Saturday, January 29, 2011
Imagine yourself saying those words to the devil, to all the corrupt systems of the world that keep people in bondage…now let it sink into you that this is the reality. You can do that! You were made for that!
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Christians are the ones Jesus deputized to enforce God’s will and to set things right (think “as it is in heaven”). However, if you look around at most cities, it sure doesn’t seem like that could be true. We see terrible things in the news, see it as we go about our day. But if Jesus lives in you, then you are joined with that same Spirit that raises the dead, heals diseases, casts out devils, stops storms and causes resources to manifest when needed. You lack NOTHING. You can bring the reality of heaven everywhere you go!
What would happen if you and I dared to live like this was true…that it was not only that we had the power and ability to do something about it, but also the responsibility to do it? I know that it is God’s power living in us and not our own per se, but we are “His body” His hands and feet…WE go, WE touch, WE pray and HIS power pours out!
Mat 7:12 Therefore all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Jas 4:17 Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
What if, instead of complaining about conditions we don’t like, you and I took responsibility for them? What if you and I stopped waiting for God to send someone else? (What if there is no one else?)
We live in a college town. For years, downtown has been dominated by bars. We are known for binge drinking and sexual assault. Once we started to see that we could take authority over the weather we took responsibility over our area to not let there be damaging rain and floods or winter storms. That idea began to spread into the downtown area and the bars. I have read that revival often closes bars and changes the culture of a community, so why not command the bars to close and legislation to change? Well, it works! I have lost count, but since November of 2010 I think we’re up to 6 of the major bars here closing.
I noticed about a month ago that a psychic/medium was operating in our neighborhood and I was struck with indignation- “not here- NO YOU DON’T!” Rachelle and I began to command that business to die, the access to spiritual darkness to close and commanded that practitioner to leave. Just drove by it today…business closed…house for sale!
We are made to demonstrate the gospel. It is the power to destroy the work of darkness here and show people another world is possible…outside the matrix! And it is amazing!
(http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=636794965&aid=273911 , http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=636794965&aid=340683 )
Our time has been divided between my more than full time job, homeschooling our kiddos, doing house calls and outreach and then we have been building up a ministry team. We’ve been really excited to see the people we are working with getting results- they are healing the sick, intervening in emergencies and commanding the weather and circumstances!
Recently, we have begun to interact with other groups and ministries in our city and are looking forward to our team growing and expanding our connections as we work to demonstrate the gospel and make disciples here in Iowa City! Sorry we have been away for awhile- lots to tell, but hard finding the time for everything! More soon!
Friday, November 5, 2010
The only way we lose is to give up. To stay down when we‘ve been kicked. Or to never get up.
The Bible says we win. (2Cor )
GOD says we are more than conquerors. (Rom )
It doesn’t matter if the old thoughts come back. Get up.
It doesn’t matter if you fail. Get up. Do it again. The Bible says we win.
I have been thinking a lot about our goal to become like Jesus—to live like Him, walk like Him, do greater works than what He did. These are our commands. This is our trajectory.
We can no longer be satisfied with just hearing the messages. We can no longer rest in just enjoying the testimonies. That is the opposite of God’s will.
"And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep his commandments." (1John 2:3)
"He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (1 John 2:6)
I know what it is like to be overwhelmed. I have written before about having a lot to overcome in order to do the Word of God (timidity, fear, etc.).
Deciding to do is costly. But not doing is so much more costly. It is stepping back on the path toward death.
"The world is being caused to pass away, and its passionate desire. But the one who keeps on habitually doing the will of God lives forever." (1John )
What are we waiting for?
I was struggling with an unrelated question, emailing friends for feedback, and one friend asked me something about steps and smaller goals. How radical! How obvious!
Many of us have this larger than life picture of healing, preaching, making disciples. And we freeze. Maybe it seems too impossible a task for “little ol’ me.”
Sometimes we can just fling ourselves off the cliff and into radical obedience.
But if it has been a while of hearing and not doing, and you still have not flung, how about breaking it down? Let’s fiercely demand of ourselves that we will obey our God no matter what it costs, even if we move steadily forward one step at a time (before we freak out and run the other way)?
Think about it. As we get up, most of us first put weight on one arm, then the other. (Keep going!) Then we put weight on one foot. Then the other.
Maybe it would be more fun to tell a story of standing on a table in a cafeteria and preaching to a crowd. But the goal is not to impress friends with our boldness. The goal is not to win God’s favor by doing something wild. The goal is to follow and obey our GOD who has already given us His favor and every spiritual blessing in heaven. Whatever it will take for you to do that, just do it.
