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!

 

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Zombies in Church?

cat-1333926__340I 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

Why We Don’t See Miracles

miracles still happenI hear people asking “Where is God?” “Why don’t we see miracles anymore?” “Why isn’t God doing something here?”

3 Reasons:

1. New wine and old wineskins don’t mix

Matthew 9:17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time would not yield their mindsets to the way God was doing things. It didn’t fit in their little ‘god box’.

 

 

We all have preconceptions of what a miracle or “move of God” should look like, sound like or act like. Those preconceptions are often MIS-conceptions. When something doesn’t fit our preconceived notion we automatically file it away as “the devil did it” or “it’s just an act”.

Truth is that God’s ways are higher than are ways, and His understanding is much higher than ours. Just because we haven’t seen it before doesn’t mean that it’s not God. Actually, many of the manifestations of the Spirit that happen today in revival services are spoken of in the Old and New Testament

Habakkuk 3:16a I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror.

People fell down on the ground, people were healed, devils cast out, people spoke in other tongues–read about all the things Jesus did and he said greater things would we do, and read in Acts of all the miracles, signs and wonders that God did through believers.

You will not get new revelation and experience God with old, tradition, or religion mindsets.

What preconceptions do you have that prevent the works of faith to manifest in your life?

2. We don’t ask and we don’t expect the miraculous

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer

We should ask in faith believing. We don’t ask because we are afraid God won’t answer us. That fear is not from God. Fear is the opposite of faith. Start asking in prayer. God does hear you. Read James 4 and 5 and Matthew.

3. Apathy

It’s easier to read about miracles in the Bible than to actually DO anything that would perhaps allow God to work miracles in our lives.

I guarantee there are more miracles happening than we realize everyday. However, few people in today’s churches have seen blind eyes open or the cripple walk.

It’s easier to explain them away as “that was for Jesus and the Apostles” . What a lie from hell!

God has not changed and Jesus said greater things would we do. And the promise of the Holy Spirit is for all people including future generations. Multitudes have been miraculously healed or had finances provided by God.

We cannot bring God down to our experiences. We must choose to pursue God with all we have in faith believing that He is more powerful, loving and real than we realize.

 

Living By Faith-Part 2

miracles still happenFaith does not ignore facts. Faith is a choice to believe that what God says is more true than any doctor report, financial statement, or emotion.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

Faith faces the facts head on but still knows that God is on the throne and able and willing to meet every need. Believing is the stage after asking that we verbally declare our faith.

Believing is a choice. The key is – who is the subject of your belief. You believe everyday. When you sit in a chair you had faith the chair would hold you. When you flipped the light switch you had faith the light would turn on. The subject of your belief- who or what- you believe in is the key. I choose to put my faith in the one that created the universe and everything in it. I don’t place my faith in the stars but the one who created the stars.

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

2. Believe-

Sometimes this is the hard part. The more you read the Bible and hang out with other believers and hear testimonies of the great things God has done, your faith will be strengthened. You will find it easier to “believe”. I found that reading books about the life of missionaries is very helpful. In Part 1 I shared such a book by Huldah Buntain.

It’s time we take God out of the box we place Him in – we believe he can ONLY do this or that…only the things we can imagine or have heard. Start believing for great things. God is bigger than our imaginations.

Mark 9:23 (GW)  Jesus said to him, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.”

Mark 11:23-24 (GW)  I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. 24  That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.

Faith is a choice just like love is a choice. You choose to believe. If you wait on emotions and feelings to catapult you into great faith you may never see miracles. But if you choose to believe and then begin to walk it out, you just released faith in your life.

Practical Application

1. Find scriptures in the Bible that speak to your situation. If you need healing find scriptures on that. If you need peace find scriptures on peace.

2. Place your name in that scripture and pray it over you (or a person or situation).

Psalms 103:2 Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Now make it personal….

Praise the Lord, my soul, I will not forget his benefits. Lord you forgive all my sin and heal my diseases.

I pray Psalms 91 over myself or my fiends or family all the time.

This is a powerful scripture (actually, all of them are)

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling,10 no harm will overtake (me) you,no disaster will come near (my) your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning (me) you to guard (me) you in all (my) your ways; 12 they will lift (me) you up in their hands, so that (I) you will not strike (my) your foot against a stone. 13 (I) You will  tread on the lion and the cobra; (I) you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

(Psalms 41:3 is a good  scripture on healing also)

3. Pray scriptures over your situation as often as you think about it. When you worry or feel anxious, pray those scriptures. This is how you stand in faith…believing. This is how you combat fear, worry or anxiety. Keep renewing your mind in the Word of God by praying the scriptures.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the measure of faith. Guide me to scriptures that I need. Make your Word come alive to me and show me how to apply to my life. Give me wisdom how to apply your Word and live by it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Living by Faith

Living by Faith

This is the beginning of a series on Faith. I find it hard sometimes to have faith. I know many of the bible verses on faith as a mustard seed. I know the ones about asking your Father in Heaven and He will give you good things. I even have a healthier view of Almighty God than I used to. He is my Heavenly Father who loves me, cherishes me, has a purpose and a plan for my life.

Somehow, all this knowledge doesn’t seem to help my faith. Sometimes my faith just seems to be hanging on by a thread. I think that He may do it for someone else but not for me. I think if I was better than maybe God would answer my prayers. I’m here to tell you those thoughts are not truth, they are lies from the enemy.

This first post will be a summary and talk about the first stage of faith.

Come back and read the rest of them. It has helped me and I hope it will help you in your walk of faith.

bookI read “Pathway to the Impossible” by Huldah Buntain (a missionary to Calcutta, India).

