Some more thoughts...

What if the Believer's life is not so much about me working hard to do spiritual things but about Him flowing through me to do what I can't?  And if one is wondering how to access that... then maybe that is where religion stops and relationship starts!

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Some may call a behavior legalism. But for another it may actually be safeguarding their heart to avoid distraction so they may keep the main thing the main thing!

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And from other people:

"It is tremendously poor theology for the light to hide until the darkness takes over and then God pulls the light out of hiding to get them off the planet... the purpose of the light is to be sent into the darkness with the revelation that the light shines forth in darkness... the light is productive based on how bright the light is not based on a lesser amount of darkness." - Damon Thompson

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"Christian myth #127: If something is from God it will only be fun and easy to do :)." - Kristen D'Arpa

Some thoughts...

A person who is living their life predominantly for themselves will have a lot less meaning/purpose than one who is seeking first the kingdom. Living for self is an empty and unsatisfying way to go...

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Jesus was very content to empower people and let them grow personally in the process of using gifts; they did not have to become perfect to get access to gifts. If someone has to have perfect character to operate in healing, then why did Jesus send out very imperfect disciples in Luke 9?
If someone has to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to operate in healing, than why does Luke 9:1-2 with the disciples occur before Acts 2?
Of course Spirit-baptism and character are important, but I don't think God likes us restricting Him and what He is allowed to do through us and disqualifying ourselves when He qualified us with the Great Commission!

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False humility blocks multiplication. If everything good is reduced to giving glory to Jesus, no one else can be taught into the same breakthrough. But if a person can share HOW the Lord did it and what God did in and through them in the partnership, then multiplication/impartation has a much better chance of taking root in the other. If one is really seeking first the kingdom, false humility can be the enemy to kingdom expansion.

Church and Culture

Jesus and his disciples didn't constantly re-evaluate their values simply because culture didn't agree. If one is constantly trying to conform/change the Bible/truth to current culture in the name of loving people, perhaps they are living a different model of "love" than Jesus, the disciples, or about anyone else in the Bible did. Elijah, Jeremiah, Jesus, etc. sure would have had much less persecution if they would have done this instead!! When the church values an easy life over holding to truth is when they will likely never have that easy life due to the bondage that the lies they believe have put them in!

Some more thoughts...

What if seeking first the kingdom (Mt. 6:33) will cause people to find their destiny that are not finding their destiny by seeking first their destiny? What if one's destiny isn't His destiny for them if it doesn't involve seeking first His kingdom? And what if seeking first the kingdom is something that a person can live out EVERY SINGLE DAY and not something they have to wait around for?

If you spend a lot of time consumed with a fear of lack, it is probably a good sign to spend more time with (or that you are believing a lie about) the Source!!

What if strength can be seen in someone who can ask for forgiveness/admit they don't know something/admit they are wrong when needed more then needing to show the world that they are always the best? The former shows me someone secure in who they are and not living for the praises of man. The latter shows me someone who has a performance based identity (needs to perform in order to feel valuable).

"If you have nothing to depend on God for, you're not getting out of your comfort zone enough. Faith only comes through dependence." -Mark Rapley

Following God on one's own terms and how they, culture, or their friends think He ought to be (instead of following God on His terms and how the Bible shows Him to be) is a great place to come up with bad theology and live in compromise.

It isn't so different from making up a god in one's own image... And then sometimes they start to wonder if their god is even real. Because he isn't. That god doesn't exist! :

Thoughts...

I wonder what percentage of people's temptations would dissipate if they lived in close connection with God and other healthy people. Maintaining freedom has a lot less to do with some sovereign act of God and a lot more to do with how he intends us to live.

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Show me someone who will weep in the Presence for nations (or whatever it is God has laid on their heart) and I'll show you someone who will change the world.

Show me someone who doesn't have much time for God and what He cares about (making it an optional addition to an already full schedule) and I will show you someone who wonders why God is holding out on them.

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When God works through us, it is far more pleasurable (and wise for our own relationship with God and for desiring future victories) to celebrate the victory with the One who gave the victory than to pat ourselves on the back.

