Monday, December 15, 2014

But You Said "I Am"

"I AM" by Nichole Nordeman


The song "I Am" touches me very deeply. About a week ago, I fell asleep while listening to music through the ear buds on my cell phone. As I awoke, this song began playing as though it was mysteriously programed to begin the moment I awakened from sleep.

I've had "I Am" by Nichole Nordeman on my computer and phone for at least ten years, but it was as if I'd never heard it before. As I listened this time, I was overcome with deep emotion as I realized in a profoundly deep place in my heart that "I Am" has been present in every event of my life from before I was even conceived.

Later, I wrote in my journal, "You, as the Great I Am have been there watching over me ... holding out Your loving hand and seeking me, but I was not responding until after my twentieth birthday while I was stationed in Okinawa in the Army."

Even after coming to know You in Okinawa somewhere around Christmas of 1969, I've continued to search for something or someone to fill my inner void and bring completeness ... only to be let down again, and again, and again.

"But You said, I Am!"

The secret and hidden thoughts, intents, longings, and motivations of the human heart are extremely deep, profound, complex, and devious ... but You fully comprehend them all. You see through them, and love me without limits or conditions in spite of my persistent propensity to wander and drift.

I am blown away by the high privilege that is mine to be fully loved by the Great I Am.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son ..." 1 John 4:10

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Living in the Secret Place with the Most High

Listening to God doesn't replace our need to diligently study the Scriptures and master His written Word to become unashamed workers. It's meant to be a life enriching complement.

This morning I invested a half-hour reading and studying John Chapter 5. 
Afterwards, I spent another half-hour listening for the voice of the Master. I share this intimate time with you in hopes that it encourages you to take the time to listen to Him.

Seeking God when I didn’t really feel like it.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1 Amplified Bible).

I feel aloof, foggy minded, and distance from You this morning … I really don't feel like seeking You … but, nonetheless, I chose to come to You. In the Powerful Name of the True Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth I command all the other voices to be silent … the voice of the world, of my own flesh, of the enemy, the devil, the voice of my own understanding, and of my skeptical rational mind. In Jesus’ powerful name, I command you all to be silent and not interfere in any way! I want to hear from the One True Voice; the voice of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Oh won't You come: renew, refresh, and revitalize me as only You can – from the inside out? Would You be pleased to communicate with me, for I am listening?

(After a few minutes sitting in silence and while gazing out the window, the following thoughts came to me).

“I Am here even though you don't feel or sense Me … here inside of you … here beside you … I have you surrounded. I have you enveloped and hemmed in by My Presence.”

“Walk before Me and be wholly separated unto Me. You belong to Me. You are My servant. I called you to Myself out of darkness into My marvelous light … And I continue to call you even though, at times, you aren't listening and are distracted. Place your entire focus upon Me just now. Look up and out of yourself to Me – the High and Exalted One who resides in eternity. Gaze upon Me! I am the Only One you need, search for, and desire. In Me is light, and in My light you will be truly enlightened with real, true, and abundant life. Search for Me with all of your heart as for a buried treasure … and you will find Me. It pleases Me that you search for Me, yearn for Me, and that you desire to know Me more and more fully.”

“I will work, move, and act and no one can prevent it. Yes, nothing is impossible for Me. Open your mouth and heart, and I Myself will fill you with all that is good, beneficial, life-giving, and that enhances your inner well-being. ‘Exceedingly Abundantly’ is My middle name. Since I spared not My own son … it is My pleasure to generously bestow My favor upon you and gift you with grace upon grace.”

I worship You, oh my Three-in-One. I thank You for choosing me and gifting me with incredible grace. Thank You that I have been lifted up from the garbage heap to belong to You, and have been graced to sit among the princes of Your people. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that rescued a wretch like me - amazing! I once was lost, but now I’m found. In fact, I was completely bound… but now I am free. Thank You Father. I am grateful to You, Lord Jesus. And Holy Spirit ... I am especially grateful to You for empowering this time of listening intimacy.

I no longer feel aloof and disconnected. Instead I feel held, valued, and connected with the One who freely gives me all that I need for life and godliness. Thank You, my Three-in-One for meeting me in this way and refreshing my soul.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Set free from anger and the need to be in control

George’s demeanor began to change as he recalled a memory associated with his anger.  With clenched teeth and a loud voice he said, “It was 1996, right before my eighteenth birthday.  My basketball teammate betrayed me by having intimate relations with my girlfriend.  It pissed me off so bad.”  His reaction to this painful event had been anger, blame and deep resentment.  He blamed his mother for keeping him from going to the party that night.  He blamed his girlfriend for cheating on him.  He blamed his teammate for stealing his girlfriend.

The prayer facilitator asked God what He wanted to say to George about what had happened. George responded with even more anger and blame.  With deep pain in his voice he cried out, “Why are You doing this to me? Why? …” It was unclear whether George was directing his complaint to God or to the prayer facilitator who was walking with him through this painful event.

