Theology that justifies unbelief

The scariest thing for me right now is Christians who come up with a theology that tells me that the Gospel of Jesus is left without power. It was in times of the apostles and Jesus, but now God doesn’t do it. Are we carrying a different Holy Spirit from the apostles?

If you assign ten new believers the task of studying the Bible to find God’s heart for this generation, not one of them would conclude that spiritual gifts are not for today. That is something you have to be taught.

What is scary about it is that we justify it. If we are able to come up with the justification for unbelief it’s okay not to believe because right now I have a reason (even though the reason is not biblical). Most of it comes from hurt & fear, not a revelation or the Word. The Gospel without demonstration of its power is half-gospel.

‘Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them. They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.’

Romans 15:18-19

Paul says he fully preached the gospel by the power of miraculous signs and wonders. We can’t preach the full gospel without demonstration of it’s power. Jesus didn’t just preach, he also healed. If we take the healing out of the equation we are left with a powerless church and powerless disciples. If the devil can’t separate you from Jesus he will do everything he can to make you ineffective. Let’s not justify unbelief.

Resource: if you tended toward the belief that the miraculous, including various spiritual gifts, ceased early in Christian history, here is a great resource. It’s a PhD decertation that addresses this issue.

https://www.amazon.com/Cessation-Charismata-Protestant-Post-biblical-Monograph-ebook/dp/B006VXOLP0/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531229387&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=ceccesionalism+of+the+charismata

