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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A 72 hour Miracle! God is amazing His wonders to behold!

Sunday morning, we had the joy of hearing a dear sister share her testimony of His miraculous love and healing power. Her joy caused the whole congregation to erupt in a rousing chorus of cheers and applause for Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could even ask or think. I will let her share her story.
” I went for my annual mammography exam. Being blessed with good health, I had no apparent reason for concern. The day after the exam, the hospital called. They told me that the x rays has shown an abnormality in my right breast. They told me to report for further tests the next morning.” This is the call that everyone dreads. There are few moments in life when time itself can seem to stand still. We seem to become held in a void as the world waifs around us. This was one of those moments.
” My family has a generational history of breast cancer. My mind had the opportunity to review each trying case. But, in the face of fear, I chose to activate my God given faith, and face the giant and slay him. I willfully chose faith. Because faith and fear are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist.
I felt the desire and leading to take my battle and burden to the Lord in prayer. As a born again, Spirit- filled believer in the power of the cross of Jesus and His glorious resurrection; I knew instinctively that there was no better place for me to rest than in the arms of a loving God. Placing myself at His feet at the Throne in prayer, I knew of no safer place to be for the rest of that day.
I am blessed to attend a church of anointed teachings, all based on the living Word. I bathed myself in God’s love. Soaking in all that I had known, all that I had learned, and all that He spoke to my heart during this intense time of prayer. I have learned through the trials of life, which have been used to refine my character. To head towards resting in Him, and not always run to asking, “Why?”. You see disappointments in life are inevitable, but discouragement is optional!
My faith liberated me as i spoke, believed, and received all of the promises that my Jesus had for me. I did not focus on the fear and knowledge of what had been my family curse. Instead, I stood on scriptures like: 2 Cor. 1:20for all the promises of God find their yes in Him”, Romans 10:17 ” faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, Isa. 55:11 ” His word never returns void”, and many more..
The next day came, when I was to go back to the hospital to review what had been diagnosed, and have further tests. I will tell you that during that long hard drive, the eventual waiting room experience, and further tests; I did not feel down. In fact, I was uplifted by the buoyancy of worship and praise rising from the depths of my spirit. I had clad myself in the armor of God ready to do battle against things both unseen and unwanted. Like the story of King Jehoshaphat of old, (2 Chron. 20) I was not to fear or be dismayed for the battle was not mine, but God’s!
The following day, I found myself once again seated in the doctor’s office as the pronouncements of the tests were to be read. I had had 3 sets of intense X-rays, and an ultrasound. They wanted to be absolutely sure of all of the test results. These were very professional people. My doctor and radiographer have 20 years of experience in the field of mammography.
As the verdict was to be read so to speak, there was a curious twist. They asked me my name, and social security number as a means of double checking my identity. I have never had that happen before? The tone and inflection of voice was one of a questioning nature instead of that of an emphatic self assured medical professional. I was beginning to wonder what this was all about?
As I sat there they calmly explained to me something that they had never seen before. But something that I had been contending for in faith for the last several days. They said that all of the tests showed that the “significant” lump, which was so clearly visible on the first X-ray, taken just 3 days ago, was gone! I erupted with joy and praise. I shared with them how it was Jesus who had healed me. Though, cool professionalism had them view my happiness and faith as nothing more than relief from what had been previously diagnosed. Yet, even they had to admit there was something of an unexplainable nature that had occurred in my body that had been verified my medical science.
As our friend shared this testimony of a wonderous 21st century miracle, we all shared in her joy. And because God is no shows no favoritism, you too can rest assured that he can do the samething for you. Be open in faith to the testimonies and stories of healings and miracles. Because it is when we open our hearts in faith to what He has done, that is when we sow the seeds of faith upon which can grow the miracles of tommorrow in our own lives, and the lives of others.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is God restricted to move?..............