God's Moving with the Eagles! And some other thoughts...

I really liked the below article about a healing and God moving in the Eagles' locker room:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/slices/philadelphia-eagles-player-has-baptized-5-his-teammates

If one's concept of following the Holy Spirit causes everyone around to think they are flaky, irresponsible, and incapable of committing to anything... perhaps that person is pretty clueless about the Holy Spirit. And if they think everyone around them has a religious spirit for thinking this about them... well, maybe they don't understand a religious spirit as much as they think.

Praying really hard yet believing that nothing will happen (as an orphan spirit) is a poor substitute for trusting God as a child of the King! In other words, God responds more to what people believe than a lot of words...

Current Musings...

 

I am thinking/realizing that if God opposes the proud (James 4 & 1 Peter 5), then choosing to act in pride must be one of the stupidest things I can do.

I wonder what percentage of people who want a healing in their body would find their problem would disappear if they changed what they ate and drank, got enough sleep and sunshine, and exercised regularly. I think it would be at least a significant minority and maybe even a majority (especially if we include prevention).

I wonder what percentage of things going on in people's lives that they are questioning why God is doing it to them is really the result of them reaping what they sowed. Sure, there could be many other factors (i.e. other people's free will), but I think there is a significant percentage in this category. (Pr 19:3)

If a discipleship program doesn't involve actively doing the Great Commission, how effective can it be?? How much can people really be becoming disciples if the main thing Jesus commanded them to do isn't even on their radar?

Some different thoughts...

I wonder what percentage of things that people think they need would be things they would realize they don't really need if they had a lot closer relationship with God and encountered Him. I also then wonder what things that did not matter to them before, might start to matter a whole lot to them, because they matter to Him.

If you think your dream should be given to you without any need for work or sacrifice, there is a decent chance that the entitlement mentality will keep you from your dream!

Jesus' idea of fathering isn't always pulling people immediately away from dangerous circumstances. Rather, He can even have people take risk in those situations. Because security is being in the presence of Jesus not avoiding difficult circumstances. See Peter walking on the water in the storm with Jesus...

I wonder what percentage of things that people think they need would be things they would realize they don't really need if they had a lot closer relationship with God and encountered Him. I also then wonder what things that did not matter to them before, might start to matter a whole lot to them, because they matter to Him.

If God really just cares about character and not about healing the sick then how come Jesus never counseled the sick in how to grow in character instead of healing them?

It may be better to find out and do what God would have us do than to pray for Him to empower us to do what we think He wants us to do. But to do that, we'll have to get close enough to Him to see things from His perspective. Ultimately, the empowerment to do what He is wanting (which ultimately is the place of real satisfaction for us) is only found in close relationship with Him and healthy others.

Musings...

We need His perspective through relationship; not just His empowerment for what we think He wants us to do.

If someone has something to prove it can be a sign that they have not learned identity from relationship with Christ but instead have their value wrapped up in that thing.
 
Avoiding principles of how God works in the name of not having a formula and having freedom might cause us to miss living out the breakthrough... because God does work in certain ways.
 
It it easy to plateau in ministry and gifting if you think it is all about you. In fact, many times the breakthrough comes when I quit focusing on my gifts and destiny and instead focus on loving people and trusting God's heart of love for them to bring about the answer to what is needed for them.

Thoughts

I am pretty sure there is a direct correlation between lack of purpose and a lack of fire of God's presence resting on a person's life.

Passiveness is not a fruit of the Spirit

We need His perspective through relationship; not just His empowerment for what we think He wants us to do.

Spiritual gifts can plateau when the focus is on one's own gifts and not on love for those who would be blessed through what God can do through them.

People tend to live for whatever is the most real to them. Hence, we need to be focused on encountering Him as He is really all that satisfies.

