There is No God. He’s Not Real – Convince me.

Bill said, “I’m just not going to believe that God is real. There’s just no way.” That struck a cord in me and a bit of zeal rose up in me. I know God rises to challenges like that as faith rises up in us. I told him God was definately real and even if He didn’t believe in God, God believed in Him

This is a true story.  I’m moving some of my old testimonies to my new blog. These are the stories the rocked my world and left me trembling at the raw truth that Jesus, the man, the Son of God, is REALLY ALIVE!

I am still amazed at how God chooses to use people to show his power. Everything you read here happened by faith in Jesus, faith that His Word is true, that these signs follow those who believe. He always defends the Gospel. Continue reading “There is No God. He’s Not Real – Convince me.”

Don’t Quit! Don’t Give Up! God Wants to Heal You

I serve a God who CAN, who IS, who KNOWS ME, who sees you, who lifts up the broken and calls things that are not as though they are, who recreates, creates, mends and heals. People are astounded by the things He does because it is super natural – over what we expect! Joy comes when we see how real he is.

I pray that you see him to day, that you ask and believe that he has the answer for you life. He has already won the victory over every power of darkness and has given believers his authority. Do you know how powerful what you have is? Look at Jesus! We’re told we will do greater things than even he did.

So, in your situation, in the place you feel defeated, clear your heart, you mind and your preconceived notions, and ask God today, “Lord, what is the truth about this?” Believe what he says. Let that change your outlook so you come into agreement with heaven instead of partnering with the plans of hell. (sounds dramatic -but we do it)…The enemy is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Yes, there could be reasons you are sick, or that bad things happened. That doesn’t mean they are God’s plan for your life. There was no sickness before the fall and Jesus is the end of the curse for those who believe.

Don’t give up on God’s promises! Seek Him and examine what you believe. We can believe in God, yet not believe in some of his promises because our experience hasn’t aligned with it. This gives the enemy room to manipulate our lives. Those words in red letters are said by the one who is the “visible image of the invisible God.” His actions show what God’s will was. Jesus didn’t turn people away when they came to him for healing, but sometimes they had to continue to believe, even when they didn’t fully get it, like in the story of the 10 lepers. Nine received healing, but ONE received wholeness, because of his returning to give thanks, then he got more blessing for acknowledging what had already happened.

He gives us free will and gave your ancestors free will. Many choices have been made around us and by us that haven’t lined up with God’s will. Just like Adam and Eve empowered Satan with one choice, is there one choice you or someone has made that has denied God’s truth as Jesus presented it? Repent of those choices, break every vow of agreement you’ve made with the enemy. Maybe you’ve believed or declared that you’ll “always” have something, or that you’ll “never” receive something. Do you believe the report of man, medicine or of God? How many people have said, “It’s going to be along painful road ahead.” That is a declaration of your faith! Did you know that! With our mouth we speak blessings and curses. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, so ask God, what words have I said that have empowered my situation. What do I expect in this situation? That is the measure of your faith. Then, if you’ve seen doubt in your answer, repent – CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK! – Receive His forgiveness and believe in his redemption. He hung sickness and disease on the cross with sin. (Isaiah 53:4, Mark 8:17) If you believe he canceled your sin, then he cancelled your sickness as well in the same act. It was pretty simple in the Bible. They heard Jesus was coming, knew he healed people and lined up to get touched by him. That is still happening today, through many of his servants. Find one who believes and get in their line. That is all the faith he required.

 

Sometimes we don’t get it, we don’t understand why healing didn’t happen today. Persevere! Seek to have greater faith. Don’t let pride get in your way. Pride says “I believed and it didn’t happen, so it must not be God’s will.” I humbly ask you to consider, “Did you have the confidence and faith of Jesus when you asked? Did your faith look like his? Was your heart in complete forgiveness as his was on the cross?” There are times when I have had faith to declare. “Watch this!” knowing fully that God was going to do just what I was going to ask. There are times when I have prayed with little faith, yet still believed God heals. Faith and it’s presence is an amazing mystery. It’s a treasure we seek. Jesus lived with an active gift of faith and says we are to grow into his fullness. He looked at God’s nature and character and revealed it in his actions. He knew what the Father would do. That is faith. There are times I’ve felt like that, but in painful moments, hard moments, I haven’t always had that faith and I doubt you’ve always had it either. We don’t always have the answers, but God expects us to grow in faith and not give up. Don’t change the theology of the Bible or add to it. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

If you have prayed and not been healed, find someone who believes you will be and ask them to pray for you.  I can believe Jesus heals people but not believe he will heal ME. That is not uncommon. If I don’t have faith for something, I find someone who does or who can instill it in me! I follow the advice in Romans 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I pray, “Lord, where does my mind need to be renewed?

