Let Him Interrupt

His boy was finally home. The lost son had appeared around the bend. The dead – was now alive. It was celebration time! What a scandalous story of mercy, the Prodigal Son. This son as-good-as spit in his father’s face, asking for his inheritance early, left home and spent it in no time – frittering away his portion of what his father worked hard to earn. It wasn’t his remorse, actually, but his hunger pangs that drew him back home. Jesus tells the story with precision and purpose recorded in the gospel of Luke.

I am focusing today, on just a couple of moments in it, where he is sitting in shame and pig slop, considering the worst case scenario vs. the best. What to do. Do I dare return? If so, what would I have to say for myself? I’ll pick up the scripture in verse 18 of Luke 15, where the young man is thinking and planning it out:

“I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”

This is human reasoning. First admission. Confession. “I have sinned against God and against you.” And then there is an equating of that sin with a real felt unworthiness to continue as being counted a son, or heir. “I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” And his third statement is one of working to be accepted and to earn his keep at his father’s estate. He begs to be allowed to work there. “Please take me on as a hired servant”. Our equivalent of “Will Work For Food”.

It’s human nature to think you are unworthy of his goodness, his mercy, his love. Especially just after you’ve royally messed up. I urge you, let him interrupt you as you pray and reason. Let him stop you mid-sentence. Right there. And not allow you to finish your thoughts  – your “Please take me back, but only use me to serve you.” Your… “I will do all I can to please you God.” Your “I will read my Bible every day, now.” “I will volunteer at church consistently from now on.” “I will keep my promises to you.” “I will pray more.” “I will stop wasting time, money – my life.” “I will…”

What have you prayed?

Let’s pick back up in the story where he finally comes home – in his dirt and stench, with nothing left but poor reasoning and plans:

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]

And that is as far as he got. Because his compassion-filled father interrupted before he had the chance to say what he’d rehearsed in his mind – before getting to the big pull – what he thought would be the kicker – the deciding factor: “Let me work for you as a hired servant.”

But the good father interrupted – to speak to his servants, actually. The option, the plan his son had to work – to perform for a wage for his provision – was never even voiced, and certainly never considered:

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

May I suggest, that the Father – our Father in heaven – longs to interrupt your “I will…”‘s with his, “Quick!…” Notice in the passage above, where he interrupted. His son’s plan was:

1. confession 

2. declaration of unworthiness of son-ship 

3. proposition to earn his wage in order to eat

The father in the parable interrupts after #2. But make no mistake. It’s not because he agrees with #2 and just cuts him off before he gets to #3. He addresses the unchanging of his boy’s status as son first thing, when he says, bring the finest robe and get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. These were signs of this time, of dignity, wealth, authority and family identity. Of belonging, and the position of son, restored. And if that wasn’t implication enough, I see him (yelling excitedly over his shoulder), “this son of mine was dead and now has returned to life!” “This son of mine.” Well, that settles that. The father would never disown his son. No matter what. Nothing would change the relationship at least on the part of Dad. His love and bond were too strong. Even stronger than before!

So that leaves one element in the speech of the squanderer left unaddressed by his dad, #1, the confession of sin.

I believe that was intentional too. No need to bring up the sin and betrayal. To say, “I can’t believe you even bought prostitutes.” No need to talk about it at all. His son brought it up. That was all that needed to be said. Nothing more, nothing less on that. Perhaps because there really should be a humble admission – an honest confession.  But when that happens, it is usually evidence of a heart and mind already changed. Repentance. And that is the starting point for all renewal. All restoration. No need to take him by the arm, walk him back to the pig pen and rub his nose in the nasty pods. There was already repentance.

I know as a parent, I’ve been guilty of doing just that – bringing up the past – dragging my child through the details, even amidst an obvious broken and contrite heart. Why? Many times, I’ve even implemented some made-up punishment vaguely related to the wrong. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s my attempt at making sure they know the “depth” of wrong done so they aren’t tempted to go there again. But God is changing me. He’s softening my heart to be more like his. To reflect more mercy, more empathy. More like the father in this parable. It’s been slow, but I see some change.

If you read the rest of Luke 15, you’ll notice his son never bringing up the proposal again. Never bringing up the betrayal committed, the dishonor or the unworthy feeling he had still being considered a son. Because what his father said when he interrupted – this was the new narrative. This was truth. Identity. Significance. Purpose.