Appealing to God’s sovereignty for something not happening to excuse personal passiveness is to fail to understand that God has sovereignly chose to primarily work through empowering people…

Which I piggy-backed from "God in his sovereignty has decided to soveriegnly work through people." - Kevin Dedmon

"The behavior of the church needs to define the behavior of culture not the behavior of culture changing the culture of the church." -Damon Thompson

"Emotions are not a barometer of reality." - Mark Rapley

Thoughts...

It doesn't work well to judge others for not having something that only came to you by grace!

It doesn't work well to be intimidated by something that God gave you authority over.

If you want to hear His voice it would only make sense to get in His presence...

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To try to control things to avoid failure will still bring about some measure of failure - because the circumstance will never be what it could have been with living in trust of God.

To try to control things to avoid being hurt by others will still bring about some measure of hurt - because isolation can be a big hurt in and of itself.

To try to control things to get our needs perfectly met will invariably cause us to not get all of our needs met - as living in perpetual self -focus causes us to miss our need to love. Or we may constantly see what isn't and be robbed of joy.

As a side point, Cloud and Townsend in "How People Grow" mention how when we try to control things is when we are out of control and when we actually surrender to the Holy Spirit is when we have control... because self-control is His fruit... not mine.

Knowing who we are as sons and daughters of the King is vital instead of living as striving disconnected orphans. Then we work from trust and grace... not control and fear.

A fun airport healing testimony…

So I sit down in the airplane and start chatting to the guy next to me about football (he was wearing a Packers shirt and I’m a Vikings fan). After a while, he mentions how his family is in different places on the plane and how his wife is in the back with something like 12 bulging disks. I was quite exhausted after a great but busy day of ministry so as he said that I quick prayed “Jesus, should I offer to pray or should I rest?” As I was praying this, the man then next asks me what I do for work… I chuckled… Looks like I am going to be offering to pray! So I tell him and tell some recent testimonies and told him I was just asking Jesus if I should be offering to pray…

So he jumps in and says how he would welcome the prayer for his wife. I tell him that I’d be happy to pray when the plane lands. So as the plane gets close the man reminds me that he’d still like prayer for his wife. I said that I’d be happy to and that I’d be waiting for them at the gate inside.

So I go inside and they come with her being wheeled up in a wheelchair. One quick prayer later, she can’t find the problem with her back that she has been dealing with for a long time. The man then watches her leg grow 2 inches and the sciatica disappear. I then hear “neck.” So I ask and she says her neck is always stiff. After prayer, she is fine.

Then the man says that his wife needs prayer for Lyme’s. As I start to pray for her I see a picture in my mind’s eye of the top of her head. So I ask if she needs healing there. She says that the Lyme’s causes problems with that part of her body too..

After all of this, she says, “well, the real test will be that I can walk to the next gate (they were on a layover).” And so she takes off with her family – without the wheelchair and the airline people who were going to push her – off to her next flight.

I like Romans 8 in the Message where it says: “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?'”

Different Thoughts and a Cancer Healing

People who feel entitled without being willing to sacrifice or do something with excellence likely will be a bit disappointed…
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I don’t want to try to control something in my own efforts to make it happen when God wants me to believe him for it! Some things are better off left impossible in my mind where I need to simply trust/depend on the Savior (and take risk)!
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I think there are a whole lot of people who want their dreams, but not as many that are willing to truly sacrifice whatever it takes to see it happen. That is why I think it really helps to have a dream compelled by love. Because we will sacrifice to do things out of love for others that we would not do if it was just about us. So I’m here to encourage you to not be afraid to sacrifice when needed to see the change you want to see happen in the world. It is worth it!
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Getting frustrated with God due to lack of personal transformation while not having vulnerable, transparent relationships with those that are healthy (obviously including Him!) is a bit like getting frustrated at God for not having a blizzard while living in Florida. Sure, God could sovereignly cause one to happen – and it may have even happened once or twice before – but it just isn’t the way He commonly works. Things work better doing them his way than trying to get him to do them the way we think they should be done.

