Following Jesus can be a treacherous path of trying to change the world, as we see it, and running straight into the truth that we are, indeed, the one with the problem. We need deliverance from:
… our belief that it is up to us to change people.
… our judgmental and legalistic ways.
Think about this:
In the beginning of Luke 19 – the story of the tax-collector Zacchaeus.
(Raise your hand if you just started to sing “Zaccheaus was a wee little man, a wee little man, a wee little man was he!”)
Jesus is in Jericho and a crowd has gathered. The crooked tax collector Zaccheaus was there. He can’t see over the crowd so he climbs up a tree to see Jesus. In the middle of that crowd – which likely would have included more than a fair share of holy or influential or important or preferred or religious people – Jesus heads right for that tree and calls out to that guy – the one who is a social and religious outcast, ridiculously perched up in the branches – to come on down because Jesus wants to go to that guy’s house for supper.
Huh? How do I explain that to my religious friends?
I mean, honestly.
Jesus always picks the wrong guy.
Of course, everyone in the crowd gets quite indignant, muttering among themselves about how Jesus is now the guest of a sinner. Not only did the guy betray his religion, Zacchaeus has betrayed his people, his nation, colluding with the powers that be for his own gain and oppressing the very people who were supposed to be his people.
Or how about the story of the town harlot of Samaria? The infamous, Woman at the Well”? (John 4:1-42) The longest conversation recorded of Jesus and one person was with this woman who had 5 husbands, and was with a guy she wasn’t married too when Jesus approached her.
There is our Jesus, sitting by a well…in forbidden Samaria.
Does anyone else see the humor in this story?
The town slut, (or Ho, Hussy, Loose, Sinner, etc. (as she would be called today) approaches Him.
Isn’t she hopeless and an embarrassment? And openly living in sin, (deep breath)!
Plus, Jesus, as a Jew, was not even supposed to be in Samaria, let alone talk to a woman, for heaven’s sake!!
We hate that woman! Don’t we? We can’t be seen talking to her.
Isn’t that breaking the rules?
Imagine if Jesus was in our world right now in the flesh, and he heads right over to someone who cooperated with and benefitted from oppression of innocent people, someone who had traded integrity for political power, someone we distrust, someone who we feel is dangerous, someone who stole from people in a socially acceptable and governmentally blessed way, someone who took the very religious or national identity that we cherished and basically stomped all over it for his own gain.
I can think of a few already, but I won’t mention names.
Ugh. We hate that guy.
Don’t we? I mean aren’t we supposed to keep ourselves clean by dissing those who are not living up to our standards as we interpret them?
Would we be murmuring and complaining and wondering about this Teacher who apparently had missed the important parts of the very Law he claims to teach.
Never mind He really came to fulfill the law Himself.
We don’t hang around with people like that, Jesus. (Insert whine)
Don’t you know? Good people wouldn’t be caught dead with a man like that.
Just like we don’t hang around with women who are caught in the act of adultery, or fornication, and….
we don’t hang around with Samaritans,
we don’t hang around with powerless children,
we don’t hang around with women who have a bad reputation,
we don’t hang around with beggars or the poor or the oppressed or the criminal or the possessed or the socially marginalized or the ones who aren’t allowed to come to church with the good religious people, never!
Get it together, Jesus.
And, hey, news flash, we certainly don’t go to the personal home of a corrupt politician for a bite to eat or the apartment of the town prostitute for a cup of tea.
But Jesus does it anyway.
Jesus seems not to care about our who-is-in and who-is-out line in the sand. He doesn’t seem to care about what we think about all the wrong folks hanging around with him.
Jesus came to fulfill the Law but while also revealing the Love behind the Law, and the inadequacy of it, he came to replace the real love of a real God for their people.
Jesus came because God so loved the world. After all, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in the book of John, it was because God so loved the world that Jesus came to us.
Jesus came, not to condemn the world but to save the world.
…including the guy we would rather see condemned, to be honest.
How can we miss this?
Now take note of this fact: because of an encounter with Jesus, Zaccheaus turns around gives half of everything away. He is so moved by Jesus, he vows to pay back anyone he has cheated four times the amount he stole.
The Samaritan woman?
Oh, she just became the first woman evangelist telling the whole town about Jesus.
Wild, reckless love for a man who was like no one they ever met.
They both were not just fulfilling the letter of the Law, they were repenting into the heart of Love Himself.
Looks like the presence of Jesus transforms everyone…even those of us who think we have it all together.
