Dark Night of the Soul by Mario Murillo

Here I am going through this ‘despondent’ soul time and I run across this precious post. I needed it today. Please join me in relentless prayer for revival.
Check out this post on justicewriters:

Justice Writers

jesus praying in the garden

A few weeks ago i was feeling discouraged and sought the Lord as to how i should respond to this despondency and immediately i heard, “I want you to live from the inside out.  The way that you have operated in the past will not be the way that you move or progress in the future.  Learn how to navigate by the instruments.”  I knew He was referring to the seven-fold Spirit of God.  This will be our internal compass in the days ahead as we take on the nature of Christ and let the Spirit of God take the lead.

Isaiah 11:1-4

Then a Shoot (the Messiah) will spring from the stock of Jesse [David’s father],
And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
 
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and strength,
The…

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Freedom Living is Possible-Part 2

freedomWhen life becomes too hard what do you do?

Family or relationship issues, drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, pride, anger…

Do we have to live with these issues?

Does anyone have answers for this?

Seems like more questions than answers. But there are answers. This blog seeks to help with those answers. At least to point you in the right direction.

This series is focused on the most overlooked, underutilized and most misunderstood ministry of Christ.

Deliverance

This is more than a topic. It is more than a ministry. It is a process. The entire Bible is one deliverance after another from Genesis to Revelation. Deliverance is for everyone. It starts when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ends when your life on earth is done. The church is hurting because these principles are not taught as completely anymore. The entire truth of what Jesus did through his life, death and resurrection has been watered down and lost over the years. But the truth is still there and Jesus does save, deliver and heal to this day. He does have all the answers.

The previous post in this series, Part 1, begins to define Deliverance and discuss some frequently misunderstood statements and questions.

Now, we will look at all the ways Jesus delivers us. There are so many. I realize I don’t know every method yet. But I have experienced many. I have studied many more.

  1. Sovereign Move of God

Some people with a life controlling issue like drugs might be completely delivered all at once from that addiction. It’s an awesome sight! I was witness to this recently when a lady who was addicted to drugs and alcohol was set free after one night during prayer service at revival.

Others have been delivered from anger issues. Some from love issues. They had difficulty receiving and feeling loved or loving others. After one moment with Christ all those issues are gone.

It would be wonderful if this sovereign move of God was the norm. Some things may come immediately but others must be a process. Never underestimate the process! It is a worthwhile journey creating in us the fruits of the Spirit.

  1. Power of Authority

Here’s an example: Let’s say a police officer walks into a retail store and a thief is there. That thief will immediately leave because of the authority of the police officer.

Now, not every demonic attack you are under will leave the moment you get saved or decide to undergo a deliverance session or submit to prayer. But many will.

Other times we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ and command the demonic oppression to leave. Either way, it’s all the authority of Christ.

  1. Power of Process

This is where you get to walk out what the Bible says by applying God’s truth to your life. Practical application.

This is an entire post on its own. Most of deliverance is this method. Key points for this:

  • Don’t walk it out alone. You need a godly friend, mentor, pastor, teacher, someone to confide in and keep in truthful contact with.
  • Daily reading of the Bible is necessary. God’s Word changes us from the inside out. It is not through our might or power but through the Spirit of God.
  • Deliverance sessions with a balanced and Biblical deliverance ministry is most helpful.
  • Apply God’s truth to your life and reject the lies of the enemy.
  • The truth will shine the light on the dark areas of your heart and you will be able to see your identity in Christ

Holy Spirit led deliverance ministry is the most effective and thorough method for this process. Deliverance ministers mix biblical counseling, Bible verse teaching, Bible truths and Holy Spirit led prayer to walk you through the process of becoming free from addictions, destructive behaviors and bitterness, anger or pride.

  1. Discipleship

Closely related to Process Deliverance, this is the spiritual process that will happen over time as you read God’s Word, attend church services, and hang around with godly people.

