January 04, 2008

God knows exactly what we need & when we need it

while reading something lately about who we are 'in Christ', I had the distinct impression that I was suppossed to copy that page and send it to a young Arab woman who recently left Islam to follow Jesus. I was able to email her the passage as it has been nearly impossible for us to meet with her of recent.

What she told me in the wake of the email was so encouraging. It had been just about a year since she had surrendered to Christ and she hadn't had any suicidal thoughts since her conversion (she had had some before she met Jesus). She was actually thinking about the very issue of whether she had really been changed since becoming a Christian and on that very day, I was prompted to send her a detailed list of verses that answered the exact question she was pondering.

A coincidence? Not in the Kingdom - there aren't any!

if only we had stuck with demonstration....

while sitting with Isaac and Ravished at a restaurant, I asked the Lord for a word for two Egyptian muslim men who were sitting next to us. While looking at one of the men, the Lord gave me word of knowledge for a problem in his nose or sinuses. As I asked for more clarity, the impression that it was a 'deviated septum' came to me. This was the first time I have ever gotten this word.

I sat down to see what if the word was accurate, and to my shock the man had a deviated septum. I explained to him that God wanted to heal it. I got another word for him about a shoulder problem, which he also had. It was at this point that I decided to go after the shoulder first to increase faith and then we'd pray for the deviated septum (something I have never seen healed).

Isaac and Ravished joined us and Isaac began to give prophetic words the Lord was giving him for these men (which I trust he'll blog about).

To make a long story short, we never got to pray for the deviated septum. I prayed for his shoulder a couple of times and didn't see improvement. My faith building exercise didn't work out the way I had wanted.

Next we moved to a coffee shop and continued talking, but sadly the conversation shifted more towards a debate about the differences between Islam and Christianity. The whole thing didn't end very well.

I didn't follow the dicate we value - demonstrate the Kingdom 1st and Talk 2nd. "The Kingdom of God is NOT a matter of words but of power". I am praying we'll get a second chance with these guys - we'll go after the deviated septum. If it isn't healed, we won't speak any further. If it is, then we'll preach away!!!

the awkward silence before someone responds

Last night while getting my computer fixed, I wandered into an office of Indian Muslim men. I wanted to know if the Lord would give me any revelation for them. I then got a word of knowledge for a pain in a certain part of the back. I also got several other words. At this point, Ravished had joined me and we proceeded to ask if they had any of the conditions we felt the Lord wanted to touch. The room was silent. There was that awkward delay when you give a word of knowledge and no one is coming forward. I knew the word I had gotten was clear so I just kept pressing. Another word I had given was for a problem in the left knee, but as I continued to wait for more insight, I sensed it was actually eczema on around the knee. The silence continued, and I kept asking these 4 men. FINALLY one of them said that he had the back problem. I laid my hands on his back and after the first time of prayer it was over 50% better. After praying again, it was about 80% healed. This gave us an opportunity to then speak of God's Kingdom. Demonstration 1st, Speak 2nd!

Ultimately another felt a word I had gotten about a problem in the left ear was for his son. A door was opened and these men want us now to come and minister to some of their friends who need healing.

When we ask God to speak on behalf of others (especially non-believers) we are always required to take the risk (which is exercising faith) to see if we have heard accurately. The more we do it, the better we get at discerning the Lord's voice. In this case, I was so sure that God had spoken that I just waited and kept asking. At the end, one of them took the risk to respond to the word and receive prayer. What about the other words that no one claimed? I can't know for sure unless I have further contact with these men, but I know that one or two of the other words of knowledge were for men in that room but they weren't willing to speak up.

We have got to be willing to look foolish - I can't tell you how many times I've given a word in a church setting and NO ONE responds. It looks pretty bad. However, every time someone comes up afterwards and says, "that word was for me but I was nervous to stand up...".

January 03, 2008

Healed Knees

Sojourner's nephew (JC) and his wife (L) joined us for some of our Christmas celebrations. One evening JC was looking for an ice-pack, complaining of pain in his left knee that had been there for 3 weeks. After a bit of discussion about this, he just said, "Why don't you just pray for my knee?" (great question!!!) So, I said I would LOVE to pray for him. He experienced instant relief from the pain. When I asked him how his knee was the next morning, he said "What knee?!" The knee remained pain free for several days, but on the morning that he was to leave the pain returned. In the airport Sojourner put his hands on his knee and prayed again. He felt a popping in the knee and the knee has remained pain-free since.

Several days later we had the opportunity to pray for another woman whose knees were giving her problems. She also experienced relief from pain!

We are thrilled to see God's kingdom being expressed here in North America as well!!!

Seeing the Kingdom Come is Always Awesome

(this entry is a little late as the events occurred mid-December...) Just before Christmas vacation I had the amazing privilege of praying for a lady I had just recently met for the first time. Even more amazing was the fact that one of my non-Christian friends told her that we pray for the sick, and that was enough for her to ask me to pray for her. She is from a Catholic background, so I spent some time sharing with her Jesus' desire to heal and make people whole. Then I prayed for her. She experienced instant pain relief from a pain in her side, said she experienced some relief in her breathing (she has suffered from asthma) and I prayed with her about her kidneys -- which were not filtering properly.