Max Bieliaiev

Something that costs me nothing

It was one of those days.
Not the kind where you are floating on Cloud 9, with sunshine and rainbows overhead.
It was the kind of day where you want to go into a room where no one else can see you and scream your guts out. The day where it feels like God must be mad at you, because everything seems to be going wrong.
It was my day off, just the kids and I. A spontaneous idea visited me: what a great day to take the kids to the pool.
Or so I thought.
It seemed so easy. All I had to do was get them ready, gather our stuff, and get them in the car. No big deal.
Well, no big deal mutated into a great ordeal.
I imagined in my head that we would be out the door by 3:30 pm and arrive at 4 pm— a thought that must’ve made the universe laugh because here I was…
It was 5:30 pm and we still weren’t at the pool, in the water, having the fun I imagined.
Earlier, I thought we had everything we needed but some of our swim items were in my wife’s car, inaccessible. No big deal. I adapted and got the kids ready. Throwing on my athletic shorts instead of swim trunks, we headed to the car.
After more than an hour of getting ready, we arrived at the pool: the kids got changed but the thunder roared. The pool was closed for 30 minutes. No big deal. I adapted and brought the kids outside. We waited.
My new plan: Stephanie, my beautiful wife, was going to meet us for dinner. I’d strap the kids in the car, drive to dinner, and we’d come back to have our fun.
Then the drama unfolded in less than 15 minutes. It went something like this:
– I can’t find my car keys, anywhere. My wife needs to bring a spare.
– The pool is locked up and I can’t go get them.
– My kids are whining and upset about not going to the pool.
– My son runs and falls on the concrete, bruises his nose, and busts his knee. He’s wailing.
– He wants daddy to hold him, while my hands are full of pool items.
– I pick him up to comfort him and he pees all over me.
I’m standing there on the grass, shirtless, with two crying kids, two big bags of stuff, I’m locked out of my car, and I don’t even know if we’re going to be able to go to the pool.
Now it was a big deal. Why are you doing this to me God? I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I had hit so many walls, it was like everything was against me. I just wanted to have a good day, but this sucked. I felt like God was mad at me or something.
I just wanted to cry.
This was a hard moment. I wanted to scream. I had lost my peace.
Can you relate? Have you ever felt the pain, the hardship of “life” and just wanted to throw in the towel? (Mine was a beach towel). It’s a tough spot to be in.
Reality can be that way. The flames get intense and the heat of the moment is tough to handle. It’s like the settings are on MAX.
Life is like a refining fire.
“Gold and silver are tested by fire, and a person’s heart is tested by the LORD.” -Proverbs 17:3 (GNT)
Here is a description to note:
“A refiner uses a fire to heat metal to a molten state; then he skims off the dross [scum formed on the surface] that floats to the top. The refiner’s fire is, of course, maintained at an extremely high temperature.1”
Extremely high temperatures. Goodness gracious. That’s intense!
This was a common practice several thousand years ago (you can still find it today)—all of the scum, impurity, and waste are taken out of metal to purify it (bring out the good stuff) to a state of higher beauty.
You are the gold. Life is the fire. But did you catch the first sentence on this line?
You are something that cost you nothing.
Before you even drew breath, and the air of the world around you went into your lungs, you were made precious. The prequel to your story, the pre-header to your life’s work, was written before you took one action.
“God had a dream and wrapped your body around it.” -Lou Engle
You began as a dream on God’s heart. Your creation was the fulfillment of that dream. You were made precious to God.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
It is inherent, found within you.
It IS you. Nothing can take it away.
Not your mistakes. Not your past. Not your labels. Not what others call you. You are gold.
It’s what defines you.
It was all handed to you, before you even did anything to deserve it (or not deserve it). And you can’t take it away. You can’t mess it up or fail it away. You will always be you. Gold.
It cost you NOTHING. You are something just because the Father dreamed of you in His love. You are a gift to Him, an offering that brings Him joy. When you get this, it shifts your entire perspective. And it is required to move into the destiny God set forth for you.
The man who knew he was something.
There was dude who knew this. He knew he was gold to God, even when he had a “loser” job tending sheep. He knew who God was and who God said he was.
He was a chosen one. A champion.
His name was David: He defeated lions, bears, and a giant with a sling made of animal hair.2
He conquered armies and rose to greatness as a celebrated king.
He had it all. And it was thanks to his God who loved him:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?” -David, Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
He got it and he was “the man” because of it. He was loved by the people, his army knew no rival, and he had great riches. He was a powerful man.
But in his greatness, he forgot who made him that way.
Picture this: you’re 67 years old, super rich, incomparably famous, you’ve dominated your enemies, and you’ve got more than you know what to do with.
You are on top of the world.
It may go to your head a bit if you’re not careful, and that’s what happens to David.3
One day he decides to “count his fighting men” (2 Samuel 24:2). He thinks he’s awesome and wants to confirm his “awesome-ness.”
He’s become a little confident in his own ability. Is this a good idea? His men don’t think so, but he goes through with it anyway. He gets himself in trouble and violates what God has asked of him.
He forgets who he is. Rather, he forgets WHOSE he is. And it brings consequences.
It costs him.
And when those consequences bring victims (his people), he finally finds himself asking for mercy.