As you learn the principles taught and apply them you will see some measure of freedom in your life.

This is very important part of your walk to freedom and is a lifelong strategy for freedom.

      5. Holy Spirit

Whether you realize it or not the Holy Spirit is already at work in you. Even before you accept Jesus, He is speaking to you and teaching you. He is the great Teacher and Comforter.

I always say “You can’t be someone’s Holy Spirit”. That means that you cannot change anyone. You cannot nag your spouse into changing anything. We can’t even change ourselves usually. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit. For any effectual deliverance He is involved in every step.

      6. Prayers of Intercession

There was a lady (call her Joan), that was so severely affected by the demonic that she was put into a psychiatric hospital. Her friends were godly women and decided to meet on a regular basis to intercede for Joan. They did this for several months. One day, the hospital decided that she was well enough she could go home for a short visit. During that time the women continued to pray. By the time she went back her demeanor had so completely changed that the hospital workers did not recognize her. A few days later she was dismissed from the hospital.

Prayer really can change things. I don’t understand how a prayer can affect the spiritual world so much but the Bible teaches it and its truth.

      7. Bible Based Counseling

Any other type of counseling might help but only God’s Word can set you free completely and totally.

Some measure of freedom can be reached through counseling. Sometimes you need a one on one session to see your problems as they really are.

      8. The Bible

This is not just a collection of stories or a history book. This is living Word of God for us that transforms lives, heals, and directs.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

This cannot be an exhaustive list. God is bigger than we can imagine and I’m sure HE has multiple ways to set people free. In fact, He doesn’t just use ONE method, He uses many over our lifetime. The end result is the same…FREEDOM!

 

A good deliverance ministry uses many methods to reach the end result of deliverance. But it is up to the individual to continue to apply the truths taught in practical application to their lives.

Ask the Lord to show you if you have an area of your life that still requires HIS freedom.

Here’s some resources:

Wellsprings Ministries

International Society of Deliverance Ministers

 

#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

Freedom Living is Possible

 

deliv 3We all have an ugly side. The ugly parts buried deep inside us that we allow never to escape are the parts Jesus came to heal and deliver.

Problem is those parts do surface into our everyday life…words, decisions, relationships, fears, anxieties, addictions…The UGLY doesn’t hide.

Most Christians live beneath their God-given purposes and gifts because the UGLY prevents those gifts and talents, annointings and dreams from manifesting fully.

Ever feel accused or like you don’t measure up? Fear preventing you from walking into your destiny?

How can you be truly free of all depression, anger, bitterness, addictions, lust, bad thoughts, fears, intimidation, anxiety?

Many new converts think that when they become a Christian all their addictions, habits and hang-ups will just go away. After many weeks or months they realize that most of it is not gone and they wonder if they are really a Christian. Or wonder “what is wrong with me all these other Christians look like they have it all together?” BUT do they really?

 

Truth is…we all have trash in our lives. Modern churches have left out a key ingredient to living a life of freedom as it was promised by Jesus. It’s called “Deliverance”. There is such a misunderstanding of what deliverance is and who it is for. Somehow over the last few decades this key given to believers has been removed from mainstream Christianity and the definition has been altered to mean something never attended by Jesus.

So, what is deliverance? (This will take more than one post to fully define so hang in there.) I will dispel the myths, clarify what it means for the Christian, and define the proper Biblical use.

Let’s look at what Jesus means when you are saved, delivered and healed…

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

  1. Who needs deliverance?

Freedom is a ministry of Jesus for everyone. I have’t met a person yet that cannot benefit from deliverance ministry.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

The word deliverance is used in many popular songs. Songs about chains broken and the blood of Jesus setting people free. However, if you ask most Christians if they need deliverance they will say no. Yet they sing about their chains and cry about their secret issues. Most don’t realize that not every thought that goes through our brains are not always our thoughts so they stand accused for actions not taken. Fear grips them and binds them from fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Everyone needs deliverance. If you want to be fully engaged in your talents and gifts with nothing holding you back…The greatest leaders need it to lead. The greatest teachers need it to be a better teacher. The greatest pastors need it so they don’t get burned out.The lay-person needs it to survive. Let me assure you….everyone needs it.

