Milkshake or Braaivleis
Tess and I have just come back from ministering in Vryheid and we were so amazed at what God had in store for the unsuspecting public!
We arrived about 2 hours early and decided to “test the waters” and see what God wanted to do.
We found a large Shoprite supermarket and immediately went crutch hunting! It wasn't long before we found what we were looking for – a perfect candidate and recipient of a miracle!
This lady's foot had been ridden over by a car 11 months ago and she was still very much in pain and dependent on her crutch. We prayed and she was 90% healed. As she walked off, her son, a Shoprite employee, said, “Praise God, my mom is healed! She couldn't walk like that before!”
We proceeded to look for others to share the love and power of God with and came across about 8 people. There was a lady there who looked very ill. We were told that she had cervical cancer and the hospital said they could operate only in October 2011! Her sister begged us to pray for her and said, “While we're waiting for October to come, my sister is dying!”
She had much pain and 2 cancerous growths in the stomach area. God touched her and instantly she was healed! She checked herself and told her sister in Zulu (which fortunately I could understand) that the lumps had disappeared and the pain was gone! PRAISE GOD! She began to walk and sported a beautiful smile!
The angels must have been walking behind people pushing them in our direction because within minutes a crowd had formed and we spent the next hour or 2 praying for people for all kinds of pains, sicknesses and needs. Almost every one of the people (about 30) were instantly healed! It was chaos... it was glorious! Jesus was in His element that day and people were loving Him and experiencing His reality.
It was also so encouraging to see how many young Zulu men came up for prayer. In my experience, they have almost always been closed to the Gospel, but that day the Lord showed me how their hearts are crying out for God's love and reality!
God is so good!
I took Spencer, my brother-in-law, onto the Durban streets a while ago, and God taught me 2 great lessons that day! I think it will really be worth sharing...
We came across an Indian man with 2 crutches and a cast on his leg. The cast had worn through at the bottom from him trying to walk on it.
He told us that the doctor said he should rest his broken ankle to avoid complications and allow it to heal, but he was a poor man and if he didn't work, he couldn't get money to eat! He was a Christian and trusted God to heal him. We prayed for him 2 or 3 times and nothing happened! As we walked off, I said to Spencer a statement that a lot of us agree with: “It's sometimes a lot easier for unbelievers to get healed than for Christians!”
The very moment those words came out of my mouth we heard someone yelling about 50m behind us! The man we had just prayed for had suddenly been healed! He placed the 2 crutches in one hand and walked off pain-free!
And God spoke... “So where in the Bible does it prove your last statement?”
He had set me up for a mindset change! But He wasn't finished...
On our way back I told Spencer that the young black men are usually so closed to the Gospel and get a thrill out of wasting as much of my time as possible when I approach them. They therefore also steal the time of others who are open and in need of a miracle.
AGAIN... scarcely had I said this when, yes, a young black man came limping toward us! He'd been beaten and robbed the day before and was in a bad way. Some of his fingers were cut to the bone and he had an open wound on his head where they had hit him with a gun. He had bruised ribs and legs.
We prayed for healing starting with his spirit (removing spirit of fear and replacing it with love, power and a sound mind), moved onto his soul (emotions etc) and ended with his body. God did an amazing work! The young man was completely healed and even the open wounds on his head and fingers had no pain! He was filled with joy and received Jesus gladly!
Lesson no.2 learned : that statement I declared to Spencer also didn't line up with the Word.
So let's always use the Word as our basis, and not even our previous experiences. God heals Christians as readily as unbelievers because he loves and died for all equally. God is not in any way limited to whom He can touch – race, gender, or age!
The message I would like to share I feel is so necessary for the church – a challenge from the Lord's heart to move us from mediocrity to maturity, from children to sons, from condemnation to perfection!
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles (of laying foundations again and again)... let us go on to perfection! (italics mine)
I have often had people ask me or tell me that I have a GIFT of healing. My perhaps controversial response to that statement is that “I don't know and actually I really don't care!”
HEAR ME OUT...
If I'm labeled as having a certain gift, firstly, it can place an 'expectation limitation' on the person ministering ie. If I have a gift of healing, people can focus on one particular gift and have little or no expectation for God to work in any other way, like prophecy, wisdom etc.
Psalm 78:39,40 explains that they grieved God by limiting Him.
Secondly, people have used me as an excuse to say, “Well, Wendell prays for the sick and sees results because he has a gift. I don't have that gift so I'm excused from praying for the sick or prophesying etc. and expecting the same results. Send the sick to Wendell... He's got the gift.”
Sadly, that is often the feel I get from people. The gifts and anointings are available to all who will seek Him! They are developed through faith and practice (Heb. 6:12).
I understand that people are obviously called to different ministries and functions in the body of Christ, but that shouldn't place a limitation on what we can experience, expect, or flow in!
Here is my take on the SPIRITUAL GIFTS in 1 Cor. 12...
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul said he had fed them with milk (laying foundations because they were babes in Christ) yet he desired to feed the Corinthian church with meat – the mature stuff.
Then he goes on to say that “even now you are not ready for solid food, therefore I have to continue to give you … MILK.” So he continued giving them milk, and consequently I conclude that: THE REST OF HIS 1st LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS IS … MILK.
Therefore in 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul is speaking about the gifts of the Spirit, he is still giving them... MILK.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with milk. It is absolutely essential for every mammal and baby. But milk is essential for just that... BABIES!