There are some ways that I have flung myself off the cliff. There are other ways where I have had to say………Ok, Rachelle, Step 1.
Here’s part of this journey for me. I am shy and introverted.
I do not like to talk to people I don’t know. I get pretty awkward. And I hate to feel foolish.
In addition, I have a few good reasons why it’s just “too hard” to make it happen. I am a mom of 4 young children (7, 5, 4, 2) and I home-school, so I am pretty tied to home, and often tired. When I am out, my plate is full with just surviving being out with 4 young squirrelly kids.
I had been going out with friends to heal people and share God’s love with folks on the streets. Then I would see Tom Fischer out by himself with just his little camera. Or my brother-n-law setting his cab driver free. And I think: Ahhhhh! I am terrified to do that! At the thought, I would feel all my major arteries pulsing! Thud! Thud! Thud!
Nope. Not OK. I am more than a conqueror. I have no limitations.
I have to be able to do this ALONE as well as with friends.
So, I decided to load up on coffee and go to the food court at the mall by myself in the evening. (Husband home with kids).
I went a few times, walked around, went to the bathroom a lot, watched the ice skaters, and chickened out. (Thud! Thud! Thud!)
I went again and had a few people refuse prayer. I followed a guy limping down the mall and I practiced building rapport with him, but he did not want to give me his hand!
I determined again that I would conquer this thing. No limitations.
Get up, Trinity. Just get up!
I knew that if I went to that food court again and again (telling myself that when I lay hands on the sick, they recover; that I am bold to share the gospel of Christ; that I love people) if I just kept going, I would win.
If I give up, I lose. If I don’t give up, I WIN!
I got up. Again. And again.
One night I had an amazing breakthrough. I approached a table of 4 women. They did not have physical ailments, but one asked me to pray for her family. After I left their table, one by one came after me, asking for more prayer, more help, more of Jesus. We cried and prayed and talked, felt God’s peace, shared His love, recommitted lives to follow Him. It was beautiful!
And I am still at it.
Sometimes I see people healed.
Sometimes I share the love of God with people and they cry and leave the mall changed.
Sometimes I have awkward conversations that make me feel foolish.
But every time, I am less afraid.
Every time I walk more like Jesus.
Now when I think of going, I feel excited and giddy! I can’t wait.
We all want to bless people. We all want to freely give as He has given to us.
We are meant to conquer all that would hold us back.
If it is hard to keep love and compassion in the foreground, spend a few weeks practicing that. Deliberately approach people and love them. Put their needs, desires, hopes and dreams first in your mind and heart. If it is hard to get the courage to pray for healing, work up to it. Start with simply touching the person’s arm and telling them to “Be well.” Maybe you will do that a couple times, and the next time decide to be more direct.
The more you do it, the easier it will get, the bolder you will get, and more you will grow to be who you were meant to be in Christ. Maturity comes as we do His will!
Get up! Just get up! It’s worth it!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Something has shifted in me.
I remember that line from the Matrix (“I know Kung Fu”). You feel this umph behind it. It’s as if he’s realized all kinds of truth about the world and his situation, but now has something he can do about it. He is no longer powerless!
For so many years, I allowed the enemy to go unchallenged because I backed down. I gave up the fight before it really began, which reinforced the illusion of his power. But that’s the trick, most of his power is in illusions! He will feed you thoughts, like a series of lures, hoping to catch you with one. My understanding of this is that demons need our agreement, sort of like a legal contract.
For example, I might have a memory of someone who treated me unkindly. I recall what they said and may even feel the sting of their words or actions. At that moment, my choice is to say NO to that thought and either remind myself I’ve already forgiven them…or get moving and forgive them if I haven’t! If instead, I choose to remember the offense and replay it, I feel the old feelings come up again and begin to mentally list the reasons I don’t like this person, rehearse what I would like to say to them, etc. The enemy wants to plant his flag into that part of me and shout “MINE!”
Jas 4:7 Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(Resist = to stand against, oppose, withstand.)
In all my Christian life, I have never been trained to fight…until now! Now I’m learning that there are many ways the fight can happen.
I can refuse to accept circumstance and just DO what the enemy says I can’t.
I can bring the fight to the enemy by rescuing and freeing others (healing, deliverance and salvation)!
I can renew my mind and STAND in what the Bible says, or even use it to destroy the works of the enemy.
