Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5,6
For the last couple of weeks, I have found myself thinking of this verse, and thinking of what it means to acknowledge God in ALL my ways. The word acknowledge means “to show or express recognition, appreciation or gratitude”. It’s when we express our gratitude to God and give Him all the glory for all the good things that come our way, we give Him room in our lives to “make our paths straight”. I have been trying to remind myself daily to give God thanks and recognition for all He has done in my life, each day. He is always at work in our lives. There is never a day where God is not involved in our lives. His promise is that He will never leave or abandon us. If we truly believe that, then would can hold us back from stepping forward into all He has for us, trusting in Him in every area of life, even when our own understanding of the situation may be contrary to what God does. We should never limit God to what our understanding thinks He can do.
Last week, my fiance and I received news that we had been successful in our application for an apartment, which I will move in to in 3 weeks, followed post wedding by Emma. During the process, we had to supply all sorts of paper work and background checks, not an easy thing to do when I haven’t lived in this country for six years. On paper we were unlikely candidates for the apartment, but we believed God wanted us to have this place, even when we walked in for the viewing, we felt such peace there and assurance that we would get the flat. I remember when we left after viewing it, we made a declaration that the flat would be ours, despite the fact we lacked much of the information they required! God really wants us to move in there.
I am still believing God for a ministry job to open up for me here, I am trusting in Him even when it might seem bleak to someone looking in from the outside. I want to always acknowledge Him in every breakthrough in life, no matter how big or how small it is. In doing this, according to this verse in Proverbs, He will make our paths straight. The thing about a straight path is that, well, it’s straight. You don’t need to worry about when a corner is coming up, or whether you are about to go through a crazy mountain pass. It’s just straight. I love this image as for me it means that I don’t always need to know everything that is coming up in life, I just need to be putting one foot in front of the other, confident that God has got me on the straight path, and that I don’t need to see exactly where I am going right now, but I will trust fully in Him all along the way. God doesn’t want us to be stationary, so He makes it a straight path. He makes it really easy for us to keep moving into all that He has for us.
In my own personal life, I am believing God for healing within my own body, which is a strange place to be in after witnessing so many healing’s in other people’s lives. I believe God will heal me, and soon. As each day goes by, I get a day closer to my healing. You can help me reach this by believing for this with me as well. That doesn’t mean that I am sitting back expecting God to show up in a dramatic way. He might do that. He might also want to heal me through other people, through doctors.
So, this week, acknowledge God in all your ways, whether it be financial, relational, physical, whatever. Acknowledge Him for who He is. Surround yourself with Bible verses supporting who He is for the situation you are faced with. Trust in the Lord, not on your own, or other people’s, understanding.
Do your circumstance define who you are, or do you get your identity from somewhere or someone else? I was doing some ministry a couple weeks ago in Glasgow, and was amazed at the number of people I spoke to on the streets who were struggling with pain and sickness and yet were reluctant to receive prayer for it as they had become used to the pain. One man even told me he would miss the pain as it had become sort of a companion to him. When I told him that Jesus could take the pain away and be the companion he has always been looking for, he still preferred to hold on to his sickness. Another lady told me she had learned how to cope with the pain and so didn’t see the point in getting healed. We should never allow our current circumstances to dictate who we are, just because I currently have pain in my body does not mean that I need to keep hold of it for the rest of my life.
I refuse to believe in my own life, that the various ailments I currently have in my body define who I am and what I can do. God sees me as holy and blameless, set apart from the beginning of time to have an amazing life free from pain and discomfort. My Spirit knows that, but my body is still catching up with that reality, and I know that as each day passes, I get one day closer to this becoming reality in my physical body.
The truth is that as we enter into relationship with God, the things of this world lose all effect on us, as we are living with a new perspective on life. We cannot allow ourselves to become caught up with the issues facing us here, we cannot lose sight of what God has said to us in the past as well as what He is saying to us now.
That doesn’t mean that we brush aside what we are faced with, hoping that they will just disappear, it just means that we hold fast to the truth. We need to be able to see the difference between what is fact and what is truth. For example, the fact is you have no money, the truth is God is our provider, so I will press into that truth and believe God will come through. He has done it before, so He will do it again. He hasn’t brought us this far just to leave us to fend for ourselves now!
The fact is you have pain in your body. The truth is Jesus came to bring healing and restoration to all who come to Him. Sometimes healing is an instant thing when other times it can be a process, in the meantime, we just need to consume ourselves with the answer to the problem.
So, as you go about your day, consume your thoughts with the solution to any problems you face, whether it is physical, emotional healing, or whether you are waiting for financial breakthrough, this is an opportunity to shift your perspectives from the problem and rest your eyes onto the solution. Because God is always bigger than any problem we are faced with. When David was face to face with Goliath, he didn’t see the giant in front of him, yet he saw through him to the solution, and the solution was big, even bigger than Goliath!
God sees you as holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), perhaps it’s about time we see ourselves as how God does, too.
