God Meets Us In Our Hunger

Dear hungry friends,

How hungry you are, not just hungry for food, but HUNGRY to see what God has been doing in your lives all along. It has seemed like a wilderness for such a long time but God knows what he’s doing! I felt God lead me to fast ahead of the fast and I completed my 5 day fast yesterday. That way I could encourage you all with what he was doing and give you hope in the hard moments. This will be long. You may want to soak on part of it at a time. It took two weeks for me to have all of these “aha” moments. I did a lot of waiting on God. I asked. Then I waited. Then I heard. Repeat.

God will reach us anywhere if we seek him like this, not just during the Chasing God evenings (for my Vineyard friends), but wherever we seek him with all of our hearts. God started breaking down my walls before the fast. Now, I should explain. I didn’t have an awareness that I had walls, but I did have an awareness that I was not as compelled as I have been in the past to love on people. I loved people, but I know what it felt like to flow like an unhindered river of love and it just wasn’t happening every where I went, so I was asking God why? What happened to me?

I found myself feeling vulnerable and letting it happen. I consider myself a pretty vulnerable person… but perhaps I was wrong. Love hurts you know. It hurts. I’ve loved a lot of people in some crazy, deep ways. Are they all sending flowing love back to me? Guess. Nope. They fail. But also – I fail. Yes. We all suck at times. I had a little fit about it one night.

Very early the next morning I woke to the words of the song  “You Are Not Alone”.  I got up and curled up on the couch, turned on the song and tears began to flow. I left it on repeat. I couldn’t read my Bible or do anything. I had to just sit with God and let him heal me. No matter what I did, the tears leaked. I tried doing something, so at 6:30 a.m. I sat at my jewelry making project. No creativity came. I was blank – just leaking tears out of my soul. I think years of pent up sadness were leaking out. Things I’d “gotten over” were still hurting and held on to. I began to see them and confess them. I just sat and asked God, “Come and take it. Heal me.”

I entered a fast. It wasn’t my first fast, but in this one, God let me see that I had to surrender my will. I was HUNGRY, physically, and had to pray to for him to give me the food from heaven he gave to Jesus. He did. He’s so good. This has not always been the case on previous fasts, but on this one I was in pain, literally. But, I learned there was still pain in my soul. I didn’t really know why I felt alone, or why I felt sad, but the tears came and I was thankful that God was sovereignly taking over my emotions. God washed my soul with tears on this fast. He let out the sadness and the pain I couldn’t put my finger on.

My story will be different than yours, or course. The promises of God will become real in your life if you choose to endure, even just a little while longer. Put your lives in order. Choose to be steadfast. It’s time to let go of the emotions, the fears and hand them to the Lord. It’s time to open the wells of your heart and let out what has been buried. “If you will listen to my voice,” I hear the Lord saying, “I will lead you out of the wilderness and your ministry, your new life of action with Jesus will begin.”

God led me to Matthew 4 this morning and showed me the process Jesus went through just before his ministry launched. If you need hope on your journey right now, pay attention to the  model of Jesus’s life. He is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Here’s how Jesus launched. If we are like him, joining in his suffering and growing up into the fullness of Christ, where are you in this process? 

  • He went to the wilderness with no suitcases, no defenses, vulnerable and dependent.
  • He chose to live by every word that God spoke – no food for the flesh.
  • He went where there were no distractions, but the devil, of course.
  • At the end, Jesus decidedly declared to satan,
    “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
  • The devil left.
  • Angels came to minister to him.
  • He went to Capernum. He began to fulfill the prophesies over his life.
  • He began his life message, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
  • He selected his new family of brothers. This would grow as more believed.
  • God had prepared them also, and they left all to join him.
  • Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Don’t run from the process – Embrace it.

I share my story so you can know you are not alone and to help you YIELD to what God wants to do in you at this time. How did this start? In the last two weeks things have been “bubbling up” that I didn’t know were in me. I started paying attention to what triggered me. Things I thought I didn’t struggle with anymore were happening again. Yet what I realized was that there were remnants. God is looking for a remnant. (That’s a little pun for my praying friends 🙂 A holy remnant, so he’s bringing up our own remnants and showing us why they have been stuck there, behind our walls. This post is a testimony of some of the key things that bubbled up inside of me before and during the fastHere are the things that have welled up inside of me through this fast, and then, how I saw Jesus through them.