Facedown on the threshing floor.
“I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong.” -David, 2 Samuel 24:17 (NIV)
It hits him: he’s messed up. What have I done? What am I going to do now?
He looks to God and the angel of the Lord stops. Where?
At a threshing floor.
A whole book could be written of the depth of this symbolism, but for our purposes, a simple description will suffice:
“In biblical days there was no machinery, so after the harvest, the grain was separated from the straw and husks by beating it manually. First there had to be a flat surface that was smooth and hard, and this was known as the threshing floor. The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them, loosening the edible part of cereal grain (or other crop) from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it…”4
So, to sum it up, when a farmer grew grain, he would lay it on the threshing floor and let horses, oxen, or bulls trample the crud out of it. Why? To make room for the ‘good stuff.’ To do that, the waste (chaff) had to be trampled out.
I can hear the message loud and clear: Get on the threshing floor.
Sounds similar to the gold and the furnace, doesn’t it? Surrender to the fire.
David hears it and he proceeds to make an altar right there. Next, the plot twist that follows blows my mind.
The guy who owns the threshing floor offers David everything he needs for the sacrifice: the floor, the animals, the supplies—it’s handed right to him, because he is a VIP.
Awesome! He’s got everything he needs to proceed. Nevertheless, David has something else in mind:
“No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” -2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)
I will not give my God something that costs me nothing. Those are haunting, challenging words.
So, he gets facedown on the threshing floor and offers himself to God.
The depth of my worship is determined by how much I will surrender to the fire.
“I need to take the pain of loss, confusion and disappointment and hold them really close to my heart and in that context, give God praise. In heaven, I won’t have any confusion, pain, loss, disappointment, the only opportunity that I have in all of my existence to give Him an offering that costs me is now.” -Bill Johnson [paraphrased with grammatical errors fixed by me]
Life is costly.
Its fires will shape you into the son or daughter you’re meant to be. In spite of this, it is painful. It will cost you.
But you matter to God. And your heart is the gateway to experiencing everything He has for you. True worship begins with the heart.
Consider these words:
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORDlooks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 17:7 NIV)
“These people come near to me with their mouth
   and honor me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me. “(Isaiah 29:13 NIV)
Everything you do begins with your heart, even your worship.
shallow living = shallow worship
For almost twenty years of my life, I thought I was garbage, not gold. Shame was my inner voice.
It kept me from experiencing all God had to offer me. I was in hiding, keeping myself in the dark, so no one could see the real me.
Meanwhile, I was studying at Liberty University to receive a B.S. in Worship and Music Studies: Worship Leadership.
However, my life was mostly “B.S.” as I hid my shame and ran to pornography. The man on stage was not the same man in his dorm room. I was a hypocrite.
My relationships were shallow; my life was shallow; and my worship was shallow.
It cost me. Years of missing out on so much life had to offer. That God had to offer. What a waste.
Yet, the man who he thought he was garbage was still gold to God.
Almost 10 years later, I stopped hiding, and I came to the end of myself. I put myself on the threshing floor.
I stepped into the fire.
I faced the pain, the shame, and came out on the other side.
“The gates of your greatest breakthrough are formed from your greatest struggles.” -Bill Johnson
Stepping into the fire opened up the door for me to truly embrace myself, as precious. As worth it. The shame was silenced.
I began to believe in myself, to believe God.
Now, my worship is more real than it has ever been. Deeper than I could’ve ever dreamed. I can sing the songs I’ve been singing my whole life with real experience. I’m closer to Jesus than I’ve ever been—He’s real to me.
I want to give Him everything.
It is in the place of greatest sacrifice that God chose to make His home. It is the place most precious to Him.
The threshing floor David used would make the ground where the Temple is built by his son. The place God chose to house His glory, the sign of His favor and blessing.
Yet, there’s someone else who understands the beauty of sacrifice:
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” -Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV)
In the garden of Gesthemene, Jesus pushed through all of the pain, He stuck with those who let Him down, and He said “not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42-44).
He surrendered everything to the fire; He sacrificed His Body and His blood.
And now, it is in body and blood that He decided to make His home, a people of His own, for all eternity.
You are something that cost Him everything.
The place of greatest sacrifice becomes the biggest door for the favor of God and His kingdom to come into your life.
It begins when you believe in Him but it continues the rest of your days.
How much will you surrender to the fire?
You are gold. Something that cost you nothing.
You are precious. You cost Him everything.
Life is a fire and you are the offering. Will you offer Him something that costs you nothing?
The gift of yourself is enough for Him. Still, give Him a gift that He is worthy of.
Something that costs you. I’ll leave you with a quote:
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. -Erma Bombeck
– Justin
1https://www.gotquestions.org/refiners-fire.html
2Check out the sling here: christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-slingsforkids.html
3You can read the whole story in 2 Samuel 24 and its parallel passage 1 Chronicles 21.
4www.gotquestions.org/threshing-floor.html