If you can find three scriptures to memorize, then you can use those to hit your situation and give you strength. Learn to rest in these more than circumstance or any other source of information. The Word supersedes the laws of nature…It IS supernatural! (above nature and the laws of this world)
When I unplug myself from the rules and systems of the world and stand on these scriptures, I plug myself into the rules of the Kingdom and establish Jesus’ King-ship over the situation. That changes the governing powers over circumstance and sets things “as it is in heaven”.
Here are three key areas I’m pushing myself to fight in: symptoms, bad circumstances and fear.
Years ago I injured my back when I fell down some stairs. It wasn’t a high level of chronic pain, but enough to keep me from sleeping through the night without a lot of shifting. When it got healed, it was wonderful to sleep through the night!
During that first week there were many times the old pain returned. The first time I felt that twinge of pain, I got afraid. I actually began to move my body differently to take stress off that part of my back. Then the pain began to worsen and spread. I had thoughts like “oh man, I’m going to be stuck with this for the rest of my life…see I didn’t’ get healed”. I chose instead to challenge that and say NO! When I told it NO (same kind of NO I would say to a dog about to poop on my carpet) the pain left. Every time it tried to return and I said NO, it left. It has not returned since. That’s an area I have won and I will not allow it to come back.
After we have commanded something to leave a person, we are now teaching them to say NO if any symptom tries to return. We tell them to say it out loud, with force and conviction- moving the symptoms out with the force of their words. It works. We have to show the enemy we are serious and we are not afraid to fight him!
1Co 15:54-57 But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
About a week ago, we got a call from friends. Their son was injured and couldn’t run. He is a state champion cross country runner and about to finish his high school competing...now sidelined. Severe pain. Some kind of injury in his gluteus muscles. We prayed and he felt some relief. We declared he would run in the race that week. *(the one his doctor said he couldn’t run in!) We told him that even if he feels any pain- tell it NO, command it to GO and hammer it with scriptures like the above. He ran and we got an email describing more pain. We reminded him how to fight. The next email we got said he not only won his race, he won by 30 seconds!
In the article written about the race, it says “I can only say that God was in that,” said Spencer, who crossed the finish line in 16:08. “I honestly have no other explanation. I’ve been running no more than two miles a day for the past two weeks, and no hard training whatsoever. I came here not knowing if I was going to be able to run, let alone winning by a considerable margin. That came out of nowhere. I was just amazed. I felt a little bit of pain, but the more I ran, the harder I could push it,” Spencer said. “It kept hurting more and more, but I could just keep going. I don’t know what it was. It was a strength I’ve never felt before.”
This week, the newspaper wrote about him again. He competes for the state title this year, and his coach said “Somehow, he’s maintained the conditioning he had before [the injury].”
Well, we know how he did it!
2 Cor 2:14 Now thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the aroma of his knowledge by us in every place.
Here are the links to those articles:
Next time: fighting bad circumstances and negativity/ fear…
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Morpheus: No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.
I picture Neo is asking himself “how am I ever going to figure out how to dodge bullets?” But Morpheus says “when you know who you are you will have an entirely other set of rules…when you finally get that you are THE ONE, there is no method- you choose how to do it!”
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
(suffer here means to experience pain jointly or of the same kind specifically persecution; to “sympathize”)
Sometimes, we find ourselves in conversations where someone asks us “is this real? Are you saying people are actually getting healed?” And the answer is…Yes. They are…come see for yourself.
“But I mean, isn’t just psychosomatic or positive thinking or something?” Well, it’s hard to fake cancer leaving, pain leaving a screaming child, neurological conditions transforming or body parts appearing that weren’t there/ disappearing that weren’t supposed to be there.
“But, I mean, how? How do you do it?”
That’s the trickier part. Not because the answer isn’t simple, just not what people often want to hear. Healing can happen through a prayer prayed from the other side of the world, through an email/chat/skype/phone call, through laying hands on a person. Those are just the more common ways. I’ve seen people open deaf ears by blowing on them, snapping fingers, shouting, saying nothing, hugging them. Any of those can work…or none of them.
It’s the wrong question. The question isn’t how…the question is who.
Healing comes from Identity. It comes from WHO is praying…a human, or a SON of God? If you know you are a Son, then it doesn’t matter what method you use because you have access to all the resources of heaven. If you are a follower of Jesus, his disciple and the spirit of God lives in you…then Romans says you are a SON of GOD. This scripture says this is about normal, ordinary people…not super pastors or religious leaders or anything like that.
