Pearls of Destiny

Thoughts from a God-lover's heart…

The Mystery of the Healing Ministry

Trying to think of words to describe the feeling when your first person in the crusade prayer line is a young mother holding a 5 year old boy who suffers from brain damage, seizures, deafness and cannot walk.

The second person is a man with anal cancer who states that God spoke to him to decline treatment (which I’m sure is a much different situation than in the US). So if God doesn’t heal him, he dies.

One of the things I’ve learned from this experience is that it’s not my responsibility to heal them…I can’t take the blame if they don’t receive a manifestation of healing any more than I can take the glory if they do. My only responsibility is to love them.

You may say ” I know that”… but you don’t really find out if it’s gone from theory to reality until you have a night like tonight.

The truth is, while the boy didn’t appear to leave different than when he came, he really did leave different. The man with cancer did, too. The presence of God was there, and you can’t experience the Presence and not be changed. They experienced the love of God tonight, and you can’t experience the love of God and not be different than when you came. The cancer patient was touched and flooded with peace and hope, sobbing under the influence of heaven. . You can’t pray in agreement to a loving Father without Him responding. He always responds – we just don’t always see it with our natural eyes.

My third person was a man afflicted in both eyes with a cataract and glaucoma, and arthritic pain in both knees and a swollen ankle. He left with clear vision and no pain in the knees, but no change in the ankle.

A wise man of God rightly stated the healing ministry is a mystery and you must be able to have a box called “mystery” to drop things in that you don’t have an answer for – and the discipline to leave them there.

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When Martha Wrestles Mary

 

Luke 10:38-42 (NASB)

38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

We are leaving for Guyana in 4 days for our missions adventure. There has been so much to get done for this trip – the training program and preparations, on top of homemaking, school, teaching, church, etc. My husband and I essentially both needed to get new wardrobes, as neither of us (for one reason or another) have the clothes to meet the dress code. He has been busy working so I’ve done all the shopping, plus trying to learn how to put together sport coats, dress shirt patterns and ties, etc. I never had to shop for a man like this before – this is all new to me, as our lives are pretty casual. International travel demands its own special shopping list, like luggage that’s not falling apart, a power converter and adapter plugs, dual voltage items like a hair dryer and clothes steamer – WAIT! Is the clothes steamer I bought dual voltage? (After checking – yes, it is). And then there’s the food issue – with so many dietary restrictions, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to navigate nutrition in a foreign country with a demanding schedule. We will be doing 11 services in 6 days. So many things to consider…and it is sucking the life out of me.

Mercifully, the Lord woke me up at 3am this morning. It’s funny how despair can be more powerful than caffeine during times like these! I tiptoed into the living room and popped on my headphones. Looking for my usual Bethel songs on YouTube, I noticed a one hour piano worship instrumental that mysteriously found its way into my playlist suggestions. THAT’S WHAT I NEED! The Presence flooded me and I soaked it all in…PEACE – FINALLY!!! It only took a few minutes of soaking for the revelation to hit: Martha has been steamrolling me.

MARTHA, MARTHA, MARTHA!!!! Where in the world did you come from, and how is it that you have taken over my life?!?!? I have always been a Mary – ALWAYS – but in the past couple of weeks, Martha has barged in with double-barreled ferocity and taken Mary hostage. She was nowhere to be found! My heart envisioned locking itself away with the Lord more this week, but the “tyranny of necessity” has foiled that plan. Here it is, Thursday, and I’ve worked myself into a frenzy. The departure date approaches still, not caring that there is so much to get done. But in the end, ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY (Luke 10:42).

It’s so easy for the rightful order of things to get skewed – especially when legitimate needs loom all around. But in the end, Mary needs the right-of-way. She needs to be boss. She needs to lead. Martha is a good woman, but she can be pushy. REALLY PUSHY. When Martha fails to submit to Mary, chaos ensues. Pretty. Much. Always.

Yes, shopping needed to be done. Things needed to be put in order. Dinner needed to be cooked and dishes washed. Laundry needed to be done. Bills needed to be paid. Homework needed to be completed… and my master’s thesis deadline is screaming in the distance.

All of these things require my attention.

But Mary needs to have her way.  She needs to be allowed to “choose the good part.”

Only then will life be as it should… IN HIM.

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Christian Idolatry or Servant-Leadership?

God never intended for a “church” to be built around one person’s gift or a personality. What we have in those cases is a form of idolatry.  There is only 1 head of the church – Jesus. God does use people in positions of leadership – this is true. But a true biblical leader is a servant-leader.