1) I realized something and confessed it…I had a longing  to be loved by people I love. I wanted to be loved back.

God showed me that Jesus didn’t get that for a season either. He still doesn’t get that from us in the way he longs for. In the Garden he asked his friends to pray and keep watch but they fell asleep while he interceded for himself to the point of sweating blood. When the soldiers came and as he hung on the cross his friends didn’t want to suffer with him. They could not let go of their fleshly lives. On the cross, while he hung there for others who were dying in their sin, he was alone. Have you felt alone? Know that Jesus understands.

2) Loyalty 

God spoke the word “loyalty” to me. What did he want to teach me about that?  How did I handle when people weren’t loyal? I hurt. I just hurt. I got over things, but I was made in the image of God and I was a jealous for the affections of my children. I let that out. I shared that I was hurt. I sobbed in front of my family and let them comfort me. Yes, there was some self-pity in there. It was a little ugly and selfish, but I needed to be known. Have you ever felt like that? Have you longed to feel known?

When I got it out, I was clear and I could hear. Then I realized I was not loyal either. I had been a bad friend on so many occasions. How many times had I grieved God when I passed a hurting person or said a harsh word. I repented to him and to my family. But it’s not all bad. God feels like I feel, but he loves anyway. God reminded me of Hosea and how he showed us his nature as a jealously in love God. God is jealous for us and we are made IN HIS IMAGE. He is jealous for you, for your loyalty and your love. We are so like him. Think about how he feels about you. He just wants you for his own. He wants your full attention, for you to be FULLY PRESENT and FULLY ENGAGED with him like a couple newly in love who have eyes only for each other. They can sit on the couch all night and be content because it just matters that they are together. That’s how our loving Daddy holds us in his heart. I love that kind of love. I was reminded that we love, because he first loved us. That’s what makes it work.

Of course we want loyalty, but we have to love unconditionally, like Jesus did, even when all those flee or just are too busy.

What stops that? Then God reminded me of the principle of judgement. When we have a judgement, it affects how we love the people we judge. It stops the flow of love and power. In addition to that, we have to be love conscious and not enemy conscious. Our enemy is not people. They know not what they do. The stumble around in disappointment wondering if God sees them, but if we see like Him, we will know their pain, that they long just to be loved and for something they can hold on to so they can rest. We are an unfaithful people, disloyal in so many ways.

3) God has emotions. We can have emotions and we can let them out.

Jesus wept.  Jesus is the exact likeness of the invisible God. If Jesus weeps, our Father weeps, his emotions come forth. He created us with all the emotions he has but he has no walls so he lets them out.

If he’s a jealous God he has emotion. He has longing. We see from the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15 that the Father saw his son from afar he broke down and ran. He RAN to him. No matter what his son had done, the longing in the Father’s heart was for him to return.

He needed his son home because he was a part of him. We are a part of God. His breath is our breath and he misses us when we are far away in a distant land. “Come home,” he says to us. I feel the pain of the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son as I imagine what it was like in the years his son was gone.  Can you feel the sobbing heart of the father as he sees the empty place at the dinner table, he’s crying inside… “come home”. Just come home.  Our father loves us that much. Nothing can stop him from embracing you when you come to him, even if your expectation are low, even if you expect just to be a servant, Papa God says… “NO! You are my SON! Bring him the best robe! Put a ring on his finger! Give him new sandals. Celebrate, MY SON is home.”

4) If you feel you have fallen short…

God has been freeing me of limitations I have put on myself, AND of the feeling of obligation. What I have felt like I have’t been able to do, God has been doing for me. I have only understood in part and grieved about what I could not know. This is why God says, “Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING give thanks.” It’s hard to do that when we want to know when and how and why, isn’t it? He showed me last month that the seeds of prayer that I planted were in good soil. As I saw this in a vision, tears began to flow. Tears of thanks. Those tears fell on the soil and the seeds grew into beautiful sunflowers.

Post fast – Today God showed me HOW he had been filling in the gaps when I felt like I was not getting all the things done that I wanted to see done through my life.  I sobbed this morning as I saw the visions and dreams and words and prophesies come together in the form of a timeline, all interlinked. Revelation and understanding started flooding my spirit! The pieces began to come together all at once so I could see his goodness! God is alive and real and working on your behalf. He shows us the dreams of his heart but not all the details. I suppose this is so we will learn to trust him. Has he whispered that to you lately, “Do you trust me?’