Whenever the voice of guilt turns to condemnation, or when your inner voice is declaring unworthiness of being a child of God, but only worthy to serve…

Whenever you feel like you need to perform for His approval, or work for a perceived view of your right standing, or keep doing more, more, more for His provision and sustenance, I implore you ~ repent. Change the way you think about Him.

Let Him Interrupt.

I Healed… Wait… Was That Me?

A Little Background

This is a follow-up post to my last one about being extreme like Jesus was. I welcome feedback always, and love a healthy conversation. So since I did get a little feedback, I thought I’d address it, and go into a bit more detail on what I meant when I wrote the words toward the end, “I healed…”  Originally, I followed those words with 3 things that people I’ve come into contact with have been delivered or healed from, and then I wrapped the sentenced up with, “by the power of God”, to clarify that I did not for a second think anyone was being healed by my own…anything. Since it published, I reworded that sentence to read, “On the other hand, I’ve healed people solely by the power of God, from…” (You can find it just under the 2nd photo. It’s after that, where I list those few things).

I made that edit, moving the phrase “by the power of God” to right after “I healed” because I wanted to be extra clear about it. I know it wasn’t me who originated any healing. And yet, my spirit and individual conviction won’t allow me to change the first two words. So I had to ask myself why. Why not change them to “He healed…”? When first asked about it, what came to mind was how I knew that some of Jesus’ disciples used that phrase – that they healed.

I had a vague recollection that the writer of some stories in the gospels would say, “they healed, or he healed…” speaking of a disciple. I also thought Jesus commanded us to heal. I didn’t know where it all was written, or how frequently, but now I was curious. And curious as to why I felt so strongly.  I’ve been doing some digging ever since.

The rest of this blog post is scattered with the results of my research this past week. It was not my intent to prooftext, but to re-read the Word – the gospels and Acts specifically, each passage in context, like I’d guess the Bereans would.  My goal was to build confidence in what is true. And to find out if what I believe, that Spirit-filled followers of Jesus can heal, and it’s ok for them to say it, is true. If so, it will be laid out in scripture. And if so, nothing anyone says accusing me or any other spirit-filled, healing follower of Jesus, of being fake or self-righteous – should be inconsequential in light of the Word.

Why is This Important?

Here’s the crux of it, I think: Jesus healed everyone who came to him. He came to give life and life abundant. As he walked this earth’s soil, He was, and still is “The (capitol T) Healer”.  There was a transference of power to take place after he ascended. That even sounds wrong… because it’s not like he gave it up and was left with none. He just decided in his mercy and love to share the Spirit with us. Continually available. As a gift.

When he gave his life, he said “It is finished!” I believe that means Jesus accomplished all he came to earth to do. He was done. The prophecies about his life were officially fulfilled. His assignment to preach the kingdom of God was completed. For more on this, check out this sermon all about those three words, It Is Finished.

In completing his work, he yielded his life to the voice of his Father at every turn. The result was salvation. Freedom. Healing. Forgiveness. Righteousness. Peace. Joy in the Holy Spirit (and more). The result that was all-encompassing, was the restoring of people everywhere, back to the Father and the Father’s original design.

Remember when he breathed on his disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit (in John 20)?  This was the passing of the power. The handing off of the torch of authority! It makes my heart leap with joy that He would love and trust humanity that much.

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Cause I Have The Same Power

When Jesus left this earth, he said that we would do even greater things than he. Super hard to believe. But I will. Because he said it. Because everyone who believes and follows Jesus from that point on in history has received the Holy Spirit of God. That same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead – now lives inside every true believer (Romans 8:11) living in and empowering each one to do the same, or even greater miraculous works than he did, all done to authenticate his message and give him glory.

NOT only did we get the same Spirit, but John says that God does not give the Spirit by measure. And if he meant that about Jesus, he also meant it about those who Jesus passed his Spirit on to. We have 100% availability to the fullness of the Spirit. Another way of saying it is, it is always near, or “at hand“, for us.

When Jesus sent out 72 disciples (recorded in Luke 10:9) he told them to “heal the sick in that town…”  then added, “and say to the people there, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near you.’” It was a purposeful instruction to declare His Kingdom was near everyone whose health was restored. Jesus gave them a lot of instructions, actually. I counted: these two were #9 and #10 out of 11 of them.