One other question I ask, “Is there unforgiveness in my heart toward someone around this situation? Is there bitterness rotting my bones? Show me and align my thinking with yours. Make me perfect in love.” Jesus forgave all with great generosity when he said, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they do.” Regardless of our sin background, which God erases when we turn from it, he expects his followers to have hearts of forgiveness. Matthew 18 says that if we don’t forgive AS we have been forgiven, with that measure of love and generosity, we will be turned over to the tormenters. Unforgiveness is COSTLY.  Outside of that, coming to Jesus in repentance brings wholeness, body, mind and spirit. We get what we believe for. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you as well.” God made you to be amazing! To reach the world with your gifts and talents, to be a blessing. You can still be a blessing when you feel sick, or have physical conditions, but if you want to be healed, seek the healer and stand of the high price he paid with his body on the cross. It was enough. It was love embodied in a  man. It was your sin nailed in his hands and weighing on his heart. It was the price to bring you back to the Garden of Eden, to the image of God. When we feel his love, it is truly hard not to let go of the bitterness that binds us. I pray you feel that love today, that it washes over your very being and lifts up your soul.

Every promise of God is YES and Amen – done – in Jesus. Who will you believe today? God promises abundant life in John 10:10. What doesn’t look like that in your life. Stand on God’s promises and set your standards to the standards of Jesus’ ministry. If it worked for Jesus, it should work for you. We are to RE-present him and be clothed in him.

Loving People You Don’t Like or Trust

One of the most powerful tools the enemy locks us up with is unforgiveness. He especially loves when we think we have forgiven someone, but deep down, we still don’t love them unconditionally. True forgiveness means that I now have compassion toward that person, in spite of what they did to me or to someone else. I want the best for them, even if they don’t want the best for me. It’s not just ignoring pain and saying the words, “I forgive you,” I have RELEASED forgiveness and my heart has changed. Jesus commanded, “Love your enemies and and pray for those who persecute you.” Sometimes we fall a step short of that and think that tolerating people is forgiving them, but true freedom comes through Jesus’s definition.

The devil loves when we think we’ve forgiven people but we haven’t. Why? It gives him a foothold. Remember that verse “Don’t give the devil a foothold?” Forgiveness includes unconditional love. Tolerance does not equal love. You will have to forgive, even when it hurts. This can be HARD – I know! People do hurtful things. For example, how does one love unconditionally someone who’s raped them, broken into their home, or a spouse that has called you degrading names? How does one love a parent who didn’t love back? Or how about a doctor who made a mistake and let your child die? Even loving the person in front of us in the grocery store who’s kids are wreaking havoc can challenge us some days?

Jesus will help us see differently if we ask Him. There are people who have hurt us, but we can love them when we look at them from the Father’s perspective.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25

Forgiveness was a free gift we received at the cross and we are told to freely give as freely as we have received. We CAN choose not to, but there are consequences.

“… SO THAT… your Father in heaven may forgive you…” Forgiveness is important to God. Sometimes we are tormented by spirits (tormentors) because we have not forgiven. Read the parable of the unforgiving servant to see why forgiving is for OUR benefit.

Matthew 18 ” 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him then? Up to seven times?” 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (emphasis mine) How many times can we read a section of Jesus teaching and miss the last point. If we fail to forgive as we have been forgiven, Jesus said our heavenly Father will do to us what the fate of this unforgiving servant received. “.. he threw him into prison until he should pay the debt.”

We must forgive others as (in the same way) we have been forgiven. There are theologies that blame God for “allowing” bad things in our lives but in the story above, who is allowing the torment? The one who would not forgive! He has brought it on himself and He can release himself when he learns to forgive. We hold the keys in this matter!

In the Old Testament the law had consequences for sin because God is just. The debt has been paid for our sin! But now we must not grieve God by not forgiving those He has forgiven. Now we have a mediator in Christ who stands before God on our behalf, but the Mediator, Himself, says that we must forgive or our Father will turn us over to the tormentors to learn a lesson. I want to learn those lessons FAST by searching my own heart for the residue, don’t you?

So often we look at people through the lens of our experience. Our hurt clouds our vision. Jesus hung on the cross and pleaded with His Father to forgive those who scourged him until he was unrecognizable. He saw people differently, even when they hurt him. Sometimes there are people we’d just rather avoid, who we just don’t really like.

