Archive for August, 2007

For God so loved the world

Posted: August 30, 2007 in Uncategorized

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – John 3:16-18

As I was praying and worshipping this morning I was struck by the lyrics to a song that was playing. It was “How He Loves” off of the “We Cry Out” CD. I started to think about how much God loves us.

Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” His love surpasses knowledge. Paul is praying that the believes will be able to grasp just how much God loves us.

Then in my spirit I felt that if people knew how much God loves them, they would be instantly healed. John 3:16 came to mind and I realized that Jesus wasn’t just talking about salvation. So often people think that God gives them sickness as a punishment for things they have done wrong or to teach them a lesson. That is not what my bible says. It says that whoever believes in Him is NOT condemened. Did you get that?

Well, wouldn’t you get to Heaven and be with Jesus sooner if you died an early death due to sickness? I think that is just an excuse to to cover up the fact that you didn’t want to be in relationship enough with Him while here on earth to ever seek His face until you had encounters with Him daily. Am I stepping on your toes yet? Back to John 3:16, Jesus says that those who believe will not perish, but have eternal life. Let me tell you that eternal life doesn’t start when your body is six feet under the ground in a casket, it starts the moment you believe. If you believe in Jesus, and what He said, you will not perish. I am becoming more convinced every day that the mountains are not removed from the lives of Christians because they lack faith. Let me rephrase that. Breakthroughs don’t come because people don’t understand that God is good and that He loves them unconditionally.

When God reveals to you more of His love you will know it. You won’t be the same until He does it again. It isn’t about just words. You can memorize the entire Bible and miss the heart behind everything that is said. That is why people can have enough faith to go to Heaven but not enough faith to bring Heaven to Earth. They believe that Jesus died for their sins but miss the rest. On the other hand you can dive into the Word until you grasp it and know it in your entire being. That is when you become a Heavenly atmosphere ready to change the world at any moment in any location.

I pray that today you will have an encounter with this love that surpasses knowledge so that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

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Pressing in for breakthrough

Posted: August 29, 2007 in Uncategorized

I just got back from a six mile run with three guys from church. With the exception of being forced to run about a mile one day in May, I haven’t run at all since June of last year. I am happy to say that I ran the first 2.5 miles without walking. However, after that point I walked most of the way back around the loop. However, when I could see the end I went for it again, running faster than I had run at any other point. I could see my goal and wanted to finish strong. I could have just kept walking, I mean it was 105 degrees outside, but there is something in me that won’t just throw in the towel and give up. It is possible that I won’t go running again anytime soon since it is a very low priority for me, but if I do, I know that I will need to challenge myself to run more and walk less. Don’t worry, there is a point to this.

Two times in the past week I have had friends come over for a “Glory night.” The goal of these nights is to seek the face of God by giving Him the glory through praise and worship. The idea is that we must go beyond what is convenient and comfortable and actually give a sacrifice of praise to God. My friend Zach said it well, “the higher our praise goes, the deeper our worship will be.” I found that to be true during the second night when I had trouble breaking through with my praise and then found that my worship was much shallower than it had been the first time around. Zach read us a quote by Ruth Heflin who said, “When you discover things that seem to contribute to the glory, do those things more; and when you find things that seem to diminish the glory, stop doing them. It’s as simple as that.” Run more and walk less.

I have found that even with all the hunger for God there is still the element of time and convenience. I set aside an hour to pray in tongues. I soak for an hour. I might read my bible for an hour. Occassionally I might block of more time for one of these, but typically it is set in stone. I thought of that this morning as I prayed. I abruptly stopped at one hour just because it was an hour, even though I was gaining momentum.

It would have been pointless for me to stop running after one mile because I was still feeling great. When you can meet your goal and still have energy you shouldn’t stop, but rather go for greater Glory! If you are wanting to go to another level, you can’t continue to do the same things that you are already doing, you must press in for breakthrough! I will not be able to run 6 miles if I always stop once I reach the 2.5 mile marker. We won’t see the Glory of God in our meetings if we stop short of His Glory. We have to praise higher and worship deeper.