It is misguided when people say that it must be God’s will for them to not be whole when they only try to get him to do things the way they think it should happen… God’s will does not equal current life experiences. Many times God is looking for people to become the answer rather than just pray for an answer… But that is going to have to include having healthy, transparent relationships with healthy others (obviously including Him!!).
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Revelation without connection leads to a disconnect (from what one knows in their heads to what they live out). Because God never intended what he shared to sons who are abiding to be attempted to be lived out by orphans who are striving!
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When a Christian shifts from sin focus to God focus is when they will begin to experience victory against sin. Because victory and empowerment is found through someOne not by trying to avoid some thing. The essence of Christianity is not sin management but connection to God and others and kingdom advancement.
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And here is a cancer healing that just happened in Tijuana! The woman went to her doctor and was cancer-free. She was in a 3 month period where she was taking a break from treatment. Before that, her scans and showed incurable lymphoma! God is good!

http://www.thegreaternews.com/blog/9/1/2013/tgn-testimony-lymphoma-cancer-healed

Different thoughts and a fun link from Guatamala

When a Christian shifts from sin focus to God focus is when they will begin to experience victory against sin. Because victory and empowerment is found through someOne not by trying to avoid some thing. The essence of Christianity is not sin management but connection to God and others and kingdom advancement.

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There are times that people contend for the same breakthrough over and over. They had the empowerment, but then it disappeared. If they keep praying for the same thing, they become like a dog chasing its tail. The key is not contending for what has already been given but to re-attach oneself in close abiding relationship. Then there is a discovery that the “gift” or empowerment still is there and it never left.

In other words, the issue isn’t always to contend for the same thing over again but to stay in close abiding relationship with the one who gave the empowerment!

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The President of Guatamala declares Jesus Christ to be God of Guatamala. See the article below. You may want to use Google Translate…

http://www.fuerzalatinacristiana.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6095&Itemid=12

A Few Random Thoughts……..

Praying for healing is not about tossing up my best prayer hoping that something will work. Rather, its about knowing that I am child of God (John 1:12), He’s given me authority and He’s backing me up, so how can this person NOT get healed when I pray. Remember, God responds to what we believe and faith flows through what we believe…
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A religious spirit is not anything that keeps a person from doing whatever they want whenever they want in the name of freedom. No, doing whatever you want whenever you want and not caring about what anyone else thinks is called anarchy.

I’m also tired of Christians doing offensive things to others that are not what Jesus would do (and have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit) and then accusing them of having a religious spirit if they react. No, that is not a religious spirit – that is just you being rude and not walking in love.

What if grace has a whole lot more to do with forgiveness and empowerment than it does with doing whatever you feel like in the name of freedom?
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What if God has called us to actually encounter Him and seek first his kingdom vs. being religious – or, being religious about not being religious.
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Passiveness, lazyness, and being unwilling to take risk is not what avoiding striving is about.

Acting flaky, being unreliable, inability to commit to anything, constantly changing one’s mind, and being a slave to one’s feelings are not fruit of the Holy Spirit nor would being led by the Spirit is all about.

If someone thinks that their dream is just going to be handed to them without initiative, hard work, and sacrifice, they may be living more of a fantasy than a reality. I don’t know of too many people who went from dream to destiny without doing something…
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You know, Jesus never told crippled people to stay crippled because they were becoming so holy that they’d be like Mother Theresa if they couldn’t walk for a while longer. He never told blind people that they were learning so much so they better stay blind for another five years so they could be like Einstein or something. Just saying…

Quotes

If you are not intentional about growing in risk taking you will never grow beyond your last level. – Jason Chin

And then some of my thoughts…

There is a place of peace in knowing that God is my source and not man. And knowing that He loves me and takes care of me. If man is my source, than I have to people-please, manipulate, control, etc. Enter stress, worry, fear, etc. But if God is my source I can rest in Him and work from rest because I love people and want to see them touched… I am now free. Love now compels me rather than performing for others love or my own selfish ambition or a host of other things…

Fear of failure can produce workaholism (in order to not fail). However, depending on one’s own efforts already brings a failure of sorts as it is far less effective than dependence on Him! Success comes through close relationship where we are receiving regularly His ideas (and everything else from Him) not just using whatever abilities we have on our own. Even if the latter is deemed successful by those around – it still is empty without close relationship with God.

