Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anointed Hanky Healing!

*This is a testimony that we just received over email.



I came down with symptoms of things crawling on my skin with bites on Easter Saturday, April 3. This persisted with manifestation of fibre-like substance on my skin. I knew it's demonic because of the strange symptom. I am a Christian and am in the process of being trained to be a prayer minister. However, I made a mistake of going to the internet to search for information which opened the door of fear to enter in. I isolated myself in the apartment because I was not sure if it's contagious.

I called my family doctor and he said he would call me back but he didn't. During this horrific trial, I went to Sid Roth's Supernatural website and watched many of the interviews because I wanted to receive the anointing and the Glory of God that many of his guests carry. It's there that I watched the interview of Pastor Marc Lawson.

I looked up Pastor Lawson on Google and found his Facebook page. I was desperate for healing prayers. I called the phone number not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that Stephanie answered the phone and right away offered to pray for me and even offered to send me a prayer cloth. I was filled with hope after the call.

During this time of trial, there were days when I would lose hope. It was on such a day when Stephanie suddenly called me to tell me that she had been praying for me and gave me Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." I held onto this Promise of the Lord and was able to go through that day and the days after.

The prayer cloth arrived in two weeks because I live in Toronto Canada. I put it on and it calmed the symptoms on my body. That was May 14. That evening, the Lord revealed the source of the attack. It's towards my mind and my body. I took hold of this revelation and counter-attack with prayers decreeing deliverance and healing for my mind and body.

It's a total of 44 days. I praise and give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for victory over the defeated foe. My body is almost 100% symptoms free. Hallelujah!

NorthGate Church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ that gives out God's love and power. My gratitude to you all especially Stephanie for her tender loving care.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healing 101

The Lord’s Heart for Healing

Unless we know and believe the Lord’s heart for us in the realms of healing, we will never beable to truly receive all the Lord desires for us. It’s not good enough for us to only know about what the Lord did in the Bible and for others, but we must each get a revelation of His astounding love, His great mercy and His overwhelming passion to see each of His children whole and well. Some excellent examples of this are found in the scripture:

    Psalms 103:11-14For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving kindnesstoward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
    Isaiah 30:18Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
    Isaiah 4:13Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have compassion on His afflicted.
    Matthew 9:36And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd;
    Matthew 14:14And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick;
    Matthew 20:34And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
    The scriptures reveal that the Father’s heart toward His children is revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ. John 5:19Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
From the scriptures we see the following things:
    1) God desires to heal ANY who are sick. Luke 4:40 And while the sun was setting, all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on every one of them, He was healing them.
    2) The Lord desires to heal ALL the sick, not just a special few. Luke6:19 And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.
    3) God is no respecter of persons. What he’s done for others He can and will do for YOU! Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    4) God NEVER kicks one of His kids when they’re down, but instead picks them up and helps them out of their “ditch”.
    Luke 13:11-17 And behold, there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness."And He laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God. And the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the multitude in response, "There are six days in which work should be done; therefore come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day." But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead him away to water him? "And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?"
God, the Father is absolutely committed to seeing us freed from our afflictions, addictions, bondages and sicknesses. While the religious spirit asks questions like, “how can God do that?” or “why would God do it that way?” or “ how can God do it to them? ”. Rather than rejoicing at what God is doing, religion questions the how, why and what for. The religious spirit always glorifies what God did in the past while bitterly opposing what God is now doing. While religion wants to analyze how we got in the ditch, the Kindness and mercy of God just wants to pull us out!

    Isaiah 42:3A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.
    5) God doesn’t resort to “making someone sick” or keeping someone suffering to “teach them” some kind of lesson. That violates everything God ever said or did in scripture. Many times Christians use their lack of faith or personal experience to rationalize and explain these things. They cite Job, for example. But Job is an example of persevering faith and trust rather than just suffering. At the end, Job was given back double everything he lost to Satan’s attacks and Job is listed in the Hebrews 11 “faith hall of fame” as one who still believed God when everything failed. Some people also evoke Hebrews 12:5 to explain why God supposedly likes making people sick. They use the passage about the discipline of the Lord to try to explain why they’re sick without realizing the Greek word for discipline is paidea, which means the same as “training a child”. How many parents do you know who train their child by inducing fear, sickness, giving them cancer, boils, meningitis or calamity? NONE, because parents don’t! No loving parent would resort to torture to train their children. Still, Many Christians think God uses torture and pain to “deal with us” or “show us things”. Even Pavlov’s dog was treated with more kindness! God is a loving FATHER, not THE GODFATHER. God never needs to resort to evil and calamity to say what He can say with a loving whisper.

