Healing at Amusement Parks – Waiting in line is more fun with Jesus

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV1984)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us.
 
2 Corinthians 4:10 (NIV1984)
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
 
I’m not anyone special, except to my Father in heaven of course. I am a mom and wife. I have no church position, but I minister to people every day. I love Jesus. When I wake up, I recognize him for my first breath and continue to do so throughout the day as He keeps my heart beating with His. There is no where I’d like to escape from Him, no place I want to be without Him and no person I will not talk about Him with. He is my life. I live blessed with every breath because He fills me. I am that jar of clay. Until he came, I was empty, looking for satisfaction in relationships, how my house was decorated and through validation that I was doing well at my job, whatever that was in the time. I needed approval to feel good about myself and I relied on the church to feed me. Most of the time, that left me frustrated. I sought more and the more was God. Now I know that my walk with Jesus can have church added to it, my spiritual food can be added to by the church and my faith can be strengthened by encouragement through the body of Christ, but there is One, only One, who will fulfill me moment to moment. He is the One I love and adore. He is my all-consuming fire, the relationship of a lifetime, the desire of my heart. I was made for Him and I can’t escape loving Him and his creation every minute. I am ruined for all else, but with joy that is more than enough to share. Through it, I love my family better, I love people in the church more, I love people who aren’t lovely just as much. God is our Father and they are my family, or people who I want to join my family.
 
My jar hasn’t changed, but it has been filled and it is always warmed by the Jesus love within. There was an awakening moment in my life when it came to reading Paul’s writing. It came when I began to live through the book of Acts. You can read acts as history, or you can expect it to be your experience. A few years ago, I was convicted that Acts should be the experience of the body of Christ today and my experience every day. Jesus healed all who came to him. Why weren’t the people I prayed for healed like that if I was to grow up into the fullness of Christ and be an imitator of him? As Paul writes these verses, and talks about the all-surpassing power within us, I know He understands the immensity of the death of Christ that he carries around. I now understand it myself and I can barely write about it without falling to my face in awe. God himself, in Spirit, inhabits the jars of clay and calls them his children, heirs of the kingdom. He says we should spend our time healing the sick, and when they are healed proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has just come near you. What a way to preach the gospel! No arguing, no twisting people’s heads around our theology to get them to come to Christ. No, instead, we are just to be the gospel – be the good news as he stirs inside us like warm oil waiting to flow. If this is not your normal Christian life, don’t feel condemned or inadequate. God is pleased with you just because you are his child, but He does have more for you and intends for His church to represent Him well.  He said that when we believe signs and wonders will follow. We will cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead. That looks like a war against the dominion of hell, doesn’t it! That’s what Jesus came to do, take the keys back to the kingdom and hand them to his disciples, of which there are many. The enemy lost his sword at the fall and you have been given one (at least one) that you are meant to swing, it is the name of Jesus. The first apostles were not the only apostles, or the only disciples. Jesus commanded them to go and make disciples teaching them to do all that he commanded them, and He promised to be with them always. They didn’t heal the sick alone, they would dip into the power that filled the otherwise empty jar and anoint people with it’s healing power. Holy Spirit is bigger than we can understand. 
 
As I write this, I am on our family vacation. We’ve all traveled to Orlando to attend the Voice of the Apostles conference. We don’t need conferences to be Christian, but we do need to be strengthened by the body of Christ, in a place of faith, where people are passionate and sharing testimonies of what God is doing. It is a place where the laying on of hands and eagerly desiring the gifts of the Spirit for the growing of the church is talked about. That’s why we travelled to be here, and also to get away and listen for directions from God. No matter where we are, God is ready to move. He heal in conferences and he can heal in theme parks and we Jesus followers can’t have a split personality. It’s always an honor to represent the true Jesus. I’ve not been to a theme park since living through the book of Acts in my life, but now I understand that I am living the epistles. An hour long line for a ride is an hour to ask God what He wants to do in the people around me. God worked it out in almost every ride for someone with a need to be right around me in line. Remember how I said I talk to him through the day? I just ask him to show me how he wants to move around me. 
 