How do we move past this and on to loving that person who seems so difficult? We need to change our glasses in our spirit through which we see the world. Would you like to be able to move past hurts? We’re going to try an exercise that may help…

Prayer tool for forgiveness and freedom:

Before you read this, prepare your heart to pray. You are going to ask your Father in heaven a couple of questions and wait for a response. Right after you ask a question, you may receive a picture in your head, hear a name or perhaps see or think of group of people. If you receive nothing, you either see everyone just as God sees them, or you may have something hindering your hearing skills. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice.” You should expect to hear God’s voice. If you don’t hear, step back and ask God to align your heart to His, show you any unconfessed sin, bring his complete rest upon you and take a deep breath!

God asks us to love as Jesus did. He loved those who people thought were unlovable.

Who could this be in your life? It could be an individual who doesn’t like you, one who believes differently, or someone you just generally don’t want to be around. This could be a person or group of people from another culture, or background. Forgiving and loving are tied tightly together. You could hold bitterness against any one, a group of people, or a type of person.

What if you looked at them from God’s perspective today, as if they were the masterpiece that you created – as Jesus looks at them. We are to regard no man according to the flesh – meaning by what we see, or through our filter of experience or opinions. Looking at people through the eyes of the Spirit means you see their original value as God intended it. This is the key to seeing them with complete love and acceptance.

Here we go…Quiet yourself. Read the question and then listen for the first thought that comes to mind.

Question 1: “Father God, Is there anyone or any group of people that if they walked into the room, I would be less than thrilled to see them?

Did someone come to mind? First – Repent out loud- “Forgive me, Father, for not loving this person, or these people as you love them.”

Question 2: Now, set your feelings aside. Open your heart to hear and let God show you a new picture of this person in your mind. You may see a visual, feel an emotion, or hear a whisper of His voice in your head. (His voice sounds like your own thoughts at times.)

Ask Jesus.. “Jesus, show me how YOU see (this person)?”

You may be shocked at what you’ve just learned. Was it better than what you thought of them? Did you gain some understanding? I hope so.  Now forgive that person completely and pray for them. Bless them. Bless them abundantly, aloud, and feel the freedom that comes in the process. (It is good for satan to hear us let go of unforgiveness. Then he must loose his grip on you. You have broken your agreement with his ways.)

Repeat this process until there is no one left! Most of us begin with more than one person we need to deal with, so let this become a regular practice.

Take is further! As you walk down the street, ask God, “How do you see that person?”  Start seeing the world from a new perspective. You may find that what He shows you is so amazing that you just can’t help telling them! As we humble ourselves, we become distributors of freedom.

Once you love them… You’ll like them too. You just won’t be able to help it!

Receiving Healing Testimony for the Overthinker

Wednesday night we have weekly prayer meetings for our church expansion movement. The team God has gathered is so diligent in seeking God and so hungry for his will to be done on earth. At the end the meeting we have a time for any last requests or personal needs. In the last week, I had encountered a dizzy spell in the middle of the night that was pretty disturbing and led me to nausea.
In the following days, my head continued to feel fuzzy and I could feel pressure on the top and on my forehead. I was trying to ignore much of the distraction of it, but felt I should speak up at the end of the meeting and ask for prayer.
This team of a few surrounded me and prayed vehement prayers of faith. Their hands were on my head and I was feeling the pressure of their zeal as I tried to hold myself up. I felt a unique sense of safety, much like I was in the sheep pen with many shepherds. I felt my own walls to come down, walls that keep me moving forward when I need to push through things, walls of “my own faith” that I use persevere for myself. As the prayers continued in earnest around me, I closed my eyes and saw outside of the circle. Jesus was standing in the back of them, bright, white and much taller than these people, and I heard him say with a sweet voice as he gazed over them, “See?.. see how much they love me?”
“Awww, I do Jesus. I see it.” My heart was warmed. My thoughts were not on what I was going to receive in prayer, but on the loveliness of this little group as  Jesus and I watched these people who were pouring their hearts out to him on my behalf. “See how much the love me,” he said again with a smile. We loved them together as they prayed for me.  He didn’t talk about my healing or my situation. He didn’t need to. That wasn’t a big issue for him. It was no more than picking up a scrap of paper on the floor during a more important conversation. It was about me noticing something more long lasting, a teachable moment for me. He reached out and right through them like they were transparent and he was solid. I don’t know which one he reached through. It truly didn’t matter.
I realized he just stands behind the one who prays. To receive, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. His hand reaches out to heal.
These were certainly faith filled prayer servants, but what Jesus saw was their heart of love for Him as they served me. They cared about what He cared about. It was Jesus who answered my prayers, and those in front of him were simply the ones he reached through. Many of us who are seeking healing fall into a trap of looking for the person with the “most faith” to pray for our situation, but in my experience, it is often the ability of a person to look past the one praying, who is the tool, to Jesus as the healer. This is such a relief! I attend a Vineyard church and a motto of the Vineyard is “Everybody gets to play.” No one sits on the sidelines. Love and willingness are the most important qualifications for effective ministry. Perfection didn’t move the heart of Jesus, love did.
I am thankful for this moment because of the clarity of understanding that God shows no partiality, he is no respecter of persons. It isn’t about special training or age or experience, it’s about persevering together in prayer until God has seen and feels ready to reach through. I saw that Jesus was not waiting for them to say the perfect thing. Sometimes we give up when we don’t see a quick answer, but perhaps many times Jesus is standing there enjoying the process of faith filled prayers saying, “See how much the love me?” I do, Jesus. I do. I see a church that loves you, who reaches out to the hurting and just prays in faith knowing you are good and have help available. I love them too. I want to take time to enjoy that with you.
I am thankful that because I am part of the body of Christ, the connected people joined by His Spirit, I am never alone, never unloved and never abandoned. There is no lack and no need he will not reach through people who love him to meet. Lord, I receive what you have for me in the name of those who you send. Thank you.
The next morning, the pressure in my head was gone and the dizziness has not returned.