Is God restricted to move

     This particular story arose when we were with a couple that we know, and were discussing the supernatural things of the kingdom of God. It seems such a shame that between fellow believers in Christ that there is a hesitancy to share the wonders of God amongst one another for fear of offending the other person. When talking about such things as angels, healings ,miracles, spiritual prayers, and language; we hold back because of how we may be received by our brethren. This was not one of those times for us, actually it was one of openness about the things of the Kingdom where there hadn’t been such talk akin to it previously.
Our friend had been one of the many Christian workers who flew to the Banda Aceh province in Indonesia after the great earthquake and ensuing tidal wave in 2004. He went there like many others to help in whatever way that he could. The devastation was unimaginable. There is nothing in the ordinary course of life that could prepare you for the damage that the tidal wave did to the Banda Aceh area. Everything was needed to stabilize and rebuild life as they had once known it. At these moments, you are both awed and humbled. Awed by the sheer force of power that nature has over the lives of mankind, and humbled by the very real need that all have for the intervention on our behalf of a power much greater than ourselves for salvation and safety.

I remember several stories coming out at the time from those devastated areas where the global tidal wave struck. Ones of how God intervened in the lives of people who prayed spiritual prayers. I remember one that we all actually watched on a big screen in church. It contained the testimony of a Christian orphanage worker who felt led to launch a boatload of orphans and himself into the ocean of waves in the moments as disaster struck. He commanded that the waves part in the name of Jesus. Somehow, and he admittedly stated that he doesn’t know how; they went right through the waves, arriving safely on the other side free of the disaster. He could not shut up about the help from his Jesus. No matter how many times CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tried to shut him down, that was until the feed was “cut off”.
Our friend’s testimonies was quite different. You must understand that they come from a seeker friendly style western church. So, sharing about angels, healing, and the power of God is not something that is necessarily talked about a lot or encouraged. Yet, that is what we did that evening as he shared his experience with God’s Kingdom in that devastated area so far away. It is one that will cause you to ponder, think, and have to come up with your own answers as to why things turn out the way they do. Because the ending isn’t a fairy taleone, or one that you would normally hope to hear about, it is nonetheless true.
     While in Banda Aceh, these workers did whatever they could do to help out. They came upon one heart rending situation after another. They did what they could from body recoveries, to building shelters, to handing out food and waters supplies. As Christians, they also offered prayers on behalf of everyone they worked with to ease their daily burdens.
Here is his story. " One Sunday near the end of my time in Aceh.  I went with a large group of Indonesian believers to one IDP camp that had not received support.  The group brought food and games for the children.  After we passed out the food, most of the group started playing games with the kids.  I kind of hung back and was just walking around praying and chatting with different people.  As I stopped to watch the kids playing the games, I noticed a commotion in one of the tents.  I walked over to the tent and saw a young girl, about 10, on the floor in convulsions.  I don't know if it was demons or a seizure, but as it was happening one of the Western ladies from our group asked the family what had happened.  They said that the girl had been acting strange all day, and that when our group arrived she refused to come and eat or play with us.  The lady then asked if she could pray for her in the name of Jesus. 
     It was at this moment that I began to see what appeared to be a group of huge men surrounding us.  They looked to be wearing dark armor and holding flaming swords.  Though their size was impressive, I was having a hard time seeing them.  When the lady asked if she could pray in the name of Jesus, they rushed forward swinging their swords as if preparing to do battle.  Just as they were about to reach the girl, the child's father stated that he would not allow for his daughter to be prayed for in the name of Jesus.  The huge men stopped in their tracks, swords still ready, and then they slowly disappeared.
     After all of this transpired, I was left absolutely speechless.  I started to cry, knowing that this all could have ended so differently.  That a true and lasting healing could have happened.  But because of the Enemy's strong grip on this family, a priceless gift was rejected."
     In what seemed like a very ethereal moment in our friend’s life, he got to see the Kingdom of God get ready to work.   For the first time in his Christian experience saw angels. The Word says that they are ready to carry out God’s commands. (Psalm 103:19-22) They stood there solemn, and strong, radiating the sense that they were ready to be directed into action.
He turned back to hear the mom rejecting the offering of prayer by his co-workers one more time. Stunned, and in disbelief because of his worldview, he waited as they tried to coach this Muslim woman into accepting their gift. Each time my friend would glance back at the sentries of Heaven as they stood poised, yet unable to move into action. With one final emphatic rejection, the workers rose up and left the sad familial scene. Their hearts broken, their spirits weighed down with the haunting word, “Why”? It was then that he noticed that the angels had disappeared.
As I said earlier, this story doesn’t have the feel good ending as others that I have shared in the past. But, I believe it to be just as weighty and important for us to hear. You see I believe that there is true power in spiritual prayers. I believe that the authority of the believers in prayer rests in the name of Jesus. I also believe that as disciples of Christ we need to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of those truths. Even if it means hearing real life stories of tragedy to get the point across.
As Paul said in Ephesians 6:12: ” for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places” NASB