M and her daughter, E, then invited me to join them for lunch. While at the restaurant, M returned from the washroom and said, "I just have to tell you -- I had no foaming (in her urine) when I went to the washroom!" She was very excited, and so was I!

The following day I dropped off some goods for a couple of Filipino friends, and they both said that they wanted me to pray for them before I left. I was happy to do so, and when I went to take the first young lady's hands -- trying to be discreet as we were in front of a supermarket -- she moved my one hand to her head and said that was how I was to pray for her! Well!!! Almost instantly an intense heat began to pour off of my hand (and my hand was not actually touching her head, only her hair) onto her. She felt the heat as well, and I felt anointed as I prayed for her! Words came with great ease and accuracy. God is so amazing! What an adventure when we partner with HIM!!!

December 30, 2007

Living Water Flows

Ok, so I was one of the guys who was out with Isaac that night that nothing happened. After several dead ends, we were so desperate that at 11 PM we decided to head out into the desert and find some Arabs in tents. The desert is literally littered with tents this time of year—it is common for Arab men to spend their evenings with their friends out in the desert, so we were just going to crash in on one uninvited. I kinda decided that we’d drive twenty minutes out into the desert and then turn off the highway and stop at the first place we find. The only thing is that apparently we found the only stretch of the desert were there were no tents what-so-ever. We headed straight for the only visible lights of any kind assuming that it was a camp. It turned out to be the office for a landfill. There were some Asian expats working there and a steady stream of Arab drivers dumping loads of rock and dirt. As Isaac mentioned in his post we (he) gave out several wrong words and basically the whole adventure was turning up nothing. We did visit with these guys for a while but none of us speak any Nepalese or Tagalog so the conversation was rather limited. We were able to talk with one Syrian driver for a bit who bore a striking resemblance to Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame. From here on this guy will be known simply as Sacha. Sacha lived in town and asked for my cell phone number which I gave him. It was hard to put a positive spin on the evening’s events as we were making the drive back to the city. I could at least chalk up some good language time, but that didn’t really justify the trip.

Well, who should call me on the day after Christmas but Sacha. We agreed to get together for coffee today at a coffee shop near my house. I gave Isaac a ring to see if he was interested. He was game and asked, “So are we just going to ask this guy why he wants to become a Christian?” So, the bar was set.

So tonight we meet at the coffee shop. And while Sacha and I are making small talk, Isaac is getting a download from Jesus. So we try out the words on Sacha. After like a dozen spot on words, I say to myself, “Batter up!” See, in the Glory I have this gift of Apostolic preaching, so it was time to bring it on. So, I asked Sacha if he understood why Isaac knew all these things about him. And he said, “Yes, it is a great gift from God.” I said, “Right!” And I told him that God was drawing him to Himself. That he loved him and that he wanted to bless his life. I explained that all the prophets were dead—all of them except Jesus. That Jesus had a job while he was on this earth and that right now he was alive and still at work. His work was to give life and give it abundantly. I explained that if he wanted to experience this life it was available. We have this commission and authority to overturn the works of the devil and release the Kingdom of God. If he was willing he could experience that right now. He was willing to receive prayer—he had a number of afflictions from difficulty sleeping to disturbing dreams to frequent headaches. Isaac prayed first in English and then I prayed in Arabic. We prayed for God’s peace to come on him and for him to experience freedom and God’s blessings. We prayed that he’d sleep well and without troubling dreams. The whole while we were praying, he was kinda fiddling with the paper wrapper from a drinking straw. I’m thinking to myself, “This guy’s getting nothing. His jacket is too thick—nothing’s getting through.” He was wearing one of those downy winter coats and we were laying our hands on his arms.

So, afterwards, I ask, “Did you feel anything?” And he says, “Yeah, just as soon as that guy (Isaac) placed his hand on me, this lightness kinda bubbled up from my feet to my head. And my head cleared up.” I’m thinking, “That’s great, but what about when I prayed?” He went on, “When you placed your hand on me it was like water was trickling into me from your hand up my arm and into my chest.” Isaac and I are like good thing we asked ‘cuz we’d have never known from looking at you.

I explained that we Christians have the Spirit of God living in us and that he springs up from our lives and flows out of our lives like a river and that was what he felt. Sacha happily received a New Testament in Arabic and we are looking forward to an update from him on how well he sleeps tonight.

Kingdom comes amongst the poor and needy

One of the greatest parts about this Christmas was the opportunity we had on two occasions to distribute food to the poor as a family. So much is working against us at Christmas time to obscure the ‘reason for the season’ (i.e. that God GAVE us the gift of His Son). Giving to the poor is a violent act of Kingdom expansion. Each time we went, we expected God to manifest His Kingdom in some kind of miraculous way and we were not disappointed.

A few days ago, a woman came to the food warehouse where we would distribute the food and clothing. She was so happy with all that she had received – the donations to the warehouse had been particularly generous that week. However, as she was about to leave the Lord gave me a word of knowledge about a problem in her left shoulder. She had that problem and it was painful at that very moment. We asked to pray, lay hands upon her and the King gave her one more gift for Christmas – a healed shoulder. All the pain was gone.

I learned so much just watching the faces of those who came in need. There is a brokenness and willingness to receive that makes all the difference.