5) We are one Body with many parts. You don’t have to do it all.

We are ONE BODY. Have you been doing your part? Have you wondered if you were? If you have been obedient in the moment to God, then be encouraged. He’s been working on the bigger plans and the house is being built. You may have felt like something had to be done, but you didn’t get to do it.

Sometimes we think what we see is our assignment. As an intercessor, I used to get really hung up on this. I’d see things and think I had to do them all. Thank God – NO! I was to pray them into being. Sometimes they were mine, but I wasn’t to carry the load of all that I saw needed to be done. As a mom, I feel that way too at times. No – we’re a family and families work together. Thankfully, God’s got resources and gives grace. He knows we are human. I have longed to write a book but have had many other things that seemed to get in the way. I was feeling like I missed the mark on that, but it wasn’t coming together.

Was it my time? As I write I am sitting with a book my dear sister in Christ wrote. I just came out! Her first book! It’s full of testimonies of miracles and how they flowed. Her journal entries are like many of mine. I felt such relief as I read it and thanks! I just kept thanking Holy Spirit for giving her those words. Yes, I could have written a book, but I could use her book on this topic to do so much! She did her part and I can do my part! I was so excited ( I write more about the story below.) What if God may have been using someone else who had time to accomplish the work you would have like to have done while you were doing what was in front of you. Let them get the credit for the good work. It’s ok. Let go of YOUR need to be known or to be celebrated. If you have been walking on the path with Jesus, then rest easy. What you have been doing matters to God. What matters is that people come to Jesus.

4) You are not unknown by God – A Picture of Intimacy with Holy Spirit

I know this is a lot of writing, so I ask you to take a deep breath before you read this part.

Pause….

Don’t be impatient. Breath in and out, relax, let your body go limp for a minute and invite the Holy Spirit to come. Wait for him. 

Now, read this word and meditate on it. 

Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

He is close. He is as near as your breath and is your breath. As your breath goes in and out of you, picture that breath as the presence of God, a cycle of how he works.

Breathe in…. and he is with you. He hears the whispers of your heart.

Then, breath out. He goes out carrying those prayers and making them happen.

He is an intimate God. He is a personal God. Your spirit is one with His Spirit. He says you are one, but YOUR connection to God is unique, because half of is YOUR DNA. One body, but many combinations of amazing uniqueness.

He hears every thought and knows you intimately. Even as we breath out, not all the air leaves. His presence, like oxygen stays in our lungs, keeps us alive while he works on our behalf.

As you inhale, He quickly comes back in, because we need more of him to live. This is the life cycle of our connection with the Holy Spirit. It is what keeps us alive. Remain in him. Take him in. Release some of him. Get more of him. We can’t live without that next breath and when we hold it in, if we TRY to hold it in, eventually we pass out, don’t we! We think we can hold back, but God just chuckles, I’m sure. Like a kid who threatens to hold his breath, we keep working to control our environment…Yet a wise parent with experience says, “Go ahead! I wonder how long you can hold it?!”  Like this child, who will eventually pass out and start breathing again so the breathing, the intimacy with God, can resume. No, we can’t fight intimacy with God, like we can’t fight breathing.

Today I listened to the song “He Knows Your Name”, thanking Holy Spirit over and over again for my friend’s book and the miracles recorded in it. The tears began to flow again. I saw all that my Papa had been working on to help the Kingdom grow through my connection with my sister, through her friends, and the through the people I had been ministering too and with. He knows my name. It doesn’t matter if anyone else does. 🙂 My Papa knows my name. He sees me. I don’t care who else affirms me or recognizes me; I only want to fulfill his purposes and see my Papa smile. I realize that that is all the affirmation I need.

My prayer this week has been “Deliver me from evil.” Now, at the end of this fast I pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Let it be so, Lord. Let it be so. Amen.

I hear this word from the Lord for you…

“Walk with me on the journey. I will enlighten your soul. I am coming to rescue you. I have seen and heard your heart and I have been fulfilling my promises. Don’t lose faith in Me, the Lord says. Don’t lose faith! No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love him and who are called according to his purposes.

