by Suellen | Awakening, Prayer
John Wesley, whose followers eventually founded the Methodist Church, was controversial in his day. Eggs and tomatoes were often thrown at him as he walked the streets of England, sharing what God had shown him in His Word.
One of his controversial statements concerned prayer:
I am convinced that God does nothing on the earth, except in response to believing prayer. –John Wesley
Let’s think about that for a moment.
In Genesis we see that God gave man authority (dominion) over the earth – and He also gave him free will. He doesn’t force you to obey Him, and He doesn’t control your life apart from your permission. God places great weight on people asking Him for His intervention. We can choose to run our race with Him – or not!
So what was Wesley saying?
Wesley’s point was that when God is ready to put a new piece of His plan in place, He first impresses upon the hearts of His true prayer warriors to pray for it. And He always has those who are willing to pray for His purposes.
Sure, God’s ways are so much higher than ours, He will surprise us with His methods and details. But I am talking about God’s overall plans. For your life – and for your world. The plans He reveals in the Bible.
The Word is full of examples of this concept.
One of those we can find in Daniel 9:2.
In the first year of his (Darius’s) reign, I, Daniel, observed in the Books the number of years which was revealed as the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah the Prophet for the completion of the desolation of Jerusalem, namely seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord to seek Him by prayer and supplication.
Interestingly, Daniel saw in God’s Word that their captivity was to be for 70 years. And the 70 years were complete! So Daniel prayed for this promise to be fulfilled.
And it was!
In Ezra 1, we see that God stirred up the heart of Cyrus the King to facilitate the return of God’s people to Jerusalem. Cyrus was not even a believer, but God still impressed upon him to grant favor to the Jews. And thus the return to Jerusalem began – just as Daniel had prayed.
Let’s look at one more example.
If there was ever anything which God would have done without any prayer from man, it would have been the birth of Jesus. That was God’s design from the very beginning. So did He have people praying for that?
Indeed, in Luke 2 we can see that He did. On the 8th day after the birth of Jesus, His parents brought Him to the temple to be circumcised. There He met two of God’s Prayer warriors who immediately recognized Him as the Messiah. First, Simeon, who was told by God that he wouldn’t taste death until he saw the Messiah.
When he saw Jesus, he proclaimed:
Now, Lord, you are releasing your bond servant to depart in peace, according to Your Word,
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples.
A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the Glory of your people Israel
Next comes Anna, a prophetess.
Anna was an 84 year old widow, who stayed in the temple night and day fasting and praying. When she saw Jesus and heard Simeon, Anna rejoiced greatly, thanking God for the Messiah having been born.
God always has His intercessors. While many of the church leaders were parading around in their priestly robes, trying to impress their subjects, God had some seemingly less significant people praying for His purpose.
Yet to God, they were the most significant! These intercessors were the ones who saw and recognized Jesus when He was only 8 days old.
Neither of them was a person of high position or great honor; they were simple people. Both of them were advanced in years and both spent lots of time praying. These two were the first in the community to recognize the Messiah because of their prayers.
Each of these people had seen in God’s Word that the Savior would come, and they were praying for it to happen. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he wouldn’t see death until he had seen the Christ, and that’s exactly what took place.
The joy which came from this man was evident as he recognized Jesus and proclaimed God’s Word. Overhearing these words, Anna agreed, and her joy exuded to others – the Savior had come!
God’s methodology hasn’t changed. There are many today who parade around in their pride and arrogance, ignoring God’s plan, and even discounting his Word. Even some leaders are caught up in their own importance, and ignore God’s desires.
Then there are others. There are those who love God and His Word, and who spend time praying for it to come to pass. Sometimes these people are unrecognized, even by those around them. But God knows what they are doing, and He is pleased.
Our world is in great need of awakening – a promise God has made to His people. There are those who believe God, allowing Him to direct their prayers, and increasing in their ability to pray. Those are the ones who will recognize what God is doing, as they work with Him for His great plans to come to fruition.
They take the Word which God impresses to them, and they pray it back to Him. They thank Him for the manifestation – and they decree that Word into the atmosphere. And they don’t give up!
Great moves of God can take time, so patience is necessary. Yet significant change is on the way.
We have already begun to see trickles of it, but we will see more. We will see God move in the hearts of people, calling them to a greater life in Him.
And it all happens because of prayer!!
by Suellen | Ambassadors for Christ, Awakening
In Luke 10:1 We see Jesus commissioning 70 (or some translations say 72) of His disciples to go into God’s harvest field. We can take these verses and apply them to us today. As you read, notice how applicable they are.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.
That Greek word for “workers,” is ergates, and it’s also translated “ones who do.” Doers.
Doers. I like to think of them as Those who do what they pray. Doers of the Word.
So what is the harvest field?
The next few words will give you the clue.
v. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Does that sound familiar? Does that sound like your office or your school? Your neighborhood association?
Have you thought of those people as your harvest field? Well, they are! That’s who you can impact the most. The people you see every day or often. Even the mean ones and those that seem like they would never be interested in Jesus.