The Charlie Challenge and Getting Rid of Charlie

Have you played the Charlie Challenge or do you have friends who have?

The Situation I’ve learned about this week

Yesterday a friend alerted me to the new craze the Charlie Charlie Challenge.. This week I was with a team talking about Jesus with kids on the street. Our team met three kids in a neighborhood and not one of them knew who Jesus was. Two were eager to learn. Kids are hungry for supernatural things, but still very naïve. The two received the good news of Jesus eagerly and gave their lives to Christ. What does this have to do with Charlie? Charlie is VIRAL right now, but Jesus is not. Because of that, kids are getting sucked into dark stuff.

My Creepy Dream

After I was alerted to the spread of the Charlie Challenge I reposted it on Facebook and let it go. However, the Lord didn’t let me leave it that quickly. I woke the next morning after a strange dream. I regard my dreams pretty highly, and journal those that stand out. God has shown me some really significant things via my dreams that have come to pass. (as in Joel 2 in the Bible). This dream I had was like a short horror movie. I was with a young girl and we were in her room. She said that yesterday she had learned to make a sound (a call) that would call this “thing”. So we were curious to see whether the sound would bring it again.

We climbed up on the bed and she made this little sound, which seemed innocent, and the “thing” came. Through the air, at about eye level, a giant fish swam toward us. It had a long sword extending from its face. It came toward the young girl and its sword went through her gut and then came out again. It pierced her, but physically, we couldn’t see anything had happened. (Graphic scene warning)

Within a very short time, she started bleeding from between her legs. The flow quickly flooded her clothing, and there was massive internal bleeding like it was consuming her from within. Eventually blood began to fill her mouth and flood out of there too. Within minutes, she died.

In the dream, I was an observer and didn’t fear as I watched this scene. This thing wasn’t interested in me; it went for the easiest victim, the one who invited it.

The day after I had this dream, I ran into a group of kids who had just played this game and knew something was wrong with them. They felt something odd going on, creepy and they were eager to get rid of it. RIGHT AWAY God brought me to kids who had been affected by this to help them free and He told me to share this with you in an article.

What does this dream mean?

God created blood. Blood in his language symbolizes life. There is an evil angel called Satan, or the devil or takes what was God’s idea and twists it. That’s why there is this craze about vampires and blood. God actually made us to be supernatural and the blood of Jesus, his Son is powerful. Here’s the story.

God created man in a beautiful garden, a perfect world of peace and harmony, but before that time, there was another of God’s creations, a beautiful angel, that got proud. He, too, was amazed at how God created him but then thought the other angels should worship HIM. Pride was his fall. He fell to the earth where he continues to try to get God’s children to bow to Him. He uses every trick possible, like tricking kids into calling on him for supernatural answers. Did you know you could ask for a SAFE and all knowing Spirit? He will give you wisdom, tell you crazy things you could never know and allow you to have power to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons – like Charlie. It’s the life God made you to lead, but often we don’t see much of that action at church, so we don’t know that it happens. God puts His own Spirit, called the Holy Spirit in those who believe in His Son, Jesus. That Spirit gives us power to hear supernatural answers too and power over demons like “Charlie”!