Before the facilitator could answer, George’s attitude suddenly softened as he said, “God’s telling me that these things were my fault and that I cheat on Him all the time.”  At that point, a visible and deep brokenness seemed to enter George’s body as he cried tears of repentance for his rebellion toward God, for the unbiblical vow he had made, and for his unforgivenness toward his mother and former friends.

Later George reflected “I must've somehow held on to that memory because it was instrumental in creating the inner-violent-side of me that comes out when I'm feeling powerless or forced back down without my consent! All I know now is that I've been set free from the bondage of that early childhood memory of having to use force to feel safe and the letting go of the vow to always be in control I made back in high school.”

After talking and praying together for a few more minutes, the facilitator closed the time by thanking God for what He had just done and then sealed His healing work in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

SET ME FREE by Casting Crowns

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"I have a dream!"

A woman who attended one of our seminars also worked through A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer. She was so excited about what God did in her life that she decided to lead a healing prayer study in her church with a group of 13 people. When they discussed their homework they divided into two smaller groups (7 women and 6 men) so everyone would have a chance to share. They used the book as their curriculum and met for ten weeks. One of the participants in this study wrote the following testimony of one of her times alone with God. 
“I asked Jesus to search my heart and bring up anything that needed His healing touch. And this is what He said to me.”

“I love you without measure, I will never leave you.”

“I’m not like the fleshly men who wanted to change you because of their insecurities, fears, what they were taught by their parents, and their unhealed wounds. They tried to mold you into their own perverted ways and through their messed up thinking.”

“But I, your Heavenly Father, love you with an unconditional love. I love you with a love that’s not distorted. I am whatever you need Me to be. You will never be alone. On days when you feel alone or lonely, talk to Me and I will give you rest. I will give you peace.”
This story illustrates a truth that a good friend of mine is fond of saying. What God does in you, later He wants to do through you.  
- Dave Legg

"More than forty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. declared, I have a dream. People still get tears in their eyes when they hear that declaration. Why did those words strike home so powerfully for so many people? Probably because every one of us has a dream.

I have one too.

My dream is that church fellowships, local ministries, teams, mission groups, and other bodies of believers will rise up, come out from behind their self-protective facades, and become the healing communities Jesus envisioned. These communities will be characterized by deep vulnerability, compassion for the hurting, sincere love, and the kind of grace that’s impossible apart from God."
Quoted from the final chapter in A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer, 2011 Navpress, Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Relational Healing in Detroit

"When you hold on to your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny."      - T.D. Jakes

One reason I'm late in making a new post was a four-day healing trip I was on to Detroit last weekend. Teammate Kathy Hatflield and I taught a day-long Relational Healing Seminar at the Rosedale Park Baptist Church in metro Detroit on Saturday to 65 people ... and really had a incredible God time.

The highlight of the the seminar was the quoted message above given by Pastor T.D. Jakes in a film clip of him on a program with Oprah Winfrey. Click here to witness T.D. Jakes' historic quote.

Other highlights were:
  • Understanding that conflict is an opportunity, not an accident.
  • Learning how to close doors I had opened to the demonic.
  • The idea of making a relational covenant with others.
  • The technique of asking for and extending forgiveness between two people.
  • I appreciated praying the warfare prayer.
  • The deep sharing at the end was an impactful climax to the entire day.
  • Considering others as more important than myself.
  • I liked the Five Principles of Relational Healing and how they were presented.
  • Reconciliation needs to precede resolution.
  • You don't fix relationships, you develop them!
  • "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself." T.D. Jakes
As always, we'd love to here from you.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Under the Surface

If you had knowledge of another person’s experiences…
  • What they see…
  • What they hear…
  • What they feel…
Would it change the way you respond to them?

If you had knowledge of what's going on beneath the surface in others, would it impact the way you treat them?

Look for yourself at the thought 
provoking "Under the Surface" video
by clicking anywhere on this iceberg. 
It will challenge your paradigms.
You only understand people if you feel them in yourself.  
- John Steinbeck

  • As you reflect on this video post, what thoughts are triggered within you?
  • How can you grow in getting below the waterline with others? 
  • Have you discovered and experienced healing freedom in areas hidden below the water in your own personal iceberg?

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Most Powerful Weapon of All

"Forgiveness liberates the soul. That's why it's such a powerful weapon." - Nelson Mandela, South African president (1994-1999

"The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world." - Marianne Williamson, American author (1952- )

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” - Hannah Arendt, American historian (1906-1975)

"There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness." - Josh Billings, American author (1818-1885)

"Hating people is like burning your own house down to get rid of a rat." - Henry Emerson Fosdick, American author (1878-1969)

"If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless." - Mohandas Gandhi, Indian religious leader (1869-1948)

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” - Alexander Pope, British poet (1688-1744)