Just back from Jamaica this morning, after 24 hours of traveling. What an incredible trip, such a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. My life will never be the same again after this trip, seeing all that God did over the last couple weeks, and knowing all that God still intends on doing in that country excites me every time I think about it.
All last week was spent in a small town right in the centre of the country, where we ministered with local leaders there as well as took to the streets and spent time ministering one on one with the people of the town. By the end of the week I felt like I knew half the town as I walked towards the church after having already visited the prison and hospital that hot Sunday morning. We had the privilege of ministering at the local prison, where they had around 15 inmates awaiting their court dates. As we shared with them and spoke to them about the love God had for them, 8 of them accepted an invitation to follow Christ. After that, they then began to pray for those of them who had pain in their body, and were amazed to see God move through them and bring healing to their fellow inmates. It was an amazing sign of God’s reconciliation as only the day before there had been an outbreak of violence in the cell that had left them all with cuts and bruises and blood stained clothes. And yet here they were, once again laying hands on each other, only this time to bring healing instead of inflict pain.
This whole year, I have been learning how to hear God’s voice while out on the streets ministering, and during this trip I experienced hearing His voice with such clarity and accuracy, and it was incredible to see how He would use that to break down walls within the people I was speaking with.
One day, I found myself speaking to an elderly lady who was sitting down in her fruit stand in the centre of the town. There was a high school girl leaning up against the stand speaking with what seemed to be her boyfriend. As I was speaking with the elderly lady, I felt like God was telling me she had pain in her wrists. It turned out she did. I then explained to her how much God loved her and wanted to heal her of the pain she was experiencing. As I was telling her this, I saw out of the corner of my eye that the high school girl was laughing at what I was saying, and joking about it with her friend. As I continued to minister to the lady, I asked God to give me something about this girl. Immediately, I felt a pain on the right side of my lower back, so i turned to the girl and asked her if she had pain there. She looked at me, a little bewildered, and said “yes, I do. How did you know that?” I explained to her how I knew it, and she was amazed that God spoke to people like that. She had such intense pain in her back that she could not stand up straight and always had to lean against something, which was why she leaned against the fruit stand. I began to talk with her about the love God has for her and how He just wants to speak to her on a regular basis. God also told me a lot more about her that I was able to share with her. After around 15 minutes of talking with her, I noticed that she was no longer leaning up against the fruit stand. I pointed that out to her, and she began to move around, and realized that she no longer had any pain whatsoever in her back! God had healed her and I hadn’t even prayed for her yet!
I have so many more stories to share about my experiences from Jamaica, and plan on doing so in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you some of the highlights from the trip. I love what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “The kingdom of God is not one of talk but of power.” It’s time the church caught up to this fact, and began to walk in the power and authority given to us. During my time in Jamaica, I saw first hand each day we were there, just a glimpse of the power Paul talks about in this verse. My prayer is that the church there and everywhere can start to live out this reality and grasp all that God has made available to us.
We arrived here Thursday evening late after and epic trip from California. Since then we have held a three day conference on healing and intimacy with God.
Friday night we saw at least 50 people healed as God moved through the church. A mans leg grew out an inch. Back pain, headache, knee pain and many more all healed. I also had a man come and show me text messages sent back and forth between him and his friend. His friend had a fever, and as he texted her with testimonies of what God was doing in the church, she experienced healing from her fever! So good.
Another man was allergic to water, which meant evrytime he showered or even sweated he would come up in a rash. During worship on Saturday.morning he noticed he was sweating a lot. Only this time he had no rash anywhere! He has since been taking showers with no fear of breaking out in a rash!
God is really good. Miracles are normal in Jamaica.
Yesterday we took to the streets and saw at least four people come into relationship with God as well as many healing including a man who felt his cancer tumors. We literally robbed hell and populated heaven! God is moving here.
I wish i had time to write all that God has done so far on this trip, but we are about to head out into the rural area for a week of ministry. Can’t wait to see what happens it there.
My friend and I stood there in awe of the deliciously tempting Red Velvet and chocolate chip cookies right in front of us in the store last night. “They look amazing”, I said out loud, just as a lady was walking past. This caught her attention, and she came over to have a look at what we were staring at. “Red Velvet everywhere these days!” she said to me.
What happened next was amazing, we began talking to this woman, and as we were doing this, I felt like she had pain in her neck. She did. In fact, she had pain all over her body as a result of a car accident last summer. “How did you know that?” She asked me. That is the question every evangelist wants to hear while out ministering. I began to tell her how sometimes when I am talking to people God will tell me where the person is experiencing pain in their body, because He wants them to know that He sees them, and wants to heal them. The woman was amazed, and was ready for us to pray for her, we had all but forgotten about those delicious looking cookies.
We ended up ministering to this woman for 30 minutes, and ended up walking her to her car as she experienced God’s power and love healing her body. When it was time to leave, I thanked her for trusting us and letting us pray for her. “I would never normally have done that” she said “but for some reason, I felt like it was ok.”