2. Isn’t deliverance just for “demon-possessed” people?

NO. Deliverance is for those significantly affected by the demonic and those are that are not. If you are in ministry very long you will discover that people that are so bound by the demonic that they manifest frequently. You may “feel” it or you may see a change in their countenance. But you know something isn’t right. They also require deliverance.

Let’s clear up some HUUUUGGE misunderstandings of “demon-possessed” and what it really means

3.A Christian can’t be “demon-possessed” because God and Satan can’t inhabit the same space, right?

Good question…

Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

Job 1:6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

2 Chronicles 18:10 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “‘By what means?’ the LORD asked

Doesn’t seem like Satan has a problem standing before God. Looks like he is required at times.

Psalms 139: 7Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

God is everywhere. There is no place HE is not. So how far away does the enemy have to be? Some think the enemy “oppresses” a believer. Yes he does and he can. But wouldn’t that be very close? They believe demons can be outside but not inside. Does it really matter? You are still in need of freedom.

However, think about this…if you have a mouse in your house does the mouse own the house? or possess it? No, they are a nuisance and must be removed. Even Jesus spoke about a person as a HOUSE. And the demons were in the house.

Matthew 12:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44″Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.…

Christians can’t be “possessed” by the enemy, right?

The description “demon-possessed” is not an accurate translation. The word used in original Greek should be translated in today’s language as afflicted by a demon or affected by a demon. Our language understands the word “possessed” denoting ownership. However, the devil already owns you if you do not belong to God through Jesus Christ. If you belong to God you cannot be possessed or owned by anything else. However, you can still be afflicted or affected to the point that devilish behavior is manifested in your life. More on this in a minute.

Interesting that when the writers wrote the letters in the Bible they were not surprised by demons afflicting people. Even believers in God were afflicted. In other countries, it is common knowledge that demons afflict people. We tend to ignore that fact in the Western world. People who come out of witchcraft can explain a lot that ordinary Christians have never run into and have no clue about. The lack of knowledge of how our enemy works has been crippling to the church.

Those were some good questions. Now let me ask you a question…

4.  What degree can someone be afflicted by the enemy?

The Bible gives many examples of them and all are varying degrees of manifestations or affliction.

Luke 13:16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

She was sick and it was caused by an evil spirit. (This doesn’t mean that evil spirits cause every sickness. But some can be.) She was perfectly normal except for her illness causing her to be stooped over. Obviously, Jesus saw her as a godly woman that just needed to be set free.

Mark 9:21And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22″It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”…

This boy was most likely normal except when the evil spirit was trying to kill him. Notice, the people understood it was the evil spirit causing the boy to jump in fires and into water. They realized the boy was not trying to commit suicide just on his own. Just from these two accounts we see that believers and children can all be afflicted to some degree.

Think of it as a scale from 1 to 10. To the degree every aspect of their lives are affected. The demonaic in Geserenes could be a 10 or 11. The boy may only have been a 6 or 7.He may be perfectly normal in all other areas except those times.  The woman maybe a 2 or 3. The enemy affects everyone and Jesus prepared a way to be set free.

5. What other ways can Christians be affected by the enemy and in need of deliverance?

The most common way is mentioned here (among many other places)…

Ephesians 4:30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

Bitterness, anger, lying, slandering others are all examples of how the enemy afflicts us and uses us to hurt others. The writers are talking to Christians. If you look at Christians today they are not much different. If you look at yourself you don’t even do all the things you know you should do and do many things you wish you didn’t do.

This is where deliverance comes in for the believer and applies the Word of God to bring freedom to our hearts and minds.