After the 72 returned, they were stoked with excitement and joy because of all the things they were able to do, “even the demons obeyed us when we gave them a command in your name!” Then he says to them, eight verses later, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you.  But don’t be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven.” My husband reads that last part as: take the authority I’ve given you over Satan. Use it without fear. But stop focusing on all the spiritual warfare and demonic stuff. Focus instead, on what you DO have. Life and life, eternal.  

The jaw-dropping feats he accomplished while physically here…he expected and commanded his disciples to do too, and to continue doing even after he ascended. His time on earth was so limited, and the only way his works would continue to change and impact human lives here would be if humans did those works, in a sense, on his behalf. If we did them by his Spirit in us, and in the authority (Luke 10:19) of his name. There must be something about person-to-person, flesh-and-blood interaction. Maybe it derives from his nature to esteem relationship.

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, knew there would be no way man could accomplish miracles on their own. Miracles are supernatural: supra (above) naturalis (natural), or beyond (our laws of) nature. It is beyond human nature to walk on water, read minds, heal another human with a single touch or word. Yet he commands it. Again and again.

Cause Jesus Said To

In the beginning of Matthew 10, it says, “Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. This is also recorded by Mark a few places. And Luke writes, “Then he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick…” He added that the twelve left preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.”A few verses later, Jesus tells them to go to the lost sheep and preach that the kingdom of heaven is near. And he says, “Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons.”  He follows it all with, “Freely you received, now freely give”. In another passage that is escaping me, he says, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go…” as if to say, God gave this to me, I give it to you, so strengthen yourself in it and go! I’m with you. Here’s your green light! Go! In the passages above, Jesus…

a.) gave them authority, and 
b.) told them to do these things.

I am convinced that he:

a.) still gives his followers authority (or has given) and 
b.) is still telling us to do these things.

The only difference is, he’s not in front of us. He’s now in us.

His Spirit who enable all these things, and gives us the grace and power to do every right thing, is at work IN US. But he will STAY in us, if we don’t take intentional steps of faith and action to let his power out.  That is why I still say, “I healed…” Because it is a co-laboring. A partnership. A major way he set up from the beginning, for his glory to be made known on the earth after his ascension.

His omnipotence bubbling over and spilling out, through our obedience to every-day commands to step out of our comforting natural and into the uncomfortable supernatural realm where miracles and healing take place. No wonder he’s left us with The Comforter. I get Paul as I read what he wrote to the Ephesians – that he prays that their minds would open to see…

how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength 20 which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world.

He was like, OPEN YOUR EYES, Ephesians! You believe, right? Look at how much power you have in you now! It’s the same power at work in each of you that was at work in Jesus himself, raising him back to life! Isn’t it crazy!? But yet, it’s true!

Cause We are Co-Workers with God Himself

Paul scolded the Corinthian church for having silly arguments about who they were “following”. As if the man is more important than the message. He states so on-point, that we are God’s co-workers. We labor alongside. We rub shoulders. We are His servants. He asks us to do something, and we are to do it. He’s not physically doing the doing part anymore. He’s gone. He’s doing it through his Spirit, giving and entrusting us with the great responsibility of representing him. So we now plant. We water. And He grows.  He always does the growing.

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field.

Paul states above, that the planter and the waterer work together with the Grower in the heart of man. And that they will be rewarded for their own hard work. What the most important part, I’m reminded, is that “God makes the seed grow”.

God makes the bone align. God makes the torn tendon repaired. God makes the cancer dissipate. God makes the marriage new. God makes the deaf hear. God makes. He restores. He heals. But because he no longer walks the earth, his #1 way to heal, is by empowering us to heal.  It’s like He initiated all growth, healing and life in Jesus.  And then assigned us to administer it. This requires our will, emotions, mind and consequently our actions fully submitted to Him. This is why when I talk about healing, I don’t just say I heal by his power, but sometimes I also say He heals through me. To me, because of how closely we are working with the Spirit, there is little difference. But to others who have perhaps experienced spiritual abuse or seen people heal and take either credit or money for it,  I can sure see why the first claim would sound a bit off. I understand. I just care more, at this point, about doing what Jesus said to do, regardless of how others have distorted it.

James and John’s Confidence in their Authority

This was brought to my attention this week, and I found it amusing – In Luke 9, a whole Samaritan village chooses not to accept Jesus or his message. Jesus  basically says to shake the dust of that village off their feet and keep moving forward, continuing the work of kingdom. But James and John are indignant! Obviously secure in their supernatural authority, they ask Jesus,

“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”  55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And they went to another village.