Building Trust

I recently graduated from college. Yep, I officially reached that point in life where you receive that four-year degree and realize two things: 1) “Thank the Lord that I do not have to write another essay EVER. AGAIN” and 2) “Oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do next???” Now, my next step will be working as a teacher, but that’s not what I mean. Let me explain.

When I moved my tassel from right to left on graduation day, I felt overwhelming relief and joy. I had successfully completed four years of schooling to achieve something amazing that the Lord had called me to do. And as I turned to wave emphatically at my parents, I knew without a doubt that I had made the right choice: to trust the Lord with my life.

You see, my four college years were pretty incredible. I learned how to become fascinated with the process of constantly discovering and came to understand the value of always growing. But it was far from easy. In fact, completing college was the most difficult learning period I have experienced to date, and those years certainly did not come without a number of tearful nights where I lay awake questioning what I was doing and fearful that I was on the wrong path. Yet one thing I knew for certain, that I could trust the Lord, always.

Though it was weak in the beginning, my trust in my Abba (Father) grew tremendously over these past four years. Looking back now, I can see how He used those years to build in me a firm foundation of trust that will hold me up in my life ahead. College was the ultimate training for me, and I came out strong! Now, as I look at that second realization, I realize that whatever training the Lord has for me next, whatever challenge I need to face, whatever season I’ll endure, I know for sure that I can trust my Abba to be faithful to me through it all.

Okay, now you might be thinking, “That’s great Rebecca, I’m glad college was magical for you and you trust the Lord now, but what about me? I know I’m not that magical…” Well, my friend, here’s the big reveal: I’m not magical either (Sorry if that’s a disappointment). Those years were not just like the magical portal from the Lego Movie where I fell in as a ugly, yellow Lego Figure and came out the other side a confident and very much alive Lego Figure. If only it were that simple, but it’s not. The training I went through involved a lot of prayer, earnest seeking of the Lord, and constantly seeking the truth in His Word.

In short, learning to trust God isn’t easy (Again, sorry for the disappointment). I wish I could tell you that it was, but I’m an honest person. What I can tell you is that it is one of the most rewarding processes you can ever experience. Saying ‘yes’ to God, committing yourself to seeking Him in all things, and reminding yourself of His faithfulness in keeping His promises to you will lead you into the deepest trust that will always sustain you.

Saying ‘Yes’

This is the first step. No matter what you’re going through, you can certainly choose to say “Yes, God, I want to let You lead me through this.” “Yes, God, I choose to believe that You are in control.” “Yes, God, I need you to help me move forward.” It’s just that simple. If you know in your heart that you need to give God your situation and say “Yes, God, I want to trust you,” then please, don’t wait. Take some quiet time to pray and tell God that you want to trust Him. Put on some worship music, and just tell Him straight up what’s on your mind. He really wants to hear you and listen to your words. There are also numerous Psalms about crying out to God for help and declaring a ‘yes’ to trusting in Him (Read Psalms 3, 18, 25, 41, 42, to start).

Commitment to Seeking

This is the biggest step. It requires the most action and is probably the longest step time-wise. But, this is where the real training happens (or you could call it ‘God’s magical Lego-to-Alive’ portal, take your pick). Once you’ve said ‘yes,’ you need to act on it by reading the Bible on a regular basis, praying just as much, and working to learn more about what God is teaching you through this situation/season. I know it sounds like a lot, but it really is necessary and will produce tremendous growth in you as a believer in Christ. Because this can look very different from person to person, I would highly recommend taking some time to evaluate your daily schedule and decide on how you are going to seek God first within your day. This can be as simple as committing a specific time slot each day to reading the Word, praying, and maybe doing research on topics the Lord has put on your heart. If you feel lead to do so, you can also commit to a specific fast that may allow you to focus on the Lord more. I have many times committed to specific fasts or adjusted my schedule in order to reflect my focus on the Lord and challenge myself to actively seek the Lord according to my season.

This is a great way to build your relationship with God and nurture a deep trust and reliance on Him who will always be your strength. During this step, I would also encourage you not be afraid to ask God questions and take time to listen and seek the answers from Him. Again, He loves listening to us and is very willing to answer His children!

Reminders of Faithfulness

Finally, always remember what the Lord has done in the past, either for you, for your loved ones, for people in your church, or for people in the Bible. Again, this is another choice you must make: to remember daily that God’s faithfulness is constant. Focusing your thoughts on examples of God’s faithfulness in helping those whom He loves will strengthen your trust in His faithfulness to you. There are so many examples of the faithfulness of God in the Bible (not to mention the many Psalms that also declare it): God working in the life of Joseph to provide for the Israelites (Genesis 17-50) is a very detailed example. The book of Acts also details how involved God was in nurturing the growth of the early church and sustaining the apostles as they spread the Gospel.

 

In all things, always turn to the Lord. He is our strength and our peace, and as you grow in your relationship with Him and seek to trust Him more, you too will come to be filled with such confidence in what is next in your life, even if you don’t know what that is yet. If there is one thing I want you to take away from this, it is that the Lord will never give up on you. He loves you so much and delights in doing life together with you. Let Him in to nurture your heart and your faith, and you will find such amazing joy.