Sometimes we think of evangelism as big meetings with powerful preachers. Or altar calls at our local church.
Yet the most effective evangelism is friends impacting friends. Or sometimes not-so-great friends.
I heard an evangelist talk about an encounter he had. He was guest speaker in a church, and had called for those to come forward who needed special prayer. One girl in her 20’s came up and asked him to pray for her to find a new job. She said that she was the only Christian in her office. She wanted to get away from the cussing and dirty jokes.
The evangelist put his hand on her head and said, “Dear Father please forgive this selfish little daughter of yours. And release her from that part of the Word which says go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”
More than likely, this didn’t really happen, but the evangelist was making a point.
The world will never receive the Gospel if we just want to hang out with other Christians. We are to go into the darkness of the world and take the light of God. That’s the only way the world will be changed. That’s the only way many will ever know the Lord.
If you ever hear testimonies of some of the greatest ministers, you will hear how someone never gave up on them. Someoone kept coming back with love and prayer. So never be led by what you see in the people themselves.
Now how can you handle these dark places?
Look at the next verses.
v. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; do not greet anyone on the road.
He wants you to be totally dependent on Him. In all things. When you are dependent on the Holy Spirit, you will be listening to Him and not to other men for your directions.
To be a true Doer for God, you must be able to hear His directions and not be bound to the worldly way of doing things. Not bound to natural reasoning. Or man’s provision. Count on His Spirit to guide you and provide for you.
That’s important because, if you think in natural terms, you will want to lash out at those who lash out at you. You will want to ignore those who ignore you. However, God may direct you to continue with patience to sprinkle the salt of God’s love and forgiveness on the meanest ones around you.
Verse 16… Whoever listens to you listens to Me; whoever rejects you rejects Me.; but whoever rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.
As “Doers,” we learn not to take rejection personally. Those are people who are being led by Satan and his demons to turn away from God. But if the Holy Spirit is leading you to sprinkle some more love. More word. More forgiveness.
You return love for hate. Good for evil.
As Jesus sends out the seventy disciples, armed with His delegated authority, they return with a tremendous report. His plan is truly working. People are being healed and demons are fleeing as they go in His name.
Jesus rejoices that He sees Satan fall from heaven. This one who has tortured mankind will soon be thrown from heaven for good.
Jesus says something which many even today don’t understand.
v. 21 I praise you Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.“
Obviously the 70 He called were not wise and learned. They were simple people. Perhaps not educated. Why would that be?
Humility is required in God’s kingdom. Only those who are willing to listen to Him are to be His representatives in the earth.
The wise and learned are not very teachable, because they want to believe only what they can learn with their minds. They get caught up in their own reasoning and leave God out of it. In fact, often their pride blocks what God would like to do for them and through them.
God wants people who will allow Him to teach them. People who know that they need to depend on Him. These are the ones to which He can delegate His authority. These are the ones He can send in His name.
So allow God to lead you in your mission as a Doer of His Word. He will give you direction – and confirm it with His Word. As you worship your Heavenly Father and stay close to Him, you will grow in your ability to hear His voice and know what He wants you to do.
We have great days ahead as believers. Many mission fields. Many who need to hear about Jesus and to witness ones you walk with Him.
Do you feel insecure in this? That might be a good thing. Dig deep into God’s Word and allow it to penetrate your thoughts. Pray and ask your Heavenly Father for wisdom. Allow God’s Spirit to live big in you.
Then decide you are going to be a Doer of the Word, with all that has been revealed to you.
That’s how I want to live. Don’t you?
Yes, Lord. Send me.
by Suellen | Bible, The Church Awakening, Why Jesus?
A Christian life is a remarkable life – if we live it as God Intended.
Sadly, many Christians never realize what’s within their grasp. But when we pursue all that God has for us, our lives can be radically changed.
We will find out-of-the-ordinary peace. And joy. And wisdom. And hope.
When we as Christians dig even deeper, we will find a closeness to God for every season. And our own individual purpose which brings an extraordinary richness and meaning to life.
So how is all of this possible?
It’s possible because of the greatest mystery of all time.
In Colossians 1:26-27, Paul speaks of this great mystery which has been hidden from ages and generations, but has been revealed to the saints. It’s this mystery which makes Christianity so totally different from any other religion in the world. Yet this mystery seems to be misunderstood even by many Christians.
So what is it? It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory. That’s right. The Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside your innermost being.
That’s what it means to be “born again.” God’s Holy Spirit brings life to you – and you are a New Creation.
You now have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in the inner most part of you, leading you, empowering you, changing you, and growing you to reflect the attributes of God Himself.
All other religions have laws – lists of do’s and don’ts – which, if followed, are supposed to bring you into perfection.
But our faith is different. In our faith, our lives of sin are forsaken at the cross of Jesus. We accept His sacrifice for our sinful nature – and then we accept the empowerment of His Holy Spirit to walk away from sin and into the life He has for us.
We walk away from that old nature, and we walk away from the shame and hurt it has brought us.