As we were turning to leave, we saw a homeless man curled up under his jacket trying to keep warm. We ended up taking this young man for coffee as we listened intently to his life story and how he had come to be sleeping outside a store in Redding. Love looks like different things for different people. For the lady, it looked like getting her pain healed. For this guy, all he wanted was for someone to listen to him and to interact with him. Love looks like different things, but it does look like something.
We never did get those Red Velvet cookies, maybe next time…
Yesterday I returned to Redding after a six day trip to the Vancouver area in Canada. What an amazing trip, such a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. My life will never be the same again from the trip. I had the privilege of traveling with the director of the healing rooms at Bethel, and really learned so much from watching how he operated and listening to him preach 4 days in a row! God is on the move up in Canada, and it was exciting to be a part of what is happening up there.
We started the trip by talking at a school of ministry on Thursday morning, where the interns I was traveling with shared with the room before calling the four of us second year students up to prophesy over some of the students. During the whole service, I had been feeling like God wanted me to sing a prophetic song over a lady! I had never done anything like that before, and the thought of singing down a microphone in front of a room full of people was not exactly something that excited me. But, as I stood at the front, I kept hearing words of a song God was putting into my mind to sing over the unsuspecting lady. I knew I had to sing, it was one of those moments where you know God is talking to you, and you know you have to be obedient to what He says. So, this time, I obeyed…
It was incredible to speak to the woman afterwards and hear how the words in the song I had sung to her meant so much to what she was going through in her own life. On a personal level, it meant so much to me, as I have always remembered what a primary teacher once said to me about my singing voice and how bad she thought it was. It’s funny how things you pick up when you are young can stick to you and have such an effect on you through life, whether positive or negative. Thursday was a day of breakthrough not only for the lady, but also for me, as I pushed past the fear of singing in public and took a step out in faith. God is faithful to us, when we step out, He doesn’t leave us on our own, He is with us every step of the way.
It’s interesting as the night before I sang, I woke up with a real sense of an evil spirit in the room with me, holding me down in my bed. After rebuking it, I fell back asleep, but awoke in the morning with a sense of anticipation for what the day held. The devil only bothers us if he is trying to prevent us from moving out into what God has for us. So, I began to get excited about what God was going to do in me and through me that day. My God is bigger then any threats or attacks from the devil. When we are hit with fear or doubt, it’s usually because there is breakthrough on the other side of that fear if we would just push through and deny the devil a victory.
The trip was also full of many incredible healings, from eye sight being restored to a 75 year old man’s leg growing out to the same length as his other one. For 60 years, he had been walking with a limp before God grew his leg out right in front of the church. God is just really good at His job. God is healer, it is always His will to heal those who come to Him.
I returned home yesterday full of renewed passion and love for God, full of hope for healing within my own life, and full of hope for the lives that are continuing to be touched by the awesome presence of God.
Stay classy, Canada.
Family is important to me. Family is important to God. He is in the business of bringing restoration and life to families and relationships. Jesus said in Matthew 12:50 “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Paul talks about how, when we accept Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family, and made heirs and co-heirs with Christ. As followers of Jesus, we are given the same power and authority as Him since we are brought into the family business! But just what does the family business look like?
Jesus tells us to preach the Good News, to heal the sick and to advance the Kingdom of heaven here on earth. Last weekend I had the opportunity of praying for a lady who had back pain and sore knees. She had the back pain for 13 years, and the knee pain was a result of an operation that went wrong several years ago. As we began to pray for her back, she felt the pain decrease. She then began to bend forward, and could almost touch her feet! We prayed again for her back, and she then felt all the pain leave her body, and had complete freedom of movement. She then moved her knees and realized that it no longer hurt when she moved them in certain ways. Her knee pain had completely gone, and we hadn’t even prayed for them. I guess God is just good at His job. God is the ultimate healer, He could have healed her back without us praying, but instead chose to co-labour with us.
So, family business looks like healing the sick. It also looks like showing love to the people we see everyday. Last Friday night we were driving through a car park and saw a man smoking a cigarette standing by himself. We decided to go talk to him. At first, he was reluctant to talk to us, claiming he didn’t need any help from any Christians. We began to turn away when he had a sudden change of heart and started a conversation with us.
As we were talking with him, I felt God telling me that the man had pain on his right shoulder. So, I asked the man if this was true. Turned out he did have pain there, and was struggling to understand how I could have known that. “Because God loves you and wants to heal that pain right now.” I replied to him. We prayed, he got healed. We ended up speaking with him for 45 minutes. A tough guy with a checkered history, broke down as he couldn’t believe that a group of 3 people on a cold Friday night would stop to talk to him and listen to his stories. Not only did this man receive physical healing to his body, but he felt the tangible presence of God resting upon him. Love looks like something. It looks like stopping for the one and standing in the cold.
This weekend I have the opportunity of going to Oregon to reach more people who need to hear the Good News, receive healing in their bodies and feel the tangible presence of God. I had someone question me today if I had ever seen God, of course I have. I see Him on a daily basis, from the creation around me to the beauty in a person’s eyes when I’m talking to them.