 

In love,

Rebecca

All things are possible to those who believe

Have you ever been hungry for more? Maybe you’re like me and have known the Lord for a while or maybe you’re a new born-again Christian; but we can all agree that deep down in our heart we all have the ache to see God working supernaturally in our lives. I have never met a person in my life that would say “I’m okay with an average God”. Because nobody thinks that.

Everything about God is supernatural. At the end of the day, God is spirit. You can’t measure spirit, you can’t take it to a lab and do chemistry experiments on it. We can’t see him,  nor can we smell him. His word is invisible for us. His angels are not tangible. His laws are not like the law of gravity that can be put into a formula. Everything about Him and our faith is supernatural. Supernatural, simply put means beyond the natural. Have you thought about the fact that you live in the word where there is something beyond the natural?

Jesus lived a life that was beyond the natural

Bill Johnson says that Jesus is perfect theology, meaning that all the fullness of God was revealed in Jesus.

‘And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [the Father] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power ‘

Hebrews 1:3

He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 14:9

We don’t need to wonder anymore thinking about what God’s will is, what he thinks about sickness, what he thinks about those who follow him, what he thinks about those who don’t know him. Look at Jesus’ life. He is exact representation of the Father and his nature. How many sicknesses did Jesus bless? Did he use any to bring someone closer to him? How many people did He refuse to heal? How many storms did Jesus bless? What did he do to the outcasts and sinners? How did he lead the disciples? We don’t need to wonder, everything is revealed in Jesus.

That said, let’s take a look at Jesus life and ministry and maybe learn something. As I’m reading the Bible I see that the center of his ministry was bringing healing or deliverance to people. You can’t read a chapter in Mark where he doesn’t heal someone. I don’t think you can find a chapter in the Gospels where nothing supernatural happens. Go ahead and try. I don’t think you will be able to, because our God is a beyond the natural God.

Jesus expects us to live a beyond natural life

Next, what does he teach his disciples? (you realize that you and I are His disciples, right?). We remember when Jesus sent out his disciples by two into their hometowns to heal the sick, cast out demons & raise the dead. We talk about it a lot so, for variety, let’s take another story,

‘When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. And He asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!”

Let’s stop right here. Jesus literally gets upset because disciples didn’t heal the boy. Do you see it? We as his disciples are to do what he did. That’s the whole point of following. They had walked with Jesus, had seen him heal the blind eyes, deaf ears, cast out demons, even raise the dead, and now when somebody brings them a boy, they are without their master and all hopes fall on them. The dad has heard about their master and seeing his disciples rejoices because now his son will be delivered. That’s what he expects (by the way, nothing changed since then, the world still expects it from us). But they can’t heal the boy ( I think it’s because of fear. The boy manifested a lot of scary stuff and fear tends to disable faith) and here Jesus comes back and gets upset that disciples didn’t do it and eventually he heals the boy himself. What’s the point? Jesus expects us to do what he did & the world expects us to do what He did. The only people who haven’t realized it yet are his disciples.

The story continues,

They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, ” ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” ‘

Mark 9:14-23

I think Jesus is funny. He literally surprised that the man asked “If you can?”. “Can’t” is not even in his way of thinking. Then he makes a statement that is a door which enables us to see every impossibility bow down to the name of Jesus, he says “All things are possible to him who believes.”

Faith removes limits. Jesus was the one who walked on water, took a coin out of a fish’s mouth, multiplied food, healed & delivered. He did it not to show off, but to invite us into the life of what’s possible. The key? Believe.

What does it mean for us?

It means that our God is cool and he wants to do crazy stuff through us. I bet the disciples had a fun 3 years with Jesus and then many more without him. Everybody wants to believe but the question is always “how?”. Well, let me tell you the truth, you have faith inside of you. That’s why you are called a believer. But sometimes fear takes our attention away and our faith is reduced to the natural again. Paying attention to the faith that is already inside of you and taking a risk in public will be the key to see the impossible. When something doesn’t work out, pull Jesus to the side and ask what went wrong. That is what disciples did after Jesus delivered the boy. Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer”. When they couldn’t help the boy, they pulled Jesus to the side and asked what went wrong. What a principle!