Last night was an experiment. We had no instruments and we didn’t put on any CDs. We didn’t have a worship leader. After we went for maybe two hours we stopped and began talking. I knew that we should press in again, but my flesh didn’t want to. We shared some great things and had very meaningful conversation for another few hours, however I knew that next time we meet together there would be no excuse for not pressing in again. After walking at least a mile and a half I knew that I had no excuse to not press in and run the last mile or so. You don’t get breakthrough when you give up, you get it when you press in, running more and walking less – doing the things that contribute to the glory more and doing things that detract from the glory less.

Hunger-Producing Victory

Posted: August 28, 2007 in Uncategorized

A week ago Bill Johnson had a “family talk” at the Sunday evening service. I would say that the main theme of his talk was pressing in for more. There have been so many people who have gotten healed over the years, yet there are still many who have gone on to be with Jesus or are still stuck with their disease or disability. The challenge is to not get satisfied with some victory and become complacent so that future battles are lost. Like him or not, when Lance Armstrong won the first of his seven consecutive Tour de France races he picked up his training regiment to further distance himself from the competition. How much more should we prepare ourselves for something that has eternal significance?

I have been reading sermons by John G. Lake extensively over the past week and have been amazed by his faith. It truly seems as though every person who came to him was healed because he wasn’t afraid of any condition. That is how I want to be. I want cancer to be afraid of me, not the other way around. After reading several stories about how when he placed his hand on cancers and tumors they were literally burned by the power of God I became convinced that this should be how we always approach disease. When you know you have the answer, you will use it.

Last night I was praying for a man who was given no hope by the doctors. There is nothing that can treat the form of cancer that he has and his insurance has refused to pay drug companies to just do experimental research on him in hopes of finding a cure. After listening to him talk for quite some time I felt like my faith was about ready to explode all over the man and his wife. Romans 4:18-21 says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”

I don’t know about this man, but I know that I was not about to waver in unbelief regarding the promises of God. I am fully persuaded that God has the power to do what he has promised. I told the man that it was time for his miracle and I began to pray. I felt God lead me to he area where the cancer is so we laid hands on it and I imagined that thing shrinking under my hand, being burned away by the fire of Almighty God. After a minute or two I asked him what was happening and he responded that the pain was leaving and that he felt it was shrinking. So we continued to pray and that continued to happen.

I haven’t seen hundreds of cancer cases healed like John G. Lake, but bless God it is starting to happen. I have been pressing in for more and God has been answering. I have been praying that every person would be healed and a much greater percentage of people are being healed. Those who are truly hungry only get hungrier when they taste victory.

God doesn’t lie!

Posted: August 15, 2007 in Uncategorized

In Mark 8:17-18 Jesus askes His disciples, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” He was asking this because He had fed the 5,000 and He had just fed the 4,000 and yet the disciples were still worried about whether they would have enough to eat. We have their example of what not to do, however often when God miraculously provides we do the exact same thing.

When I was first seeing miracles in Brazil last summer I faced doubt only a few days later. I was preaching in a church and on the third and final night I began to worry about whether people would get healed when I prayed for them. Just a week earlier, the first service that I was at to pray for people I prayed for seven or eight people without a translator and each one of them was healed! Even though I had seen many healings take place through my own prayers and even greater miracles through the prayers of the rest of the team, I began to wonder if God would do it again. That last night was tough as my doubt overcame my faith for most of the people I prayed for.

