What I have noticed in walking with clients…
Are you a spectator or a participant in building God’s kingdom?
Years of sitting in traditional church has not prepared us to be the church in the manner described in the New Testament.
We have been taught to come.
To watch and listen to what others have prepared.
(Someone described it as “sit, soak and sour”.)
This is Spectator Church. And it is no way to train believers to be priests.
By contrast, the churches described in the Bible engaged in Participatory Church. This kind of church requires preparation on the part of all of it’s members.
This is new.
We haven’t been taught how to do this.
Therefore, some retraining is in order.
Read: John White’s article – How to Prepare for Simple Church
How do you know if you’re in a false ‘church’ ?
Today’s lent devotional (below) was extremely timely as I walk several clients through ‘church’ abuse in multiple churches in my area. When churches practice witchcraft – control and manipulation, there is even trauma around reading God’s Word.
Breaks my heart.
Thankfully, Jesus loves to heal! His message to a very religious culture of His day was freedom!
This reminder was good: “…rule of thumb: if someone arrives claiming to be a prophet, but asking for money, they are false. We might expand that into the usual trio: money is so often linked with sex and power.”
Hmmm…basically : “Do as I say… and give me your money.”
I often find myself saying to clients – “What does the fruit tell you? That gives you clues as to the kind of tree.”
My prayer: Jesus, Thank you for freedom through your shed blood on the cross! Pour your Spirit on all churches and burn up what is not of you! Yes & Amen!
Here was the devotional today… (Source at the bottom.)
WEEK 1: WEDNESDAY
One of the great lies of our time is to suppose that because Jesus brings forgiveness, and urges us to be forgiving people, meek and gentle, there is no sharp edge to his message. To hear some people, you’d think the whole of the Christian message was simply a call to accept one another, never to judge another person. Indeed, doesn’t Jesus himself tell us not to judge, at the start of this very chapter (Matthew 7.1)? That verse is quoted again and again by people who would do well to ponder this present passage.
Jesus is quite clear that there are such persons as false prophets, as people who appear to be his followers but who in fact have never known him. Life would be a lot simpler if we could tell at a glance who the true and the false prophets were, but the only guide Jesus offers is the picture of the tree. Sooner or later — and it may be a lot later, or it may happen quite suddenly — the fruit of someone’s life will appear, and then you can tell whether they were real or whether they were fooling themselves and others.
In Jesus’ own day there was no shortage of such people. Jesus spoke more than once about people who would turn up and declare that they were prophesying in his name, or in God’s name, and would lead people astray. The second and third generation of the church faced the same problem, and developed an interesting rule of thumb: if someone arrives claiming to be a prophet, but asking for money, they are false. We might expand that into the usual trio: money is so often linked with sex and power. Some false teachers offer their followers sexual licence in contrast to Jesus’ rigorous standard, as in 5.27—30, 15.19—20 and 19.3—12; part of the lie, today, is that Jesus didn’t mind about such things. Others are eager for personal power, as you can tell when someone challenges them. And, yes, some today are in it for the money.
When Jesus uses the image of the tree, he is drawing, as so often, on an ancient biblical picture. The first Psalm speaks of God’s true people like trees planted by streams of water, which will produce fruit at the right time, while the wicked are like chaff blown around by the wind. Jeremiah develops this picture (17.8), thinking of the tree that sends out its roots to look for the water it needs. Lent is a time when we should be doing that: sending out our roots to look for the water of life. The challenge of these verses isn’t simply one of learning to recognize true Christian teaching from false. The challenge is to become, ourselves, trees that bear good fruit, people who not only say ‘Lord, Lord’ when it suits us, but who apply ourselves to the much harder task of discerning and doing God’s will.
Read this beautiful passage below:
(Interestingly, Jesus gave me this passage over and over on my Sabbatical in 2015 when I was in pastoral ministry.)
Here it is… Matthew 7:15-29
Gracious Lord, draw our roots to yourself, the living water, so that we may grow strong and bear good fruit.