Don’t ever be afraid! It’s an amazing journey! God will meet you where you are. Deep down your heart is full of hunger, curiosity and the desire for an adventure. It makes sense, because you were born with the hunger to live beyond the natural. It’s not only fulfilled because it’s part of your identity, but also because it glorifies the Father. Pray and ask the Father to take you on this journey.

Max Bieliaiev

A Secret Place

What do you think of when you hear the word evangelism?

Do you think more about the person you’ll be sharing the gospel with or yourself?
Sometimes we focus too much on the person we’re reaching, rather than the state of our spirit.

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:6

Shutting your door, meaning to turn on off your mind. When we enter into this secret, sacred place, it becomes impossible to doubt God.

Jesus did not tell us to think or wish we had more time to spend time with the Father, He said to pray to your Father who is in the secret place. Just do it. All the time. He will reward you openly – He will give you access to Kingdom authority when you’re walking in the world, as a natural result of the secret place. You’ll reap your harvest.

When we integrate going to the secret place into our lifestyle, we become more sure of God than anything else. Because everything you do in that secret place will become an open lifestyle of the spirit pouring out of you. And that is a direct path to evangelism…the way Jesus did it.

It starts with you.

In Matthew 14, Jesus finds himself in the secret place, going to the Father and gaining authority, wisdom and comfort from the Father’s spirit, into His.

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”

Just like you put gasoline into a car to make it drive, we need the Father’s heart poured into ours.

Our outward self becomes more like Jesus, because our inward self spent time with the Father in truth. As we commune with God, His spirit begins to merge into ours as one.

This seems like the perfect evangelism.

Communing with God and your time with Him is so important.
It’s important to pray for revival, and to pray people into the Kingdom, but in the secret place…communing with God is the sweetest thing. There is no formula in the kingdom, but if someone were to tell you how to make this happen, just love and desire Jesus with all your soul. That will drive everything else.

Connecting with Jesus and His spirit is when you enter into the realm of which He operates in. You begin to see like Him, understand like Him and think like Him.

And THAT is where you can just be like Him by default!

Those doubts that come when you feel like the Lord may be speaking to you, but it may just be your mind, suddenly turns into knowing His voice like the back of your hand. The supernatural becomes your natural, because it’s God’s natural.

And that is what I call evangelism. No more intimidation or awkwardness. It becomes a natural reality flowing out of you.

I encourage you to quiet your mind and spend 30 minutes in the presence of the Lord every day for the next 21 days. You don’t need to pray about anything specific. Just receive the words, feelings and love from our Father. Journal down your thoughts and His voice, and see what a difference sharing His love makes in your life.

Galatians 5:16-18

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

It’s all about Jesus.

-Katie

Jewel’s Testimony

“No I’m not 100% cured, but whenever I look to God I am.”

When asked to write how I came to jesus, it’s so hard to narrow it down because there is so much to say. I’ve spent my whole life with depression so it feels. I remember wanting to die in elementary school. I never lost that feeling. It was a demon that stayed.

In high school I resorted to self harm. While resorting to harming myself I hurt several others, disregarding their emotions because there was no way these people could like someone as messed up as me anyways. I gave into almost every temptation from that point on. I was trying everything to feel something besides that sadness and pain I felt every day. Now adding to this pain is guilt. I felt overwhelmed by emotions that even getting up in the morning is impossible. It was no phase. I’m on all the meds. Sleeping problems to anxiety attacks. Nothing seemed to go my way.

So I ran away from it all. I went to see my aunt and her husband, who I knew were close to God. I was slightly scared. My demons almost kept me back. I got there and I wasn’t even there long before two girls from a local church called L3 came to by. They took me with them to their church where everyone was extremely kind and good hearted. They generally cared. The service on Sunday was even more powerful because I saw in everyone there that jesus has personally touched everyone’s lives. Everyone glowed with holly spirit. I didn’t understand how everyone was so happy without a drug.

At the end of service, I started crying. I didn’t know how to fix myself so I could be happy. I stated this to the girl next to me and she said “well you dont have to fix yourself, only God can.”

