March 22, 2008

"if you aren't healed, then don't believe what we have been saying"

In John 10, Jesus hinged his entire message on the miracles He was performing. He even gave those listening to Him the freedom to disbelieve if He did not do "the works of the Father" (Jn. 10:37).

For most of my Christian life, I would have never thought this chapter had anything to do with me. In fact, the Bible I read entitles this section of John as "Jesus Asserts His Deity". In other words, there is no application for me/us personally.

However, I am firmly convinced today that since Jesus sent us "as the Father sent Him", we are fully expected to read passages like John 10:37 and apply them to our lives. Jesus DID NOT do His miracles as God. Although fully God, He laid that aside during His life (Phil. 2:6-8) and living as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit.

This past week, Ravished, Tenacious B and I were out ministering to some Syrian Muslim men. From the moment we sat down, they were expecting us to demonstrate the miraculous. We had ministered healing and prophetically before to one of the men, and so when we came he expected us to begin ministering supernaturally to a colleague of his. Talk about pressure! Definitely a challenge to be prepared "in season and out of season".

We gave him some prophetic words, but he wasn't very convinced. To be honest, he said to me bluntly that the prophetic stuff Ravished and I gave him had little meaning and/or benefit to him. You've got to love the honesty! Keeps us humble.

He also had an eye problem. He had very little sight in one of his eyes. We shared some testimonies and prayed for him - both Ravished and I. We saw no change at that time. More humility lessons! I had also told him that when we prayed for people they would feel God's presence and power. You guessed it - he said he personally felt nothing!

At one point, I got a word of knowledge for the other guy who had a headache. Ravished laid hands on him and he was healed. There was some Kingdom demonstration. Finally!

What followed was about an hour a rather passionate discussion about Christianity and Islam. Tenacious B and I were using every bit of the depth of our Arabic to explain the Gospel to these men. In the end, we were also able to give one of them an Arabic New Testament.

I told him that we had spoken of many things and had absolutely declared that apart from Jesus' death and resurrection and believing in His Deity no one, no muslim would enter heaven. Heavy stuff, but truth almost always is. I felt led again at the end to pray one last time for the eye as was reminded of John 10 again, but this time hinging our message on his healing. I told him that "IF YOU AREN'T HEALED, THEN DON'T BELIEVE WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SAYING".

Should I have said that? Jesus would have!

March 21, 2008

Three Year Old Releases the Kingdom in Restaurant!

Last night, my family and I were in a restaurant and we noticed that the female manager was limping. I asked about her condition and she told us it was from arthritis. It was a good time right then, but after dinner as we were paying, my wife asked if it would be ok for us to pray for her. She agreed and with kids in tow, we started praying for her. We didn't pray long, and at the end of our prayers, my wife asked my oldest son (3) to come pray for the lady. He walked up and said, "Shooba." The lady then stood up, smiled a little and said that it was feeling better. We asked her if we needed to pray some more, and she insisted it was better, but her face was giving us mixed messages. Over the next few minutes, however, she started testing her knees some more and her face got brighter and her smile got bigger until it was registering that "something really happened to me" look. She was even running around the restaurant and jumping up and down.

Now, I'm not sure if the Lord released the healing at my prayer or at my wife's, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was that little voice saying "shooba" that brought Heaven down.

March 18, 2008

On the Road

While DJ and I were traveling, we were able to minister to a few people as we were out and about. At one place, we were talking to a lady who I got some specific words for. I felt like she was good with kids and that she had had a hard time in school because it was difficult for her pay attention. As we were ministering to her, another lady came and I saw a picture of a horse for her. She said that as a kid she used to go to her grandfather's who had horses. I also got a word for her left knee that she confirmed was on as well. After a few hours, we were leaving and got into a conversation with a guy from North Africa. I felt like there was someone who had betrayed him within the past two weeks. He thought for a second and nodded his head. I told him that God had shown this to me, but he was certain I knew it "from his eyes." I laughed a little and told him that was impossible.

At another time, I felt like this one guy was good with his hands-- turns out he was a magician. I guess that one was on.

