving his hand at all. He looked as surprised as I felt. No matter how many times this happens where the Lord gives us a manifestation of the healing, it's still surprising and exhilirating. Later, after some prophetic words for his friends from DJ, we prayed for him to receive a dream from the Lord.

Wherever we go there are hurting people who need a touch from the Lord. We need to take seriously the truth "in Him we live and move and have our being." When we tap into the Flow, the Source, He will reveal so much-- especially when we learn to take every thought captive; not just because they are evil and need to be repented from, but because you just never know when those thoughts are from the Holy Spirit Who wants to release the Glory.

October 16, 2006

Our thoughts 'louder' than our words

Back in 1946 an Angel visited a young Kentuckian and gave him one of the most remarkable calls to the ministry that I've ever heard of - every bit as remarkable as Ezekiel's or Isaiah's. Because the man's life ended poorly, many will discount the true calling on his life and the remarkable gifting that this man possessed. I was somewhat familiar with the story of him being visited by an Angel (it is often recounted in charismatic circles). What struck me however was one of the last things the Angel told the man - he said to tell people that "their thoughts are LOUDER than their words in heaven". Immediately conviction struck me. Hopefully we are learning to control our tongues - we don't say outwardly the things we think and feel. I am often convicted of the things that my wife and I discuss when we are talking to each other about other people. But 'my thoughts'?

May we ponder this - our thoughts are louder than our words when it comes to heaven's economy and the culture of the Kingdom. What what happen if we really believed this and lived accordingly?