The truth is, The Red Pill is not about healing for Rachelle and I. It is about becoming Sons of God and reconciling people to God and the reality of their identity in Christ. Healing is a part of that, so is freeing the oppressed, casting out demons, serving the poor and making disciples. You can’t free the oppressed with methods. Demons don’t listen to methods (they might even beat you up for trying! (Acts 19:11-17) Although there are methods to making disciples and giving to those in need…there is something greater! We give away who we are not what we do…
If you are a Son, you can go into your house and take what you need. You don’t have to cajole or beg. You can take what you want to out of the fridge. Sons have access to everything in the house. (and I don’t mean to exclude women, I’m using the language the Bible uses which also refers to us being the bride…each has specific and very meaningful implications.)
Recently we were downtown praying for people and sharing the gospel. We saw a homeless man sitting on a bench with a bunch of other guys and he looked in bad shape. When we approached him, you could tell he was skeptical and wanted us to leave and told us he didn’t have anything wrong with his body. Rachelle and I asked him to give us his hands and we looked into his eyes and told him “Jesus sent us to you. He doesn’t want you to have to carry this depression, he wants to set you free and return joy into your life.”
As we kicked out depression and restored his mind, we also handed him some money and told him that it was for him from Jesus, and you could see walls crumble in this guy…and suddenly he was beaming! He had a huge smile and was smiling and laughing with his friends as we left!
If I try to turn that into “the way to do it”, it will be hit or miss at best. I think it’s really smart to go with money and be ready to give it folks…but it is not “the secret”. The reason our time with him was effective was because we were confident in who we are. We know we have the authority and the power to bring this man into freedom. No matter what he says or what we see that might seem otherwise. We know that we are filled with the LIFE and LOVE of Christ and it will transfer out of us into others in our interactions.
These all come from who we are, not how we do it. Being...not doing. That means it doesn’t run out or expire and we can do it in any circumstance or environment.
Just imagine if the church knew who she was and was out on the streets, in the stores, in neighborhoods BEING what the whole world groans in wait for!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
“But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man seeing his natural face in a mirror: For he sees himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:22-24)
Now, I am process-oriented. I have never liked those “Just Do It” T-shirts.
I am a thinker.
I ponder. I mull.
But to always ponder, and to always try means to never do.
You can think about doing it. Intend to do it. Contemplate the concept of what it means to do it. Write about doing it. Talk about doing it.
I know. I have done this for years.
But it’s all in the doing. It’s the doing that does it.
That flips the switch and turns on the lights.
It changes everything.
And the deception in the not doing is deep and thick.
This is partially because we believe we are doers when we do things He did not tell us to do.
We do a lot of things that are not bad things.
In fact, they are often good.
But these things become deceptive when they are in the context of a life of hearing the Word and not doing it.
Things like putting lots of energy into big meetings and nice buildings.
Like creating 100 different contexts to meet with friends
and enjoy “Christian” community.
Like chasing down yet another prophetic word to throw in the treasure chest.
John Wimber was known to say “the meat is in the street.”
We loved that saying. We enjoyed it. We thought about it.
We said it and taught it.
But we were so rarely in the street.
Shane Claiborne wrote a book called “The Irresistible Revolution.” I don’t have it anymore. But I remember he described how all the gospels looked different after he got outside the church walls and spent time with the homeless. He went with friends and slept under bridges. He fought to get needs met for families who had nowhere to go. He befriended and loved the poor as his own.
It really struck me.
I imagined how it could be. How the lenses of safety and comfort would fall off my eyes if I really did that.
So I made dinner at the homeless shelter with friends a few times.
Spent time with the kids at the domestic violence shelter.
It was nice. It was good.
And it was something I could keep doing, telling myself I am doing the Word.
But I did not get near enough to befriend them.
I did not preach the gospel. Make disciples.
And I did not heal their diseases and cast out their demons.
It was a step. And if I become satisfied with the step, and don’t press on toward living like Jesus, I deceive myself.
I forget what I look like. Or at least what I am supposed to look like.
I am supposed to look like HIM.
I do look like Him on the inside because I asked Him to live there.
But He wants out. He wants every part of me to represent Him.
It does not take much to get a taste of losing those lenses that cloud our sight.
It can start to happen the moment we get determined to DO.
Not try. Not consider. Not cry out in prayer for the courage to do.
It started when I stood in Wal-Mart looking at the lady in the shopping cart scooter. I knew that Jesus would not hesitate to lift her right out of that thing.
I could not get my mouth to open, or words to form.
But I was determined that I would not forget what I look like.
It happened when I approached the blind man downtown and offered to pray for him to receive his sight. And he snarled at me bitterly.
But still, I began to see.
And again when I showed love and care for a young girl with uneven legs. I prayed and her legs became even, and she freaked out and left.
But it’s OK. Don’t stop. Don’t forget what you look like.
