Oct 22, 2010
Oct 20, 2010
I said, sure I will be there soon. On reaching their house, I sensed the commotion. The parents told me that their son might get angry if he came to know they had called me to help him out. They were not believers. I asked them what their son was good at or was fond of. They told me that he was very good with the computer.
With much prayer, I knocked at his door and kept knocking and calling out his name. After persistent knocking and calling, the door finally creaked open. The young man, Rahul, looked at me warily. I told him that I was working for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and was very interested in learning about computers. He looked at me, rather strangely. I told him that I had heard he was quite gifted in computers and I needed his help. At first he said, I am not free. I told him that I could come another day but then I really needed his help. I reminded him that to get someone as good as he was quite difficult and therefore my urgency. I explained to him that I have been trying to meet him despite his parents telling me that it was not possible to see him. As soon as he heard me say this, he felt needed and asked me to come another day. I came away praising the Lord!
I know I had to tell a lie to meet with this young man. I had to know first what his interests were and then attempt at encouraging him by appreciating his gifts. There was no other way that I could connect with him. He would definitely not been open to counseling or prayer. So how does one get through?
I met him the next day and saw the amazing work he had done on his computer. I appreciated him very much and he loved it. I saw that he needed appreciation since he felt so rejected. I asked him to teach me and he began to teach me. I really had no interest in computers and was finding it difficult to understand since my mind was not on computers. However, I continued to visit him and learn from him. I just wanted to build friendship with him and wanted somehow to get the message across to him that that I cared about him. During those few days of my visit I never once told him about God and His love or my testimony or anything related to Bible. I just spent time with him. I let him get acquainted with me. I just spoke words of encouragement to him.
I was simply trying to get to know Rahul.
After a few days, in the middle of our conversation, I looked at him and said that he looked very lonely. Hearing me say that brought blobs of tears from his eyes. He was so moved that he asked, “how could you see it?” “Yes, I am very lonely and I have no friend” he explained. I asked if I could be his friend. He wept and said, “yes you can be my friend”
I could see the hand of the Lord. The Lord had worked in his heart and prepared his heart to open and share his loneliness and pain with me. He told me how he had gone through rejection. He went on to share about his deepest hurts and wounds. When he finished speaking I sat in silence, knowing I had no great words to offer. After sharing about his pain, he became quiet. We both sat in silence for few minutes. Then, Rahul began to cry. I sat with him, keeping company in his tears, and still said nothing. After few minutes passed, Rahul said, "I have kept all my pain and hurt deep inside my heart and this is the first time I've cried along with someone. I could never be myself with anyone" And with tears he said, ““You've helped me so much. You touched me so much. Thank you, thank you."
The silence had changed something for him. In my ministry I make it a point to listen to people. There are times I say nothing but inwardly I will be praying for the person. I simply listen to what they have to say and let the Lord speak to them.
I love the words of the author Bonnie Grove, “There are astounding lessons to be learned from the act of listening. I have learned that listening is an act of love. It is not passive; it is intentional, engaging with the heart and mind of another person. To listen you must turn off all outside distractions; say "no" to the world rushing by you. A sacred act of deliberate silence and meaningful pause, listening helps people clear a space in their life, heart, and mind in order to simply "be." Our listening is an important gift. I am learning to make it my first response. Through listening I want to provide the stillness God speaks into.”
The words of Henri Nouwen come as another reminder, “True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully and even dare to be silent with you.”
That's the ministry the Lord has trained me for. To be a listener. Henri Nouwen said, “The Spirit of Jesus in us listens in us to all who come to us with their sufferings and pains.”
A New Friendship
I saw true healing occur when I attentively listened to Rahul and sat in silence with him. I was fully present with him. All I say to a friend in deep pain is, “I AM HERE WITH YOU, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I UNDERSTAND YOU AND YOUR DEEP HURT AND PAIN. I AM HERE PRAYING FOR YOU.”
There began a friendship with him. Rahul was so touched by my love and care for him. I had yet to tell him that this is the love of Christ that accepts, understands, listens, heals and satisfies. I checked what food Rahul is fond of and I used to call him out for lunch and make him happy by whatever he enjoyed. Rahul would call me and ask if he could meet me. Even though I would be far in some area busily ministering to someone, he would insist, “I will come wherever you are. Distance does not matter. I want to see you.” And he would travel far to see me and just BE WITH ME. He was a person who had isolated himself, not seeing anyone but now He began to look forward to seeing me and spending time with me.