Matthew 23:1-11 NASB –  Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

There’s just not a whole lot of this happening these days. Self-promotion. Exaltation of man. Titles. Position.

But times are changing…

The days of “the church”being built around “the holy man in the holy building” are coming to an end. There may be institutions that call themselves “the church” who still feature the superstar, go-to person for all your spiritual needs. But that’s not what the real “church” looks like.

The anointing is not reserved for the select few. If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you – which we know from Romans 8:11 is possible –  then you have access to the same power that Jesus had. He accessed the resources of heaven because He had a love relationship with the Father, heard what the Father was saying and saw what He was doing, and then obeyed. It’s not about “power mongering”…it’s all about our love for Him – if we truly love Him, then the things that break His heart will break ours also…and a lost, sick, dying humanity breaks His heart…and leaving them that way breaks it all the more.

He would not have commissioned us, saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12 NASB) if He didn’t also empower us to do it.

Matthew 10:7-8 NASB – And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

This is His heart’s cry for all who are called by His name. Not just for a select few.

May our relationship with Him be so intimate that the things that break His heart breaks ours…to the point that we are willing to rise up and do something about it.

No more Christian idolatrous superstars!!!

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The True Measure

Matthew 11:6 (ESV)- And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me (Jesus).

In the end, our measure is Jesus, not the church. Not the “churchianity status quo”… Not the lives of brothers and sisters around us. Not “the way we’ve always done it.” Not the way we think is should be. Not the way we want it to be. Not the easy way. Not the popular way.

This is truth.

But many times the truth offends us – if it doesn’t reflect us.

I was taking a training for our upcoming missions trip to Guyana with Randy Clark. We were listening to a man named Pablo Bottari in one of the sessions (he worked with Carlos Annacondia in the great Argentine revival, overseeing some of the ministry teams). He has experienced great outpouring and seen many miracles, signs, wonders, deliverance, and salvation. He made a statement that really struck me as truth (maybe not exactly verbatim but close):

“”There is so much that Jesus did that the church doesn’t do.”

The truth hurts sometimes – but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Jesus’ commissioned the disciples (and later, the 70, then all who believe in His name): And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8 (NKJV)

Somewhere down the line, the message has shifted to a feel-good, tell-me-how-to-make-my-life-better ‘gospel’. That’s the easy way. That’s the ‘safe’ way. That’s the popular way.

But that’s not the Jesus way.

1 John 2:6 – …whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

How did He walk?
Acts 10:38 (NKJV)- …how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

The focus here is outward, not inward.

More than anything else, our first and foremost priority is to develop an intimate, love relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To abide in Him. But, as the scripture stated, if we truly abide in Him, we will walk as He walked.

Looking in the mirror, ask yourself how much of the above reflects your life (I am asking myself the same question – believe me). Where do you see yourself in this picture?

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 ESV)

Does this offend you?
“And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”

Maybe we need a good offending…

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Starting again…again

Below are some sporatic posts from now and then…thoughts that I wanted to write, but wondered why because it seemed there was no one to read them.

Disappointment roars.

“What’s the point?”

This nagging question nags, unquestionably.

Destiny pushes forward, with history clinging to her heels.

“Why do I continue to do this to myself?”

But then, Destiny calls again, in her soft, gentle, wooing way that just won’t let things be.

Thank God for Destiny…because in reading through the posts below, I am reminded of my journey.

I am reminded that I’m not the woman I used to be.

I am not yet the woman that I am becoming.

I have come so far. But I have far to go.

So, I’m starting again, again.

He makes everything beautiful in its time.

(Thank you, Liz)

 

Jesusreachingout

 

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“I’m not worried.”

Here’s a part of my conversation with the Lord this morning. I encourage you to read it and share – especially heading into the coming days:

This is what He said to me:

Just remember that there’s always more than meets the eye. Always. Things aren’t always as they seem to be. But I’m in control. The hearts of kings are in My hand and I know all of the secret dealings behind closed doors. I have TOP SECURITY CLEARANCE in every nation of the world’s most high levels. I don’t need to hack into anything. The secret things belong to Me. I know what Iran is going to do. I know Obama’s motivations and ambitions. I know who is calling the shots on the world’s scene and I know WHAT they are going to do. I am not intimidated by them and I’m not worried one bit.

