Archive for March, 2010

What do you see?

Posted: March 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

If you take two people and one object it is possible to have two different views on the purpose and value of that object. One person may like it while the other dislikes it. This is fine because God has given us all a unique set of skills and passions. If you showed a group of people a vast field and told them that they will have the resources to do whatever they want with the land, the people will come up with different visions for the land. One may want to turn it into a farm, one might want to build a lodge on it, another might want to build a neighborhood, and another might want to build a shopping mall. There might be some that have no vision for it at all. However, God has created you and I to have a vision burning inside of us.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (KJV)

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NKJV)

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him. Nobody is going to want to run a race if there was no end to it. If anyone could join the race whenever they wanted to and there was no course, what would be the point of racing and the pain that comes with it? Athletes go through rigorous training because they have a vision of winning a championship. Their vision of being the champion gives purpose to the long hours of painful training. We need to be able to see the prize so that we can run the race.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus emerged from the tomb covered in grave clothes. In the same way it doesn’t do us any good if we wake up in the morning but stay under the covers. I usually only get anything done after I get out from underneath the covers of my bed. Likewise, Jesus told the people to remove the grave clothes from Lazarus so he could see and live his resurrected life.

Some people talk extensively of how hard it is to minister in certain locations, possibly as a means to justify their lack of fruit. After all, if it wasn’t so hard here there would be more fruit! The only hard places are in our minds and in our hearts. Jesus still healed people in his hometown even though he was amazed by their lack of faith. Sure some places might be easier than others, but lack of fruit does not mean it is hard ground. I’ve seen Jesus heal people all over the world regardless of what country it is in and how little faith or how much sin they have. Are you looking at the problem or the promise?

Jesus said that believers will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. We should never let a sick person convince us that God’s promise isn’t true. Many people don’t believe that if they lay hands on the sick they will recover and therefore the sick don’t recover. The only hard ground there is in the heart and mind of that “believer” who didn’t believe. If someone catches the vision for “I will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” they will pursue it. If they catch the vision of “God can heal someone, but only if it is His will,” then they will not take personal responsibility to see that person get healed because it will only happen if it is “God’s will.” If we don’t have a vision then we don’t have a purpose and we will wander aimlessly like Israel did in the desert before they entered the Promised Land.

It is time to resurrect the land that God has promised to you and see the fullness of what it really is. Ezekiel was taken to a valley with very dry bones. God then told him to prophesy life to the bones so that they became a vast army. Ezekiel might not have envisioned the army, but he at the very least valued the word of the Lord enough to proceed with what God said. In the same way, we might not see the end result that God has for us, but will we trust the word of the Lord to proceed anyway? Time will tell who obeys the word of the Lord and follows the vision He has given them. Some may see dry bones while others see an army. What do you see?

When Jesus went back to heaven after His resurrection He left believers in charge on earth. He told us to make disciples, to preach the Kingdom of God is near, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons. Yet, even though He left us in charge we often lay down for the devil to walk all over us. We empower the devil through our unbelief, through believing that the things Jesus paid for are from the devil and that the works of the devil are from God. The devil is faithful to always lie, steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and went around healing all those that were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).

So then what is the deal with all the death and destruction in the world, isn’t God behind it all? Nope. Some people that everything that happens is God’s will. 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth and 2 Peter 3:9 says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Although it is God’s will for all to be saved, not everyone is. People think that the recent earthquakes are God’s judgment on those countries. I don’t think so. Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Remember that the devil steals, kills, and destroys? Could he be behind destruction and death? I tend to think so. With that in mind, when people die of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake I don’t think that it was God’s will for those people to die. Similarly, I don’t think it is God’s will for anyone to die as the result of a terrorist attack or murder. Didn’t Jesus tell us to raise the dead? Yes! How can I raise the dead if people are dying of these disasters and attacks around the world? I can pray for them whenever I hear the news or whenever Holy Spirit tells me to.

One morning I felt led to pray for the safety of a friend of mine. I called him and he was doing fine. Within an hour he called and said that he was driving on the interstate and a person in the car next to him was motioning at him to look at his tire. He didn’t know it, but his tire was flat and he was driving at 65mph. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt and was able to go get the tire fixed. Now, when I see that something happened in the world where someone’s life was taken or damaged by the devil (who works through people) I pray for their resurrection or healing and their salvation. Jesus wouldn’t have told us to raise the dead if it was God’s will every time that someone dies.

Last night I had a dream in which someone who was dead for three days was raised back to life. The funny thing was that we weren’t trying to raise him from the dead, we were trying to cover his body with dirt to bury him. When I flung the dirt from my shovel onto his face he immediately came back to life and there was nothing wrong with him. I read a story recently of an evangelist who was invited to come to Africa. During the time he was praying about whether to go he had a dream of being there and healing the sick and having crusades. He took that as a sign that he should go. He went about a month and a half later and when he got there the people asked why he had come back so soon. He said that he had never been there before and they said that he had been there a month and a half before and told him the events that had happened in his dream.

If people were taken in the Spirit to different places in the Bible then why can’t we? It is time to start doing the things we see in the Bible so that we can move on to do the greater works that Jesus talked about (John 14:12). It is time to stop being afraid of the devil and to start believing God!