Notice: Jesus didn’t rebuke them for asking if they could call down fire from heaven like a New Testament Sodom. I actually think that their assurance of their authority probably made him smile, just a tiny bit. But he rebuked them because of the spirit in which they spoke – it was a spirit that promoted violence, condemnation, and destruction. And that is not the same spirit of Christ. They should’ve known that by then. In the original text (omitted in some translations), Jesus clarifies to them why they’re wrong. His purpose was to save and give life. Not to destroy and take it. But I digress. You just gotta love the guys’ righteous anger and that resolve. They wore what my daughter and I call their “Jesus Badge”.

The authority they carried and we now carry can make all the difference. Now we must learn to carry it with humility, knowing full well that any power that results or manifests as a result of our exercised authority, is a gift that originates purely and solely from the Spirit of God himself.

Acts 14:3 And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.

Faith Comes by Hearing (& sometimes Youtube Videos)

Whenever I have healed anyone, (which, by the way, hasn’t been often, and more times than not, I’ve attempted but didn’t get to see the breakthrough I was hoping for) I have done so because Jesus has commanded his followers to heal the sick. I know I’ve already gone over that. It seems so outlandish to even talk about healing as a legitimate act, largely because it’s not practiced regularly by the western evangelical church. And there have been televangelists who have given it a bad name. Only in the last 100 years has it become remotely acceptable again, due to undisputed miracles at renowned revivals like the one at Azuza Street, LA, The Jesus Movement, and more recently and regularly at Spirit-led churches like Bethel in Redding.

I have seen dozens of YouTube videos of other faith-and-Spirit-filled men like Todd White, who heal people in their everyday lives as they go about their errands, jobs and outings.  The watching of and listening to these modern day miracles birthed a faith like never before, in me, to do the same. Or at least try.

Enough months of watching them, and I thought, “Why not me?” So I stepped out and have done it because I’ve seen them do it. I’ve done it to bring authentication to a message God’s given me to speak to them, I’ve done it to exercise my authority, and I’ve done it in the name of Jesus, to the glory of God. Because there is nothing in the world like seeing someone in awe of not only what God can do, but how much he know, cares about and loves each one of us.

WHEW! This has been one extensive post. If you’ve made it this far, I really commend you! And thank you. I have spent all day today, ironically sick, writing about what I’ve researched and sought God for truth these last four days, on believers healing people. I hope I’ve done this topic justice.

For further scriptural context, I’ve included a list below. And as always, I welcome any respectful feedback. All of this post was written with an openness of mind and a spirit of teachability, if that’s a word! I was never on the Debate Team, but I sure love a good, challenging conversation about the Word of God.

Peace and Healing to you!