The blood in the dream was really important. The enemy, Satan, wants to take your life. For everything counterfeit, vampires and messages from Charlie, there is a true. Without real money, we couldn’t have counterfeit money. Here’s what is true and right.

Where did the devil come from?

Long ago, after the first two people were created by God, they made a big mistake. It was kind of like the Charlie Challenge.

God made angels and some of them were tossed out of heaven with a beautiful angel called Lucifer, who thought he should be worshiped like God was, because he was so amazing. He was amazing, but he could not share the throne of heaven with God, so God cast him down to earth. (Revelation 12:9) This made him pretty mad. Man was made for friendship with God and to worship Him. This angel, now also called the devil, is jealous of that to this day and wants us to worship him. Now he’s just mean and cranky about it.

God made the first man and woman (Adam and Eve, Genesis 1) and placed them in a beautiful garden where there was no sickness or pain. It was an amazing place. The world at that time was perfect. God said it was all “good”.

That fallen angel, called Lucifer or Satan, tempted the first people God made and told them to listen to him. They did. They ate fruit God told them not to eat. They tried what he suggested and it led to death, similar to what I saw in the dream of the Charlie Challenge. They handed over the authority that God gave them over the earth to the devil. You can choose who you will invite into your life, God or the devil. The Bible says in Psalm 115:16 “The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.” We have choices of what we will do with this earth because God gave us that authority. Man chose to give it over to Satan. That is why so much bad stuff happens.

Jesus is the answer – the cure for this problem of sin.

God keeps his word. It is impossible for him to lie, so when man choose to eat that fruit, God said they would die, and they began to die at that moment, to age and die. They also became separated from God because of sin. God has laws and he doesn’t break them. He said the curse of sin is death. (That is where animal sacrifice comes from. The payment for sin had to be blood. I’m sure you’ve heard of that in many cultures.) God loved man and still loves man. He made a way for all this to get fixed, but there is still a battle going on that we don’t see with our eyes between the good angels and the bad ones. All man is suffering because Adam and Eve would pass down this sin to their children for generations.

Right away, God had a plan to save man. He sent his Son, born of a virgin young woman, 2000 year ago, a miracle from heaven. His name was Jesus. He did many miracles and healed the sick to show people that God was holy, powerful and merciful. The people he came to save crucified him; that means they beat him unmercifully and nailed him to a tree to die slowly! It was horrible. God allowed it because it was part of the plan.

Jesus was sinless and human, yet filled with the Spirit of God. He would become the perfect, final blood sacrifice to God. He paid the final price for our sin. He took what you and I deserved upon himself. Charlie is trying to make a sacrifice to himself out of you! Jesus died out of obedience to God. You may have or might invite Charlie out of obedience to “not God”. Not good, hey.

When Jesus died, the devil thought he had won, but GOD – but God raised Jesus from the DEAD and he still lives today! He rose to heaven in his body and but then sent His Spirit to live in us so that we could walk in the power and love that He did! (Read John to learn more.) Jesus took the keys of authority over the earth that man gave to the devil in the garden and gave them back to man. This is how you gain power over demons like Charlie

If you are lonely, don’t invite Charlie to be your friend. If you have another invisible friend that is not God, this works for that too. Those are not the right voices to follow. Jesus will tell you secrets too and they will bring you life, not death. Doing this will bring you eternal life as well! You will live forever in a place called heaven where there is no pain, sorrow or sickness.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF – ONE ONLY WAY

 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father (God) except through me.” He is the gatekeeper of eternal life, joy, peace, and power. He not just protects you, but replaces evil with good in your life. You can’t do this on your own.

 This message is called the “Gospel” or good news. Here it is explained from the Bible:

  1. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3;23 (Sin is the bad stuff people do)
  2. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (This means that when our bodies dies, our spirits live on. With faith in Jesus, we go to a place called heaven, that is beautiful. Without putting our trust in Jesus, we suffer in a place or torment, because we refuse the accept the gift. It’s our choice, not God’s punishment. We choose who we will follow.)
  3. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 )
  4. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (Grace is the power of God, a gift that comes because of his love and mercy.)
  5. If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

Being saved means you are reborn in your spirit. You move from death to life inside. God said you become a new creation! All old things pass away and things in you become new. You are not stuck with all the consequence of sin. You can be free!