SOURCE: day 8 of the YouVersion plan ‘Lent For Everyone’. https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/83-lent-for-everyone
RELATED POST: Tears of healing began to roll down my face. I didn’t know what was happening in me at the time. I found myself in a culture of honour… https://followingtrusting.com/2019/03/13/a-culture-of-honour-men-and-women/
I love the Lenten season! 🙂
Passover (some call it ‘Easter’) is the most important event in our world history, and yet it can sneak up on us. We often spend so much time focusing on Christmas, that we forget Part 2, …the dying to self-part and receiving new life in Christ! Christmas is receiving God’s gift under the tree and Passover / Easter is opening it!
It is a season, not just a week or a day, and it all starts on a Wednesday. The countdown to Easter Sunday is called “Lent” referring to a lengthening of days as the days get longer with Springtime! Lent is a time that we remember to die to our selfishness, and to choose to live free in Christ!
This year I look forward to using the daily verses (see Year C below) and the Divine Reading template. Come and allow Jesus to bring you new life through these daily readings…
The following intro from “The Triumphant Church”:
The believer’s inheritance in Christ is the wisdom of God, and it was hidden throughout previous ages until it was revealed through Jesus Christ. Grasping that truth and walking in the reality of God’s inheritance for us as saints is the key to taking our place as the triumphant Church, reigning as kings in this life.
The riches of our inheritance are revealed more fully in the Book of Ephesians than in any other book of the Bible. In Ephesians chapter 1 and 3 are Spirit-inspired prayers, which apply to believers everywhere because they were given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ.
If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you at the end.)
In these prayers, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to believers “the spirit of wisdom andrevelation in the knowledge of Jesus” (Eph. 1:17). What is the wisdom and knowledge God wants to reveal to the believer about Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit wants the eyes of our understanding opened to understand Jesus’ complete victory over Satan in the triumph of the Cross. He wants us to understand what Jesus’ seating on High really means to the believer. The wisdom and knowledge the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us is the believer’s joint- seating with Christ as a benefit of our redemption. Joint-seating with Christ is a position of authority and triumph over Satan. God wants us to see what we have as rights and privileges by being in Christ.
The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, wants you as a believer to pray for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightened. The word “enlightened” means illuminatedor flooded with light. Another translation says to pray that the eyes of your heart will be flooded with light.
After praying these prayers for a number of months, one day I was praying at the altar and the Lord spoke to me and said, “I am going to take you on to revelations and visions.” That came as a result of praying these prayers thousands of times for myself. Revelation from the Word of God began to come to me and kept on coming. I am talking about revelations in line with the Word.
Finally, I said, “What in the world have I been preaching!” I had been in the ministry fourteen years, but in six months of praying these prayers for myself, I received so much revelation from the Word of God that it seemed like I was a brand-new person.
That’s what Ephesians 1 is talking about—insight into the knowledge of Jesus and understanding of the knowledge of His Word.
Believers have been ignorant of Satan’s devices, so he has been able to take advantage of them. But the Spirit of God wants believers to get the wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Jesus and His Word so the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened to know their authority in Christ.
God wants believers to know they are no longer subject to Satan because they have been delivered from his dominion and authority (Col. 1:13). God wants the Body of Christ to know that we aren’t a defeated Church—we are a triumphant Church.We are to reign in life through Jesus Christ because we have a position of authority over the devil. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened, we can stand in our place of authority as the triumphant Church upon the earth.
Remember: If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you below.)
My prayer for Divine wisdom and revelation
Ephesians 1:16-23 (TPT)
17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to me the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[b] to know him through my deepening intimacy with him.
18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of my imagination,[c] flooding me with light, until I experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[d]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!
19 I pray that I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to me through faith. Then my life will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through me! This is the mighty power 20 that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him[e] to the place of highest honor and supreme authority[f] in the heavenly realm! 21 And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised,[g]not only in this age,[h] but in the age that is coming![i]
22 And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ[j] and has given him the highest rank above all others. 23 And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it![k]
2. My prayer for Love to Overflow
Ephesians 3:14-21 (TPT)
14 So, I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child[a] in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within me the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods my innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using my faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside me, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of my life.