Chelan

PS – Now, get out of my body, cold virus! Ha ha!

~~~~~

  • The disciples heal – Mark 6:13, Luke 9:6, Mark 16:20.
  • “Then Peter said, silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and anklebones received strength…[Acts 3:6-8].
  • “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” – Luke 12:32
  • “And these signs shall follow them that believe” -Mark 16:17
  • “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give”.
    Matthew 10:8
  • Jesus Christ said anyone who believes in him will do the same works that he did and even greater works, because he was going to the Father.
    John 14:12
  • “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” [Acts 6:5, Acts 6:8].
  • Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed” [Acts 28:7-9]

Chase Him Down or Chase Him Away

I don’t remember the last time I met a man who was so radical in his beliefs, claims and actions, that people would either flock to him and become totally transformed or get so upset that he was disrupting their current way of doing things that they forced him out of the city.  It’s safe to say, probably never.  When it came to Jesus and those he ran into, it seems they either chased him down, or they chased him away.

But when it came to Jesus and those he ran into, it seems they either chased him down, or they chased him away. He’s an extremist. For sure. His presence tends to make people buckle and embrace his power in humility or resist it completely in furious pride. There’s no middle ground with him. That’s been our territory for two millennia. Not his.

Chased Him Down

After Jesus was baptized, and after he returned from the wilderness completely emptied and completely filled, he began his ministry in that region – a ministry of constant outpouring of both power and love. His presence meant miracles. His name conjured images in the people’s minds, of real healing and real hope. Thirty-four times it is written in the gospels, how crowds were gathered all around him.  There was no denying what he could do.  And none of them knew who this man was, except perhaps that he came from a little nearby town called Nazareth.  What they knew, is what they witnessed him doing. And what they heard him saying. Even though the sayings were filled with mystery and profundity, and even though they seemed up-side-down and void of reason, they didn’t keep the people from filling the space around this man who claimed to be God. The words of Jesus were life-giving. As was the touch of his hand. He restored. So they came. Do you think they came for him? No. They had no idea. They didn’t see him like we see him. They flocked to him, and they chased him down really, for what he could give them. What he provided. He was the means to the end – wholeness. The means to the end – health. Forgiveness. Peace. Life. And even life eternal. I’d be pressing in, too.

I’d be pressing in, too. I hope. I mean, as much as the drinking of his blood and eating of his body would creep me out, I think…I hope I would be nodding along with Peter as he replied to Jesus moments later, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” (John 6)

I can think of a few who “chased him down”:

  • Nicodemus (John 3) who went in the night to the home where Jesus was staying,
  • The Gerasene man filled with demons came running out to meet him from the grave caves (Mark 5),
  • Even women took the chance of approaching him like the one who suffered from a blood disease for twelve years,
  • Jairus the desperate father whose daughter had just died but was “only sleeping” according to Jesus (Mark 5),
  • There was a Roman Centurion who found Jesus and took the extra step of faith to believe he’d heal his servant, who lay paralyzed, miles away
  • And the leper who found Jesus and plead with him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (Matthew 8)

Those in the crowds were the ones whose eyes were beginning to open to the truth he’d pour out. Some got it. They were normal villagers, hungry for both truth and nourishment, frustrated in their sin and discord, sick, possessed or oppressed by evil spirits. They seemed used to the decay of the human condition, and this prophesied Messiah, if it really was Him, would be their only hope. But his confusing parables and extreme teachings, many were simply not ready for.  And if that didn’t keep them from gathering around, it was his miraculous power that actually scared some, causing them to force Jesus out of their city limits.

Chased Him Away

In two instances I can think of off hand, where Jesus was chased away, one was by his own hometown folk when he went to visit Nazareth.  They allowed their familiarity with his family (“isn’t this the son of Joseph the carpenter? How can this be?”) to build unbelief and even violent resistance in their hearts. Some translations call it a deep offense. After Jesus told them that prophets are not accepted in their hometown, and gave some examples of minor prophets who were sent to outside regions to perform miracles because miracles are directly correlated to belief, Luke reports what happens next:

“the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.”

The other instance of him being chased away was by those who witnessed the deliverance of the madman. This man who’d been living naked, insane, howling, and breaking every chain that attempted to secure him. He was delivered of Legion, a mob of thousands of demons. Aside from raising the dead, this was the impossible case, if there ever was one. Yet, after the awe wore off, and word spread, the miracle witnesses became upset and offended because their pigs had drowned.

 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