Four Ways God Uses to Bring Healing

    1) Faith of the one sick - faith comes and a person is healed. Romans 10- The faith of the one who is sick is what is working here; Ex: Woman with issue of blood-Mark 5:25-36
    2) The Prayer of Faith - James 5:15 – The prayer offered up in faith will save and heal the sick. This is offered up primarily on the faith of the elders or the one praying.
    3) The Word of Knowledge - “I only do what I see the Father doing”. John 5:19 This is the release of the Spirit of Might or Power we see described in Isaiah 11. It’s all about the sovereign unveiling of the sickness or malady initiated by the Holy Spirit’s desire to heal! With this sovereign demonstration, the faith of each is activated and the person healed.
    4) The Healing Anointing -“Presence Healing”- “The power of the Lord was present to heal….” This is a tangible anointing in that place/time to heal. Luke 6:19- “And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.” This is also descriptive of someone who was just worshiping or walked in to a place that anointing was manifesting and was healed. It involves simply being in His Presence. This is when a healing comes based on the immersing oneself in the Lord’s presence.

4 Realms of Healing

There are at least four realms of our life God’s healing power can touch and effect:
    1) Physical Body - Where the power of God comes and touches and restores back to health the area(s) of the human body that are diseased, infected or invaded with tumors. God’s power removes, dries up, withers and either instantaneously or gradually eradicates the disease, restoring that person to health. In the occasion where the sickness is caused by a demonic spirit, once the spirit is cast out, the person is instantly or soon thereafter healed.

    Mark 4:23-24- “And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.”

    2) Demonic oppression, affliction, sicknesses and diseases Acts 10:38 - "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.”

    Fully one-third of all Jesus’ ministry involved the casting out of demons, many causing diseases and afflictions as well as many mental/emotional conditions(see#3). The book of Mark chronicles many such occurrences.

    Mark 9:17-29“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 dashes him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and stiffens out. And 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! " And they brought the boy to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. "And 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." Immediately the boy's father cried out and began saying, "I do believe; help my unbelief." And when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." And after crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead!" But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. And when He had come into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer."

    A Note on: Those experiencing recurring calamity, chronic lack, poverty and maladies with no apparent cause. Contrary to much of American church teaching, none of us were ever promised in scripture a problem-free life if we chose to become believers in Jesus. Persecution, difficulty, hindrances and setbacks were part of the apostolic lifestyle.

    II Corinthians 3:1-10 - giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

    Yet there is a clear difference between being persecuted for the faith versus experiencing calamity, trouble and a lifestyle of defeat due to a lack of knowledge of the truth. As believers, we have access to all the blessings and provision of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ which includes; an ability to hear God, healing, prosperity and the abundant life. It is not part of the Christians normal way of living to suffer chronic sickness, lack, calamity and defeat. These things may happen due to a battle or even war we are in. In Christ we have all the provision we need to win the victory and victory is assured! No weapon formed against us will prevail. We may have battles and even wars to fight, but in the long run, if we wage our war in faith, we will win! Too often we have “microwave faith” which brings us only “microwave victories”. Christianity has never been a faith for the impatient and the Lord is training us to have a long-term mentality.

    Galatians 3:13-14:Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"-- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    The only clear instance in the New Testament where we see believers living under a curse is here:

    Galatians 4:15-17Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth? They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out, in order that you may seek them.

    The reason we see this lack of victory and the loss of “the sense of blessing” among these Galatian believers is because “false brethren” came in among them and introduced false teaching that cut out from them their ability to walk in faith. The purpose of these false apostles was to “shut them out” of the Kingdom and then draw them to themselves so they would seek them, instead of Christ.

    Luke 11:52 - Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."

    Greed, selfish ambition and jealousy were motivating the intentions of these false brethren and the acceptance of their teaching was at the root of the Galatians’ defeat. I say defeat because once thecGalatians left the arena of faith and grace and reverted back to law and works, the game was already over.

    Then can we break curses over believers? Actually, when believers are in this ditch of defeat and difficulty they need to be pulled out and then empowered to press on into a walk of faith. We can pray to expel any deceiving or deluding religious spirits and then neutralize the effects by releasing faith. (Romans 12:3) Believers must stay out of this “arena of Law” the enemy cleverly lures us into sucessfully time and again!