18–19 Then I will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[b] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into meuntil I amfilled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 I will never doubt God’s mighty power to work in me and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than my greatest request, my most unbelievable dream, and exceed my wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes me.
21 Now I offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!
Francis Chan – Letters to the Church ( #paradigmshift )
A few quotes from Francis Chan that will get you thinking…!
“God designed the Church to be much more than what the majority of us experience in America. There are many of us who believe this and want change. The good news is that God wants this change even more than we do.
The early church didn’t need the energetic music, great videos, attractive leaders, or elaborate lighting to be excited about being a part of God’s body. The pure gospel was enough to put them in a place of awe.
If you think that sitting back and letting the church staff feed you will bring you the most fulfillment, you are so wrong. God promised that those who give will be most blessed (Acts 20:35).
When the Bible describes the power available to you, doesn’t it sound like hyperbole? It seems so extreme, yet we see so little of this in our own lives and in the Church. The discrepancy could challenge your faith in the Scriptures—how can the Bible promise things we never experience in real life? But are you willing to consider that the Bible is accurate and the Church has domesticated us to the point where we doubt our power?
Church, the answer is not to build bigger and nicer cages. Nor is it to renovate the cages so they look more like the wild. It’s time to open the cages, remind the animals of their God-given instincts and capabilities, and release them into the wild.
Alan Hirsch said, “In so many churches the mission of the church has actually become the maintenance of the institution itself.”
It’s time to train people to live in the wild again.
There are elements of modern churches that on the surface seem like good ideas, but they can actually keep us from the biblical vision of unity, true fellowship, mutual love, and pursuit of the mission. Too many look at these elements and insist you can’t have a church without them.
I believe God is leading a movement in this country toward simple, smaller gatherings, and I long to see this movement gain greater traction. I get so excited when I dream about the Church spreading in small, invigorating expressions that look and feel like the early church. My goal is to get you dreaming about this as well.
My hope is simply to convince you that there are compelling ways of living as the Church that look nothing like our traditional models. My goal is to get you dreaming, to keep you from settling, to affirm that nagging sense you can’t shake that God wants something more for His Church than what you’re experiencing.”
Topic: Worship is Warfare
Scripture Text: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Aim: To help us focus on worshiping God during the battle
God gave me this message in early 2017 after my nervous system crashed in June 2016, that had left me stuttering and walking like a 70 year old cripple. A long-time friend invited me out for coffee at 8am on Christmas break in 2016. She invited me to join her and take a course together (from a training society for hearing God’s voice, and seeing Him at work in our lives, according to God’s Word). This began a huge healing journey in me. She and I and another friend did this together. Part of my crash was over the shock of being told in ministry that I listened too much to the voice of God and prayed too much. (It’s still bizarre typing that out.) So, thankfully, the course set me free confirming my heart’s desire to hear my Shepherd’s voice, …which is never condemning of seeking to hear His voice!
(John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”)
While in class one day, I received a message from the Lord that continued to be the theme of that season of healing. God spoke it over me again and again. I now have shared it over and over with other prayer warriors.
My focus: Worship is Warfare
When we feel an attack raging and we feel a darkness over us, whether it’s a spirit of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, addiction… when we feel like the enemy is closing in… There is one battle tactic in the Bible that I think we need to use more often. It’s a fun one. Way less stressful. In fact, the enemy runs away!
Turn to 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT and read it aloud. It’s a bizarre story!
Here is the excerpt…
War with Surrounding Nations
After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)
3 Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. 6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”
22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[f] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.
27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.
29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
Review: (What happened? In your own words, what stands out for you?)
Some things which stand out for me…
-The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel – Levite.
-The King bowed low to the ground
– King Jehosophat put the singers in front of the army.
– confusion over the enemy
– how many days to gather plunder? 3 days! They spent energy gathering the plunder and no energy fighting!
– Name of the Valley?? – Valley of Blessing
– verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.