That’s a lot of bacon. But I wondered earlier this week if the downturn of their meat market was the only reason they made him leave. I honestly think that having someone so close with so much power immediately available to him was a frightening reality to consider. What if he were to use his power for evil? What if he would threaten their way of life and teach repentance? Changing the way one thinks was as hard then, as it is now. To stay the same undisruptable way,  and to keep from losing more livestock, they forfeited the freedom of many of their fellow men by making the Miracle Worker leave. Of course, he respected their wishes, as he still does. For the will of man will not be violated by the Creator of man.

angrymob

One more instance where Jesus wasn’t necessarily chased away, but had to leave a place pretty urgently, it was because he had infuriated religious leaders there. He did that a lot. They literally picked up rocks to stone him to death, and he not only talked his way out of a stoning, he walked right through the group of angry accusers:

 So they tried again to seize Him, but He eluded their grasp. (John 10)

I love that, don’t you?

He eluded their grasp. Like a stealth lead actor in 007, only wearing sandals, I want to be like him, that way. Not the sandals part. But when accusers come at me, I want to elude their grasp every single time.

I wonder if I’ll ever be as bold as Jesus, looking over my shoulder at people chasing me down for a miraculous healing or chasing me away because of unbelief or offense. Maybe it’s just way less obvious now, in our digital world where they can simply hide me from their newsfeed, block my messages, “Unfollow” me or ignore my calls because I’ve become so literal or extreme. Yeah, now that I type the words…I realize that’s actually happened. And as much as it hurt, I can say this: me and Jesus…we can kind of relate better now. He’s been through all of it. I’m getting to be a little more like him.

UNfollowingJesus

On the other hand, I’ve healed people solely by the power of God, from headaches to evil spirits, to a whiplashed neck (to anyone who may be caught off guard by the phrase “I’ve healed…”, I understand, and I’m working on a new blog post about those two words, already. Please stay tuned).

I’m not quite sure how to put it into words, but there is something like a slow unifying of spirits taking place inside of me, through experience… of both the rejection of a certain group of people and the restoring of brokenness of another demographic altogether.

Revelation by revelation. Step by step…of faith, and year by year. Isn’t that the goal? To be transformed into his likeness – to look like him more and more by getting to know him?

Richness To The More

Yet I feel like there’s so much more ground to cover. There is so much more truth to uncover and teach and preach…divine revelation that will undoubtedly offend those who just have a hard time unlearning what they believed was “the gospel truth” for decades. Like I have had to do. I have a great assurance though, that with deep digging and insight from the Holy Spirit alone, void of media or pastor or commentary interpretation, there is more. And such richness to the more.

I am reading the Word like I’ve never read it before. Old verses and entire concepts are being redefined and mean new, exciting, controversial and palpable things to me! I’m being drawn to strangers with fearless urgency nearly every week. I think there will always be more. There are so many who are sick or in chronic pain that should’ve been well long, long ago. Had they been living by the Sea of Galilee and encountered him in that day, they most definitely would be made well.  There is so much more peace and comfort on standby, ready to behold from a word of wisdom or knowledge for those who have stopped believing God is close or that he cares.  I want to be “Jesus” to them. Do what he would do. Say what he would say. Regardless of the backlash. I am convinced now, that is the purpose of everyone who loves Jesus and lives for him, complete with power and love made possible only by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

jesuspalmleaves

I want to draw crowds around me to make his unearthly power and love evident and seen – even contagious.  So that the glory of him who killed sin by being killed, himself – who conquered death by rising to life, who overcame loss with selfless sacrifice and repaved destruction by handing restored health and relationship to every human being – the glory of this one man – will be made known.

If that means facing rejection, anger, avoidance, defensiveness or even ostracism, Lord, help me to stand my ground and take it just like you did. Thank you for making me more…like you.

Learning Not to Box – Tracy from Red Cross & Daniel from Xbox

So, the Red Cross called to confirm a donation appt & I asked her right after, “Hey, off topic, but is there anything at all, I can pray for you about?” 

She said, “Hmm. Actually yes! You can pray for me to be able to help care for my neighbor Helen who is 92, & had a stroke. Her sister, 94, died last Tues. Helen’s been my neighbor for 8 years; she’s a missionary’s daughter. I want her strong and in that house of hers as long as possible.

So I got to pray for Tracy and Helen and God gave me a word for Tracy DURING my prayer, that she would be a Voice Of Hope for not just Helen but her whole neighborhood!  She thanked me and said, “Well now I just wanna go and knock on everyone’s door and be that to everyone!” 

Ha! The Lord is so good! 

He meets me every single time I step out! And I’m not the only one. This simple act of asking to pray for someone is possible for every believer and we get opportunities to do it every day by phone in person and even in chat-boxes. 

I was receiving help from an Xbox support person via chat, for over 2.5 hours the other day to straighten out Braylon’s account that had gotten all tangled up with his best friend’s security information. After we were done, I asked him the same thing. I thought, as I typed it, that he might have had emotional stress. He replied right away in the chat box,

