Archive for July, 2007

Are you hungry?

Posted: July 25, 2007 in Uncategorized

Ever go through a season of life where it feels like all you are doing is preparing for a deadline? In school it seemed like I would study for tests, take them, and then forget all of the information I studied. There have been times when I geared up for a ministry trip only to get lazy after it passes. This isn’t the way it should be.

We should pursue God for relationship with Him, not for Him to show up at our meetings. Many trips that I have been on have left me tired, wanting to do nothing else than sleep. Why not spend time worshipping in His presence before going to bed? We spend time praying for God to show up but after He does, we often forget about Him until the next time we need Him to show up.

I used to get up early to pray in the Spirit before going to work, even if that meant that I didn’t go to bed because of needing to be at work at midnight. I haven’t been doing that as much recently. I used to spend all of my free time over at the prayer chapel soaking even though I didn’t necessarily feel anything or sense that something was happening. It is a shame that I have to think about how it used to be. I realize that not everyone is going to be in full-time vocational ministry, but regardless, why shouldn’t we spend hours a day with God? It is all about priorities and yes, I could do a better job managing my time. Working in a secular industry shouldn’t be an excuse for an inconsistent or nonexistent relationship with God.

Think about it. Those in the secular industry need to be just as hungry as those in ministry because they have to compete against non-Christians that are probably more willing to make sacrifices for their career. Unfortunately we don’t hear of too many great products that are made by Christians, but rather we constantly are bombarded by filthy movies because no Christian can make a decent movie that isn’t in Aramaic about a guy from Nazareth. The attitude seems to be, “let the forerunners be hungry and we will just follow them.” Basically, that translates to, let the radical people be weird and catch all the flack from mainstream Christians and we will try to ride on their coattails if it doesn’t inconvenience us.

God reveals His secrets to those who are completely in love with Him. Last time I checked, if I was completely in love with someone then I would be sure to find time for them every day. Last time I checked the average Christian could sure use some tips from an all-knowing God. Don’t forget the dreams God has put on your heart. Will you remain hungry enough to chase after God until He gives them to you?

Pressing in for breakthrough

Posted: July 24, 2007 in Uncategorized

Through my travels this summer is has become evident to me how much the devil likes to try to distract us from what we are supposed to do. At the beginning of this month, poison oak on my leg caused swelling that led to stiffness and serious pain whenever I stood up. This of course was while I was on a Firestorm. I didn’t want to do a thing other than rest, but I pressed in through the pain and wound up experiencing healing on the trip after I stepped out in ministry in words of knowledge and healing while I needed healing myself.

This weekend I was on another Firestorm and felt very weak due to pain in my stomach. Determined to not let the devil keep me from ministering, I went out on outreach and prayed for a woman who was paralyzed due to a stroke, her husband who was mostly deaf, and another man with no feeling below his knees. Then, that evening I led worship at the service, something I have never done before. After worship started I no longer noticed the pain or any weakness in my body. One person on our team commented that the worship was highly anointed and that she had never been that drunk in the Spirit during worship.

Oftentimes our breakthrough is just on the other side of the hurdles that stand in front of us. After experiencing somewhat of a spiritual low point during parts of February and March, I pressed in hard for the last two months of school. Right after graduation, my sensitivity to the Spirit increased dramatically. Starting with a trip to a Todd Bentley conference I noticed an increase in people getting healed and my accuracy in words of knowledge. With each successive trip, there has been an increase.

In the past I had been quick to become content with the measure of breakthrough that I received. This summer I have realized that being content is foolish. I am extremely thankful for the measure God has given me, but there are people who are still being oppressed by the devil and need to be healed. That is why I am continuing to go after more. I am taking the opportunities that God is bringing me and not allowing myself to become complacent like I did back in February when I had ramped myself up to a big trip and then came back mildly discouraged at the outcome. When we see results that we don’t like, that is the time to press in for more, not the time to give up and just hope that things turn out different next time.

When a baseball player who is very serious about his game returns to the dugout after an at-bat he will talk to the hitting coach regardless of whether he struck out or hit a homerun. Why? He could have done something wrong on the homerun and just gotten lucky or he could have done the right thing when he struck out but just missed. Likewise, if we really want to grow in our ability to co-labor with God and minister to others it is imperative that we ask the Holy Spirit for advice whether the person we prayed for died of cancer or was raised from the dead. I think God is pleased with us when we ask Him questions even after victories. It shows our hunger for more and it shows that we know who the Healer is. God has a good track-record of exalting those who humble themselves and ask for help even when things are going well.

Your time has come

Posted: July 19, 2007 in Uncategorized

John 2:1-11

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.”

What will you do when the wine runs out and your mother comes to you wanting you to do something about it? Will your response be to do what the Father wants or will it be to act out of fear? How will you respond when a demand is put on you that is out of your reach? Will you be ready?

Jesus prayed and fasted as a lifestyle and not just when he found out that there was a boy who had a demon that didn’t want to leave at the disciples’ commands. Will you be ready when someone comes to you and needs a breakthrough in an impossible circumstance? Be ready for the opportunities that God gives you. Be ready to release the Kingdom anytime, anywhere. Your time has come! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, will you seize the opportunity?

Keep the fire going!