    3) Mental and Emotional Bondages

    Luke 4:18,19"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

    When Jesus read this passage in the synagogue that day He was describing not just His public ministry, which was just beginning, but gave a clear description of the gospel ministry, the good news! Healing the broken hearted is an essential part of the gospel because emotional pain and hurts are one of the prime causes of physical sicknesses and until this area is dealt with, many times there is no healing.

    Psalms 34:17,18The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    It is absolutely the Lord’s heart to remove the pain that comes from the loss of a loved one; to remove the hurts caused by rejection, divorce, rape, abuse and neglect. Many times these traumatic events are doorways for the demonic to enter into a person’s thought-life. For example, Bob Jones feels that head trauma many times opens a door to allow fear to come in. Experiencing a crime or violence can make one fearful of others. Being attacked or accused verbally can have a chilling effect, causing the accused to distrust or become isolated. Only through forgiving those who attacked them and receiving the Lord’s healing can a person truly love and relate again.

    4) Relationships

    Because we are living in the last days the potential for relationships to come under attack is at an all-time high. Matthew 24:12"And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. Today, more Christians are getting divorces than non-Christians! Church splits, division, discord and conflict is primarily caused because of the hardening of hearts due to the lawlessness in our land. But like God is no respecter of persons, His healing anointing is also no respecter of areas that need His healing and restoration. He’s more than able to repair any damaged relationships. God’s love is the most powerful force on this planet, melting cold hearts and repairing what man thinks is irreparable. God’s desire is to mend what is broken, heal what can be repaired and bring wholeness where there is a rift.

    Matthew 6:14,15"For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

    Pride, offenses and bitterness are key reasons relationships break down. There has to be a choice both persons make to let things go and move on. Humility is key because there has to be a willingness to forgive, let go of our agendas and move on. Rick Joyner likes to say that when there were only 2 brothers on earth (Cain and Abel), they couldn’t get along. How true! The terrorism we fight today is rooted in Isaac and Ishmael’s feud that became the present-day war between Israel and the Arab world. We can’t expect to “all just get along”, without God’s love being poured out into us, releasing in us a humility, love and a desire to truly act like Christ.

Reproduced by permission © Copyright 2010 – Marc Lawson

A Meeting Centric Church Culture

    "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."— Matt 5:10

What do I mean by meeting-centric?

Here is the definition of “centric”: “located in or at a center; concentrated about or directed to a center.”

So when I say meeting-centric faith (or Christianity or church culture), I mean the cultivation of an entire lifestyle around an event. In this case, I am referring to the typical Sunday church service that takes approximately 2 hours out of that person’s 168 hour week. When a person becomes born-again into a meeting-centered mentality of Christianity, it is as if that person needs to wait till he or she goes to the weekly meeting to hear God’s voice. If an encounter with God is only centered on the Sunday meeting, then there is little to no discipleship. The hard work of mentoring and character development and modeling is left to the Holy Spirit whom new Christians are often never introduced to—or are even taught to ignore. We must teach folks to see that we are the church. We don’t just “go to church,” because we are the church! Yes, we go to those meetings and activities at the buildings the church is using. But we must look beyond meetings to see that being the Church means that we don’t act one way two hours a week and then another way the other 166. We must see that we are to live out our life in a way that fulfills the purpose God has for us as we manifest His presence on the earth.

    "From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it”- (Matt 16: 21-25)

As we read in this passage, even those who love the Lord deeply, like Peter, can assume they need to “help the Lord out,” and, even worse, feel like they know how. Many of the problems the Church has are tied to well-meaning people with good motives who are led by their carnal thinking and reasoning. Double-mindedness is such a regular part of the way of thinking in most churches and ministries that it is considered “normal.” In Matthew 4:17, Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand. This is what Jesus first had to say. He exclusively had one message to preach. Over 160 times in nearly every story and parable this Kingdom is mentioned. He was always talking about and referencing the Kingdom. The Kingdom is not the Church, but the Church is supposed to be an expression of the Kingdom on the earth. Is it? Most places I look, I don’t see it. Jesus said, “God is like this…The kingdom of God is like…” His statements absolutely confronted the religious system of the day.

He said repent (which simply means change the way you think and look at things); he didn’t say cry, sob, or run to the altar. When we equate an emotional response with repentance, we will always get an outcome which doesn’t result in lifestyle change. Repentance moves people to effect a complete turning around and a change of mind, ways, habits, and intentions!