For those you have been praying for, remember your own conversion. Remember how it happened. If you haven’t really given your life, now is the time! Give is ALL. Give all that you are, all that you have, all of you! That is what you will pass on to others, because, you see, that you will receive more if you surrender more. That is what you have to pass on to others, to your family. What you sow, you will reap. Not just the bad, but the good. Your children will inherit the good as well. You have chosen me and that example is your testimony. Lead by example and establish what your children will inherit, your physical children and your spiritual children. It will be like day and night. As quickly as night ends and day comes, what we’ve hoped for will happen.

Was what lost, will be found.  (Luke 15)

How do I know? Because God reminded of how it happened for me One day, long ago, I woke up in the pig pen and said, “What am I doing? This isn’t working for me?” I had been resistant, willfully resistant, because I hadn’t tasted and seen yet. I knew nothing else but what I’d experienced. But at that point, I had nothing left. I was empty and needed something more, so I said YES to an invitation that changed my life. I said YES. And in an instant, resistance left and I was a new person who God filled with purpose and hope.

REMEMBER! Remember your testimony. Remember other testimonies. That is how quickly God can move in the ones you love and for those you have HOPED for. Don’t worry a minute longer, just keep extending invitations. God will do the work in their hearts as they see where they are sitting.  Rejoice, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. 

God is putting the pieces together for me today and it is bringing me such joy that I can’t hold back the sobs. “This is true worship.. Your life is your worship to God. When you fully yield to all of yourself to him, and let go of all of your pride, you will find him. I pray you will see how intimately connected all things are and how he has been working on your behalf from the moment of the cross. Let your joy be complete.

God has been working in us to show us our need for him. When we truly see our need, there will be worship that will attract the host of heaven and the glory of God. We will see like never before who our God is. Our beautiful, amazing, incredible God, who loves us like a Papa loves his babies and fights for them to the death.

From “You Know My Name”…

“…I’m walking in your victory, because your power is within me, no giant can defeat me, because YOU hold my hand. I don’t have to be afraid anymore.. YOU hold my hand! I’m so in love with you. I’m so in love with you!”

In Christ,
Anne Huffman, Daughter of God

Testimony of JOY: 

God will remind you of what he has shown you and show you what he has been doing. Years ago I had an encounter with God. He showed me an open blank book. I didn’t know what to do with it or why he showed it to me. I always assumed I was to write it. He said, “Pour  my blood on these pages.” Around that time, God was beginning to teach me about miracles and healing. I was getting so hungry for him. I journaled all that I saw and how it happened at that time. I was seeing the power of God in so many ways that I was just wrecked over and over again. I was so expectant and wanted to teach others how to live in the supernatural ways of God.

Then, we came to a new church and life got different. I really didn’t know how to fit in.  My life of street ministry and women’s prayer groups changed. It’s like moving to a new town and trying to figure it out. My husband went on staff as a pastor and I jumped into intercession for him and church. That’s who I am, an intercessor. I stand in the gap for people. Who were these people? I stretched and grew in new and different ways. My dreams of a book were set aside. There were people who needed deep healing, kids who needed teaching, a pastor husband and the church to pray for and it took TIME. In the doing and praying, there was little time for writing. I used to write all these cool testimonies of miracles and healing in my family journal. I never knew where to share them. I had some amazing stories in the works, but they were yet unfinished.

I felt guilty at times that I did not write that book. Was I disobedient? The accuser did a number on me at times. But, I could not turn away from the people in front of me who needed my attention, and then my family who needed more of my time too, and then our homeless guys we helped, who I wanted to keep loving on called me. My journal of testimonies got dusty. I just couldn’t write it down anymore. I wasn’t living anxiety about this.. I didn’t think… I knew I had to do what I was doing each moment. I’m pretty prayerful about my days.

This morning, God opened up a picture of a timeline to me and I saw how years ago he put someone in my life to walk with, a sister of my soul. We talked of writing often but neither of us had anything published yet. This week I learned that she had been putting all her journal entries together and published a book and now it was in front of me! I have a book in m hand by my dear sister’s name on it called “My Supernatural Life”. I felt such joy! Such joy! It was like holding her close and feeling known all at the same time.

We have this picture that we are like an Oreo. Two parts divided by the state line and about 35 miles.

Her book is so raw and simple. It’s just her journal, much like mine in some ways, but with different experiences and according to our unique place in life. She explains things with clarity though, each encounter is filled with detail so you can understand. Isn’t that what we all want, to be understood?