Now we can talk about what deliverance is…

I bet you have bitterness somewhere. I haven’t met a person yet that didn’t hold some grudge or been hurt so badly by someone they hated. You have someone in your life you don’t want to see or just hearing their voice grades on your last nerve. Bitterness is unforgiveness fully grown into a root in your heart. Bitterness flows out of your mouth. Ever say something that was so ugly and you wonder “where did that come from?”

Deliverance is taking away the right the enemy thinks it has over your life through forgiveness and repentance. You apply the work of the cross to your life.

You may ask…I thought it was applied automatically when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour?

Yes it was! But now you have to appropriate it to your life. Some things were taken care of that very minute other things are a process of applying the Word, renewing your mind, forgiving others and repenting (applying the blood to the issues of the past when necessary).

We are saved and we are “being” saved. It is a process. The verb tense is very important and is not correctly translated in KJV and some other versions.

Deliverance is that process.

You can call it discipleship. You can call it “He’s still working on me”… but it is a process that you can and should by Jesus’ example and teaching apply to yourself.

You must be a believer for this process to work. A house divided against itself cannot stand. You cannot cast the enemy or tell it to go or stop it’s work in your life until you belong to Jesus. Then Jesus does HIS ministry to you. Go back up and look at Luke 4:18 again.

Freedom for the prisoners-prisoners did things to be put into prison by their own behavior.

To set the oppressed free-these had things done to them, it was not their own behavior.

Jesus came for both: the things you did that hurt others or yourself and the things done to you…to set you FREE.

Think of some examples: a woman is raped, then her behavior changes, she has low self worth, she may even contemplate suicide. She needs to be set free from the trauma she endured. On the flip side the person that raped her also deserves to be set free from the prison inside his heart that incites him to behave in such destructive ways.

Both these examples need deliverance…the process of healing and applying God’s truth to our lives.

More posts to come…

My goal is to bring deliverance to the forefront of the church world as necessary and biblical solution to our lives.

Deliverance = Application of God’s Word to our lives

Please comment if you have any questions or email me.

 

 

The Great Awakening

azusastreet

Go listen to this:

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/resistance-persistence-and-breakthrough

I haven’t posted in a long time. A bit of a sabbatical, I guess.

But I am stirred today by His Spirit.

My daughter called me a couple of days ago and said that she and a pastor friend want to go to the Azusa street ….something or other….you know how parents can half listen and assume at the same time?? Yes, terrible of me to admit, I know.

I was both excited and dismayed my daughter wanted to go. Excited because my prayer and dream is for an “Azusa Street” like revival to come again. I read the books. I pray all the time for it.

Dismayed…well, those plane tickets are really expensive.

Today, just like any other day, I slept too long pushing snooze. Did manage to make it to the gym. And at the gym, listen to a Bethel Church podcast. I love Bill Johnson’s preaching! It was the podcast linked above. Please listen. After that I chose another podcast. Just happened to be Beni Johnson.

I started crying.

Then praying. I am stirred to my very core. I cannot stop! Every part of my being is crying out for more of GOD, more of HIS Spirit! Just MORE God!

I must fast. I must pray. I must get as many people to that place on April 9th as I can. 

So, here it is. My plea for you to join me in prayer and fasting for this event. I believe God is pouring our His Spirit on all flesh. This is just the beginning. WE  are living in an exciting time in history.

I pray you are stirred today and feel HIS presence where you are while you read this and will be drawn to HIM and cry out for MORE!

 

Billy Graham – The Great Awakening

I believe this dream is true revelation as a sign to believers. I also believe this should be covered in prayer. I ask all believers to pray for the great harvest. Pray for signs and wonders and for God’s Glory to fill the earth. God Bless you today as you make the connection to your true purpose on this earth…to release the Glory of God everywhere you go.

Justice Writers

I had a significant dream about Billy Graham and his passing.  I read after the fact, that Benny Hinn gave a prophetic word in the 80’s regarding Billy Graham passing into glory and the greatest revival on the earth and the promised harvest of souls.  When you honor the prior generation, it brings promotion to the next generation to finish the course.

