Believing the Unbelievable

There’s a lot of things in Christianity that are confounding to the World system. Miracles, speaking in Tongues, Word of Knowledge and Prophecy for starters.

Christianity has developed it’s own language and culture, resulting in people not a part of the church feeling excluded and left out. Jesus never did that – it was what the Pharisees did. When He spoke to shepherds, he talked about sheep, fish to fishermen, lost coins, lampstands, everyday simple analogies that would open people’s eyes and hearts to His message.

He spoke of unclean spirits because the understanding that this world is held by a force other than God was understood then better than now. Nietzsche is purported to have coined the phrase “God is dead”, and the philosopher Charles Baudelaire – “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” These two statements go hand in hand into 21st century culture, resulting in a society across cultures as Western society permeates all areas from one side, and Communism from the other seek to convince us that Self is the most important thing – particularly in Western culture – and to sacrifice anything that gets in the way of promoting Self above all else.

Anything that cannot be “proven” by science is disregarded as fantasy in it’s most negative & damaging form. Even irrefutable miracles like healing from paralysis or raising from the dead are disputed by our “civilised” and “educated” culture.

They are simply a flight of fancy, or unbelievable. Stories for children to give them comfort.

We have lost the plot in a big way.

Jesus calls on us to believe the impossible. Move mountains, walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead. Freely receive from God & freely give what we have received.

I have a friend who used to often say to me “The impossible we can do immediately. Miracles may require a little more time” We worked together for a year or so, and I miss the close friendship I had with him during that time, but our God-focussed conversations stay with me, and despite being on opposite ends of the planet now I am able to stay in touch – something I value deeply.

God challenges us, almost dares us to ask things of Him. We see it through the Gospels. High quality wine created from water, 5000 men and their families fed by a packed lunch of a small boy, Peter walking on water, lives changed in unimaginable ways by a simple touch – blind eyes open, deaf ears hearing, lame walking. Even just a word from the creator is enough to heal the sick.

Impossible – scientifically.

“Believe the impossible” is the message Jesus shouts with every action. Whatever you ask for in My name, God will give you He tells us.

I watched a man of God named Dave Duell praying for some people back in the 1990’s at some conferences in the UK. Something stood out in this man. It wasn’t his holiness, or his (large) personality that grabbed you, it was how ordinary he is. Everything about him said “You can do what I do, you just don’t know you can yet”. One child had a growth issue in his legs, one was shorter than the other by over an inch. Dave didn’t shout and scream, he simply touched the boy’s short leg and said “Thank you Jesus”, nothing more or less. The boy’s leg immediately started to grow until they were the same length. Then, with a twinkle in his eye he leaned in to ask the youngster “Wanna be taller?” The boy nodded, and then the other leg lengthened by about an inch, followed by the second to the same length. His trousers suddenly much shorter than they had been, and the boy stood up, taller and straight.

Unbelievable, but true. I know people will disregard the story and make up their own mind. They will say I’m nuts or a storyteller spinning a tale to make myself look good.

But God says the wise things of this world are foolishness to Him, and we will be fools for Christ.

I’ve never raised anyone from death. I’ve never seen cancer healed by my prayers. But I’ve experienced small victories. A dear friend had bad toothache so I prayed for complete healing. She had a dentist’s appointment that would be charged for if cancelled so she went anyway. He couldn’t find anything wrong, and she had no symptoms any more. Neither of us was surprised, but he was! I’ve prayed for bad backs and strained muscles and seen healing manifest on the spot. I’ve prayed for healings and seen partial recovery and nothing more – it’s not just my prayer that matters. It’s also on the part of the receiver to gain what God has for them. We have a choice. In His home town, Jesus was only able to do a few minor healings because of the people’s lack of faith. Most of the people I’ve prayed for where I’ve seen healing manifest don’t know me, so they believe it will work because they don’t know I’m only as human as they are. Most of the people who know me can’t separate the part of me that is tuned in to God from the man they know, so the prayer is less effective. But the source is the same.

Believe what the World system declares impossible and you begin to see God work to produce it. What God can do in our lives is limited only by what we will allow Him to do.

So believe the unbelievable. Let God’s Power flow through us like a rushing wind or a mighty flood and see the blind see, the deaf hear, the destitue fed and housed, the sick healed and the dead raised.

One step at a time. Hope to see it gives Faith to see it and Faith manifests it. The unbelievable becomes what it should be for us.

Normal.

All Our Needs

Needs. 

The word jumped out at me today as I was meditating the Phillipians 4:19 promise.

It made me look at my life in a different way.