Posted: July 11, 2007 in Uncategorized

About two weeks ago the Thermocouple on the water heater decided that it didn’t want to work anymore. This caused the pilot to go out and stopped the gas from heating the water. The result was very cold showers and no hot water at all. I decided that enough was enough and I went to Home Depot to buy this $7 part. After installing it I re-lit the pilot light and turned the water heater back on. It wasn’t too difficult, but it probably still took me an hour, plus the time to go buy the part. Unfortunately, I couldn’t immediately enjoy a hot shower as it still takes time for the water to heat up. Then it occured to me how many Christians continuously allow their pilot light to go out, making it difficult each time they want to have hot water. Allow me to explain.

Our pilot light is our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is being in a constant state of prayer. It is staying in His presence. It is being constantly connected with Him. I have had this happen to me before, where I allowed myself to not spend time seeking God every day, and then finding how difficult it was to get the fire back to pray, soak, and literally walk with Him. It got to the point where the water was so cold that I couldn’t stand it anymore and I had to get back with God. Likewise, I got to the point where I was tired of cold showers and I had to have hot water.

It may cost more to constantly remain connected to the Holy Spirit because in order to do so you may have to eliminate some things that you do and likewise it costs more to have the water heater going every day so that the water is hot. However, the cost is worth it. I am reminded of a dream that one of the interns had in which he was turning on the lights in this huge house and a woman, who represented the Holy Spirit, kept turning them off. After arguing with her about keeping the lights on to let people know she was there, she ran throughout the house and turned on every last light, coming back to tell him, “Power costs!”

It is costly to walk in power. Many people, myself included have tried to just turn on the heat when they are in the moment, but that doesn’t usually work. To see the best results, the heater needs to be on all the time. We must constantly stay connected to the Holy Spirit, not just when we want to see the results. No coach would let someone from the crowd join his team during a game and give him the ball. The coach gives the ball to those who are there day in and day out and have proven their faithfulness with whatever opportunities they are given.

Don’t turn off your heater and let your pilot light go out. It might not seem like a big deal to turn it off and it might seem like you are saving yourself some money, but when the time comes to bring the heat you will be like the virgins who didn’t prepare oil for their lamps. You will miss out on opportunities to see Heaven invade Earth. Pay the price to keep your fire going. It is worth the cost.

Preparation for Acceleration

Posted: July 9, 2007 in Healing

This past weekend I was afforded the privaledge of attending The Call in Nashville, TN. I came to The Call expecting to go to a new level in many ways. I feel as though because I prepared my heart and was expecting God to move, He did.

On my flight to Nashville I recognized that as we boarded the plane, the person in front of me in line was going to be sittting next to me. Although it was a short flight, I prepared myself to talk with her before we ever got on the plane because I know that there will be times when revival will break out while I am on an airplane. I was able to share with her the journey of moving to Redding and seeing God move in the supernatural. She had an encounter with God because I was able to convey how I went from not believing in miracles to being apart of them on a regular basis.

During The Call I was informed that I would be going with a small group of people from Bethel up on stage to pray for healing revivalists to be released throughout the country. I was also told to get words of knowledge to release for healing to the people who were gathered (and I suppose also who were watching on TV). As we waited backstage I remembered that I have received several prophetic words about preaching at stadiums full of people. I thought, “Lord, I never knew it would be this soon!” In the end, they ran out of time to do that segment, so we didn’t end up on stage at all to pray or give words of knowledge. However, I did find a woman who had an injury very close to the word of knowledge that I was going to give (I was going to say broken right foot that didn’t heal correctly and she had a broken right ankle that didn’t heal correctly).

I have asked God numerous times in my life for an acceleration to take place. I don’t want God to move mightily when I am 85 years, I want Him to move mightily now and for it to continue to increase for the rest of my life. What would happen though if I am suddenly thrusted into doing what would only seem possible 10 or 20 years from now? Would I step up as though I was made for that moment or would I shrink back in fear giving the excuse that I am not ready?

Many Christians claim to not be ready when faced with things that are beyond comfort for them. If something causes them fear they claim that God has not prepared them for it yet. Could it be that God is wanting to bring an acceleration to His people who are willing to take Him by the hand and walk into uncharted territory? Having opportunities that are stretching for us now, but are things we desire to do in the future are gifts from God. He is giving us the ability to bring tomorrow into today.

If God has told you that you will preach to thousands, get ready to be handed the microphone. If God has told you that every crippled person you lay hands on will walk, start laying hands on them now. If God has told you that you will start orphanages all over the world, start taking care of kids now. Don’t wait for a plate of food to show up in front of you, go prepare it. Too often we wait until God gives us the thing we long for when the reality is that He already gave it to us and we don’t even realize it. We wait to be clothed in power before we will pray for the sick but the truth is that they won’t be healed until you pray for them.

As my friend aptly stated on a firestorm a few weeks ago, if you don’t do anything then nothing is going to happen. If you want to continue experiencing the results you are now, keep not doing what you aren’t doing. Did you get that? But if you are wanting an increase in results, take a risk. John Wimber says faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Do something you wouldn’t normally do, pray for something that scares you to pray for, and pray for every person that you want to see healed (which should be everyone!). How can God use you to see limbs grow back if you never pray for anyone who has a missing limb? Take a risk and prepare to be accelerated.