Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

There is nothing as amazing as winning a championship even if it is a recreation hockey league.  I have been on the ice to score the empty net goal to seal the victory and I have also been the guy that gets stopped by the goalie's glove hand to only watch the other team pour off the bench and celebrate.  However if I let that sinking feeling of not being able to score when the game is on the line to dominate my thoughts, it can be paralyzing in future opportunities that I am given.

It was this same mentality that Randy Clark spoke of this weekend as I attended the Supernatural Conference on healing and evangelism at the Embassy in Oshawa.  He shared how if you let the agony of defeat keep you down in praying for the sick, you'll never have a healing ministry.  The challenge was are we ready to count the cost and pay the price?  I believe with all my heart that physical healing is provided for in the atonement of the cross of Jesus Christ as prophesied in Isaiah 53.  I want to share with you a summary of what God has been downloading in my spirit as I continue to be stretched in the area of healing.

The following is not meant to be a stereotype the following beliefs, but is a quick view of how the majority of those in different belief systems on how they see healing work:

Catholic -  Only saints with enough virtue to pray for healing have any real value in praying for the sick and I am no saint!

Protestant - Healing is not normative so don't expect it.  It is a rare thing and this gift is really no longer in operation today.

Liberal - God doesn't do miracles like this anymore because He won't break the laws of nature to accomplish it.

And then there are those who really want to see healing and believe it does happen.

Why don't more of us pray for healing?

1.  Intellectual challenges.  We want answers on why one person is healing and another in the same condition isn't.    The honest answer is, "I don't know."

2.  Pride challenges.  We don't want to be disappointed or pray with believing faith and be let down or let down others.   Do you want to know how to stay humble?  Pray for the sick.
3.  Emotional challenges.  We don't like to be sad or deal with the pain associated with it.  This ministry is 'others' focused.  The cross for us is to walk with Jesus in this kind of ministry and to deal with the pain, the suffering and disappointment when it doesn't happen.

Gordon Fee speaks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is "the power to see the miraculous AND the power to persevere when your miracle doesn't appear."

There are a lot of heartaches in this kind of ministry.  If you allow disappointment to stop you, you won't know the miracle of seeing when miracles really do happen!

When someone significant passes away do you move into despair or do you go for this ministry even harder?

The realization is that most people won't pursue it, but God is calling us to be His instruments to be used for His purposes and healing is such a powerful one especially in bringing people to life in Jesus.

Healing Testimonies!

Revelation 19:10  For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

God can cause faith to rise up in you as you listen to the testimony of Jesus and what He has done in others.
The testimony of what God has done can bring healing!  You can be healed by just listening and hearing the stories of God's healing in others and Randy's website is chalk full of them.

My son Rylan wanted to come to the conference and was absolutely mesmerized by the video stories.  He said to me, "Dad, you can go to the conference and then come home and train me!"  I love his faith.  Well, last night, as video stories were shared, people in attendance were experiencing healing even before they were prayed for.  One lady who was wheelchair bound for many years with fibromyalgia got up out started walking down the aisle.  She couldn't feel anymore pain.  I know what you thinking, 'no way, it's just hype'.  All the typical things that come to mind like repetitive music and a preacher with white shoes working the crowd into a frenzy, but it wasn't like that.  Randy was just speaking in a conversation like tone and the Spirit of God was moving!!

We need to keep telling the stories and not just at church.  The example was given of how a  hairdresser who wasn't a Christian had a client who shared she had cancer with her.  The hairdresser responded by saying, "you need to go to Bethel (name of the church), I hear a lot of people are getting healed there!"
The atmosphere is created by our living testimonies.

In Luke 8:42-48, we learn about the lady who had been 'subject to bleeding' for 12 years.  She gets healed by touching the hem of Jesus' cloak.  The only reason that she couldn't go unnoticed was that she was 'trembling' as a result of the power of God flowing through her.  I'm sure she had heard about the healing that took place only a few chapters in Luke 6 by word of mouth.

The takeaway for us is to tell our kids how God has worked in our lives, it is the power of our testimony that will activate faith and keep it strong!

Ok, so here is my testimony and a few stories from this weekend.  I still have one more session to go though...

As Randy taught us to pray for healing, he challenged us to listen for words of knowledge.  After he asked people to stand who wanted pray for healing and Sharon stood as she has been dealing with really bad sciatica.  He then challenged people around them to pray with the use of the diagnostic...basically ask questions and listen to what God is saying.  Sometimes we just go right into prayer without first taking that time to hear what the Spirit is saying to us.  I took time to listen and then prayed for Sharon and the LORD brought tears to my eyes and my body overcome to the point of heaves as I cried out.  I prayed with words of declaration affirming God's promises and spoke directly to her pain.  The pain then reached her head and I laid hands on her forehead and continued to pray over her mind.  God gave me so much love for her in that moment and it deepened our intimacy in such an amazing way.  It really was breakthrough for me as it showed me how much He loved her and how much love I have in my heart for her and how His love flows through me.

A lady we met at lunch kept hearing the song, "Footloose" as we ate together and then realized that it was a word from God for me.  She was too embarrassed to tell me that I was supposed to read the lyrics to the song so she came later to tell me while we were in the next session.  I had a good laugh because I know that song well from the 80s and it absolutely spoke to me.

This morning Robert, a man who just exudes love and who moves in the prophetic pulled Sharon and me aside.  We reached out to take his hand but he insisted on taking our hands and then he placed our hands together.  He said that our next ministry will be one that we will be joined together in.  He then told me that I have an evangelistic heart.  (It happens to be my top gift in the fivefold gifts.)  He then spoke of Sharon having a spirit in her to change the atmosphere.  He then read from Scripture, Revelation 3:7-13, as a promise over us and spoke of open doors that no one could shut.  It felt like an incredible confirmation of more ministry ahead as he spoke of us being pillars in the temple of God.  It was a great impartation and we are so excited for God's continued leading in our lives!

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