September 06, 2013

when the Spirit falls and the Kingdom comes...(and now what???)

Having just spoken with the Professor who teaches at the University, it is so encouraging to hear that things are continuing.  I heard that the soccer players that were healed are now back on the soccer field.  I heard that during the next two lectures others were healed - another soccer player after praying several times had his knee healed!

They have started a blog now where students are/will be posting their testimonies - - check it out and be sure to leave comments to encourage them.

A couple of things that have come up that are important for them (and for us) to consider:

1. It is ALWAYS God's will to heal.  There is so much bad/poor theology out there that isn't rooted in what the Scriptures teach, but rather are rooted in people's experience.  This is also related to unbalanced concepts/ideas about God's sovereignty.

I could list dozens of NT Scriptures here to illustrate why I believe the statement I have just made, but Jesus reveals the Father.  If you consider the number of times that the Gospels record, "and Jesus healed them all", we should seriously reconsider why our own lives look so different than His life.  At the very end of the Book of Acts, far from Paul's healing gift somehow diminishing (as some have erroneously taught), EVERYONE on the Island of Malta was healed (Acts 28:9 - "and the REST OF THE SICK ON THE ISLAND came and were cured").

2. Faith is A FACTOR, but not the only factor.  There was an incredible amount of faith on the Friday that the Holy Spirit fell at the University.  The faith rose up through several means.  One of them was that a message was brought with a challenge that "if we don't do the works that Jesus did, don't believe our message".  And then, words of knowledge were given.  Beyond that, once people started to be healed, even more faith, corporate faith, was being released and faith ALWAYS attracts heaven.  It is one of the currencies of the Kingdom.

Why did I say it is "a factor"?  Because, sadly there are those who have taught extreme notions of faith making it somehow the only factor and even blaming people who aren't healed for the "lack of faith".  I'm going to be completely honest - when it came to the young man who was stuttering, I really had no faith for that to be healed.  We had seen so many healed before that, and so my faith level was up and surely the students' faith was high in wake of the healings and the powerful encounters people were having with the Lord.  But, I had never seen stuttering healed before and one of the reasons I ended up praying a second time for the young man who had been a lifelong stutterer was because I was struggling.  Can we be honest here?  It doesn't help when we aren't brutally honest.  Even when I asked him as he was having a powerful encounter with God to "go away and continue to let God minister to you", I was stalling.  I was still not in a place of faith - I wasn't in a place of faith to ask him, "So, what has happened?"  And yet, in spite of my clear lack of faith, God healed the young man.  All this to say, the core basis for healing is GOD's LOVE.  Check it out - see how many times it says that "Jesus was moved BY COMPASSION and healed the sick".  Faith is "a factor" but clearly not the only factor.

3. The devil is a liar and wants to "steal" everything he can from the life of the believer.  In the wake of the students being healed and walking away pain free from that Friday, some of them began to "feel" their symptoms again.  This isn't uncommon.  The cynics (and some reading this blog) will say that people weren't actually healed but only "thought" they were.  That is an issue of profound unbelief that each and everyone of us needs to wage war upon.  I emphasized in those lectures that we are all, every single one of us, in a lifelong battle to "have faith" - remember what Paul says in Galatians 5 - "the only thing that matters is faith working through love" - that is a foundational verse identifying our two most basic challenges in the Christian life - overcoming our lack of faith and our lack of love.

So what do we do when the enemy comes back and begins to lie to us - "you weren't really healed", "God doesn't really love you like they said He does", "you aren't worthy of...", etc. etc.  And then a slight symptom comes back, a twinge, a little bit of pain.  What do we do?  This is a key thing - a vital principle.  Stand in your healing.  We aren't "enemy focused" - this isn't a time to go into intense spiritual warfare.  The enemy is trying to come back; he wants to get you to believe a lie (or lies).  So we simply say, "Jesus, THANK YOU for what you did and that you have healed me".  That's it.  We are to be Jesus-focused and thanking Him for His work, for His healing and as has been said, this is the "submitting to God" that results in the the "devil fleeing". (James 4:7).  There were some students who thought that their healing was gone, or wearing off, or...BUT once they did this, they were again pain free and walking in their freedom.

4. The power of the testimony - word is getting out.  A blog has been started.  It was even mentioned in chapel several days later about "a revival that was starting on campus after an OT class".  I think the word "revival" is a bit premature to be using, but there is simply no reason why that cannot and will not be the result of what God has started.

This goes back to point #1 - there are those who erroneously teach that God only sovereignly starts/ends revivals and that we don't play a role in that equation.  This is just blasphemy.  Jesus left heaven, came to earth to defeat the enemy, remove the barrier between God and man, returned to heaven and sent His Spirit to subsequently see the advance of God's Kingdom until His return.  What would be the problem then?  Everything has been provided and supplied.  The problem is that God's people actually don't believe it.  So much so that we had to "invent" theologies that explain away why we don't see God moving like we see in the pages of Scripture.  As Bill Johnson has so convictingly said, "Jesus opened up the heavens and there is NO RECORD of Him ever shutting them up".

The enemy wants to extinguish the sparks that God has lit.  He wants to divide and conquer.  The power of the testimony is one of the ways we combat His lies, and a way forward that will lead a spark into a flame that will become a fire that will lead to.....  If God is truly a "consuming fire", then His very nature is revival!  To say that revival isn't always God's will (and by God's will, I mean "God's will right now") is like saying that God isn't always loving.  We know that it is ALWAYS God's will to express and communicate love, because His very nature is love.  In other words, He can't help Himself - He can't NOT love.  So if revival is also His nature (and I guess I would define revival as "God's presence and power consuming everything and everyone in It's path"), then it can't ever not be His will to bring revival.

At this point, the question becomes, "What will the students at this Christian University do with what God has done and is doing"?  Will they become a "one thing" community? - namely that the "one thing" that matters is God's Kingdom in their midst.  Will they "co-labor", will they "cooperate" and "steward" what God is doing?  Will they cry out and say, "whatever it takes, whatever it costs"?  These are the questions that God is looking to be answered.

If you are a student reading this - I want to say this clearly.  Don't look at the others right now.  What will YOU DO?  One living sacrifice is all it takes for the true fire of God to fall upon?  Will you be that "kindling for God"?  Will you be the one who God will use?  The fact is, I know there are more than "one" - others are responding and the "ones" will find the other "ones" that will become the "twos", the "threes" and so on.....

This post is long enough.  I'll leave it at that for now.  We are now 9000 miles away contending for revival in a part of the world that is on the brink of literal war here in the Middle East - but I

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your honesty about not having a lot of faith that the man that stuttered would be healed. I find it very encouraging that God healed him anyhow! Sunday I was teaching on healing to a sunday school class of children under 10, and one of them has a speech problem, and I wanted to pray for him, but also I was afraid! Afraid that I didn't have enough faith to heal him. But now I see it isn't ALL about MY faith. God still works outside my faith, and yay for that! Thank you!