Here are the stories. In the first line, there was a fellow who had a crown of thorns tatoo around his arm. This one really pulled at my heart. I prayed for an opportunity to be across from him in the weaving lines for a few moments. Soon he was right next to me and I said, “Hey, your tattoo is really cool. What made you choose that design?” I knew he wasn’t a believer. He explained that he had a temporary tattoo of the pattern and just really liked it so he went home and looked it up. I replied, “Do you know what that is? It is the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. He paid an incredible price to know you.” Inside, I was feeling the passion of God for him, but had only a few second to talk. “God drew you to that tattoo because he wants to know you and it is what you are made for. Just ask him to show you who He is. I’d help you more if we had more time, but you’re going to have to seek Him to find out, but He is passionate about you and misses you. Find Him.”  The man was smiling now and visibly intrigued. My boldness was just God’s heart being expressed for him and he could feel it. Through the rest of that line, he had nothing to do but think about it, glancing over at me now and then. God was working. 
 
In the next line, a young couple travelled near us. When I first saw the girl, her eyes looked distant and I had an impression that something wasn’t right. Maybe she didn’t feel good. The time came when she was across the rail from me and leaning on her boyfriend. “You’re not feeling good, are you?”  
        “No,” she replied, “I’m feeling very light-headed.” 
        “I think I can help you. Do you know about Jesus?” She knew about Jesus, but it seemed vague.  I told here that Jesus will help her and asked if I could pray for her. She gladly accepted and I took her hand. “Holy Spirit come. (Whoooosh! I was taken by surprise by the wave that moved through me and her head jerked up. 
        “Wow!” She said. “Lightheadedness, get out in Jesus name.” 
        “It’s gone!” She said as she and her boyfriend both looked amazed and happy. Then I got to tell them that you can go to church all your life and not really know Jesus, but he lives. He is alive and he moves and loves people today just like He did when he was here. It was so wonderful seeing them enjoy the ride and her demeanor was totally changed. God has used me to change someone’s day and maybe their life and it wasn’t complicated. I simply noticed, said something out of love, and invited Him into their life. He is faithful to do what He has promised. 
 
As we left after the ride, they yelled out. “Thank you!” I was humbled and loved Jesus even more. While these are everyday moments for me and my day goes on, I have no idea what is going on in the mind of those I’ve prayed for or spoken too. I’ve learned that if you just take time to tell them that God drew you to them to show care, that alone can bring them to tears. People are hungry to hear that God has noticed them. I’ll let you imagine what it is like to be one of these people, because I can only imagine. Out of the blue, a stranger notices that you have a problem, you may have visible symptoms or they may just engage you in conversation. Sometimes they know you have pain and you haven’t told them. What would you be thinking? Then, they tell you Jesus can help. “Jesus?” they are thinking. I’ve heard of him and you’re probably harmless, so whatever… then…you start feeling the Holy Spirit move, or your pain leaves, or you may even feel nothing right away, but you have encountered love. Now, your day goes on but you find you now don’t have the pain you have had, sometimes for years! That is the lesson that keeps on teaching. It is the death of Christ manifested in their bodies, revealed through Jesus in ours. Holy Spirit lives in us. When we invite him to come, we receive power and the gospel comes alive and the book of Acts continues even today, even through a family waiting in line in a theme park. Reaching people makes the opportunity worth the price of admission. 
 
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

Come to me and I’ll make you new.

God keeps drawing me to Colossians 3. Verse 10 says that when we are in Christ we “have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”

Putting something on means you don’t look like the old thing anymore, you change your appearance. Praise God. God also gives us renewed knowledge that is like His knowledge. This is why Paul said, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Don’t underestimate what you know. God has the answers and he lives in you. If Jesus lives in you, ask Jesus today out loud today and be simple. Listen to the answer you hear. If Jesus doesn’t live in you yet, if you’ve “heard” about Jesus, but really don’t have an intimate relationship yet with your creator, your Dad in heaven, there is so much more. God’s blessings are for his children. Sometimes we judge God because he isn’t blessing us when we are not even in the family. He has shown that he’s willing to give everything to find you, to give you new understanding, miraculous protection, divine favor, gifts that continue his work of healing and knowing what is on his mind. Surrender to him and you gain more than what the world can give you. You gain the creator of the universe at your access any time. He shifts what is unseen and calls things into being that are not. He is over all, in all and works wonders through his kids. Come and lay your life down. It’s not a game, it’s not church on Sunday, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Today is a new day. Open yourself to Jesus and he will fill you. He doesn’t force his way in, he is wants your love freely but works through any crack you will give him. The more you give him, the more he works in you. Open yourselves up to what he can do.