In the beginning this young man was not willing to open the door and talk to me and now he loves to spend time with me. How did this happen. It’s HIS LOVE that can penetrate any and every heart. He has the key to all hearts and we need to be available for Him to work through us. Love is very powerful and it will melt every heart." We are to BE His love, GIVE His love, LIVE His love..." like Kathy Troccoli says.
There are many times when we fail to love, when we fail to care about the ones God brings on our way. We tend to be super spiritual, ready to give our advice, impatient, ready to judge and not be people who would listen to the ones who are deeply hurt and wounded. They just want us to be with them. Listening to them. That's what I do and love to do. I hardly speak to the ones in deep pain...I have no explanations.
Henri Nouwen said, “True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully and even dare to be silent with you.”
In one of their books, authors Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli say, 'If the church were a heart, its current failure to love is like a massive heart attack. We, as arteries, get clogged with judgment, hate, pride and gossip. How can His lifeblood flow through us toward each other, let alone into a world so desperate for the love of Christ?'
The Night of Depression
I told him, Rahul, the Lord Jesus loves you. You are precious in His sight. He has carved you in the palm of his hands. He replied, “I am tired and I don't want to live.” I could sense he was at the end of his rope. I tried all I could to encourage him. I told him how deeply I loved him and how dear he is to my heart and asked him not to take this decision of committing suicide. He refused to listen. I kept praying asking God to give me words as I spoke to him and God to touch his heart in a way He alone can. After a long conversation, I saw he was not willing to listen. I told him that he can go ahead with his plan and I will not stop him but I asked if he loves me and he said, “I do”, “You know brother I do love you. You mean so much to me and that’s why I am calling you. I asked him if he could do me a favor before dying. He said, I will.
I told him that I wanted to meet him only once and after I do then he can go ahead with his plan of dying. He said, 'ok'. I told him I would be visiting his house in the early hours of morning and spend just few moments with him, after which he can go ahead. He said,'ok'
Saved From Suicide
I thanked the Lord for this and prayed with much burden and tears for Rahul the rest of the night. Early morning I went to see him and he cried and cried on seeing me. I allowed those tears to flow. I too cried with him. I said nothing. I was just with him and the Spirit of God touched him and brought healing and deliverance. The Lord rescued him from the spirit of death. I asked him what had happened to him at night and why he was talking like that. He shared that he was so down and felt so helpless and hopeless. One thing that he spoke touched me. He said, “you told me brother that you are there for me and you always understand how I feel and to share my heart with you. You will always accept me as I am so I thought before dying, let me call you and share my heart and tell my brother how hopeless I feel and then I will die.”
I was happy and I told him that he can be honest with me and share whatever he felt. I encouraged him, “I will understand and will be there for you. To accept, care, encourage and lift you.”
People are hurting and they have no one to open up and share their hurt. No one they can trust with what they feel and our struggling with. And Satan takes advantage and traps such hurting and depressed people and they lose control and give in to Satan's plans.
We as believers in Christ should be there for others and speak words of encouragement to them in their hour of need.
I believe when we show purity of love, it is hard to resist. I just wanted Rahul to sense and know I cared for him. I was just by his side. And I think my presence with him brought healing and gave him comfort. The Lord touched him and made all things new.
I read these words somewhere, “Sometimes we give our thoughts on salvation and that's good cause we want the person to know about the Savior who alone can make all the difference. But if we don't care about the person’s state of mind and heart and be wise as to what to speak and allow the Lord to work.”
I have seen in my experience with many people that we will get a lot of respect when we really show we care and we really listen. The more we love our brother, the more we will show His mercy.
I loved Rahul and my love for him made me to speak to him for a long time over the phone at midnight. I forgot my sleep. I prayed the rest of the night for him, knowing when I see him in the morning; the Lord would have worked in his heart. We are to have His love and be His love. It’s easy to speak few words of encouragement and then pray over him on the phone and go to sleep, knowing one has done what was required. But it is difficult to be His love cause to be His love; one gets involved, burdened and doesn’t think of sleep, one's comfort but the other person in pain. I wanted to reflect the heart of Jesus to Rahul.
God brings people on my way and I just love on them. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12. I pray that we may live lives full of the love of Jesus.
I love the words of Kathy Troccoli when she says, “We must not settle. We have access to His power. We can continually drink from the river of His love. Why don't we take advantage of this? He will take us to higher and greater places if we would trust Him to do so and make ourselves available to Him.'
Praise God, I could share with Rahul about the One, who loved him so much that He gave Himself for him on the Cross. Rahul accepted the Lord Jesus as his savior and today Rahul is a new creation in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away. Behold all things are new. I led him to a church, where he faithfully fellowships and God has blessed him with a good job and he is happy and joyful in Him.