I also got to meet with some of my old friends and impart some of what I received through the laying on of hands. A wise person once told me, "If you want to increase in what you've got, give it away."

March 17, 2008

lebanese muslim woman affected by demons

while sitting in a coffee shop, I noticed an Arab couple and the Lord spoke to me through a word of knowledge about a choking condition. I approached the couple and asked if either of them had pain or a problem in their throat or necks. Neither did. At that point, I remembered that often a choking word indicates a demonic problem and I felt the word was for the woman.

I asked if she ever awoke in the night with the sensation that she was being choked. Her eyes opened wide - "yes, I do", she said. I explained to her that I felt the problem was actually caused from a demonic source but that my wife could help you. She eagerly took Desert Princess' phone number. We are awaiting her call so that she can be set free.

March 16, 2008

the agony of defeat, AND the thrill of victory (note: I rename it below)

Randy Clark has a classic message - "The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat" (which came from the old ABC "Wide World of Sports" where he talks about the realities of supernatural ministry - namely the successes and the defeats. I entitled this blog post as such (reversing the order in the title) because it seemed that the defeats this past weekend outnumbered the victories.

Isaac of Ninevah and I were traveling again, and overall I felt like my attempts to minister to people in public didn't go that well. I "missed" alot of words for people - i.e. "Do you have pain in your _______"? "No, why?" seemed to be the common response!

However, whereas I need to be honest about the discouragement, the fact is that God gave us a couple of powerful encounters with people. So, enough about the defeats, here were the victories:

On our first night, I approached a Gulf Arab family after getting a word of knowledge about a problem in the arm below the elbow. I asked and explained that God wanted to heal. They initially said "no" and I proceeded to the food court to pick up some food. On my way back, they called me over to their table and told me that their father in fact had a problem in his arm in that very same spot. I gave them my card and told them that I was willing to meet with him and that God would heal him. They haven't called yet.

The next day at a gas station, I got a word of knowledge for another arm problem - I asked two guys initially but it wasn't for them. While I was paying, I the Lord highlighted another Gulf Arab man to me (oftentimes the person that the Lord "highlights" in some way is the person who the word is for). I asked him if he had that problem - he did. I told him that I would meet him outside. A minute later, he came and I explained that I was a Christian and that God wanted to heal his arm. He let me pray and the power of God came - I felt strong tingling coming through my hand. When I asked him if he felt that, he said yes. I told him that the Lord was healing his arm. I gave him my card and told him to contact me if he had any more questions. Hasn't called back yet, but I know he will!

Finally, in a large shopping mall while waiting for a friend to arrive, Isaac and I began to minister prophetically to several different people. I know he will be blogging about that, so I won't share his stories. Something happened however that was really powerful. We were ministering prophetically to a woman from the Ukraine (an Orthodox Christian). The Lord showed me that she had a gift and a calling to work with children. The Lord also was showing Isaac things about her life. She was now intently listening as these things were accurate and meaningful to her. During our time with her, the Lord gave me a word of knowledge about a heart condition. I didn't sense it was for her, but asked who close to her had a heart condition. It was her father. As I began telling her that the Lord wanted to heal him, she just began to cry. It was so precious. I was just so touched how the Lord's voice and his gifts are such powerful tools, as Jack Deere teaches, "to express God's love". We basically gave her a quick training on how she could pray for him over the phone. We were able to connect her to a local Church in that city.

At that same time, a co-worker of this woman from Syria came up - she was muslim. The Lord began revealing to us things about her life as well. He showed me that she was living in a totally different way than she wanted to be living - she confirmed that. I told her that she was going to need to make some new friends - she agreed. God had her attention. We scheduled a ministry time to pray for her later - but unfortunately she had to leave before we came back. She has our contact info as well as her Ukrainian co-worker to direct her to Jesus.

In hindsight, I realize the victories were actually more than I remembered. The fact is that my attempts on the the last day of our trip didn't go well - but the attempts on the first two days actually went really well. Interesting how the enemy gets us to focus on the failures and forget the things God has done.

Renamed blogpost: The thrill of victorIES OVERIDE the agony of a few defeats"