That sent my head spinning. How can I just give it all to God and be fixed? It was all so confusing so one night in my aunts basement I just got on my knees and prayed to God to let me be in his kingdom with everyone else who’s in it. “God, let my happiness be you and nothing else. Be my light.”

The next day I woke up happy! An emotion I didn’t feel. For once there were no voices. Or evil thoughts nor images. I myself glowed with the holy spirit.

From that day forward God was my best friend. No I’m not 100% cured, but whenever I look to God I am. I still battle with demons but God has shown me his strength over them. When I turn to him, he answers in his own way and I know I never would of made it this far if he wasn’t the one looking out for me.

Dreamers

I have always been a dreamer. I have always gone after the bigger picture, wanted more, or did the impossible. I believe dreams play a huge part in where you’re heading in life. If you’re not chasing your dream, where are you going? They’re meant to be chased.

So, there can be two different understanding of dreams – dreams when you take control of your mind (imagination or thought), and dreams when you do not have control of your mind (in sleep).  

I remember being in elementary school dreaming about what I wanted to be when I grow up, or dreaming about how much bubble tea I’ll drink in my lifetime. (lol).

I took control of where my mind went, like when I went into la la land during my ballet recital and fell over during my dance…yeah. That was all me.

But there is a whole other side to dreaming when your mind is not taking control, so what is?

Every human on this earth has a spirit inside of them, it is unseen, but there. Why can’t we see it?
There are two very obvious realms that we can operate in – spiritual and earthly. The spiritual realm is unseen, operated by good and evil…powerful good and evil. God and angel armies are fighting for you, powerfully every day. Satan and demons are also fighting for you, powerfully every day.

The earthly realm, also known as the flesh or physical realm, is plain and simple, it’s what is physical around you. Unfortunately, people only walk in the flesh and are completely unaware of the spiritual. Why? I believe it comes down to fear. The most repeated command in scripture is “do not fear.” That is God saying, “There is nothing scary out there, so do not be scared.” This command is often followed by an action God takes when you erase fear from your being.

  • “Do not be afraid of them, the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
  • “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13)
  • “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” (Joshua 10:8)

Being involved with spirits can be weird and feel unnatural, but the reality of it is our natural. To walk by spirit is the exact nature God created us by, and to live in. In Psalm 107, it says, “He satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things.” The only one who can truly satisfy our souls is the one who created it. We’re meant to walk in it.

So, when it comes to dreaming, thinking, wanting, or understanding, our fleshly minds can only go so far. We only have a certain amount of storage our mind can surpass. But what if we thought how God thinks, or understood how God understands? Impossible. That is impossible for our earthly minds to even comprehend. But when we are in the realm of the spirit, losing the control we want, and letting God take control – we go there. We think how God thinks and we understand how God understands. What a powerful way of living! The one who created the billions of galaxies, is merging His mind and heart into mine.

Ramadan started May 17, God had been putting the community of Muslims in my area on my heart. He was showing me His heart for them, and encouraging my spirit to pray about it. I didn’t know how to pray for this,  so I asked Him to show me. (Ephes. 6:18: Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.) So three weeks into Ramadan, I was fasting and praying daily. Into week 3, I spent a significant time in prayer before I went to sleep one night. I was praying in the spirit, and asking God to reveal something in my sleep that I couldn’t see in the earthly realm. I felt like there was something God wanted to show me, but I couldn’t bring myself to the place of receiving it. So why not have it revealed when my mind is at a loss of control?  Spiritual forces are always working – “God, what is happening in this area, show me.”

And sure enough He showed up. This is what I had dreamt that night:

Me and my friends (Powerhouse ministry, some of which had been joining me in prayer for Muslims), walked up to a mosque and were ready to share the gospel with them inside. Me and a good friend of mine walked in first, and Muslim authorities in that Mosque immediately grabbed me and tied me up. They started screaming at me in a different language, and chopped off my hair. I was struck with unimaginable fear. I was shaking, and could not control myself. All 10+ of my friends seemed to not even notice I was being tormented, they were laughing and having the time of their lives. Within a second of being clothed with fear, a huge boulder descended from the ceiling and plopped right next to me. I immediately knew it was God. He was bigger and mightier than I could ever imagine. I mean, my God. Within that second of Him being right next to me, I started laughing too, nothing could stop my joy. It was a legitimate switch of emotions . Fearful to extreme confidence and joy. Needless to say I was getting persecuted, no big deal. But literally, no big deal. God was right there, if He is for me nobody could be against me. I cannot begin to describe the peace I had. Everyone of the Muslim faith was totally oblivious to God being right there in front of our eyes.

