October 19, 2007

Divine Appointment for Egyptian Muslim and his mother

Last week I had approached a man on crutches offering to help solve his knee problem. Tonight while in another part of the city, I see a guy on crutches and approach him to offer the Kingdom (because God is so outrageously good). It turns out it is the SAME GUY and so we arrange to meet later that night.

He told me where the building he lived in was, but there were 4 buildings and I didn't know which one. I knew what company he worked for, and so a man directed me to the building where employees from that particular company were being housed. I then approached a man in the parking structure if he knew this particular guy - he did, because it was his friend. (This was a 12 story apartment building). God was working things out - He always does.

Two of us met with this man and some other relatives of his, including his wife. They had lots of questions and we got to explain clearly the Christian concept of healing, and speak about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. While sitting there, I get a word of knowledge in my left shoulder. I asked him and the others if anybody had a problem there. No one did. He then asks, "does the person have to be in the room"? I said, "No". He then told me that he thought his mother in the next room might have that problem. He checked and sure enough, she had pain at that moment in her shoulder. I asked if she would be willing to come and have us lay hands on her - he said, "No way". She was the most devout Muslim in the family, and understandably she may very well have not wanted Christians to pray for her. I explained again that God hadn't given the word of knowledge for no reason and to check anyway. A few minutes later out walks the veiled mother willing to have us pray!!

I explained quickly what I was going to do and then she agreed to let me lay hands on her for prayer. I prayed and immediately I could feel a strong sense of God's presence. She could feel it too and it lasted well after we were done praying. I explained to her that when the tingling sensation she was feeling subsided that the pain would be gone. Since it was still happening when we left, we weren't able to get the final report from her, but the pain was less than when we arrived. I am expecting a pain-free shoulder when he calls me tomorrow.

After that we got to minister for an extended time to the man with the knee condition. There were several times during prayer where he could feel the presence of God. We didn't see any noticable difference in the knee before we left, but I am expecting him to call me tomorrow with a testimony of change because when I look at the entire set up of how we met twice, how I found his apartment and what happened with his mother - it was all clearly a divine appointment. God doesn't do all that and then we don't see the miracle.

From there we headed to another Muslim home to pray for another injury. Loving people, releasing the Kingdom and watching God do the work. That seems to be a pretty good definition of Christian ministry. Sure was a fun night!

October 18, 2007

I'll Have a Little Kingdom With That

My wife and I were on a lovely date and we stopped by Starbucks. While ordering, I struck up a conversation with the cashier and it turns out he was from Nepal. I turned away for a minute while he was preparing the order and two thoughts hit me almost simultaeously: 1) I should ask the Lord for a word for him and on the heels of the first thought, 2) his older brother lives and works in our city. So, I asked him about his brother, "Does your brother work here?" "Yes." Is he your older brother? "Yes, he is my elder brother. How do you know my brother? How did you know?" I told him that God told me and then I asked about his back because I thought I had a word for it as well. Turned out that there was nothing wrong with his back. A few minutes later, he was cleaning up and came by our table to ask if I was a doctor. I told him no, but my wife and I were able to tell him that God loved him and was watching him and that's why He told me about his brother. He looked really rocked and touched. As we were leaving, the other barista called me over and asked if I was a Christian because the Nepali guy had just told him all the things that had just happened. As it turns out, the other barista was a Christian also. Boy, does God have this Nepali's number!

There is a place beyond gritting your teeth and being obedient, though there are times for that, too. But there remains a rest for the people of God. Strive to enter that rest. Guess what I was doing three minutes before the Lord gave me the word about the brother?

Nothing.

October 17, 2007

God's Love Never Takes a Vacation

A few weeks ago, DJ and I picked up hitchhiker and we were able to minister to him. I only wanted to add that I had received a prophetic word about him being a survivor and it turned out that he was, indeed, a survivor of a poverty that had killed many in his family. It's a great encouragement when someone confirms the word.

This past week, my family and I went on vacation to Sri Lanka. The first day there, I was so tired from the flight, I didn't have my Kingdom mind on. The next few days, however, proved otherwise. I started asking the Lord what He wanted to say to the people who were on the beach selling their wares. Now, for most tourists, these people (some beggars) become a real hassle and detraction from their vacations. However, the Lord has been dealing with me in this area of judging others based on appearance, socieconomic level, etc. So, I set my mind to see them as real people for whom Christ died. After doing this and by not judging, I would beat them to the punch to start a conversation and this kind of rattled some of them since they were used to trying to get Westerners' attention. One guy told me that his business wasn't doing so well. I prayed for a blessing on him and declared that he would sell more of this stuff than he had ever done before. Now, some might fault me for not buying anything from him, but I think the longterm favor of God on his business would do more for him than me buying one piece.

There was another guy for whom I got a word for a shoulder. He let me pray for it, though I'm not sure how much we actually communicated.

Another guy, Pilak, had no left leg and was begging on the beach. I prayed that his leg would grow back out and that he'd be able to live normally. I didn't see the breakthrough then, but we all have to start somewhere.

A waiter reminded me of a singer, so I told him that he was a singer and he looked slightly surprised. I encouraged him to keep doing it. Again, not sure how much he actually understood me.

Now, back from vacation, I took my kids to the doughnut store and spoke with a man there and as we were eating, I got the word that he was an avid reader. I told him that I would bring him a Bible to read and he seemed exicited.

On the way from the grocery store, I was packing my car and the man who had washed it was still hanging around the same area. When I saw that he didn't look too busy, I started asking the Lord for words and my left elbow started hurting. We communicated the best we knew how, and it turned out that his elbow was hurting. After I prayed, I had him check and he looked mildly surprised that it wasn't hurting-- or that's how I interpreted his reaction.

Now, I've mentioned several different times throughout this post that I'm not sure if the people I prayed for actually understood me-- such is the cross-cultural life. However, releasing the Kingdom is not dependent on one paticular language.

Moreover, as I reflected about what more I could have done for the poor people, it hit me that there's not one recorded instance where Jesus gave money to the poor. There are only a couple of cases he gave them food. No, He preached to them and healed them without medicine and without charge.

There is a place we arrive at where it's us looking to make a difference and then there's another place where we realize He wants the same thing.

Live Kingdom Now.