If you’ve ever heard Melissa Helser’s testimony – she suffered from chronic fatigue and the Lord told her to sing her way out of the battle. And out came a flood of music – music that has impacted thousands today – bringing peace and blessing.
(Hear her tell the story: https://youtu.be/0ULDu6M5KQo)
(One of the songs she’s written is: “No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k)
Application Qs: Ask yourself…
- What valley in your life do you want God to turn into the Valley of Blessing?
(Read Isaiah 61:7 – for every shame and dishonor – a double portion of honour!)
- What good things to date, no matter how small, that you can give thanks to God for? That you could turn into a praise song?!
- Do you need to surrender a certain situation to God, with your face to the ground? Recognizing that the battle belongs to the Lord and not to you? He goes ahead of us! God loved you enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for you. That pain in your life, Jesus died for that – to defeat it and turn it into joy! (Isaiah 61)
- verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.
- Where in your life do you need rest and peace?
- How is God speaking to you right now? Are there people or situations in your life that come to mind? How is Holy Spirit speaking to you? What is He saying? Take note. If you are hearing comforting and encouraging things even challenging things that are loving – that is God. If it’s blame, shame, guilt, despair – that is not God. Just reject that in Jesus name.
James 4:7-8 CEV: Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives… Purify your hearts…10 Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.
- Where have you doubted God in your life? James calls us to make up our minds and walk away from doubt. Today, if you have doubted – repent. “God, I’m sorry for believing the lie that you are not going to come through for me… for believing the lie that…(fill in the blank.) Forgive me for trying to win this battle on my own strength… instead of falling on my face before you…”
- Or maybe you have surrendered, and today is another opportunity to give Him worship and thanks… to declare to God:… “because you are faithful God, and I am choosing to surrender… I give thanks that you are bringing freedom… that I am on a journey and you are doing a good thing in me in order to experience freedom! Hallelujah!!”
- There are 2 battles – one to get free – and the 2ndto stay free! When the enemy comes again, to tempt us with lies – we simply must …over and over …reject his lies in Jesus name. You are to remind him who you are, and that you are royalty – you belong to Jesus. The mention of Jesus’ name makes him flee.
- I invite you now to bring to the Lord whatever battle, situation, person, …in your life that He invites you to bring to Him.
- Declare to Him, “God this… is yours… I worship you and not the problem by worrying more about it …rather than worshiping you!” (pause)
- And then, give thanks! “Thank you, God for…” and list off the things, God has done for you to date… if you have trouble… ask Him… God, where were you at work in my life… show me where you were battling for me… and then give thanks… I love how the people declared to God who He is and listed off historical reminders of God’s faithfulness… You can do that today…
- Then, very cool thing…. After you have surrendered things and people to God, ask Him – what gift do you want to give me in return…? For every loss/situation in our life that we surrender to Him, God wants to give us a blessing…! Ask Him! (Isaiah 61:7 – Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy!)- Let me prime your praise pump with this…
Psalm 100 (TPT) Praise God
100 A poetic song for thanksgiving
1 Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
2 As you serve him, be glad and worship him.
Sing your way into his presence with joy!
3 And realize what this really means—
we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God.
For he is our Creator and we belong to him.
We are the people of his pleasure.[a]
4 You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.
Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.
Come bring your thank offering to him
and affectionately bless his beautiful name!
5 For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you.
He’s so loving that it will amaze you—
so kind that it will astound you!
And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.
Everyone knows our God can be trusted,
for he keeps his promises to every generation!
Prayer and Ministry time:
Look in the mirror and declare:
…“you are winning!”
…you are chosen to be a worshiper of the one true King!
…He is crazy about you!
…He invites you to celebrate and be on His winning team!
…He invites you to sing at this party!
…He goes ahead of you in the battle!
…Jesus went ahead and died on the cross for your victory!