You see, Jesus never operated in a gift. In 1 Cor. 12 Paul talks about the gift of knowledge, wisdom, and/or understanding (discernment).
But Isaiah 11 (Talking about Jesus) says the Spirit of knowledge, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding etc will rest upon Him.
John 3:34 says Jesus had and operated in the Spirit without measure! And that's the meat! And that's what I'm after!
Also, Jesus never said to His followers “Here's a gift of healing – go heal the sick and preach.” Nor did he say, “those of you with gifts of healing go heal, those with discerning gifts go drive out demons, and those with a gift of prophecy, you prophesy, and the rest of you are cheerleaders and spectators!”
No, Jesus didn't hand out gifts... He gave them authority in His Name over all the works of darkness!
“As the Father has sent me, even so send I you!” (John 20:21)
If Jesus sent us even as His Father sent Him, how can we expect to do what Jesus did (and greater works Jn 14:12) with anything less than the Spirit without measure? And we have this Spirit!
Galatians 4 says as long as the heir is a CHILD (under the law & needing milk), he differs nothing from a slave, although he is the MASTER (Heir or son, having full authority) of all the estate.
Verse 4-6 says: "But when the fullness of time was come God sent forth His Son... that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts crying Abba, Father."
When I was a young teen I really wanted to learn how to drive a tractor. I arrived at the shed and asked, then begged the labourers on the farm to give me just a 5 minute driving lesson. They were quite unwilling because it was "knock-off" time and to them I, and my pleading, became nothing less then a joke! A few years later though I started working on the farm full-time and became a son in the business. Because I had my grandfather's authority, things changed completely. Men, twice or even 3 times my age were obeying my every command (not request), and if we needed to work an hour or 2 overtime, they had to submit to me because I was no longer a child, but a son! And a son under authority!
So in Matthew 28:18, Jesus says "ALL power (Greek word is authority) is given to Me... therefore go." Therefore, if ALL authority belongs to Jesus, then the devil has no authority, and neither do we! But we are under His authority and go in His name and in His authority. And because the devil has no authority, all that he does is illegal and we have the right to do something about it!
When we were born again, we all became children of God and we know how children love gifts (1 Cor.12)! But the earth is waiting in earnest expectation for SONS TO BE REVEALED! Sons that will walk in authority and power - sons who walk in the Spirit and fullness of Isaiah 11!
As Galatians 4:5 explaines, the transition from a child to a son is not a gradual process, but rather a receiving of the great revelation of who we are and what we possess in Christ!
Let's look at these 2 Scriptures:
Col 2:9-10 For in him (Christ) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in him.
If you have Christ, you have the fulness of God within you! You won't "one day be complete"... In Christ, you are complete!
Read this next verse emphasizing on every word!
Heb 10:14 For by a single offering, He (Christ) has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.
That whole verse is written in the past tense! Not "will one day perfect us forever..." In His eyes, He sees us complete in Him, perfect in Him, and holy now and forever!
Now perhaps you're thinking, "wait a minute, I know I'm not perfect and the Christians around me sure ain't perfect!"
God sees us through the "it-is-finished" work of the cross. He sees us perfect through the blood of Jesus. That's why we have boldness in prayer etc because He doesn't see us with our sins and failures, He sees us as He sees Jesus - PERFECTED!
People live, hoping that one day they'll get there... instead of living and manifesting out of their perfected state purchased on the cross! They want to get from A to B, from imperfection to perfection, unholy to holy, incomplete to complete, unworthy to worthy, but IN CHRIST... we are already at B - perfect, holy, complete, worthy and we need to live and manifest Christ from there! In Him we live and move and have our being!
It's not in the becoming, it's in the being. One day, quite unsuspectingly, God boomed these words into my spirit "Why must we always DO, DO, DO, when we can just BE, BE, BE!" We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS!
So be liberated into receiving the full work of the the cross of Christ. It's all about Him and what He has done. If I based my life and worth on my performance, I promise you, I would be constantly depressed! I work really hard at not "beating myself up" and make it my goal to base my life on His performance and, receiving sonship, aim to live a life where Christ is constantly manifested in and through me. And honestly, I feel that's the reason I have seen so many miracles etc. and God has used me extensively, because my confidence is in what He has done already and not in my prayers, fasting, or anything else!
Hebrews 12:2 "Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith..."
Now obviously we all need character building and constant spiritual growth in certain areas. We're constantly learning, but we are liberated when we realize that we learn from point B not point A! It's like an onion... we are that onion. An onion never has a strong tear-jerking smell... that is... until its fleshly layers start peeling off! We are a complete onion! We're not trying to produce a strong fragrance, we have it! But the more we pursue God, the more our layers seem to peel off and the stronger our fragrance (or anointing) becomes.
And the more we draw closer to God - walking in the Spirit, the less we will walk in the flesh. The Bible tells us that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. So stop trying to NOT SIN (because your focus will be on you and the sin!) and pursue walking and growing in the Spirit, looking unto Jesus constantly!
So milk is good! 1 Corinthians is very good. Drink milk and enjoy it! But don't settle on milk for your sustenance! There is so much more!
The babies are the ones who lie on their backs and cry for food - and get it. The Father's mothering nature gave the children of Israel whatever they wanted and whined for in the desert - manna, quail, water - but they limited God and never reached their promised land.
The sons open the fridge, make a milkshake, cook the meat and feast on all that's in the house - knowing all is theirs (though they didn't purchase it), they help themselves to the bounty therein - just because... they are sons!
Be liberated, be blessed