Here’s an honest question: If the church leaders of today have the right message, then why does the response to their message appear to bring little to no change of habits, lifestyle, values, ethics, and morality? And why do all the polls indicate that righteousness, morality and cultural change is not only going the wrong direction in the church but our society as well? Why in the early years of our nation could one preacher like George Whitfield or Jonathan Edwards with the right message be so effective in changing his culture, yet today, even with all technological tools at their disposal, our leaders have such little success making that same difference?

I believe our present compromised system has helped fashion a compromised message. Most pastors, by and large, that I have known over the years of churches small, big, and huge are like anyone else attempting to do God’s will. Most feel like their job is akin to cleaning sand off the beach. Many are in survival mode or caution mode. If things seem great outwardly, “Don’t rock the boat”, if not, then “We need to be careful”. But these are apostolic mindsets! An authentic apostolic message will produce a real life-changing response, a change of mind & rending of the heart.

The Kingdom of Heaven (the regime, rule, and reign of God’s authority and dominion on earth or anywhere without limits) is at hand (which means right here, right now, in the midst of you, as plain as the nose on your face). While this is plain and simple, we seemingly have a hard time having faith for something we can’t see. However, Jesus said the Spirit was like the wind (see John 3:8). You can see its effects and its force, but it is not visible to the eye. He was talking of a real dimension right in front of all of us that could be accessed by faith which He modeled for His followers.

In this world the blind are blind, but in Jesus’s world the blind see! In this world the lame can’t walk, but in Jesus’s world the lame can walk! In this world the deaf need hearing aids, but in Jesus’s world, the deaf can hear! In this world the dead are dead, but in Jesus’s world the dead rise!

Up is down, in is out, rich is poor, poor is rich, last are first, and first last; it is a parallel dimension right alongside our fallen world, but the rules are different there! There are no wheelchair ramps, no handicapped parking, no deaf section! It is wrong that we spend so much of our life accommodating the failure of our faith and our lack of bringing in the Kingdom.

Jesus’ message went so against the flow of the religious establishment that they couldn’t deal with Him! He tweaked all the religious elements in His culture. Maybe we need to use His same approach since ours don’t seem to be helping us.

Today we have even the basic order and structure of the Church backwards. Imagine getting one of those “assemble yourself” kits for a swing set or BBQ grill or bike. You take out the instructions which go A, B, C, D, etc., and are to be done in the “manufacturer’s order of assembly”; you begin with F, then go over to Q, then make your way to D, and on and on. How do you think that would work for you? Not so great.

Paul wrote about how God designated things to be formatted in the Church:

    "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues."- (1 Cor 12:28)
    1) Apostles: senders
    2) Prophets: seers
    3) Teachers: search the Scriptures
    4) Miracles: signs and wonders
    5) Gifts of Healings: supernatural
    6) Helps: supporters
    7) Administrations: solutions
    8) Various kinds of tongues-those who receive and speak heavenly mysteries

While most pastors are well-meaning people, they are frequently concerned with only two things: salvation and protection for the sheep. According to C. Peter Wagner, pastors and administrators have done an admirable job in winning a huge section of the world to Christ, but, “What would happen if we could actually function by God’s design and intention?” Pastors, evangelists, and even administrators by and large are leading the American church, which leads to a church focusing primarily on what happens in and around the Sunday meeting, creating an atmosphere that is imbalanced spiritually. With administrators, pastors, teachers, and evangelists at the helm, we have a meeting-centric faith based on an excellently packaged, entertaining Sunday meeting. In this church culture, the only time God does something is “at church.” When does God speak, or when do we feel His presence? At church. By defining “church” as a meeting to attend rather than a lifestyle to be lived, we end up with a lopsided faith based on our definition of God and how He operates. Everything is about “the meeting” and “the service.” We even back off on being too bold or aggressive because we might “run off people.” It is as if the whole fate of the Church is resting on having a good service, a good meeting with excellent fluff.