My prayer for you:
>I bless you by the power of Holy Spirit with Hope that would lead to perseverance! (pause)
Put your hand on your heart… and another hand open to the Lord…
Open your hearts, minds, and ears to receive this blessing…
Lord, I release hope and perseverance in these warriors. Release their hearts, their mouths to sing your glory!! Lord, strengthen those who were feeling weak – give them your power, your strength! In Jesus’ name.
I bless your spirit to worship who God is – a Good, Good God – who wants to fight our battles to bring freedom, rest, peace and joy! I bless your spirit to be bound to Holy Spirit and all His fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – and all His chosen gifts appointed for you… in order to receive all that your loving Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe – has for you – in Christ Jesus, your Saviour who set your joy as his goal in order to endure the cross, and in order for you to experience freedom! Amen!!
>Declare aloud:… “I receive that for myself. …I am about to breakthrough! The promises of God for me are : Yes and Amen – I receive that in Jesus’ name!!”
Maybe you need to soak this one in again:
“No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k
Update? My health is awesome. I’m more fit than ever before, and I’m having fun praying with and for people, teaching them to hear God’s voice (sometimes I have clients who have been in church for 30 years and hear the Lord while in my office for the first time!), and seeing them set free from addiction, depression, anxiety, etc… There’s never been a dull moment when I meet with Jesus and a hungry soul in my office seeking to be healed by Him! I come home from work each day praising the Lord!
“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”
Last night, I had the honour of leading someone to freedom from addiction and depression. (I am a Life Coach and Spiritual Director which often entails an inner healing session.) Then, we talked about what abundant life really is. (It doesn’t start when you die and go to heaven. It starts now when you die to self, and live in Christ.) This video from Graham Cooke below is TOTALLY what we discussed. My client will be doing this exercise which he describes in the video….!!
(There are 2 battles. One to get free. One to stay free!)
This summer I returned to camp speaking after taking a couple years off to rest. I remember telling God that I was ready for whatever He had planned. I was ready for Him to blow out any boxes I had put Him in.
I had no idea what would happen next…
This summer I spoke at two camps for teens.
Here’s the first story of the week at a camp for age 11-13 (130 campers). On Monday, I noticed a junior staff on crutches. He had pain and swelling and didn’t know exactly what happened. The doctors were confused too. He was discouraged. My heart went out to him. I prayed for his ankle while we waited in the food line. The pain diminished but not all the way.
On Tuesday evening, I had planned to speak on something totally different. I kept sensing that Jesus wanted to heal the junior staff on crutches and that I was to speak on how Jesus healed and then sent out the 12 disciples to heal. So I did. I shared a few stories from the Gospels of Jesus healing the sick. Then, I shared a few personal stories of when I have gone out doing street ministry in my city and seeing Jesus do some incredible things after we prayed in His name.
I asked the campers who had physical pain and I was shocked how many hands went up in a crowd of young people.
Then, I saw a bolt of lighting behind the campers as they looked at me. The main staff said I could keep going. I prayed aloud that Jesus would put angels around the camp.
Then, I instructed the campers around those with physical pain to ask for permission if it was appropriate to lay their hands on the injured area. I led them through simple instructions how to pray over those with physical pain or illnesses.
Oh man… what happened next was mind blowing!!! We had some significant injuries healed. Torn ligaments healed, sprained ankles healed, no more crutches or pain for the junior staff member!! Plus, a staff member who had an infected tooth with a clenched jaw who had been finding it difficult to chew her food, became elated with tears rolling down her cheek realizing she had been healed… and on on and on… There were a few people still with pain and so we prayed one more time for them. On ‘Amen’, they were healed!
Almost on cue, the wind started blowing loudly, we heard a crack of thunder closer to us, along with lighting. We had to shut down the campfire, so I said, “Let’s holler – thank you Jesus on 3!” Oh man, the excitement and tears of joy and celebration!!! I felt like we were at a Hockey game and our team won Gold.