Billy Graham- Great Awakening Dream:

There were many families outside playing and enjoying the weather, while Billy Graham was sitting in a wheel chair watching the scene, but had a very sober look on his face. He knew that his life was almost over on the earth and wanted to leave a legacy. Occasionally, people would stop what they were doing and try to console him, but he would just get agitated with them. I began to walk the field that was planted next to his home and…

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Are you Happy in your Marriage?

This information should be shared. We hear too many negative statistics about marriage that divorce seems inevitable. It is not! It is possible to be happily married. It is possible to salvage a marriage. The RespectedHusband and his counterpart, the RespectfulWife are two great resources for spouses to learn how to love and respect each other. Love is a choice! Respect is a choice! You can learn to love and receive love. You can learn to respect in a way your spouse will receive it and you will feel respected as well. These two blogs are very helpful. The premise of “fixing” any marriage is to first work on what you are doing, thinking, saying, behaving…and lining all of you up with the Word of God…then you will find joy and peace. Then you will find your willingness to work on your marriage and your ability to effect positive change in your marriage will happen! God Bless!

The Respected Husband

happy in marriage

At the start of the year, my wife asked me if I thought the last year was our best year ever.

I thought for a minute and then I said, “No, I wouldn’t say that.”

She returned with, “Why would you say that?  We have a ton of things to be thankful for.”

I said, “I guess I just thought about that we had this issue with my health, this one with the kids’ health, another relative’s health, a couple of career issues that didn’t work out the way I would have liked, and some issues with the vehicles.”

I don’t consider myself to be pessimistic by nature but I realized that I had been letting the negative things get in my way.  They were holding me back and causing me to lose focus on some of the great things that had happened in my marriage, my family, and in…

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God Reveals Himself in Mysterious Ways

I had arevisedn important revelation at a funeral.

Some people may think that is a great place for a significant revelation. Others may think that a little crazy.

 

My sister-in-law passed away this week. As I sat among the grieving family all I could think about was how beautiful her smile is. There was a photograph placed on an easel next to the coffin showing off her spiky hair and toothy smile. She was always the life of any party and had a smile that would light up a room. As I thought about all her wonderful traits … it was like a light went off in my head.

I felt the Holy Spirit saying…”Her love, her smile, her joy…was all a reflection of the Heavenly Father, all His good traits to show His glory in the earth. ”

When  someone… or you..share love, joy, peace, patience, humbleness, grace, goodness, mercy, etc to another you are showing off God. All good things come from Him. He shows up everywhere because He longs for you to know Him. He shares His goodness because He loves you. He chases you in every smile, every sincere hug, in every kind word. He reveals aspects of who He is so we can know Him more.

God is not distant. He is very near, in every good thing we see, hear, smell…

I thought of all the times I had the joy of spending time with her and I am thankful. I am thankful for the life she courageously lived in love and strength. I am thankful that I got a glimpse of my Heavenly Father in her.

It’s pretty cool to think that we represent Jesus to others. But what is greater is that we carry His traits not only as a reflection of who God is but also as a part of who we are. I hope I am sharing my heart well enough in words to capture the weightiness of this statement. We are made in His likeness and we carry His traits in us. We are not just a mirror to reflect Him but we are made like Him. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe so pleased to place all His goodness in us just so we could know Him better as we share our lives with others.

I got a glimpse of how loving, how joyful, how wonderful my God is through the attitude and smile of lovely woman named Darlene.

Remember, as you wake up to another day, that you are part of God’s master plan to share Him with those you meet today.  Smile, laugh, be patient, be kind, and show goodness, grace and mercy to others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to show YOU to others. Thank you for the fruits of your Spirit that are shed abundantly in our hearts as we serve you and come to know you more. I pray that we will seek out those fruits in others and that we would show these fruits to all people around us. Give us strength to do so. 