If you want this freedom, this blessing and favor, this amazing way of living, pray with me. Say, “Lord I want all that you have. I submit my every thought to you, my heart, my life. Take my mind and transform it. Give me your thoughts. Fill me with your Spirit as I eagerly desire the greater gifts. Cleanse me through and through. I renounce all that I was to be all that you want me to be. Now that I’m in your kingdom, I thank you for favor, that I’m one of your favorites, your kids. Your face gives me joy, it makes my heart sing. Show me how to worship. Show me how to pray. Just let me soul sing to you and let me please you in every way. Then, I’ll overflow onto others wherever I go. No power of darkness will stop me. No religious spirit will make me think less of you. I am free. Fill me with knowledge you have for me. Recreate how I think and let me walk in your shoes. I receive the gift of faith to understand all that you are.”

Following God’s Voice in Street Ministry

I’m sharing what God is teaching me this week because I’ve had a bit of breakthrough. God is always ready to move. He’s always ready. He’s waiting on us. Sometimes we over think about how God wants us to do something, or who he wants us to reach. If we disengage our mind and engage our spirit we can avoid over thinking all together. I’ve realized that success comes when I just move my body where he draws me, and listen to simple instructions, then lots of people get touched by their Father.

I began praying for the Father to simply give me his compassion for people. I want to look like Him, be like Him and feel what He feels.  I began to partner more with the heart of God and did not think about myself or my inadequacies at all. I would never be enough, but Jesus always is. I finally got that I was a conduit of grace in my heart and not just my head. His  compassion leads us and draws our attention to people. We don’t always know why, but the important thing is to stop.

Sometimes I hear an idea in my head before I stop, like back pain or sadness, but not always. The important thing is that the person you are drawn to is being noticed by the Holy Spirit inside of you, even if it’s very subtle. Sometimes I have just said, “I feel the heart of God drawing me to you, what’s going on in your life that needs prayer.” If I just do that, someone has realized that they are on God’s heart, even if I have no other supernatural knowledge. We don’t have to be the answer, we just have to be available to bring the one who IS the answer.

Thanks to the amazing influence of a brother in Christ, you can find his writing at http://www.coffeetimewithJesus.com, I’ve been reminded that I can always ask Jesus anything.  Jesus wants to reach people more than I do, so he’ll tell me what I need to know. Today I asked how to approach a young man who had a bandaged arm. Jesus said, “I came so that they might have abundant life.”  So, I introduced myself and told him that Jesus came that we might have abundant life and that arm sure didn’t look like it was giving him abundant life right now. We prayed two times and the pain left his arm.

Before I began to hear on the streets, I practiced in my quiet time with God. Intimacy is learned in the secret place. Going out was just a natural extension of the conversation. So, in Walmart I can ask Jesus, “What do you want me to say?” Then I use what I hear. You can still minister if you hear NOTHING. God will still move and still wants to heal. If what you heard seems wrong, or you don’t receive confirmation right away, be patient and ask if you can pray for them and bless them in any other way. I did that today and thought I missed the mark. I was in Walmart and had a thought that I should go to electronics. Not a pulsing, vibrating thought, just a thought, so I went. I passed ladies printing photos and thought about them but kept going. I thought I heard neck pain for a man looking at cds. I asked him. The man didn’t have neck pain, he said, but he did have terminal cancer. Asked him if I could pray for that. I asked Holy Spirit to come and minister life. Then after I prayed for this man who did NOT have neck pain,  but terminal cancer, he said, “If you want to pray for someone with neck pain, my wife is right over there by the photos. It drives her NUTS.”  I went back over to those ladies I saw earlier and asked his wife if I could pray for her neck pain, telling her that I’d just prayed for her husband. I talked to her about the Gospel, that I do this because it says in the Bible we’re supposed to do what Jesus did, and about Jesus and how he still works through us, and will work through her. Prayed, pain still remained. Told her Jesus prayed for a blind man two times to get complete healing and I was going to do that for her. It would go. “Really” she asked. “Really,” I answered, explaining that an army doesn’t just shoot one bullet to knock down the invading army, it often takes more than one. Released Holy Spirit onto the middle of her back. “That’s amazing!” she said and asked how I picked them. I got to explain that too. He IS amazing! He is AMAZING! and he loves us all. Thank you for numbing my brain Lord so I can hear your heart.