As I read her book of amazing testimonies of miracles, and of one mission we did together, I went back to MY journal and reread some of the amazing testimonies I’d recorded too. Two sides of the same story! Something started to well up in me and I understood something. What I hadn’t been able to do in writing all these testimonies down, God was beginning to accomplish through my sister!  There were things I always wanted to do and explain to people and she had done that. Relief filled my heart as  thought of all the people I could share this with who would understand ME better through HER writing. It would help train up those I was helping along the path.

I remembered that in Christ we were one body. My sister was doing what I couldn’t do while I had another purpose. Tears started to flow and I felt a sob welling up in my soul. What I dreamed of, she had done. I was so relieved. I saw how all the parts were coming together and what I could do now that my heart had been revealed through her words. There were like experiences, and new experiences, and things I have always wanted to put into words for people.

I thought of all the people who she sought out to teach her, some I knew and some I didn’t, and over the years, many of us sought each other out for knowledge and faith that could only come by sharing the testimony. Those were food for our soul!

Now, God is bringing us together in a movement. Some of us have felt stuck but God is saying “Come up here. It’s time for you to get out of the little place you’ve been holding up in and working. It’s ok to get out of the life raft and onto the boat. Tears well up as I write this. Jesus said, “Make my joy complete by being like minded, being one in Spirit and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

Book Link: “My Supernatural Life” by Lisa Beth Adams

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.”

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.

Shake off the Grave Clothes – An Awakening Experience

I’ve been awaiting a break through.  I just felt like I needed another step of freedom to function in what I was called to do in this time. A month ago I asked God, “What promise should I be clinging to at this time?” I heard, “I am making all things new.” That wasn’t a new word to me, but since the Lord had just brought it up again, I choose to expect it to happen in a new way.

In the next weeks, I felt very drawn to Romans 12 again. The verse I’d first been drawn to when I was born again was Romans 12:2. I heard the theme repeated over and over in messages and through other people. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is God’s good and perfect will.” You may have a different place of your mind that you struggle with. I was having waves of consistency in faith for different miracles and healings. I wanted consistency and a renewal of my identity. I was obviously looking at myself too much, because all things are available in Christ.

There are too many things to enemy is doing every day not to be more consistent, I was telling myself as I prepared dinner one night. I cried out to God. Just show me what I need to know. I heard in my mind “John 12”

“John 12?” I thought. I’ve been reading John 15 and soaking on abiding in Christ, remaining “in him” at all times. I’d also been meditating on Psalm 91, reading that I must stay so close that I remained in his shadow. Then there was John 17 about how Jesus prayed for us. Also stunning…that we would have unity, that we have been given His glory, that workers should be sent out. But, what about John 12? While I cooked, I listened to it on audio a few times but no light bulbs went on. When I woke up it came to mind again, John 12. I got out the old paper Bible as I propped my pillows up in bed. I heard John 12:46 and looked it up. “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

John 12 starts out with Mary anointing Jesus with expensive oil, preparing him for his death, for the day of his burial. People then learned that Jesus was there and a large crowd gathered.

However, I’d not noticed this before:

“…they came, not only on account of him (Jesus) but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests      made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” I had never thought much more about Lazarus after he had risen. Everybody knew he had been dead, so seeing him walking around, living, breathing, and alive would have been a continuing testimony of the power of God in Jesus. It’s not every day that you see someone from a funeral walking around or reclining at the table, just eating dinner after being raised from the dead!

I continued to read John 12, looking for more. The word “light” kept standing out to me. “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may becomes sons of light.” (Verse 36). I read, “I am a son of light,” so what does that look like? Jesus said in verse 46, ,”I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” My mind flashed back to Lazarus in the tomb and I saw him newly risen, but with bandages around his body. Not only was he called from the dark cave to walk out into the light, but, in my mind I saw a picture of light shining through the bandages from within him.

I turned back to the account in John 11 to read what happened when Jesus called Lazarus forth from the tomb. Jesus had the stone rolled away, against advice of the mourners. With a loud voice he said, “Lazarus, come out.” Lazarus came out all bandaged up. Remember, Lazarus was in that tomb for four days. He would not have been very fresh. Bodily fluid would have leaked out of his system and so the grave clothes he wore would have been pretty nasty! Jesus then added, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Unbind him. Lazarus was dead, now he was alive. New life surged within his body. He had been called to new life as a living testimony of God’s power but he was wrapped in remnants of the old. Would they leave those on him? He had no use for grave clothes any longer and, no, they certainly wouldn’t have left any of them on him. In fact, he probably headed to the bath after that.