“Bless your heart. Thank you. I could use all the positive energy I can get, actually. My mom passed away from breast cancer…and today’s my birthday.”

So I prayed pretty simply for him in the chat, and here’s a screenshot of the end of it.



I don’t even know where he was in the US. I wasn’t face to face or even speaking with him, but God transcends through space, time and proximity. He gives us unconventional ideas, and they actually work!

Give it up for my God! When I stopped putting him in a box, he said, “Actually, this chat-box will work just fine, today, thank you.”

I will keep stepping out because he meets me every time and shines through my every move. My every word. He transcends.



My Kinda Dance – repentance and forgiveness

After Break Free tonight, talking and praying with my awesome friend and prayer-sister Samantha about sex trafficking, I had to stop by Freddies on my way home. I figured I might possibly run into David from about a week ago (https://chelan.me/2015/02/21/david-from-freddies/), but wasn’t sure. What made me wonder, is that I’d picked a random sermon to listen to on my way home from some church called Victory, in my Podcasts. I’d never listened to one from there before. This guest speaker was preaching all about King David. She was specifically using him as a prime example for us to embrace repentance along with forgiveness.

As Freddie’s was closing, I picked a line to check out and then saw it was his line! But he had to shoo me away to self check out. I left, a bit bummed, but then saw him again at the main doors a few minutes later. I turned to him, “DAVID. I told you I’d pray for you, remember?”

He smiled, and I watched it come back to him. So I asked him there in front of the electronic double doors by produce, what I could pray for him about. He said for a stressful real estate deal set to close March 13th or 18th? to go through successfully. And then he asked me if I had anything he could pray for.  I thought about it…& said sure! I applied for a part time job and want it, only if God does. So direction on that.

He placed his hand on my shoulder and we stood there, basically strangers but brother and sister in Christ, and prayed for each other as his co-workers exited the store every minute or so.

After he prayed for me, I prayed for his real estate deal but added a part that I’d just heard from that sermon: that God would help him to see repentance for what it is – a turning away.  And when we turn away from sin, we are turning toward our God who loves us deeply. I prayed for a desire to always turn away and then turn toward, trusting that there will always be a great freedom found there.

He lit up even more and mentioned that there was power in that prayer, & that he feels like what I prayed for him should be “reciprocated”, back to me. And I received it. Cause I’ve always had a hard time with repentance for some reason. But now I’m realizing its the step to take before asking for forgiveness. Like they’re dance partners.

I was thinking, our hands, if they are still filled with undealt with (unrepented of) sin, they will not be able to be filled with his gift of forgiveness. It’s a give and then get. A bit like a spiritual dance. Move toward God a few steps and give up the sinful action or attitude and then move back a few and get freedom and joy that comes from receiving His forgiveness. And a bonus comes when we gain victory over that area. Praise God!

Now that’s my kinda dance.

On the way home from there, the Lord gave me a new song with these words:

Vs1: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of our hearts, out of our homes. An outpouring of your spirit – into the streets, into the public places.

Vs2: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of the church, out of our songs. An outpouring of your spirit – into our work, & into the lowly places.

Pre-Chorus:

So I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will lovelovelove every boy and girlYeah, I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will pray – for freedom every day

Chorus: 

Freedom freedom be released

From your Kingdom.

 Kingdom be released!

Bridge: 

Give me a mind not divided, not distracted.

But the mind of Christ.

Give me a mind set upon you, set upon truth.

The mind of Christ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_QoWrlITPI

Why do we Need the Holy Spirit?

Here are some thoughts I wrote down this week, on what the GLORY of God is, and Understanding the Holy Spirit  – inspirations from Piper, Munroe, with a little bit of my own, sprinkled in:
Glory – what is it? John Piper says it is the public display of the infinite beauty and worth of God (based on Is. 6 – where the angels sing, Holy Holy Holy Holy is…, the whole earth is filled with his glory). They are describing his goodness, perfection, love, radiance – made manifest for all of us to bear witness to it.
We will behold – we will see, feel, be changed by – his glory – His Godly attributes in fullness, on display.

Understanding the Holy Spirit – according to one of our favorite (now late) preachers of deep faith, Dr. Myles Munroe:
Acts 1:1-6 (written by Luke) John baptized you in water but in a few days you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls the HS “the promise of the Father” – relating to the 1st promise the Father made in Gen. 3:15 What Adam lost when he first sinned was the Holy Spirit. He lost the Kingdom of God – The King’s dominion. The dominion of the rulership of God. When you lose the Holy Spirit, you lose the kingdom. When Adam lost the kingdom, he lost the dominion over the earth. So He made a promise.