The next morning we saw evidence of how God kept the camp completely dry! Outside the boundaries of the camp were flooded but inside were completely dry. I remembered I had prayed for Jesus to put His angels all around the camp. We heard the stories of all the kids that experienced healing. Kids were in awe of God! All week there was such a buzz! Campers who previously weren’t into prayer or even God, were eager to pray for others for anything. One girl had lost her retainer and for days the cabin had all searched for it. After the healings happened, they were motivated to pray to find the retainer and went to bed. When they woke up, it was in the middle of the cabin. Jesus even cares about a retainer. 🙂
The junior staff who had been on crutches was running the rest of the week doing camp games with the campers with the biggest smile on his face. He was no longer discouraged. Thank you Jesus!
We prayed again in Thursday morning chapel after some more people had sprained ankles, since Tuesday night. In total, God chose to heal about 50 people throughout the week- both campers and staff of physical pain or injuries!
Early that week, I had also sensed a ton of attack and discouragement around the staff. I took 7 female staff through deliverance/freedom prayers and trained 3 others to take several more staff through deliverance. I trained the camp director to take all the male staff through cutting off lies from the enemy, while I took all the female staff through cutting off lies. There was significant breakthrough. And you could see it in their faces!
Never have I experienced such a week of camp.
When the parents showed up, there was such a buzz of the stories! Kids who didn’t believe in God were in awe! At the Last campfire, kids shared over and over of how they never knew God was so real and powerful!
Hallelujah!!! God was on the move… I LOVED how the faith of children brought such powerful healing and experience of God’s presence!
One male staff, son of a pastor, even rededicated his life. God is sooo good! He said, for the first time God became real to Him. His faith became now not just ‘cause of his pastor dad. Oh God so blessed my heart.
Honestly, it was 32 degree heat on average but I kept having goose bumps all week. I went to bed on Tuesday night giggling with Jesus and woke up Wednesday morning giggling with Jesus! I still get goose bumps thinking about the week!
Jesus gives full life. I think He is hungry to pour more of Himself out…
Here’s the 2nd week of camp…
I went to another teen camp (10-13 year olds) for 80 campers, this time for a great deal of kids who are not apart of a church. I said to God: “If you want to heal like you did and show how real you are to these campers, I’m game!” I read again of a few stories of Jesus loving the sick and healing them. I gave the invite for campers to raise their hands if they had any kind of pain. I taught kids to pray for other kids. And then… eyes were wide open. One boy healed of pain due to scoliosis. One girl had 6 years of neck pain – gone! One boy’s ulcer pain diminished and he received Christ! Crying and weeping everywhere. We had about 20 healings! Several campers received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We kept singing for Jesus for another hour after and we missed the evening game time! Campers were in awe once again of a loving God with healing power. One camper who had been complaining of chapel times was reading her Bible intently the next day.
Jesus was amazing!
Jesus, thank you for revealing how powerful and loving you are to teens this summer. I’m ready for more adventures with you…! 🙂
Do leaders need to repent …or can they sweep things under the carpet?
When leaders fail to repent for idolatry and do not make heart change, not only do they cut off blessing in their own lives, but also in the lives of the people that they lead.
When a person walks in idolatry (bowing down to money, to other people out of fear, intimidation, lust, etc), they can expect the opposite of a blessing – a curse onto their children to the third and fourth generations. Idolatry in the lives of parents, grandparents, great, and great-great grandparents opens the door for this.
Sweeping sin under the carpet only makes your kids and grandkids pay more for it later. Is that really the inheritance you want to leave behind? The reason why your children, your flock are suffering, or walking away from you, cutting off all ties with you, etc…could be …you. And you could be a parent, a church leader, a business leader, a city leader…
And if you are calling your people to repent first, this is not love. This is control and manipulation. Leaders must repent first. (Otherwise, they are not leading. Leadership requires example, not hiding.)
Thankfully, repentance breaks this.
Jesus’ shed blood covers our sin when we repent.
God is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands.
Ask the Lord:
What is blocking me from receiving blessing for me and my children, my church, my business, my city etc? Whatever He brings to mind, repent of, and be set free! 🙂 This in turn will set your family line, your church, your city …free! 🙂
Read: Exodus 20:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:9,10; Romans 8