Francis Chan - Texting God
Commentary on the previous post re: Heidi Baker and healings:
“The Mozambique ministry team and the individuals for whom they prayed presumably believe in a supernatural basis for their healing. Is this possibility inadmissable on scientific grounds? Scientists can and should rigorously question any purported mysterious healing, and scrutinize any proposed mediating mechanism. But the conviction that we live in a closed system governed only by naturalistic processes is an expression of faith in a world view rather than a conclusion logically demanded by the scientific method. While the secular world view is characteristic of our age 5it is by no means shared by all scientists.6 This paper’s authors neither ask readers directly to consider a supernatural explanation for these unexplained findings nor assert that they are predictable, but their report challenges the world view of readers who rule out the supernatural, or relegate it to another time.”
When I was younger, I always hated sadness and grief, I actively struggled against it. As I grow older, I’ve come to appreciate grief in a completely new way. When things are going well, it is easy to get carried away constantly seeking more intense entertainment and stimulation; life’s focus easily redirects to what is material, physical, ephemeral, or hedonistic.
In grief, the lesser things of the world dissipate. Grief brings reflection on the unchanging values and central truths that make life meaningful. In coming to terms with loss, I always find great abundance in the midst of the silence and stillness that follows; when I am challenged by great loss, I discover a stability that nothing can threaten to take away.
In grief, I come to find my deepest strength. I am pushed, challenged, to find my foundation. This produces a clearer vision of my inward self, in which I discover a power and understanding that outlasts each circumstance. I welcome grief for the quiet peace it brings, and the focus and clarity it produces, the sharpened awareness of an inward unchanging strength, wisdom, and vision that sets my life’s foundation.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Cor 1:3-5
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV) Self-dependence without belief in abundance breeds self-doubt and anxiety. I will never be big enough for the problems in front of me, but i shake off doubt and a mindset of scarcity. I exhange it for a mindset of total and complete provision, confidence in the strength of my provider. I look beyond the frustrations, disappointments, challenges of this period (they are brief and passing). I place my focus and my value in the guarantee andcomfort that comes from a higher source and is eternal. This renewal changes me. I find a strength not my own, I gain a peace that outlasts what is temporary. I no longer define my life by momentary gains; I obtain a security and abundance resting upoin an unfailing confidence. I have joy in every situation, and light to persevere.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. (Psalms 59:16 ESV)
2 Timothy 1:7
Make plans with a clarity that comes from having an inspired vision and purpose. pursue these plans fearlessly, with a confidence that comes from trust in the plan, which is god-breathed. Do so in an atmosphere of love, patience, and gentle kindness. Remain peaceful, as you are aware of the provision that comes without you asking for it - god’s provision - his timing, strength, and encouragement.
“How do I receive revelation?”
(via my friend James Finneyfrock’s facebook status)
A. Many people ask me to pray for them to receive greater revelation from Scripture. While it’s always an honor to bless someone with prayer, it is seldom understood how revelation comes, or to whom it comes. One of the greatest joys in life is hearing from God. There is no downside. But there is a cost that comes with the impartation.
The following is a list of practical suggestions for those wanting to grow in revelation from God.
1. Become childlike. Simplicity and humility of heart helps qualify a person to hear from God, while the desire to be profound is a wasted desire. What many discover after years of teaching is that the word that is simple is often the most profound. “At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.” (Matthew 11:25)
2. Obey what you know. Jesus taught His followers, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (John 7:17) “If anyone wills … he shall know” – Clarity comes to the one willing to do the will of God. The willingness to obey attracts revelation, because God is the ultimate steward, investing His treasures into fertile ground – the surrendered heart.
3. Learn the biblical art of ‘meditation’. “I call to remembrance my song in the night; I will meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” (Psalms 77:6) Biblical meditation is a diligent search. Whereas religious cults teach people to empty their minds as the means of meditation, the Bible teaches us to fill our minds with God’s Word. Meditation has a quiet heart and a ‘directed’ mind. Mulling a word over in our heart, with a pursuit that springs from the inquisitive child’s heart, is meditation.
4. Live in faith. Living by faith in my present assignment makes me ready for more. “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Notice that the light of the gospel comes to the person who believes. Revelation comes to the one expressing faith! Live with the understanding that God has already willed to give you His mysteries (Matthew 13:11), and ask accordingly. Then thank Him in advance.
5. Acquire an understanding heart. This sort of heart has the foundations in place for something to be constructed upon it. These are the basic concepts of the King and His kingdom. Proper foundations attract the builder (revelator) to come and add to those foundations. “But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.” (Proverbs 14:6) God wisely stewards fresh insight to those who have the basic principles in place. When fresh insights come, the understanding heart has a “slot to put it in”. It is not lost as seed spilled on the ground.
6. Give God your nights. I try to end each day with my heart’s affection stirred up and directed to the Holy Spirit. What an amazing way to go to sleep. The Song of Solomon reveals this poetically, “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” (Song of Solomon 5:2) God loves to visit us in the night and give us instruction that we would have a hard time receiving during the day. (Job 33:15-16) The desire to give God our night season flows naturally from the child’s heart that knows revelation cannot be earned. Ask Him specifically to minister to you in the night through visions and dreams. Once you have a dream or vision, write it out, and ask Him for understanding.
7. Give away what you have already received. Never underestimate what hungry people can “pull” from you while you minister the word. Being in a place of continual giving is a sure way of getting more. When we’re in ‘over our heads’ in a ministry situation, we find out what God has been putting into us during the night. He draws out of the deep places in our hearts things that are not yet a part of our conscious thought processes. (Proverbs 20:5)
8. Become a friend of God. God shares His secrets with His friends. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15) He makes all things known to His friends. Not only does He want to share all, He’s invited us to ask anything of Him. But be accustomed to hearing more than you can share with others. Listen as He speaks, but speak only what He gives you freedom to speak about. Some things are revealed only because we’re friends, and are not to be shared with others.
Yesterday, as I was getting on the freeway to drive back home from LA, I saw a homeless couple with a sign - “hungry, will work for food.” I didn’t have cash, so I gave them my dinner, a box of sushi. As much as I enjoyed giving, I couldn’t help but feel the slightest tinge of sadness - “boo. there goes my dinner.”
When I got home, my mom greeted me, “have you had dinner? I got you sushi - just for you!” There were three boxes full - more than I could finish.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” - Psalm 24:1
He sees every little thing.
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. - Pr 22:9
It comes true.