That’s why we know that we have power over the dark forces which try to hold us back. The “Greater One” lives on the inside of us and causes us to overcome the evils of the world…if we are relying on Him and not on ourselves.
If we will just live “from the inside out,” many of our problems will be solved. Our innermost part is where we hear from God, because His Spirit actually lives inside of us. We will not only overcome sin in our own lives and receive health for ourselves, but we will have wisdom to pray for those around us. We will have answers which will benefit them and God’s anointing to release them.
Stop and think about it.
Man is the only creature which has a choice about the way he lives his life. Animals instinctively know that they should find food, build nests or dens, mate and raise their young. They have no choice but to live from the inside out. They live from the dictates of their instincts.
In the beginning, man was created to communicate with God and to have His thoughts just as naturally as the animals were to have their instincts.. But an had a choice. Before man sinned, he lived from his spirit, not just from his mind. Then man sinned and he no longer had power over that sinful nature.
Until Jesus came and paid the ultimate price.
Now here we are today: born again and filled with His Spirit, the power is restored – but we still have a choice.
Will we live from the flesh, where there is no power? Or will we live from the spirit, where Christ resides as our Hope of Glory? The choice is always ours and we make it daily.
When Christians rise up to live from the inside out – from the spirit within – our world will be changed. Prayers will be answered more quickly, prophecies will be fulfilled, and the world will begin to see God’s true church rising to its place in the earth.
Therefore, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,
the old things are passed away; behold new things have come.
Now all these new things are from God. (II Corinthians 5:17-18 NASB)
The glory of Christ in us is what the world needs.
So what do we do to appropriate this power within us? We talk to our Father about it. We read His word and allow that to become part of who we are. We listen to good solid teaching which will help us to grow in our faith.
And we step out in faith, allowing God to do what He wants to do in our lives.
It’s a miraculous life, if we live it that way.
by Suellen | Awakening
A couple of weeks ago, the Holy Spirit woke me up at 3 am and spoke these words into my spirit. “Stir up the gift which is within you.” (II Tim 1:6)
I knew exactly what He was saying.
You see, our church had been holding a campmeeting with Ted Shuttlesworth and his son, Ted, Jr. The building was packed out with visitors praising and worshiping God, clearly eager to receive the divinely inspired messages. And they were not disappointed. The rafters shook with the booming praise, clapping, dancing, and rejoicing over our God and what He is doing in the earth. Healings were dramatic and often. Throngs were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time.
As the night proceeded, I felt the gifts were being stirred in me – and others. In that atmosphere there is always an awareness of heaven’s touch – and the reality of the Kingdom of God.
It reminded me of earlier days…maybe because it was like earlier days. It reminded me of the days when there was rejoicing in the city by the many people who were turning to the Lord, getting saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit and shouting their newfound truth to the rooftops. (more…)
by Suellen | Awakening
The little girl, curls bobbing, confidently nestled into the chair right in front of the podium. She had almost run from the very back in order to acquire this select spot. She didn’t want to miss a thing.
All around her the adults smiled at her anticipation, but they were perplexed. Children didn’t often desire to be up front. It was unusual for children to exhibit such excitement over such events.
Then Oral Roberts, the famous healing minister climbed onto the platform, and a hush came over the audience. Praise filled the tent and an amazing night of God’s presence was underway. This was one of his famous healing services during the days when Dr. Roberts carried his huge tent from city to city.
The little girl was not disappointed. Her jaw dropped as she saw a grapefruit-sized goiter disappear from a lady’s neck. And there was much more. Person after person received God’s touch – straightening legs, healing cancer, and delivering from depression.
The girl was hooked. At 10 years old she had witnessed some of God’s miracle working power, and she knew from that moment that she wanted to be part of His miracle-working army.
Several decades have passed since that moment.
Last week the evangelist who was that little girl came to our church and it was obvious that she and God have maintained that special connection. Elaine Hollmer has a healing ministry with many testimonies. And a boldness for God’s purposes which is rare. She has made a name for herself as one of God’s “stokers.” When the coals grow dim in the hearts of Christians, God sends her to stoke them, causing the flames to rise again.
Over the decades since I became a Christian I have seen many people come and go. I have known men and women who at one time were on fire for God, but whose hearts have grown cold. There are others who are still going through the motions, but you sense that there is a quiet desperation in their ministry.
Not so with Elaine Hollmer. She exhibits greater zeal – and greater fruit – than she did the first time I saw her many years ago. Full of love, full of anointing, full of God’s healing touch, and changing lives in the process.
Elaine’s diligence is evident. “Through faith and patience she has inherited God’s promises,” (Heb. 6:12)
You can’t stay in ministry for decades without some challenges coming your way. I don’t know what hers have been, but I know that she has met them head on.
Something very interesting is that when you see a person who has walked closely with God for a number of years, you see a sweetness and humility which can only come through time. But also a boldness – and does she ever have boldness! A holy boldness which stirs hearts for more of God.
Well, I’m stirred.
We have some exciting years ahead. There’s a Great Awakening on the horizon and I want to be a full-fledged participant, don’t you?
Let’s Stay Strong – and Finish Strong.