Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Just when you think God is sleeping, He startles you. That happened to me yesterday. I got up early and drove to Sky Harbor airport to catch a flight to L.A. for the day. I arrove without problems and drove to a meeting with other church leaders to talk about theology. It was a full day of conversation, questions, answers and boredom. I drove back to LAX and flew home, again with no problems. I found myself on the phone the whole way home tidying up loose ends from converstaions during the day. As I drove down a street near my home, I saw my wife driving the other way to her LTG. I longed to hold her. I got home and one of elders, Bud Miller, joined me. He and I were on our way to James K.'s home to meet with his room mate, Chuck, who had been experiencing some demonic things. He had been hearing voices in his head, hearing voices outside, and having some weird experiences with various manifestations. We began by having Chuck tell us his story of life and spiritual experiences. After about an hour or so listening, I began to share with Chuck the truth and message of Jesus Christ. Bud's presence was so needed. Bud and I had talked before we got to James' home and Bud knew his role was to pray and not to stop until we were finished. Our other elder, Joe R. was suppose to join us but became ill and could not do so. He was home praying fervently for the Lord's will and power to be poured out in that home. As I shared the truths of Christ with Chuck, at one point I said, "That is what you need to do.". Immediately, Chuck said, "What do I need to do?" I said, "What I just told you." Chuck got a confused look on his face as if he didn't hear what I said. I asked Chuck, "What did the voice in your head say to you just now?" His reply was, "I heard a word over and over again, 'Whatever!'". And then he added, I also had a sharp pain in my chest that distracted me. At that point, I prayed, asking God to bind any spirits not from Jesus and escort them from the premises. I then retold the story of Christ. There some other evil spiritual expressions that Chuck heard and saw. Chuck told us that he thought that believing in Jesus was evil and that Jesus acted in the power of the Devil. I told him that that lie was very old and took him to Matthew 12:22-29. This passage speaks about the Pharisees accusing Jesus to be casting out demons by the power of the head demon, Beelzebul. Chuck was amazed. By the end of the evening, I asked Chuck if he felt that the Holy Spirit was calling him to choose Jesus over his previous spiritual focus. He was! Chuck then prayed and confessed his sins and asked Jesus into his life. James, Bud and myself all laid hands on Chuck and anointed him with oil. Tonight, we will be baptizing Chuck at church. God is not asleep, no matter what it might feel like. Jesus is alive, risen from the grave because of our justification (Romans 4:25) and rules and reigns foreve more, Amen.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Leadership – “…not so with you! He who wants to be great must be the servant of all.” Mark 10:43 Rising up to lead with authority (like the government authorities, bosses and Pharisees) will make others indignant. Leadership teaches people that they can hear from God and follow Him. This allows for a quicker expansion of the moves of God because they are listening to Him, not waiting for approval from the top (leaders/pastor). Jesus speaks to His people – everyone of them – with authority, purpose and passion. Following Jesus’ leadership means that the results will be creative, different and powerful. Ministries will look different. Jesus is creative – Jesus creates individuals that look similar, but are definitely different. Spiritual leadership is just that – it follows the Spirit.