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the power of healing prayer.......................

     This past Sunday morning during service, a pastor friend of mine cheerfully shared a great testimony of God's grace and healing power in a difficult situation.  I believe that sharing the wonders of the Lord's ability to circumvent and supersede the pronouncements of doctors, psychologists, and other very learned and professional people, gives us hope and the possibility of having futures that others have declared dead.  Because HE is the God of resurrection, healing, and the supernatural. Yet, sadly in our world, and even in His own body the Church, we hold on more to the pronouncements of man than onto the declarations of God and His Word.
     The story actually began several years ago, when he needed an operation on his shoulder.  As part of the natural process of nurture and care during the recovery period, he had encountered a particular nurse.  She fit the visual imagery of what you would want in that noble profession.  She was full of cheer, caring, and gave off the radiance of nurture that just made you feel that you were going to get better, just by being in her very presence. 
     Knowing that this man was a pastor gave her the openness to share with him about how as a single mom of two home schooled children she would drive everyday 120 miles round trip to give her nursing job all she had to give.  Fortitude, and a strong spirit were words that easily come to mind as he heard her share the information about her life.  To top it all off, she shared how that it was her faith in Christ that she knew was the real source of her ability to overcome the situations that accumulated together would easily have waylayed many other people.
     It was during this session that she also disclosed that in spite of her current disposition, it was this morning that she learned that she had cancer.  The sheer weight of this foreboding bomb seemed to clear the atmosphere of all light, and warmth.  In the momentary void, both reassured each other that God was the God of the impossible.  That only He alone could work things together for good for those who loved Him and were called according to His purpose.  This they both knew wasn't some simple minded cheery way to put a spin on an awkward moment between two people just as a way of dismissing the weightiness of the burden. It was a declaration that even in the depths of darkness,  there is always a light of hope in Him.
     When the pastor got home, he told his wife about the emotional rollercoaster of his appointment.  She knew what to do about the situation.  They would pray for her.  And during the next session, she would lay hands on her and pray for her as a point of contact.  They would both do these steps of action, and allow God to do the rest.
     Time separated the appointments, and the nurse from their lives as the man's body healed.  Then just recently, this selfsame man had to go to the same hospital.  When he ran directly into a nurse whose face was covered with a large surgical mask.  Her eyes flashed recognition.  " Hello, do you remember me?" she said.  The pastor who sees many people in the course of life, tried to draw a connection with the cheery eyes.  " Not with that mask on your face!", he voiced with a smirky,light hearted grin.  She quickly removed it to reveal the happy face of the nurse who had cared for him a couple of years ago.  Both faces then lit up.  They exchanged pleasantries, and renewed the bond of their spirits again.
     The most joyous news that she had to share with him was that she had been cured of cancer.  God had healed her of the cancer that she had told him about.  She knew that she had been healed according to His word.  In the midst of all of lifes' problems she had been delivered from what the enemy thought would take her out as an obstacle just too big to overcome.  Yet, he didn't know that God had a different plan.  He placed a pastor and his praying wife on her path.  Right there, amidst a normal and routine of follow therapy examine. Only this time the patient was to become the nurse, who would help deliver the perscription and treatment of a different kind.
     God wants us to be healed.  Sometimes it is quickly, and sometimes it may take awhile, but whatever the way; give Him the glory for it when it comes.  And be sure to thank Him for it ahead of the delivery of the gift itself!