Matthew 4:17 Jesus, right after his own baptism, was baptized by the HS (it descended upon him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven, saying, You are my Son, My Beloved! In you I am well pleased and find delight!” – Luke 3:22). In his first sermon preached after his 40 days in the wilderness, he declared – Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come near (is at hand). He was speaking of himself, for he was the only carrier of the fulness of the Holy Spirit. All of the Kingdom was IN him. He was FILLED with it without measure. And his primary message was on the Holy Spirit – the Kingdom of God.
Man’s #1 need, he communicated, is the Kingdom.
The Spirit of God – all of the Holy Spirit and his fruit.
Law enforcement are equipped to handle broken laws. Crimes committed. But the only person equipped to handle SIN, is the Holy Spirit. We may have information, or news of sin and the affects of sin in this world, but our solution is not in simply enforcing laws, or in behavior modification. It is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. To have his Spirit inside of our bodies.
Spirit is invisible. It cannot contain blood. A physical body must be the agent or carrier of blood. Since blood is the only thing that can truly free and forgive us of sin, according to the way God established covenant from the beginning of time. We’ve either got to shed the blood of animals, or accept the blood of Jesus as our new and improved sacrifice for sin – of our past, present and future.
 
*(My view: there is another sacrifice of blood and that is in the act of suicide…in essence, a physical declaration that Christ’s blood was insufficient to free you from your sin or pain. His sacrifice did not fully do its work, and therefore the sin and shame and pain inside became so overwhelming that a lie was believed – the lie that spoke, not even Jesus and his blood and his resurrection power is enough to bring hope for a new start, forgiveness, or relief. This is also the lie believed by those who cut themselves. They are deceived. The blood cutters release out of their body releases only temporary relief. It is a counterfeit, and a distortion or perversion of the truth that is found in the shedding of Jesus’ truly cleansing blood). 
Jesus said it’s better that I go, so that the Holy Spirit in me can come out of me when I leave, and go – or be released – into YOUR bodies. But he cannot fill an unholy body. So Jesus imparted the Spirit to US, but not until His work was finished – that is, until his body was used by the Holy Spirit until the job was completed in Him. He had to let the work be finished in Him and leave his earthly body before the Holy Spirit was let out of him and able to enter into OUR bodies.  Jesus was saying – you need MY body to prepare YOUR body. My blood to completely cleanse your sin, your body of its weakness, sickness and sin.
So, the promise of the Father from Gen.3:15 was fulfilled – that He would restore what was lost – the Spirit of God. The baby came through a woman and he was spotless, he shed his blood unto death. And now we have His blood that cleansed us (past tense).
Why was blood necessary to cleanse us? By Moses’ law, nearly everything was made pure by blood. The tabernacle and all the things in it were mere copies of the things of heaven and had to be purified by blood. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. (Heb.9:22). He entered into heaven, and appeared before God on our behalf. Not to offer himself over and over and over, like Priests used to do w/animals.  vs. 26 – but now ONCE for ALL time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
*Jesus tells us about his Kingdom & says that it will begin when we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We are living in the Kingdom of God now – the power of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God will BEGIN when you rec’v the power of the HS.  To exercise the power available in the Kingdom of God, we must release the power of the HS.

Dem Bones

Remember that old Sunday school song, “Dem Bones”?

“The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the leg bone…”

That story has always been so intriguing to me! I was curious about the details of it so went to Ezekiel 36 & 37 this week. Some verses that really stood out to me were: 36:37…37:•4 through *7…8 through •9…and *10 through 14.

36:37 is just so encouraging. It’s saying he waits for our prayers. He listens intently. He longs to hear us talk with him, praise him and even ask him for things. He is even ready to say yes to all of the blessings he has promised including in this passage, one of rebuilding.

Then in the chapter following,
I see a pattern. God gives him a vision of a valley filled with dry bones and then tells him to…

SPEAK TO (these bones – vs.4)
So I spoke… (vs.7)
And it was done.

SPEAK TO (the winds – vs.9)
So I spoke…(vs.10)
And it was done.

The first part was about bringing order and wholeness to those who think or have thought themselves “old dry bones” or “all hope is gone” (two phrases found later in the chapter).

The second was about bringing life ~ the wind was God’s breath of life. Followed by a message of reconciliation and restoration in vs.12.

Only when he puts his spirit in us and we receive him (14), we will truly live, return home & know he is the Lord. His spirit within us will confirm to us the fulfilling of his promises. Every last one.

Maybe this word is for you. Maybe it’s for a close friend of yours who is going through a dry season or the death of an important dream they thought God would “come through” on but hasn’t.

Perhaps it’s for someone who doesn’t realize the power in their voice or in speaking into what does not exist, as though it does or it will without a doubt, for he is able.

If he tells you to speak into a bleak situation, ya better believe that when you do, you are clearing and paving a road in the spiritual dimension, for that good thing to be realized in the natural. Believe it.

“…Now Hear the Word of the Lord!”

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