God wants us to look at what He has done and what He is doing to have faith for circumstances that we face. In the past ten days I have witnessed upwards of 50 things healed ranging from hearing loss to carpel tunnel to arthritis to dizziness and all sorts of pain. In March I was very hesitant to pray for people with hearing loss even though I did see some people get healed and was the only person to pray for one woman whose hearing was restored. In Boise, Idaho last month God showed me that He was wanting to heal a man’s ears and he did just that. Since then my fear of praying for the deaf has gone away and I have seen probably 10-12 people regain their hearing. In fact, I believe that someone reading this is going to have their ears healed. Particularly the left ear. Be healed in the name of Jesus! The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

My faith is increasing that when God releases a word of knowledge to me that the person will in fact be healed. I believe that they will be healed as much as I believe that the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning. I used to think of a word of knowledge as though it was a check from a friend that is without a job and may not have the money in the bank when in reality a word of knowledge is as good cash – it has no chance of bouncing. My faith has increased so that Numbers 23:19 has become a reality. When God speaks, it happens, because He doesn’t lie. While in Oregon last week I asked God for a word of knowledge for the gas station attendant who was limping. I felt a sensation on the right side of my head. It turns out the man had cerebral palsy. It wasn’t that his leg was injured, it was that there was a brain injury at birth that affected his leg. God doesn’t lie!

But wait, there’s more!

Posted: August 4, 2007 in Uncategorized

Today Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 500 home runs in baseball history. However, the once spectacular feat is now overshadowed by the question of whether he will be able to match Hank Aaron’s 755 home runs and the amount that Barry Bonds ends up with (he is currently at 754). Even for Bonds, the quest to pass Aaron’s record and get to 756 will then be how many more can he hit.

The past three days was the Jesus Culture conference here in Redding. On Wednesday night Lou Engle talked about how The Call is like John the Baptist who prepared the way with prayer and fasting. Then he went on to say that filling stadiums with people to pray and fast isn’t enough, we must move on to the ministry of Jesus, with mass healing and deliverance. It was great to have 70,000 people gather in Nashville for The Call on 07/07/07, but can we fill stadiums with people who will be saved, healed and delivered? We are to the point where we must move past praying for revival and go out and have revival!

On Thursday I was leading one of many outreach sites in our city to equip the conference goers in signs and wonders. The first person that I talked to during the 30 minutes we had got healed. For many of the people in my group they had never even ministered on the streets before, let alone see someone get healed. The man was walking with a cane and was wearing knee braces. He was in a lot of pain because of his sciatic nerve. A few minutes after we had prayed for him we saw him again and he told us that when he walked away he realized that his back felt better. I realized that “better” isn’t good enough and asked God for more while he was still 40 feet away. Then as he continued to walk he realized that all of the pain was gone and that he no longer needed his cane to walk. Carrying his cane in his right hand, he continued to walk down the street thanking us for our prayers and praising God for healing him.

Last night Chris Hill spoke about how it isn’t enough to simply have a profound experience at a conference but then leave thinking that you will have to wait until next year to experience God in the same way. For David it wasn’t enough to be King, he had to have God’s presence in his city. We can’t be satisfied with having access to the presence of God once a year or just at certain locations or events. There is so much more of God that we can tap into!

This morning at the healing rooms I saw God open the ears of three different people. With each one I could feel when the healing was done and then would tell them to check the improvement. I recently heard Todd Bentley say that when a word of knowledge is given it isn’t his anointing that heals people, but it is God because Todd is just calling out what the Father is doing. I expereinced that in a measure this morning as every correct word of knowledge I gave (between 7 and 10; I did give a few that were not correct or undetected) got healed. I asked one man if he had problems with his left ear and he said no, only to have his wife say that he has ringing in his ears. As I prayed I felt like my ears were draining out and declared that his ears were opened and asked him how it feels. Well, his ears popped, and then he couldn’t stop smiling, laughing, and praising God as the ringing stopped and his hearing increased!

The more people I prayed for, the more words of knowledge I got, and the more my faith increased that God was going to heal every last infirmity a person had. For some of the first people I didn’t get as many words of knowledge. Some of them experienced healing while a few didn’t notice a difference. I prayed before we started that God would heal every person that came in. Out of the people I prayed for, only one didn’t notice any change, others felt God do something and left encouraged that they were healed but had no way to test it, and the rest got mostly or completely healed. There is more though. As great as it was to have those 3 people have their hearing restored before I ate anything today, not every person who came in was healed. As much as God did I won’t be satisfied until every person gets healed. Once that level is reached I will have to think of something else because there is always more!