November 18, 2006

How can I be pleasing to God?

Last night in a discussion with an Egyptian Muslim man, I asked him if he needed a miracle in his life. He said, "everyone needs a miracle". I asked him to be more specific. He didn't need any healing in his body, but then asked, "How can I be pleasing to God"? He wanted me to pray for him about this. I told him that I knew the answer to his question.

I quoted Galatians 2:16 - "...a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus". This of course is exactly the opposite of what Islam teaches. Every Muslim believes it is by their good works, their works of the law, that they can be justified.

Since my new friend had never heard anybody completely contradict/deny everything he had ever been taught about how one can become pleasing to God and enter heaven, I needed to illustrate what I had just said.

I explained to him that in Christianity, we are made acceptable to God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life and we are given a ticket to heaven (so to speak). We cease being slaves and become sons and daughters who will inherit the Kingdom.

Only if our eternal salvation is something settled beforehand can we ever serve and obey God with pure motives. If my salvation is always in question, then my motives will always be mixed. I won't be able to serve God out of love and gratitude, because I will always be trying to earn his favor. As a Muslim I explained, your motives will always be selfish in doing good works. As a Christian, since I've already been given everything freely, it becomes possible to obey God out of love and pure motives.

I asked him, "if you had a faithful slave who served him flawlessly and obeyed him perfectly and a son who was disobedient, who would get the inheritance after you died"? He replied, "The son of course". I explained to him that only the sons and daughters will be able to enter God's eternal Kingdom.

The concept that our eternal destinies can be settled, secure and for certain is a completely foreign one in the mind of Muslims. Pray for this man who had his question answered - will he now choose to be made acceptable and pleasing to God?

November 17, 2006

The Art of Healing

A little over a week ago, I had the joy of ministering healing to several different people. One man had a pain in his hands from a skin condition and after receiving prayer, said he was better. Another man asked for prayer for his back. Again, after prayer, he was 100%. He also asked for some prayer for his family which I did gladly. His wife then came up and I was able to bless them both. After the service, as I was headed to the car, this same man chased me down to say, "thank you." Praise God. Another man had some stomach problems that disappeared after prayer as well. Still yet another young man experienced a greater degree of freedom in his emotional life as a result of prayer. Lastly, a man came with a heart full of repentance and received a huge download of grace, i.e., the power to overcome the next temptation not the license to do it again. I left the fellowship that day feeling a quiet joy and a sense of wonder over how people got healed by my prayers. Until you've experienced it, you can't really explain it. It really is an art, this learning to dance with God.

November 15, 2006

Physical Healings and Broken Addictions

Last Friday, a group of us ministered in a Church service where we saw many people healed, prophetic words given and addictions broken in the lives of those present.

Since there were about 10 of us praying for people during the ministry time at the end of the service, it was hard to know exactly what God was doing, so at one point I just asked everyone to raise their hands if they had experienced a healing or some other kind of miracle. About 15 people raised their hands out of about 75 people.

I personally saw several healings in the people I was praying for. One man, who was responding to a word of knowledge given (we gave a number of words at the beginning of the service), was completely healed of two conditions he had. When I asked him if he wanted to testify to what God had done, he couldn't as he was crying because of God's goodness towards him. I was really touched.

Another man was testifying that he was about 60% healed when I joined some others who were praying for him. I told him that 60% on a test is a "D" and that God doesn't get D's. I began praying and just started out by asking for 80% (not that it was my goal!). After we prayed again, he said he was 80% healed. We then went for the A+ and after praying a 3rd time, he was completely healed. This should remind us not to give up but to pray multiple times if needed. I found out after we prayed that an area of unforgiveness in this man's live was prayed through beforehand which really opened the door for him to receive healing.

At lunch after the meeting, we sat around talking about all the things God did during the service (one of our favorite past times). I heard about many of the other miracles of healing that the Lord had done. One woman had small tumors/cysts in each of her breasts. After one of our team members prayed for her, she went to the bathroom to "check it out" and see if there was any difference - when she came back, she testified that the tumors/cysts were gone.

God does so many things when He brings His Kingdom and one of the things we saw also was people confessing and being set free from their addictions - mostly sexual ones this past week. Just to see people have an encounter with God wherein they are able to confess, repent and receive a powerful touch from the Lord is amazing. Obviously some of those testimonies will need time to really show that people have been able to walk in freedom - but the initial encounters are powerful nonetheless.