“Lord, don’t You care that we perish? It would seem that some are asking this same question today. I’m not worried.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

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To Trust, or Not To Trust…

Today’s thoughts aren’t really all that stunningly new but they’re really, really important. Before you pass this by, I want to challenge you to read on and answer the questions for yourself at the end of the post. I believe that the Holy Spirit led you here and really wants to shine some light on things:

prov 3-5

It’s one of those things that we think about and say, “yeah, I know that”…but really, we don’t. We may mentally assent to it and acknowledge it as truth but do we really, REALLY have an intimate, personal, rock solid BELIEF that it’s true?

In the Western world, we are seldom in the position to have to FULLY trust the Lord – with total abandonment of reliance on self or worldly systems – in order to make it. If we’re sick, we go to the doctor or pop some over-the-counter medicine. If we lose a job, we file for unemployment and if it gets tough, we can look toward government programs or other assistance. If unexpected expenses come up, we can charge it. If we don’t know what to do, we can Google it and read about the “6 Steps to Totally Solve Every Problem”.

If you’ll be honest about it, you’ll agree with me that for the most part, it’s the truth.

We are entering into a time where it’s going to be ESSENTIAL that we put our trust in the Lord – fully and completely. It doesn’t take a prophet to discern that things in the world are in a strain and that governments of men are terribly skewed. So many people, even Christians, put their trust in worldly systems that are fallible. This includes putting trust in the institutional church – which is not the same as putting your trust in God. (That’s another topic for another

The truth is that for most people, we don’t really put ourselves in a position to build our trust in the Lord. We try to figure things out through natural reason and human methods. I’m not discounting common sense and being responsible and taking initiative and using the things that God puts in our path like employment and modern medicine – I believe that God uses both of these things. But honestly, when the rubber meets the road, we tend to put our faith and trust in these things first and then ask God to bless it.

What if God asks you to give away your car, or take a step of faith and go minister to someone with cancer and believe for healing, or quit your job and totally and completely rely on Him to provide (without hints or Facebook support requests). Could you do it? WOULD you do it? Honestly, ask yourself that question.

There may come a time in your life where you will be thrown into the midst of adversity. This is NOT the time to try to build your faith and trust in the Lord as this passage demands. He is faithful and patient to meet us where we are. But I believe the Lord is challenging us to take steps of faith NOW, when things aren’t in crisis mode, and take some risks in Him to get us to the place where we go from mental assent to full blown trust and reliance in Him.

There used to be a commercial for car parts on TV in which the mechanic says, while exhorting people to use these quality parts, “you can pay me now, or pay me later”… meaning that you can invest up front and avoid repairs, or somewhere down the line you will be seeing him to fix the thing that broke due to neglect.

The Holy Spirit is challenging you today to make the investment to grow your faith by voluntarily putting yourself in a position where you need Him to come through for you…so that you may have complete and total confidence in Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who sees to it.

Pray into this message…because I tell you the truth – a day is coming where the things we rely on today will not be sufficient to sustain us.

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Don’t be anxious!

“Go with the flow, and stop being anxious about things that  may never happen. If you really trust God, you don’t need a backup plan. Faith  means that you have peace even when you don’t have all the answers.” ` Joyce Meyer

This VERY TIMELY NUGGET comes from one of her devotional entries that I received on Facebook. What perfect timing God has!!!

It is so much easier said than done! I’ve stepped out on faith to do something that I am really not qualified to do (yet), something that I really can’t afford, and have no guarantees in the natural that will work. But I really, really believe it is a “God opportunity”, so I am just trying to go with it and not think too much about it.

Thinking is really the gateway for fear. You sometimes get that gut feeling to go for something, and you really believe it is God. Fear only comes when you start thinking about it…and listening and processing the little voices in your head…or sometimes, the voices come from well-meaning friends and family members. Those are the worst! I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use our brain and common sense. But let’s face it – most of the time, our God-assignments defy common sense. Joyce was right – we need to trust God’s integrity and learn to walk in peace even when we don’t have all the answers.