You will feel joy instead of loneliness, peace instead of anxiety and you’ll be able to tell Charlie to leave and God will protect you. He wants all of yourself in his protective fence so he can free you from the things that got stuck to you in the world, the hurt, the pain, the abuse, the fear, addiction, suicide, voices that torment you. Jesus will take it all. There is a book that tells about Jesus called “The Bible”. If you turn to the second half, called the “New Testament” in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, you will read about His life.

How do you get to know Him?

Say this prayer OUT LOUD. IT MUST BE OUT LOUD:

“Jesus, I want your salvation. I believe you died for me and rose for me and that you are the Son of God. Forgive me for my sins. Take my life. I surrender it to you.”

It’s that simple. Did you say it?

If you prayed that prayer, what he tells the disciples in the Bible, he is telling you, because you are now a disciple, one learning from your teacher.

GOD HAS A GIFT FOR YOU!

With salvation comes a free gift, a powerful gift, a mind-blowing gift. Often we feel empty in life, so we seek things to make us happy. Those things, however, don’t fill us and so we keep searching never finding the joy we are looking for. We are made like a pitcher for water, to be filled with the Spirit of God. He says our bodies are HIS temple, His home, and he wants to fill us with His Spirit.

It’s simple. I’m going to ask you to hold your hands out, quiet yourself and invite the Holy Spirit to come. Then, just wait on him and sense what is going on in your body. You may feel peace. God says we can ask for more of him too, so when you start to feel His presence, you can ask for MORE too! This could be a strong sensation or not so much, but don’t be afraid. God is right there with you.

READY? Hold your hands out and say: “Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit”

GETTING RID OF CHARLIE (and other bad voices or spirits)

NOW – You can send Charlie and his buddies away. Without Jesus, the Bible says that when we send one demon away, he comes back with more friends, so we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit instead.

Below is a list of things to say out loud to get rid of Charlie and other things that torment you. You may pause between each one. You may feel physical changes going on in your body. Just wait and ask Jesus to help you if you feel uncomfortable or weak, then go to the next one.

Father, I ask your forgiveness for my sin. I forgive those who have wronged me and receive your forgiveness. Change my heart to look like Yours.

Heal my hurts and my pain. Forgive me for not valuing my life. I want to live.

(Don’t forget to say all this out loud so the devil can hear you.) In the name of Jesus, I loose myself from every curse I have inherited, that has been spoken over me or that I have brought upon myself.

In the name of Jesus, I command every evil spirit to leave me now. (You may feel something physically leave or see something in your mind. You might feel lighter – how cool is that!)

In the name of Jesus, I disagree with every bad word I’ve spoken about myself and I disagree with the negative things others have spoken over me. 

 I declare wholeness over my mind, body and soul right now.

In the name of Jesus, I tell my body to be healed.

In the name of Jesus, I tell my mind to be healed and in order.

 Thank you Jesus. Amen

WHAT NOW?

Congratulations! Now share this with your friends. Get a Bible, read the book of John together. You are a child of the living God, so you have a Father who loves you beyond what you can imagine. Start reading the New Testament of the Bible so you can learn more about your new life. I suggest starting with the book of John, the fourth book/part. Find others to read with.

Ask God where you should go to church and he may tell you right away, show you a picture or connect you quickly with someone who you should go with. The church should value the Bible as completely true and should also believe that the gifts God gave men, like healing, words of wisdom from God and what you’ve have experienced today really happen. Demons are real but God is way BIGGER and already has victory over them.

Trust what you are sensing when you join a church. You should feel LOVE when you enter a church, open arms and you should hear more about how to be a disciple who walks with the power of the living God in you. You should hear testimonies of changed lives. Settle for nothing less! Sin is not ok. The presence of God, joy and peace should be felt in a church. You should not sense that something is “off”.  The Holy Spirit will confirm things in your mind, heart or body when you need help. Any church that says God tolerates sin or that we can stay in it is wrong.  Grace is power to change, not license to sin. Romans 8 says what we should look like in Christ. It is a process of God changing us that takes different amounts of time with different people. God is patient and gentle as he changes us. He’s not going to beat you up for your sin, but you will feel that you have made God sad when you do, so just say you are sorry and then ask for His help to change. God is holy and he says we can be and should be holy like He is. That is the POWER of the gospel. The devil is not bigger than God, nor is His temptation. Find someone who loves and walks like Jesus in their life and ask where they go to church if you need help.

( My church recommendations in this article are for new believers, not for those who are already in relationship in a church. I believe God wants us who are mature spread out throughout the Body to help revive it. God will lead them and you but I wanted to establish what the Bible says a healthy church will look like.)

