So back to where we left off last time; for those of you who missed the last
devotional I highly recommend you find it and read it because it'll add context
to this whole new devotional, but here's the basics: God told me He was giving
me authority over sickness and disease, which was great; but unfortunately I
doubted Him and of course wanted to test His claim. Luckily, just three weeks
later my church was hosting a Healing service, and as part of the elder's team I
got the privilege of praying for those in need of healing. So we were doing
worship, and I felt so distant and removed from God, He just seemed so silent,
but nearing the end of worship I finally got fed up with it and simply looked up
and said "God, I don't care what you're planning for today, you're going to heal
people!" And He answered me; saying in a still small voice "Okay."
Now here's where this whole story gets crazy. At the end of worship, our pastor got up on stage and called forward the prayer team before calling forward all the people who need prayer. As the people in need of healing slowly begin to file up, one lady specifically caught my eye. I seemed drawn to her, and as our pastor begins to pray over the healing session I immediately got this vision of this lady bending over, getting on her knees and weeding a beautiful flower garden; before standing up and putting her hand on her back in seeming fatigue. As soon as the pastor finished praying I immediately went up to her, and after asking her name simply asked "You wouldn't happen to like gardening, would you?". Immediately she looked at me and said "Yes! I love gardening, mainly flowers!" So I shared the rest of the image with her, telling her how I saw her weeding and being able to move and bend over without pain or anything; and suddenly as I was talking to her I became aware of the spirit telling me to ask her about her back.
I asked her about her pain and where it was located, and it turns out she was suffering from some kind of back and neck pain; so I asked her a few more brief questions and just began to pray for her. After a couple minutes of prayer, I looked up at her and she told me her pain had suddenly dropped from a 7 to a 4! I was in a shock, but I wanted more so I got her to put her hands out flat in front of her and I told her that I was going to slowly lower my fingers onto her palms, and as soon as our hands met she would feel the power of God come over her and heal her. By this point in time I was seriously freaking out, because I knew that I wasn't doing anything but it was totally God working through me, and I was scared spitless of screwing it up! What would happen if I touched her hands and nothing happened?
So I began to pray again, declaring healing over her and slowly lowering my fingers to her hands. As soon as the skin touched, her whole one side began to shake, which I later found out from her is how she usually reacts to the manifest presence of the Spirit. After a couple more minutes I stopped and looked at her once again, only to find out her pain had again dropped, this time from a 4 to a 2! So I looked at her once again and told her that I was greedy so we were going to go for full healing. By this time the worship/prayer time had ended and our pastor was already on stage preaching, but I just kept pressing in. Another member of the prayer team came up behind her and just began to pray softly in tongues over her, so I began the process of slowly lowering my fingers to her hands again. This time, as soon as our hands met, she began to visibly and violently shake under the power of God, praying out in tongues over herself. This lasted for a good 5 minutes, and eventually we went our separate ways and sat down to listen to the sermon.
After the service was over, she came back up to me and just began to pour out her heart, telling me how she was a very visual person and the fact that God gave me a specific image about her being able to garden again had given her faith to see herself healing. She began to tell me how she had been experiencing this pain for months and months and months without relief; telling me how just that morning she had been unable to move her neck properly to look around; and then she just began to move her head and neck, looking all around, exclaiming "The pains gone! The pains gone! There's just stiffness left!"
I was seriously blown away. God had used me to heal this lady, and I was seriously freaking out! I had heard the stories and prayed the prayers, but I had never truly seen it happen in front of my own eyes, let alone through my own prayers! The reality that God had fulfilled His own promise to me blew me away; the fact that our loving Father cared enough about His children that He would use an imperfect one such as me was just so exciting, I couldn't contain it!
Often times, we tend to forget about God in order to satisfy our selfish need for perfect theology
You see, God is a God of healing, a God of restoration and of power. He is the God who came and died on a cross for us, to save and restore and heal (that is the literal definition of the word sozo, the Greek word from which we get our word 'salvation'). You see, in this dark world, there is a hope, an inexplicable hope that rises and shines in the darkest of circumstances. In this sad world, there is joy, indescribable joy that outlasts the toughest of situations. And in this evil world full of disease and sickness, there is power, power that shines forth from a secret place. And it is power that is accessible to you and to me.
I think often times we as the church forget this reality of God because it scares us. We cannot control it, we cannot understand it, and so we often just proclaim it as heresy or demonic in nature. Often times, we tend to forget about the reality of God in order to satisfy our selfish need for perfect theology. We want to always be right, and so we see God as we are, not as He actually is. We form a God out of our theology, rather than let the God of the universe form our theology.
The sad reality of the church today is that it is full of Christians who quote obscure verses to prove that miracles and the gifts of the spirit died with the apostles, essentially killing the experiential part of our faith in order to promote 'better theology'. But as Kris Vallotton recently said,
"Words without power is not the gospel. Some say that you can't base your life in God on experience; which is true, but if you read the bible and don't have an experience; that's simply religion!"
The veracity of this statement is astounding. We can't live solely from experience; but without the experience how do we truly know that the God we serve is anything more than a rule-giving tyrant up in heaven? The bible without the inspiration of the spirit is simply a book full of cool stories and restrictive rules; it takes the Word of God and the Spirit of God to equal truth. If you read the bible and it doesn't bring you closer into relationship with God, into an experience with the Father of Lights, then you'll turn what you read into religious theologies that you can use to throw at those who you disagree with!
You see, if we truly are meant to be followers of Jesus, to be believers who believe everything He said, maybe it's time we focused more on praying for the reality of heaven to become a normal part of the earth, and on fulfilling His command in John 14:12 which says:
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these..."
What belongs in heaven, belongs here on earth. And so if we truly believe that Heaven is a place where the perfect, everlasting God of the universe dwells in all of His glory, we must realize that there is no sickness, disease, damage, pain or sin in heaven. That means that as we work to extend God's kingdom, we should also be working to cast out the things that don't truly belong in His kingdom. We should be doing greater works than Jesus, the son of God even did; and that is one tall calling!
It's time we allowed God to move in our churches through us once again. It is time to let the God we serve out of the theological box that says He can't heal, and truly believe and strive to see Him work through us to see His kingdom come with power.
God is here. He has called you forward just as He has called me. You just need to be willing to be used. That's His only requirement; God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He's calling you, and is willing to equip you to extend His kingdom in supernatural power. Are you willing to say yes?
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