Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brushes with the miraculous

As I am reading Heavenly Man about Brother Yun, I am reminded that we absolutely cannot divorce God from the miraculous. It the modern Christian church, I find that we often try to place God in boxes. He is notorious for breaking out of those boxes, and I am so glad that He does. Often, churches swing from one extreme to another. One says that God doesn't operate in the means that He did in the early church, and the other says that those who do not operate in a certain means aren't truly believers. To speak in tongues or not to speak in tongues?
That is the question. The same holds true with prophesy, the miraculous, and other aspects of Christian life. Should these experiences be part of our every day existence? Should we depend on them for our faith to be maintained? Do we often seek God's manifestations above His face and heart? In the past 6 months, my eyes have been open to a lot of misconceptions and human restrictions which I have placed on God. God will not be restrained, however, and He cannot be told that He can't do something. Is anything too great for God, who is the Author of all? No, NOTHING.
Why does it seem like miraculous events only happen in remote tribes in Africa and persecuted regions of China? Why do we not experience them here in America on a regular basis as those in other cultures and countries do?
I have had several brushes and interactions with God's miraculous power in the past several months, and it is my desire to testify to God's amazing hand that can accomplish anything. Can we have enough faith to simply touch the hem of His robe and expect the impossible to happen? I had broken my leg in May, and it had caused many problems, probably because of my history with osteoporosis and malnutrition. It was supposed to be better in August, but it was not, and I was still in quite a bit of pain. I was so frustrated, and I struggled to function. A group of 12 girls from mercy had the amazing opportunity to go to the Godchicks conference, where we were blessed to hear Holly Wagner, Lisa Bevere, and Priscilla Shirer speak. One evening, there was a time of prayer and intercession for those who were sick or suffering. Nandi shoved my hand up in the air when they asked for those who needed healing to stand up or raise their hands. We started to pray, and I felt a set of powerful hands on my shoulders and heard a strong voice praying in a heavenly language. I felt strength and power flow through my body, and I opened my eyes to see the face of Lisa Bevere. That night, I had the sweetest worship of my life, and I felt a renewed sense of freedom. Up to this point, I had not fully surrendered and was still holding to little peices of my addictions. After this, I was truly freed and surrendered more fully than ever before. God did a huge work of healing in my heart and soul. Physically, I was healed as well. After that night, there was no more pain. I went to the doctor three days later, and there was complete healing in my ankle. My ankle healing was amazing, and I was so thankful. I also believe that my osteoporosis was healed that night. I will have that bone density test and confirm that later. More importantly, however, God healed my heart and mind. My transformation was advanced that night to new levels .
The second event that I want to share that evidences God's great healing power is a wonderful story of a voice restored. I have a precious friend who is 29 years old. She has suffered with great trauma, abuse, fear, depression, and an eating disorder for over 20 years. The enemy has sought her more aggressively than I have ever seen in anyone else's life. At the age of seven, her singing voice was stolen from her. Worship through singing is vital in life, whether a person has a beautiful voice or not. Worship lifts one's spirits, stomps on the enemy's head, and exalts the Lord. It has a three-fold power that the enemy can never match. Knowing this, I was compelled to pray for her and for the restoration of her singing voice. She could talk, but when she opened her mouth to sing, nothing came out. This had lasted for 22 years. On Saturday, we spoke, and a couple of us committed to pray for her. I was on my knees that night praying for the restoration of her voice. As I prayed, I felt the Spirit of the Lord assuring me that my friend would sing again on Sunday. God is so good to take our prayers and respond to them when they are in line with His will. The next evening, my precious friend opened her mouth and sang for the first time in 22 years. We sprinted throughout the house, as she announced God's restoration of her voice. Not only did God restore her voice, but she has the sweetest voice that I have ever heard. She can now wage spiritual warfare through song, and Satan is defeated in that area of her life. God is a miracle worker who indeed put a new song in my friend's mouth.
Finally, another sweet friend with Cerebral Palsy since childhood has been praying for healing for years. One day, we went to walmart and were in the picture section getting pictures developed. A girl named came up to us with her brother. She asked my friend her name and asked what was wrong with her. My friend expressed that she has CP and that she has trouble walking and is in constant pain. She wears a leg brace, and she cannot stand up for long periods of time. Robin, the girl who approached my friend, asked her permission to place her hand on my friend's legs and pray for her. Robin prayed for my friend, and warmth flowed from her hands into my friend's body. There was healing, and my friend's feet straightened. She took off her leg brace, and she and Robin ran down the aisle at that walmart. I have to admit that I doubted it briefly. How can God just heal someone through a stranger in the middle of walmart? Well , He healed the world through a little helpless baby in an obscure town named Bethlehem in a lowly, stinky manger. I guess He can do the same thing in the middle of a walmart on a random Friday in December.
God is a God who still does miracles. Do we have to courage to ask for those miracles? Let's step out and try. He still moves stones, raises from the dead, and restores lost lives. He has not grown weaker or less involved than He was in the days of the early church. We may have lost some passion and faith, however. I never want to stop believing in miracles. To stop believing in miracles would be to stop believing in the God who is the greatest miracle Worker

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