Grave clothes… unbind him…

Not only did Lazarus die and was raised, we died with Christ and were raised with him.

Romans 6:7-9 “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.”

Romans 6:4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

In our new life, do we leave any of the grave clothes on? I pictured Lazarus coming out of that tomb, covered with the filth of death, the remains of what was. The first thing Jesus commanded was “Get that stuff off of him!” I realized, “Lord! I have risen with you. I was dead in the filth of who I was, but in KNOW that I am alive in new life in you. I died with you and I am raised a new creation.

I realized the trouble, that my mind doesn’t always understand the full reality of that. I died with Him. I live in Him. We are one. I am free of death, of the old and I wanted all those grave clothes off of me! I then saw a picture of myself as a new creation, but with little bits of those bandages still stuck to me here and there. My old mind, the old man understanding was still sticking to me in places where I was already made new. “Lord!” I cried. “Show me where there are any grave clothes stuck to me that I need to take off!” As I did this, I closed my eyes and just paid attention to my body, as if I were like Lazarus, who had just risen from the tomb. With my hand, I started pulling invisible bandages off of me wherever I felt my attention was drawn to. No more!

The process of renewing our mind is one of bringing our thoughts into alignment with truth. I died with Christ a long time ago, but I wanted to be completely free to live a life that met up with Jesus prophesies for me as a believer. John 14:12 “Those who believe in me will do the things I do, and greater things than this because I go to the Father.” He would leave his Spirit here to dwell in us, the light from within, shining through with bright light for all to see! Like Lazarus, we are to be living testimonies of the light within us. Is anything sticking to you that blocks the light? Pull it off today!

Through this, the song “Forever” by Kari Jobe came to mind. “The stone was rolled away…. “ I pulled up that song and began to worship to this song, rising with Christ and coming out the tomb with Him. (You could pause here and do this yourself before going on.)

When this ended, I asked God to renew my mind about myself. I started physically to reach around my body and pull off every piece of invisible grave clothing that would keep leave old man thinking in my life to smell like rot. If you’ve not been having conversations with God about your identity, know that He is anxious to speak. He uses your imagination, showing you pictures in your mind, like Jeremiah saw. He echoes like your own voice in your head. He brings sounds and words to mind. Don’t limit him because, just like you, He is alive!

After I’d ripped off all the stuff I felt was sticking to me, I wanted to get to know my new self. I wanted the rebirth I have received in Christ to fully manifest in my mind. I knelt down, held my hands out, closed my eyes and asked Jesus to show me how he saw each part of me. “Show me how you see my eyes!” I waited. I saw my eyes half filled with water and knew them as the eyes of Jesus and I heard “When people look into your eyes, they will feel known.”

I held my hands out and went though each body part this way: my hands, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my nose, my feet…” As I saw what God saw in my hands, I received the renewal of understanding my identity.

As He is, so will I be. Continue your work through me Lord. Let me never think less of myself than you have created me to be.

John 17:26 “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

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

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.

Be Overwhelmed by Him and Not by Your Circumstances

Word of encouragement for the day: “Don’t be afraid of the future.”

This weekend I did some house painting. While going through the normal processes, running up and down the stairs for supplies, I had the sudden realization of how “alive” I feel. It was an inner feeling of joy, lightness and energy that had nothing to do with what I was doing. It wasn’t my physical condition that kept me from being worn out, it was my inner spirit thanking God for loving me. It came from my connection to my Father, God.

Then, people came to mind who may not feel this way and my heart grieved for them. I remembered on how hard it must be to live a life apart from knowing God’s heart, where fear had permission to torment us. Sometimes we can forget, even for a minute, how amazing our God is and how he hears our prayers and promises to answer.

If you feel alone today, call on your Father. He is listening. His arms are open. Place yourself there and remain connected. Use your imagination, God made it. The Bible says we are seated with Him in heavenly places, so while your everyday life is going on down here, let your spirit be resting in the arms of God, like a child safe in arms. You never have to leave that spot.