God – give us Your wisdom to be able to rightly discern what You are saying to us and directing us to do. Help us not to listen to and be swayed by the voices that are contrary to Your word to us. Holy Spirit, teach us to rightly hear and walk in confidence that You are ordering our steps. Help us to trust Your faithfulness to lead us and guide us, and to redirect us if we are missing it. Help us to tap into the peace that Jesus said He would provide for us – not the world’s peace. Help us to forgive the people in our lives who speak without hearing Your heart first. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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It takes many hands to build a house

 Some of the gatekeepers were assigned to care for the various articles used in worship. They checked them in and out to avoid any loss. Others were responsible for the furnishings, the items in the sanctuary, and the supplies, such as choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense, and spices. But it was the priests who blended the spices. Mattithiah, a Levite and the oldest son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with baking the bread used in the offerings. And some members of the clan of Kohath were in charge of preparing the bread to be set on the table each Sabbath day.  The musicians, all prominent Levites, lived at the Temple. They were exempt from other responsibilities since they were on duty at all hours. ~ 1 Chronicles 9:28-33 NLT

I never in a million years thought I would be writing a blog post out of 1 Chronicles!!! But I read this as the Lord was dealing with me on writing this post, so I felt that it was something He really wanted to say.

When somebody builds a house, they need to hire people who have different areas of expertise and skills to get the job done. They hire electricians so that there can be light and power. They hire plumbers so that there can be water for cooking and bathing and such. They sometimes hire masons to brick the outside so that the house may be protected by the elements. The masons aren’t really concerned with what the plumbers are doing and the carpet guys don’t really think too much about the electricians. The heating and cooling guys aren’t concerned too much about the landscapers. It’s not that they don’t think what the other guys are doing is valuable. It’s just different…and it doesn’t really affect their mission and vision.

I think it’s the same way when it comes to God building His Kingdom. I think that Christians sometimes forget that the house belongs to God, not them. He is the Master Builder, not them. He is the ‘general contractor’ and knows exactly what need to be done, when it needs to be done, and who He has gifted to get the job done. Just read in the bible when they were building the temple or when they were preparing things for the tabernacle. Each task was assigned to different people who were gifted to do what needed to be done to fulfil His purposes.

While we all need to have a Kingdom mindset and be tapped into what God is doing in His great house-building endeavor, we need to keep in mind that not everyone is called to be a bricklayer, or an electrician, or a carpet guy. Not everyone is immersed into the justice movement or the prophetic movement or into evangelistic crusades or foreign missions or intercession. While we are all called to walk in the believer’s anointing and live a Christian life, we aren’t all called to be ‘specialists’ in every single area.

Each of these are so important to the heart of God and should be important to us too. We need to be cheering each other on. But sometimes I think it is hard for people to see beyond their own assignment or slant or stream.  We don’t get it when people aren’t passionate about the things we are passionate about. Sometimes people come off as judgmental toward others who aren’t swimming in the same river as them.

It takes many, many giftings to build a house. In the natural, and in the spiritual. We need to be concerned about what God has called each and every one of us to do…but we need to understand that everyone isn’t necessarily called to do the same things we are doing. We need to be their biggest cheerleaders. Because in the end, we are all building the same House…and we are all working for the same One.

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Don’t stop praying for lost loved ones…ever…

I just received a text from my ‘lil sis’ back in Ohio. She shared with me that the husband of a faithful woman in the church where I was on staff died today.

This woman, Joyce, was the ultimate ‘prayin’ grandma’. And her husband, Lloyd, was the stereotypical old fella who was hardened toward the gospel. Joyce knew how to pray…she would pray until she shook, and when she prayed you KNEW that God showed up. We would all believe with her for Lloyd’s salvation. She faithfully was a part of everything she could be a part of, where the church was concerned. Some things she couldn’t participate in because Lloyd didn’t want to be a part. I don’t know if he fussed at her for coming to church things or if she was just sensitive about when it was okay to come or when it would be best to stay home. He would usually come with her to the church picnic every summer, but that was about it. In spite of all the prayers, nothing seemed to change. That’s how it was for the 15 years that I was a part of the church.

When I received the text that he died, my heart sank. I felt deeply for “Sister Joyce”. With a lump in my throat, I responded to the text, “Had he been sick? Did he get saved?”

Yes, he had cancer. And yes, three weeks ago…after decades of resisting God…Lloyd received Jesus as his savior. A smile crept across my face…

As heartbroken as Joyce must be at the loss of her husband, I can just picture her raising her hands toward heaven and worshipping God that her husband is now beholding the face of Jesus. I am saddened by the thought that he missed a lifetime full of joy and purpose, and I’m sure (if it is possible) he is kicking himself for not doing it sooner.

Don’t ever give up on praying for your lost loved ones – no matter how hardened they are nor how hopeless it seems. God is faithful and I believe that He can even reach those whose bodies may be in an unconscious state, because their spirits aren’t.

Don’t ever give up…and I’m both weeping and rejoicing with you, Sister Joyce.

 

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