Healing as a Lifestyle…

In the Gospels, healing was meant to be a lifestyle, not an event. Let me explain: for most churches, healing is something that is pursued when someone in the church is sick. Someone has cancer or some serious disease and everyone pursues healing for them. However, for Jesus, healing was a lifestyle. Wherever he went, miracles followed. In the same way, he sent the disciples out to heal the sick as a lifestyle. This occurred both in Luke 9 and Luke 10. The third time He sent out the disciples is what is called the Great Commission at the end of Matthew and Mark. So, if the Great Commission is for today and for all Christians (which most churches I know of would say), than the lifestyle of healing the sick is also for today and for all Christians :).

A fun testimony…

This was a fun testimony I was left with by a guy who came to a healing conference…   God loves to heal through everyone!

Thanks for coming to teach us how to do this stuff. On Monday I went to work and told everyone at staff meeting about the healings that God did on the weekend. A lot of faith was released through telling the testimonies. I offered to pray for healing and had the privelige of seeing 4 ladies come for prayer. All four had the presence of God come on them with heat, wind, weight, and other manifestations. I had to teach them how to be catchers because of the presence of God on them. I walked them through the process like you did with us. I told them it was Jesus and the holy spirit touching them. The healings included a wrecked knee being healed and a shoulder that did not allow the lady to lift her arm past her neck and multiple healings from a car accident 20 years ago. The lady that had been in the car accident has no knee cap. I commanded that to be made new and am still believing for it but she can now use her leg properly. She used to walk up stairs placing one foot beside the other but on Monday she walked up the stairs normal and her husband said “how did you do that?”

She was healed of leg pain, including damaged tendons and ligaments that have hurt for 20 years, hip pain, back and neck pain and headache. One lady was manifesting the Holy Spirit before I even got to pray for her. She said she was not born again and I explained that Jesus wanted to touch her life because he loved her. She also was seen by her father walking up stairs normally and testified to her Dad what happened. People at work are asking for
more prayer. They are talking in the hallways what God has done and giving him glory. There have been other healings as well but it is all because God is gracious and is willing to pour his spirit out on all of us.

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There has been many more testimonies.  The pastor’s wife at a church in southern California where I recently ministered just recently told me how she prayed for someone in a wheelchair who got out of it!  God continues to work after the services are done!!

Joke

So I don’t think I have put much of any kind of jokes on here, but I felt the need to put this one on.  This is coming from C. Peter Wagner given to a Pastor and Leader’s Conference on God TV given at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship.

A Catholic Priest, Pentecostal Preacher, and Jewish Rabbi all served together as chaplains at a major university.  Ever week they would get together for coffee and to talk shop.  One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t all that hard – it would be much harder to preach to a bear.  So they decided to do an experiment.  They would all go out in the woods, find a bear, and see who could convert it.  A week later, they found themselves in the hospital discussing their experiences.

Father Flannery, on crutches, with a big bandage around his head, said, “Well, I went into the woods to find me a bear.  When I found him I began to read from the catechism and he wanted nothing to do with that.  He batted me around until I could grab my Holy Water, sprinkled him, and said ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God.’ when I did he became as gentle as a lamb and next week the bishop is coming to bring him his first communion.”

Reverend Billy Bob was next.  He was in a wheelchair with one arm in a sling, one leg in a cast, plus an I.V. drip.   In his best pulpit oratory voice he said, “Well brothers, you know I ain’t got nothing to do with holy water and sprinkling.  I found me a bear and read to him from God’s Holy Word. But Satan was behind him and he pushed the bear into me.  And he commenced scratching and biting until we rolled down the hill into the crick.  As soon as we did, I quick dunked him down and baptized him.  He became as gentle as a lamb and we was praising God together.”

They both looked down at the Rabbi who was in intensive care with a full body cast and tubes all over.  The Rabbi glances up and strains to say, “Looking back on it, the next time I won’t try to start things out with circumcision.”