Government Priorities

Here is what this meeting-centric church culture looks like:

  • Pastoral: people’s comfort and safety
  • Administrative: things and money
  • Teacher: doctrine we teach, often in order to defend our territory
  • Evangelist: salvation message only
  • The perception of God in a pastoral government is primarily anxiety and fear. The great concern is losing what we have. There is also a fear that if and when any obstacles or opposition come our way it indicates that the Lord is behind it, so this is “how He directs us.” In addition, in this type of church culture or atmosphere, the supernatural is suspect and thought to be deceptive and unreliable. With everyone protecting their turf, things, and assets, there is no forward-advancing mentality. And in this environment anything supernatural means “you can be and probably already are deceived, so I will protect you from yourself.”. A pastoral government is filled with anxiety and control. Why? By keeping you in line you will continue to need me, your pastor. In my view, the vast majority of people living in this kind of church are taught subliminally to stay powerless and mostly helpless, dependent on leadership. In this atmosphere, many times good reasons are made up for suffering to keep the leader in his job.

    In 1994, we pulled a church which I planted out of a church-planting denomination that operated and had an atmosphere like this. While it felt so strange to be leaving the supposed security and “covering” of it, within 10 days our church was caught up in a move of the Spirit that lasted over five years; God used it to send missionaries to nations like Norway, France, Romania, Jordan, and Israel. Also, other churches and ministries were birthed from it. When I pulled out of one thing, I wasn’t exactly sure what we were going into, but I knew God was doing it. I knew we needed to get out of the old to go into the new. While it was a major shift and shock, we have been pursuing it ever since. We had to make a choice to move forward for the Kingdom. I look back on that decision now, and it was absolutely not the safest or most comfortable way to go. But there has to be resoluteness, a determination in us that old ways must give place to the new.

      "He takes away the first in order to establish the second.- (Hebrews 10:9)

    The absence of a Kingdom or an overcoming mentality in churches helps create an attitude of “We are only lowly sinners working out our salvation…We’re not fulfilling our calling, for how can we know His will? We are just lowly servants waiting for further instructions.” In 1996, Rick Joyner prophesied a spiritual civil war coming to the American church. Like the Civil War, it too would pit brother against brother, and would be over the issue of spiritual slavery, to end the injustice on these ministry “plantations.”

    I think that the timing of the meltdown of American business markets in the last few months was a sign of the beginning of the meltdown of the giant “ministry plantations” where the Body was in slavery to a few. Let’s hope that what is happening in the natural, we also get to see happen in the spiritual. For many of these institutions it was over a long time ago. To relish or adhere to these ways of man versus the ways of God is a dangerous trap and will be a snare to us. Jesus even said, “Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition” (Matt. 15:6 NIV). The devil uses these things and the lusts of man to trap us into this world’s system of operation. This causes us to compromise our entire “way of doing business.” We attempt to fight the devil, but he has already us snared in his ways.

    One of the reasons people get burned out from going to church is that they were told a number of stories that never came true. And I don’t mean those wonderful testimonies of God’s love and mercy but just an idealistic and unrealistic view of living that revolves around only “going to church” instead of being the Church. This happens as we are reasoning in our hearts, not just our minds.

      "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?”(Luke 5:21-22 NKJV)

    The main reason for this double-mindedness is our need to resort to reasoning things out rather than hearing and obeying by faith. The problem is made worse by taking that reasoning out of our heads where it belongs and bringing it into our hearts. Because it is with our heart, we are to believe, not with our heads! We’ll never believe using only our logic and brain power.

      "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10 NKJV)

    To resort to reasoning in our minds is simply prideful mental gymnastics to make sure we cover all our bases in case God doesn’t come through. One of the weirdest things is many times we do this especially when God authentically and legitimately speaks to us, when we have been given an authentic word from God about something. But unfortunately then we attempt to bring it to pass, do it in our own strength and with our own abilities!

      "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:2-3 NKJV)

    The Greek word for reasoning is dialogizomai, where we get the English word dialogue from which means, “a conversation between two or more persons; an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue.”

    Here’s the breakdown of the Greek word:

  • Dia: through, on account of, because of;
  • Logizomai: to reckon, consider, regard, suppose.
  • To give ourselves over to reasoning is to entertain an argument with God in our heart: “How am I gonna do that?” or “Are you kidding me? Do you know what it will mean if I have to do that?” Peace begins to come as we learn to acknowledge and obey truth, but peace is only truly realized when the person (Jesus) who is the Truth is submitted to. When we learn to obey Him and His Word, we can begin to walk in that peace. And as we mentioned earlier, fear rather than peace is the prevailing atmosphere in most churches that are built around the meeting-centric culture.

    This was an excerpt for “The 166 Lifestyle” by Marc Lawson published by Destiny Image
    Reproduced by permission© Copyright 2010 – Marc Lawson