She told of miracle after miracle that she actually experienced.

This is a perfect example of expanding our perception of God and just how magnificent he is.

Read her story. Your faith will increase by hearing what God does. And know that what he will do for one he will do for another.

Have you ever thought about the stages of faith we go through?

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

Asking – 

  1.  Our first step in faith is to ask God in prayer. Your prayer does not have to be eloquent, long or wordy. Just talk to Him, he is your Heavenly Father. When you ask, ask expecting. Expectation is that “faith” part. Wrap every petition in expectation that He will hear. And He will answer. He will heal. He will save. He will help. Just ask.

Matthew 21:22 (AMP)  And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.

You can ask for more wisdom. Who doesn’t need that…

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

When you ask–think about your motives…

James 4:2 (AMP)  You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:3 (AMP)   [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

Sometimes you need to be persistent. That shows a level of faith.

Matthew 7:7-8 (AMP)   Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

And my favorite…

God is capable of more than we could ever think or imagine.( So expand your box that you put God in because he doesn’t fit there.)

Matthew 14:15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”( http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/14.htm )

Did you see what Jesus said? “you give them something to eat”

What Jesus? We only have enough to feed us, definitely not enough to feed thousands of people.

Can you imagine yourself as a disciple at that moment? That is a faith stretcher. I would be saying “Are you crazy? I think you’ve been in the heat too long!”

He challenges their way of thinking. As humans they were limited to human expectations. But God is unlimited. Jesus is teaching them a valuable lesson here.

This is a lesson we all need to learn. It’s a major shift in our thinking and expectation. It’s a process called “Paradigm Shift”. As Christians we need to have a major Paradigm Shift. We need to learn to think like Jesus.

Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Can you agree with me that our thinking is limited and because of that we limit an awesome God with unlimited power?

If we begin to pray in faith believing in the awesome God, creator of the universe instead of praying in our limited power and understanding our faith increases right there!

Ask God to show you where you are limiting His power in your life. Just ask Him. He will be faithful to show you.

Heavenly Father, Thank you that your ways are not my ways. Thank you, that you are the creator of the universe, creator of my life and everything in the Earth and on the Earth. There is nothing created without you. Father, I ask that you will show me a glimpse of how big you really are. Show me where I limit you and where I place you in a box of human understanding. Help me and give me wisdom to understand better. Thank you, in Jesus name I pray! AMEN!

Lesson 4: Proclaim in Faith (praying for your spouse)

Proclaim what is not yet as though it is.

Hebrews 11:1     Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

1. Caught being good!

Not only do you proclaim the truth of God over your spouse in prayer but also proclaim it to your spouse. Not in a condescending manner or taunting.

Proclaim his identity traits in Christ at every opportunity.When he shows patience in the smallest form praise him for it. Tell him “you are so patient” when he shows patience. When he shows love, praise him for it. “I feel so loved when you do that”, “I am so thankful I have you in my life. “ Even if the trait is faint and hard to see, find ways to tell him how wonderful he is. He may not be wonderful yet but God is changing him from the inside out.

2. Watch your words

The words you use daily are very important to your husband’s spiritual walk. If you use words that tear him down, disrespect or dishonor him whether in private or in front of people will negate everything God is trying to do.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Another verse that is helpful to remember is…

Proverbs 12:18 ESV   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We are to bring healing by using words that are in line with the Word of God. Healing is what your spouse requires. And while we can’t heal or change anything. God is the only one that can. We can be helpful or we can hinder it.

Ask yourself before you speak…”Will this help to bring healing to my spouse?” If not, then keep your mouth shut.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to put a guard over your mouth to help you say what is helpful or to not say anything at all if it will hurt.

The Lord will help you of you allow him to.

Disciplined by my Heavenly Father

I always “enjoy” (for lack of a better word) discipline. It indicates love.

That’s what I remind my kids. I discipline them because I love them.

Our Heavenly Father loves us and therefore he will discipline us. I want to learn more and understand more. I also strive to be more like Jesus. I am not there yet. Still striving…

Perfect example of that happened recently. I have been asking the Lord “why does the annointing leave so quickly sometimes?” I will be really enjoying the presence of the Lord. I usually begin to cry (I really can’t describe why, just the presence of the Holy Spirit is so real and amazing…that’s all I can say). So when it suddenly leaves I really want to know why. What is going on?

So there I am, hands raised, crying, praying and half singing along with the Praise & Worship Team. Really enjoying praising God. Then, it happens.

He answers my prayer.

Very quietly, softly, gently (no other word to describe it) the Holy Spirit reminds me of the scriptures of Peter walking on the water. He says to me “Peter got his mind on himself”.

Immediately, I realize why the awesome presence of God leaves me sometimes so quickly. I get my mind on myself…how I look, good or bad, what other people think, even pride. Thinking that the presence of God is there because something good I did.

It’s not because of anything I do, did, or can do. God’s presence is there because He inhabits the praises of His people. Because He loves us. Because he is real. Because he is wants to be with us. Because He deserves it. Praise is the least we can do. “Present yourselves a living sacrifice”

Because He is Holy, he cannot inhabit impure, wrong motive praises. Imagine if Peter began to think how “cool” (my speak) walking on the water is and how great a disciple he must be that he is the only one out there…walking on the water!! Then he begins to notice everything going on around him. Next, he’s sinking, crying out to the Lord Jesus.

It’s like a spiritual spanking. I was getting my mind on myself and not on God. Nothing is impossible with God. But nothing is possible without God.

God’s discipline is so different than how we would go about it. He is so gentle but very direct and pierces the heart.

I love it! And so proud that He loves me enough!

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