HEARING GOD

You can now hear the voice of God, so when you ask a question, the voice you hear may sound like your own voice. God’s voice is encouraging. The devil’s voice is negative and your own voice is selfish. That’s how you start to train yourself. Jesus calls his followers sheep, because they follow the Shepherd and he says you will hear his voice and not follow a stranger’s, so trust the leading voice of God. He will take you on some great adventures, comfort you, and direct you. He has a plan for your life! He also uses your imagination and dreams, so ask Him to give you a picture or a dream if you want to know something. If you don’t understand what you see or hear, ask another question. He will answer. He also uses our senses – all of them. Expect the unusual and enjoy it. Your life has become supernatural in a healthy way and God created you to be loved and amazing. He says you are His own child. Today is like a new birthday, so happy birthday in Jesus! 

#charliecharliechallenge, #charliechallenge

Following the Leader: Part 1- The Nature of God as a Father and Jesus as our Teacher

Recently, we were facing a big decision and feeling prompted by the Lord to take a step of faith. My husband and I had to ask God for an answer and believe that he would speak, as mentioned in James 1. We had to believe we would hear the answer right away.

We have a Father in heaven who loves us and our children even more than we are able to love our own children, or ourselves. I thought of the verse yesterday that said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV) There are many good gifts our Father wants to give us. One of them is physical healing.

Someone asked this question of me yesterday. “Who am I to ask that God take this pain away if He wants to use it for His glory?”  The heart of the Father stirred in me and I felt overwhelming compassion for this person, just as I would have felt if my little boy came to me looking feverish, but didn’t understand that I was willing and desirous to help.

If your child was sick, through no fault of his own, perhaps he had a migraine or the flu, or cancer, and you had the ability to heal them, would you let him suffer for his own good and withhold the medicine? Would we give him a placebo, or a slower acting medicine so he could model silent suffering as he was blinded by pain or the side effects of chemotherapy? Even the non-believing world would see that as bad parenting, or even child abuse. Yet, sometimes we reason that God does that to us because, when we ask, we don’t always get healed right away, sometimes not at all. Don’t be discouraged or doubt the nature of God because of your experience! The disciples were LEARNING how to do what Jesus commanded, but sometimes they didn’t see the results either. The problem isn’t in the nature of God or in our worthiness to be healed. We are in a parent/child relationship with the Almighty God.

Why doesn’t God heal me then? Why do I still suffer, even if someone has prayed for me, or I have asked? Most of us have asked that question at some point. I have learned much from Jesus’ example. He told me to do all that he commanded. He told the disciples to go and teach others everything He commanded, that they should then tell others. So, as the good note taker I am, I’ve gone back to study all that He commanded so I could try to do that.

One thing He said was, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and cleanse the lepers.” Ok, so I tried it. It didn’t work the first time I tried. Why doesn’t it always work? Does it mean the gifts have ceased?  … There is no evidence of that in scripture that I can find, but here’s a teaching tip he gave to His first disciples from Mark chapter 9. It’s like a parenting conversation between Jesus and the disciples. The disciples are talking to Jesus after going out to heal the sick and deliver people from evil. The say, “What went wrong? We did what you told us to do!” But they weren’t mature in understanding yet…

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Did you note that Jesus didn’t say “Everything is possible for ME.” He said, “Everything is possible for THE ONE WHO BELIEVES.”

The disciples believed in Jesus, they just didn’t believe they could cast out that demon. We can have faith in God but not faith in what he said we can do. The enemy knows this and fails to listen when we don’t understand the true nature of faith and authority. “Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard of, but who are YOU?” demons once said to some who were trying to cast them out. Authority comes through faith and relationship.

The disciples were growing up in faith and in their knowledge of the nature of God, just as we all are. Like little preschoolers, they were trying to do what they saw their parent doing.. Give yourself grace and then persevere to understand more so we don’t frustrate Jesus… because it looks like Jesus had a bit of frustration when he said, “You unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

Haven’t we felt this with out own children as we are training them? We teach them to do something and they say, “I couldn’t do it” or they just don’t do it and we end up doing it ourselves. Here Jesus says, “Fine, I’ll do it myself, but I expected you to do it.” We know they COULD do it if they tried and believed they could, because we’ve given them the tools and the direction, yet they quit before they succeed. Just because our children don’t understand, doesn’t mean they can’t learn or they can’t do it. It sounds like Jesus is having a parenting moment here to me. He’s modeling the Father’s nature, his power toward those who believe, yet his followers are not fully grown up into who they called him to be. Just look at the progress of Peter!