It happened when I prayed for a baby online who was hospitalized and in bad shape. And a couple days later she was well and on her way home.
It happened when I held the hand of the homeless man, looked into his eyes, told the heaviness and darkness to go, handed him a small wad of cash, and saw his countenance change into utter lightness and joy.
It’s like when the color switches on because Dorothy landed in OZ.
It all looks different. The words on the page look different.
It’s a whole new Book.
When we do, we see. We understand. We grow.
And you just can’t know it until you do it.
John G. Lake said that we can act ourselves into believing faster than we can believe ourselves into acting. And that’s the point, right? Do not be afraid. Only believe.
And to believe is to do.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
"[Love] seeketh not her own" (1Cor 13:5).
Disinterested benevolence does not mean that I am uninterested in the person I pray for. It means that I seek his or her healing, freedom, happiness for its own sake. It is not about any reflection on or effect on me.
I do good because I truly rejoice in the happiness of others.
Now I know there are those out there who are just nice people and you enjoy making folks happy. Yes, sometimes we do good because it feels good to see good be done! And to do it!
But is this disinterested?
Another way to think of this kind of love is that it is disengaged from the emotions. It is AGAPE. It is from the Spirit.
Many have written of this higher form of love. Higher than physical love. Higher than emotional love. But have we accessed its power within us? It is there because HE is there. It is HIM.
We can pray for people out of emotional love. We can serve them and give to them and in many ways bless them. But we see them healed out of spiritual love. We see the power of God, the real difference made, when we love them from our spirits.
But this line is difficult to see.
We need the scripture to help us see it.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Emotional love makes me feel good. I feel connection and am satisfied because of what it does for me. Spirit/agape love is infused with power…it changes everything it touches.
When I pray for my children, I am torn.
It’s so easy to pray from emotional love. If I imagine my child severely wounded, how do I pray outside of that? AS I say the words “be healed” there are also unspoken words like “or else I don’t know what I will do” and “oh my dear one; I do not want this!” and “please, please, please….now…..Now………NOW!!!”
While the emotional feelings are natural and right, they also can flow toward enmeshment, toward my basing identity and security in their effect.
Another word for that could be idolatry.
That may sound too harsh. We love our kids…of course we do. But in the moment when my child needs to be healed or set free, I cannot afford to compromise my identity in Christ- because THAT is what is going to get them set free, right?
Healing occurs because Christians decide to enforce what Jesus already paid for. And like salvation, healing won’t happen because of emotional pleas. It happens by resting in the truth of it. Otherwise I switch the source of healing from Jesus to me.
C.S. Lewis wrote about this in The Great Divorce**. In the story, a recently deceased spirit lingers outside of heaven and an old mentor/friend meets him there. They were both artists. The one man talks of painting the glory of heaven, but quickly reveals his self-interest. Then, his friend describes the fountain that, in this story, brings heaven’s residents to a heavenly frame of mind.
"It is up there in the mountains," said the Spirit. "Very cold and clear, between two green hills. A little like Lethe. When you have drunk of it you forget forever all proprietorship in your own works. You enjoy them just as if they were someone else's: without pride and without modesty."
What if that were true of us?
In a group, do we silently wish to be the one who prays the breakthrough prayer? Do we want to see the healing so we can tell the story? So we can feel OK? Or do we celebrate in disinterest? Without pride and without modesty? Without focus on myself?
I had a recent experience with this. I was praying for a man who had an injured rotator cuff. He had pain and lost mobility. My agenda was to see him well, with full mobility and no more medical bills. I prayed a number of times. There was some improvement, but it was not fully healed. I pressed in. At one point, he began to pray, too, and I heard the words anxious and fear in his prayers. Then there was a shift.
I moved from what I wanted to happen, my agenda for the situation, and onto where he was at and what he needed. I didn’t know it had been about me. Yet there was a clear shift off of me and onto him.
Love for him consumed me……but it wasn’t emotional. It was restful. It was separate from my own desire or need. I knew the love and the life of God moved through me and into him.
We drove out fear so he could rest. I still wanted his shoulder healed, but my agenda had shifted. Love poured into him. There was peace. Fear left.
You know what happened then?
He could move his arm and shoulder freely.
I realize this involves a lot of nuance. It can be hard to discern. But there is something in this for us! I am only beginning to touch it.
Let’s chew on this together, let it mull over and over in our minds and see how it changes our thinking and practices. Let’s see how we can sharpen each other in this!
**(if there is a way... I want to make a film of this book! Filmmakers unite and let's get this realized!!)