Oct 18, 2010
Oct 16, 2010
I had a rather profound dream about the kingdom of God last night. I wanted to share it with you.
Then I saw him enter the kingdom of God. He was dressed in a uniform, sitting on a stool at the opening in a wall. The wall separated a prison and the kingdom of God. The opening was a like a gate, without a door. It was about 4 feet wide. Pete was a guard. He got up and walked around in the kingdom which seemed like an endless expanse as far as I could see. He was exploring this new place. He looked for familiar things like what he experienced in the world but found nothing like those experience.
There was no crime or drugs and no police. Everywhere he went he experienced freedom. He could walk anywhere he wanted and there was no fear or guilt. He was never afraid of getting caught doing something wrong – nothing wrong ever happened in the kingdom. All his needs were met and he was filled with peace. He met the Father who had only good things to say about him. The Father provided everything he needed in the kingdom. Pete went back to the stool and sat at the gate. His new position was to tell anyone who asked how they could enter the kingdom. His life was profoundly changed by his experience. Although the daily problems of his life didn’t immediately disappear, Pete began living from the reality he experienced in the kingdom. The freedom and acceptance he found in the kingdom allowed him to live free in the world. He never lived in fear of anything again.
I was also in the dream. In the world I was looking for acceptance and to be understood by others. I sought popularity and wanted people to like me. That was until I entered the kingdom. In the kingdom, I found immediate acceptance. Everyone I met seemed to instantly understand me. Even more amazing was the fact that they all liked me. I had no enemies and there was nobody I didn't get along with. I never argued with anyone. I made friends everywhere I went. When I met the Father, I encountered absolute acceptance and love. He had an endless list of wonderful things to say about me. I was the apple of His eye. Everything I did was perfect in His sight. He could not be more proud of me. This experience profoundly changed how I lived in the world. I no longer went around seeking acceptance from others. I lived from the reality I had experienced in the kingdom and never again wondered if I was good enough.
Another person appeared in the dream. I don't recall who this person was, but they seemed to be another friend, who lived with the fear of never having enough money. Although they had a good job and invested their money wisely, they lived with a nagging fear of poverty. Thoughts about earning and saving money plagued them continually. This person also entered the kingdom of God.
In the kingdom, they traveled from place to place. Money was the last thing anyone worried about. In fact, there were no worries of any kind in the kingdom. Citizens of the kingdom had piles of cash. My friend found that they could easily get as much money as they wanted from any stranger on the street. Nobody hoarded money. No one cared how much they had or how much they gave away. There was abundance for everyone. This experience in the kingdom profoundly changed the way he lived from that time forward. Experiencing the provision of heaven and knowing that God’s economy never lacked resources, gave him a freedom with money he never thought possible. Their fear of poverty instantly vanished. He began living from the reality he experienced in the kingdom and began to give abundantly with gladness.
I hope you're encouraged by this dream. The kingdom of God is within and around you. I hope we will all live from the unseen reality of God's eternal kingdom.
Oct 13, 2010
Often we are asked whether we have ever seen certain very serious illnesses healed, such as Down’s Syndrome (we do know of one). One of the sicknesses we are asked about is ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Back in 1977 our team prayed in Toledo, Ohio, for a woman who has ALS and she was notably improved, although not totally healed, in the two days’ time our teams prayed with her, but, so far as we know, she was not totally healed. (If you wish to see what happened to her, her partial healing is captured on our video “The Healing Ministry in the Church.”)
Well, finally, I met a man who has been healed of ALS. His name is Don Jaeger (from Winter Park, FL), and he was kind enough to write out a description of his healing from which I take the following salient points. During the summer of 1992 he was diagnosed with ALS, which is ordinarily fatal and whose downward progress is steady and irretrievable. (Two of the top experts in central Florida, an EMG specialist and a neurologist, agreed upon the diagnosis.) Then Don went to hear Canon Jim Glennon (author of Your Healing is Within You) and came to believe in Jesus’ healing him of ALS. They prayed for him at his church and he had his first religious experience – a warmness and peace – that convinced him that he would be cured. He continued to seek medical counsel and physical therapy, as well as attending weekly healing services at his church.
During this time, he continued to believe that he was being healed, and, while waiting in a neurologist’s office, he received what he felt was an irrefutable sign that he was healed when he became very warm and a “total encompassing, utter peace came over my body.”