We MUST trust the words of Christ, the God who cannot lie. God calls himself “Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals”. In Jesus example, He healed all who came to him and asked. In Jesus, He showed his true nature. Jesus was the visible representation of the invisible God we struggled to understand. He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” We can know the Father’s will by what Jesus’ did. He didn’t need us to look humble and pitiful, nor to grovel for his help. Would we want our children to look like that? or would we want them strong, confident and in charge!

It is not humility to be less than we are called to be or to receive less than God has promised us. Humility is saying “Yes” to whatever the Father asks, no matter how foolish we look to the world doing it. It is not confidence in the flesh, confidence in our own strength, or our own wisdom.

Recently, we were facing a big decision and feeling prompted by the Lord to take a step of faith. My husband and I had to ask God for an answer and believe that he would speak, as mentioned in James 1. We had to believe we would hear the answer right away. We prayed individually and compared the first thing that came to our heads. I heard the quiet voice say, “You can’t do this in your own strength.” I held that in and asked what my husband heard. He said he heard, “It’s not going to work.” Yikes! I thought. We better ask more about that, so he asked, “What does that mean?” The quiet voice in his head replied, “Doing it your way.” I then shared the confirmation I heard.  That led to a big step of faith into a decision that seemed nutty and unreasonable. We wanted to do what seemed “wise” in the way of the world, get all the answers before we acted, but the Lord said, “It’s not going to work your way.”

Isn’t that what a Father who knows better would say?! “Son, it’s not going to work your way. I have a better plan and I need you to trust me.” Humility is listening to that voice and bowing your way to the one who knows better.

Jesus modeled humility in actual persecution. He submitted to torture and said the disciples would be tortured as well, but for their faith because they confessed the words of the Gospel. Human eyes can’t see who Jesus is, but the spirits could. People didn’t recognize him, because often we are veiled to spiritual things, but when the demons came near him, they shuddered, because they knew his identity. Know your identity. You are filled with the Spirit of the Living God and shine the light of Christ! The veil in the temple has been torn and you have access to the power of the living God who is making all things new! Easter is every day in the Kingdom of God because Jesus came out of the tomb and is the same yesterday, today and forever!~ Ya

He Came Back to Say “Thanks!” and God Responded With More

Such a great evening at our weather amnesty shelter last night. For those new to my blog, part of our family life includes coordinating a winter weather amnesty shelter for homeless men. For my first night of the season, I brought my famous (boxed) brownies and met old friends again. We heard a great devotion from a volunteer who really prayed and listened to what God wanted to say to these men and heard confirmation that she was right on in their responses! She’d overcome addiction herself. Many here struggle with that. Yeah God! I love those moments.

Also had a man come see us who Steve prayed for the night before. Steve was busy with another man and told him to come look for me. He wanted to share what God has done for him. He took off his glasses and pointed to his eye. He said he had a tumor in there and, before, he couldn’t look at the light without severe pain, so he wore very dark glasses. He took off his glasses and looked right into it and said, “This is so freaky! I am so freaked out!” I have no pain. Then he showed me his leg. He had deep vein thrombosis previously. He pulled up his pant legs as all the guys were sitting there to show them what God has done. The swelling was gone and the two legs were the same size. The cracks in the skin were healing. He was just praising God and in shock. Others were watching and one man just held his hands up in awe and wonder. He showed me his arm and said it had been broken in 7 places by a K9; there were plates in it and it had a big swollen lumpy area above the wrist. I said, “Let’s pray for that too!” “Alright!” he said and stuck it out and closed his eyes. I closed my eyes too and started telling the bones to heal. He stopped me to say “Look! Wait. look!” I opened my eyes and looked at his arm and the lump was gone. He went on to thoroughly point out what was different. The skin was loose and some lump was gone leaving an indentation. The scaring was all in different places and loosed up. We were so excited! Jesus is alive we agreed!

He sat down for the devotion, hardly containing himself, continually checking out his arm and leg. Nearby, another man was watching who went to find Steve. He asked for prayer and confessed his need for Christ. God is so good! I love my job as Christ follower. At The Vineyard Church last week we heard about the 10 lepers and the one who said thanks. There weren’t 10 this time, but is always so rewarding when one returns to celebrate how wonderful God is, but even more awesome to see God say – YES! Let me show you what else I can do when you’re thankful! I remember Mark wondering what Jesus was thinking. I wondered too. Tonight I think I got a picture of what he was thinking – “Let me reward you with more for your thankfulness!” May he continue to wholeness in every way.