Forgive us for all those times that we choose not to show the fruits of YOUR Spirit and chose instead to represent the kingdom of the the enemy. Forgive us now as we choose to forgive others that have done that to us. 

Help us to remember daily that we represent you, Lord. I ask you to remind me even in hard times to show these fruits and represent you well. Help us to represent you in love and in joy. In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Church Is Called To Be Churchy, So Deal With It

Terrific argument for churches to be real to who Jesus is and why we are here!

Zombies in Church?

I don’t watch zombie movies or shows. I do see an increasing infatuation with the concept in the world. I do not have that fascination with the “un-dead”. However, I do see an incredible resemblance to the church-at-large.

Stick with me for just a minute…

I admit to actually being a part of this church “un-dead”. Alive, aware of God and the atoning work of Jesus Christ yet oblivious to Him actually at work in my life. A part of my life that I might actually have to change.

As a life-long Christian, the concept that there may be more to this life of Christian was foreign to me. I do everything I am supposed to do, I read the Bible. I pray for myself and even others. I give my time and money. I attend church regularly. What else am I supposed to do? I don’t get it. How can there be more?

BUT…yes capital B-U-T…

This verse haunts me

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

These signs will follow those who believe…

Another one sits right there, ever before me taunting me to ask the Lord for more.

John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

Believes in me will do greater works…

As a person who sits each week in a church seat, praying, worshiping, reading, studying, teaching…and that is not enough. I know God has more for us. I seek more.

I am tired of remaining a part of the zombies in churches. A Christian was never meant to be a pew warmer or mere spectator.

I am dissatisfied with the status quo.

In Bill Johnson’s book “The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind” he says about believers, “They develop anesthesia that deadens their sensitivity to personal transformation. They are robbed of experience and can only recite back principles. It is pure religion, form without power.”

How much of church goers know a great deal of Word and Christian vocabulary but lack the personal transformation that shows through actions and change that they KNOW a real God and REAL Savior?

Bill Johnson also makes an interesting and challenging statement: “Revelation should change our hearts before we could ever explain what we learned.”

Here is part of the problem…

1. We measure God’s ability by our experience.

Someone, somewhere prayed for someone to get healed and that person was still sick. The reigning doctrine becomes “God doesn’t heal anymore” “Maybe it’s not God’s will” “I didn’t have enough faith” “The person didn’t have enough faith”. And it’s really more than doctrine it’s a paradigm, a mindset.

We need to change our mindset to be in line with scripture. It is God’s will to heal. He is able to heal. We don’t always understand the word Faith. I heard a story one time about a man who wanted to see God heal. He prayed for 100 people and no one was healed. Finally, he persisted and the 101 person was healed miraculously. We give up too easily sometimes because it didn’t happen our way. I believe we should keep pressing in action and God will do the rest. Pray for 100 people until you see miracles…why not?

2. Doubt and Fear

We don’t risk what we can’t imagine.

We are afraid to look like a failure if someone does not get healed. Or look like a radical for doing something out of the ordinary. You know what? It’s not about me, what I look like, or someone else’s opinion of me. Look at the prophets of old or John the Baptist. They did some crazy things and God used them mightily. Who cares what people think…because when someone gets miraculously healed it won’t matter.

3. We don’t ask for it.

Remember that whole excerpt about you have not because you ask not, and to whomever asks it shall be given? Now, we are not talking about asking for a million dollars although God can provide. We are talking about fulfilling the words of Jesus in the scriptures above. Ask God to show you and use you. Ask Him for more!

I recently heard a revivalist preacher who has seen thousands of miracles challenge listeners to pray for 7 people to be healed and watch what God will do. 7 random strangers, 7 sick people…who is up for the challenge?

 Prayer:

God use me! I choose to be available to you today. I choose to be a vessel for use in the Master’s kingdom. I choose to believe, help my unbelief. Amen

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