They continued screaming and yelling in my face, then began to chop of my fingers with a knife. They past the bone, but there was still a hair of skin left connecting my fingers to my hand still. All 10 of my fingers were hanging by a thread. They started getting frustrated because it made no sense that their huge knife could cut through my bone but not a thin piece of skin. Ha. Since they had no luck, one of them said “let’s just get this over with.” And he tried to cut off my wrists to take care of my fingers. But the same thing – no luck. My wrists were hanging by a thread. But when I looked inside my wrist, I did not see liquid substance, bones or blood. My body was filled with this rock solid, fiery, orange substance that was flaming out at them. They didn’t know what to think! Then, they started the same process over with my friend who walked in with me from the beginning, and the same results for her – no luck.

So I woke up the next morning, and I was SO happy. Thank you Jesus for showing me what I had asked you for! Now, it was time to figure out what all of this meant.

So, I wrote down every part, and asked Him what the significance was. And wow, thinking and understanding on God’s level, I 10/10 recommend! This is what he showed me:

Earthly: I have voluntarily been praying and interceding for Muslims to be spiritually awakened to truth during this season of Ramadan.

Spiritually: I had voluntarily walked up to that Mosque planning to share the gospel.

Earthly:  Prayer and fasting can be emotionally and physically exhausting. At times I felt my strength was weakening, or spiritual warfare would kick in, that sometimes lead me to wonder if this was all worth it.

Spiritually: They grabbed me, tied me up and cut off my hair. In the Bible, there is a man named Samson, who was known for his hair. His hair represented strength, he was able to lift, move and carry impossible things for man. But God gave him his hair as strength. The Muslims in the Mosque were cutting off my hair, as the devil was trying to cut me off of my strength, because He knows this strength is like no other, and it works. Every single time.

Earthly: My friends were watching me laughing dancing, and living in fullness of joy. But I was petrified. All of a sudden God came down like a boulder. He showed me who’s boss. I then lost all fear, anxiety and panic.

Spiritually: As soon as I went into the mindset and set my spirit that God was with me, and His power is greater than anything, ever, I lost all fear and doubt. Not only that, but I gained extraordinary power. I then began to live in fullness of joy and confidence because I KNEW my God was right there next to me, just like my friends did. Anything could have happened to me and I wouldn’t have a care in the world!

Earthly: They began to try and cut off my fingers. Fingers are what is used to touch. But they couldn’t follow through with it. It was like something was blocking them.

Spiritually: They were trying to stop every Muslim that was being touched at that time. When you pray, God activates angels, and whatever you ask in His name, will be done. God has been touching Muslims during their prayer time, He has been showing and convincing them of truth. They are seeing Jesus for Himself in dreams, and feeling love from the real God.

Earthly: They were not successful with cutting them off. They got frustrated with that, and decided cutting of my wrist would solve the problem, but of course that didn’t work either. Once they slit it open, my insides had a sold, fiery, orange substance.  

Spiritually: Obviously they were not successful because the power of God is too strong for them to have their way. My fingers are mine for God to use to touch the lives of others, and God’s power is His and His alone. The orange substance in me was the Holy Spirit. But the interesting thing God said when I asked about this, was, “It’s not just the Holy Spirit in you, it’s who you are. Nothing can shake it.” Come on, God! Nothing can shake me.

And nothing will shake God, not even fake ones.

What can you take from this?

The power of walking in the spirit is so huge. There’s no time for walking in flesh. The spirit in you is what heals the sick, moves mountains, and shares the gospel through actions. The Holy Spirit is what teaches and shows you what is happening in the spiritual realm and prepares for you victory – always victory.

I challenge you to let go of your control and to let God.

As there Ramadan ends tomorrow, be praying HARD for these people. I believe God showed me this dream because He has a plan, and He will move when vessels are listening and willing. Let’s be those vessels.

Let’s live on earth as it is in Heaven,

Katie