A month later, he asked for a sign that he had been cured and that time would prove it. He was at his physical therapy session, and they asked him to lift some weight with only his lower legs to establish a base-line for further exercises. With his lower leg weakened through muscular atrophy, and with absolutely “no strain, or hanging on the handles, I lifted the maximum weight of 220 pounds. This word flew all over the center.”
Later he went to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the best hospitals in the U.S. specializing in ALS. The doctors there put him through three hours of tests and one said, “The people in Florida may not believe me, but I see over 150 cases of ALS a year and you show no signs of ever having had ALS.” Don then threw away his brace and went snow skiing. “As a reminder of my illness, I still have a weakness and pain in my left leg and right hand.” After his healing he dealt with fear that the ALS would return but “through God’s help I no longer have that fear.” So, praise God, this is the first report I have ever received on the healing of ALS. (Don says he knows of another man who was also healed of ALS.)
Oct 11, 2010
Oct 9, 2010
I shared a few of the crazy dreams I've had about healing people. One of the latest was a dream in which I transported someone from a car accident. My patient had severe crush injuries. Although, I'd never do it in real life, I didn't provide any medical care for this patient. By the time we got to the hospital, all his injuries were healed. I didn't even pray for him. It was the presence of God in the ambulance that healed him.
I know - crazy dream, huh?
The subject of healing dreams led to the subject of healing itself. I told her some of the stories I'd seen of people being healed. That prompted her to tell me about the car accident she was in a few years ago that left her with chronic pain between her shoulder blades, even after physical therapy.
And it was.
We talked the rest of the shift about healing and the things God has been doing in my life. I didn't preach at her or ask her to say the sinner's prayer. I didn't feel the Holy Spirit leading us in that direction. It was a low - key afternoon of simple conversations about everyday life. It just so happens that my everyday life is a little more supernatural than it once was. In getting her healed, I opened the door to the kingdom of God. It's her choice to decide if she's ready to go in. Perhaps she will. Maybe she won't. The Holy Spirit is more than able to guide her if she's ready.
My desire is to see more people healed on the job. That's one of the reasons for writing these stories. It's going to require more of us to leave the safety of the boat and walk out on the water. I hope you'll take a step of faith and heal someone today. If you do, send me an e-mail.
This week I ran into her and asked how she felt. It's been two months since she was healed and the pain has not returned.
Oct 7, 2010
In the dream I was traveling to different locations. My job was to facilitate the closure of prisons. People in the areas I went to had voted to close certain prisons and to let the prisoners go free. My job was to make sure the prisons closed on time without any problems. I was a representative who had been given the authority to close the prisons. I went to many different prisons and helped in the process of of getting them closed.
Near the end of the dream, I went to one prison and asked if it was to be closed. I was told that I had no authority to close that one yet, because the people had not yet voted to close it. This was the end of the dream.
I asked God to help me understand the dream. Here's what I heard:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
(Isaiah 61:1 - See also Luke 4:18)
God has been speaking with me lately about freedom; specifically about our choices and His decision not to overrule them. As an evangelical I was often taught about the sovereignty of God. I've leaned hard on this idea over the years, but I'm finding lately that the more I lean on it, the more it seems to be failing me.
The Old Testament often uses the title "Sovereign Lord." It was brought to my attention that this name was previously translated, "Lord Almighty". I hate long debates about theology, so I'll get to the point: I think many of us (myself included) have a faulty belief about the sovereignty of God. I've been under the impression that God always does whatever He wants, with little or no regard to what humans want. I think this belief is wrong.
I believe God is all powerful; that is to say He has the ability or power to do anything He wants. But I believe He honors the will of man much more than I've been comfortable with.
In my dream about closing prisons, a group of people had not yet voted to close a prison. Their decision was to keep it. And their decision had to be honored. Although God gave me authority as His representative to close some prisons and free the captives, that did not give me authority to overrule the free will of others. And this seems to be the main point God wants me to understand.
I've heard people teach that it's OK to cast demons out of people against their will. In studying the ministry of Jesus, I don't see that lived out. I'm often surprised at how low- key and unobtrusive the Lord was in ministering to people. He often simply asked, "What do you want from me?" In ministering to those oppressed by the enemy, Jesus first inquired, then gave according to what was asked for. He honored the desires and free will of others. Jesus didn't use His authority to violate the free will of those who were in bondage. He delivered those who wanted freedom.
In another recent dream, God spoke to me about having authority over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19) We do without question, have a great deal of authority in Christ. Using it properly seems to be the thing we struggle with. Perhaps the most common problem is not knowing the authority we have or not walking in it. Less common, but still problematic is choosing to wield our authority at a time when restraint might be the better thing.
Thanks for your time.
(Feel free to leave comments)