I grew up in the UK, lived there until I was 31 and then moved to Cape Town. Here I’m a married man of 41 now, 3 dogs, car on the drive and fire in the hearth. My wife is a medical doctor. We’re planning a family.

Needs.

What are my needs?

God will provide all my needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.

I’m learning about my needs.

Some of what I thought were my needs, actually aren’t.

We don’t need many of the things we take for granted in a Western society. 

I live in sight of a less affluent area. We regularly have gunfire within 200 meters of our front gate, and 2 years ago a child was killed by a drunk driver hitting her after crashing through our wall. My wife and I were home and tried to help, but all we could do was cradle the broken body until the paramedics arrived. She died on the way to the hospital, as did the passenger of the car.

Needs.

My needs are simple. Maslow had it right. His pyramid, famous in psychology, holds true in Christianity as well. From basic physiological like food & sleep at the base to self-actualisation at the top, we live according to our progression through the needs we have.

In a Christian pyramid, the needs may be slightly different, but they are essentially the same core. We still need food and sleep. We need safety & security. Friendship, family at level 3. Esteem at level 4 and self actualisation at the top. God puts things in a different way though. In Genesis, He provides all Adams basic needs, food, shelter and the security of employment are all provided by God. Then God says we need companionship – and creates Eve. God’s pyramid starts to change a little for the top 2 layers though.

Esteem for us as Christians should come from God. That part of us should be met through our relationship with Him through Christ, rather than acclaim and respect from other people. In fact, acclaim from people could be detrimental to our growth as Christians.

Self-actualisation could be interpreted as finding and fulfilling God’s Will for our lives. Actualisation would be more accurate than self-actualisation, but moving in that direction should also be done with the guidance and support of a mature fellowship. God’s gifts to us are uniquely suited to us as individuals, coded as perfectly as DNA to form our spiritual selves.

Needs.

Our needs are essentials, not minutia of wants or desires. We have a car, but I have a motorbike as well. Before I emigrated I owned a car, a VW Camper-van and a Harley-Davidson. I had the trappings of my wants but was missing much of my need.

I have a new perspective on need since my first visit here before I moved. As I came out of Cape Town airport for the first time I came face-to-face with the other side of the society. An “informal settlement” was just outside the airport. These houses, cobbled together from wooden pallets and corrugated metal sheets, provided shelter for around half of Cape Town’s population. In the 11 years since then, these townships have more than doubled in size as people move to the city from the smaller towns and villages.

Need became a relative term. I realised how little I asked God to meet my needs, and how much I focussed on wants.

Need.

Now my concept of need has narrowed even further. Three years ago when my wife was mis-diagnosed following surgery and almost died I had to learn a new way to pray. I had to look at scripture again and see what to pray for, and how to pray. What was promised and what was not.

Daily bread – level 1 & 2
Forgiveness as we forgive others – level 3
My focus to be on God supplying my needs – level 4
Walking in His way – level 5

Needs. Met.

According to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. According to His power at work in us.

God is faithful to provide what we can trust Him for.

Our needs
 

 

It Ain't no Sin to get the Blues

There’s a Don Francisco song I’ve rediscovered just recently which has spoken to me in a very timeous manner – I love how God does that.

In it, he reminds us through music that obedience can mean suffering, and we can forget that when everything is going our way. But as a great speaker said in a teaching I heard many years ago, the only time you don’t run into the Devil is when you’re headed in the same direction.

I’m about to go to my worldly employer, who – lest we forget – is not the source of my financial income, merely the vessel God uses to get it to me, in order to discuss my future with the company.

Since I believe in the product, although my personal experience has been poor as an employee, and I would recommend the product to anyone in the market as the best available – and I’ve done a LOT of research on the matter – I will not mention the company name here.

I expect that by the end of today I will no longer be employed by this bastion of commercialism, probably with a black mark against my name for daring to put the wellbeing of my health and that of my family before my job. An irony for those who know me personally.

This means I will have more time to devote to not, in the eyes of the world, falling apart.

I prefer to think of it as a new beginning.

My wife’s health has recovered to the point that by the end of this week we will have a fully functional business running and servicing the local community – although I will not be playing an active part in it. I will spend some time recovering and drawing close to God in order to allow Him to refresh me, and then moving into His service full time.

Timing is everything, and although I’ve taken a beating in the last six months, I’m ready to recover and move on. I’ve been down almost as low as I ever have been (but not quite), and I’m ready to fight back in His strength, always remembering Jesus knows my suffering, the Disciples went through even worse than I did and came out with Glorious Victory.

So hold on to God’s Promise, even when things are falling apart. He will never put us through more than we can endure, and we can do all things through His mighty strength according to His Power at work in us.