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Zaccheaus was lost, Jesus sought him out, and in this moment of repentance – which was so much more than just money or position – he’s reoriented to the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well discovered that her bucket could only be filled with Jesus, not a multitude of lost men.
Now that is something to get excited about!
Think of the word “today” in that passage. Jesus says “Today I must stay at your house” and then later “Today salvation has come to this house.”
The time is now.
We’d rather another day, another house, another time, another kind of sinner. Don’t bother us with the now.
But today is the day for the wrong guy…or the wrong woman.
It’s perhaps telling, where we see ourselves in that story.
Are we the crowd, resentful and muttering because we think THAT PERSON shouldn’t be included because they aren’t righteous enough or holy enough or good enough or acceptable enough or just enough?
Do we have a long list of people we’d probably be pretty mad to see Jesus hanging out with in our world? Do we begrudge seeing Jesus head right to a certain house with a certain person?
Horror of horrors.
We have our sort of people we want to keep out.
Sure, we’re okay with this kind of sinner being included –but not that kind.
But over and over, Jesus picks the wrong person in our eyes.
He even picks you, and me!
Or perhaps we see ourselves more in the one who everyone else wants to keep out.
“Today, today, today, I’m coming to your house.”
And all we can do is receive Jesus with such joy and relief.
And our own sin – everything that damages us and damages our relationship with God and damages our relationships with one another – is over!
We stop putting God into a box of our own self righteous rules and let Him do what He came to do..
…love on all of us and see lives transformed.
So we turn everything in our lives upside down and inside out to be with Jesus, to be Him extended to everyone…not just those we think won’t contaminate us.
…to cooperate in making all things right, today.
If you would like to find deeper meaning for your life and God’s perfect plan, Life Purpose Coaching is the way to go. Hop on over to my web site by clicking on Life Coaching at the top of the page to check out the testimonies of countless others who have experienced life changing freedom through this awesome experience. Contact me for a free short consult to make a decision today. This is your day of change. Find out how to break out of old patterns!!!
Many years ago I heard a message about how the angels of God are there to do our bidding. God didn’t leave us powerless.
Are they not all ministering spirits send forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Heirs of Salvation)…Hebrews 11:14
So, I started to put some things together in my head. If the angels are there to serve us, God’s own people, through salvation in Jesus, then what is stopping me from calling on their services when I need them?
Can you answer that question?
I began to formulate scriptures to encourage my faith to activate this benefit to those of us who are heirs to the Kingdom of God. We are all heirs, but not everyone believes that or accepts it. But if you are an heir to eternity with God then you are a candidate!!
God has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 2:10
And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest, nor is anything secret except to come to light. Mark 4:22
When you pray the word of God, you activate your faith, for you know you are praying according to His perfect will and you are hearing yourself say it…it is a release of your faith. His word will always accomplish what He wants to accomplish and will never return to Him without performing what your faith is releasing.
So, what prevents us from using this knowledge when we have lost something we need to find. Even if it’s just our keys? He cares about every tiny detail of our life. He WANTS to be involved and to be asked. We have not because we ask not He tells us in His word.
These scriptures can also be used to reveal hidden things in a relationship or a person’s life that needs to be uncovered.
And it works! As a matter of fact it works so well that I would recommend you NOT pray these scriptures unless you are prepared for what you might find out. I have shared this truth with some who just thought they wanted to see truth, but when it was revealed to them, they ignored it because they wanted their way and not Gods way.
The choice is yours.
My husband and I use this prayer all the time…even to find our keys that we just had with us. I can even reveal that at times I KNOW I looked in a certain place a dozen times…then I stopped and prayed, felt this nudge to look again, and there the thing would be that I was looking for.
I have witnessed rings found in snow drifts, that would have been impossible, toxic relationships stopped when hidden things came out that were not seen before, contact lens that were dropped suddenly start sparkling and clearly seen, and lost money reappear.
My purse was stolen in Wal-Mart one day, right out of the cart when I turned my back. We raced through the store and locked the doors and the employees checked every bag leaving the store, to no avail. The Police were summoned and came to me to take a report. While I waited I prayed this prayer of finding things. While talking to the Officer he told me that I might as well forget about finding it and cancel all my cards…I did cancel the cards, but believed it would come back to me.
I asked the officer if he believed in angels. He said that he did, as a matter of fact. I then told him that I believed the angels would bring the purse back to me. He smiled and said, would you promise me you will call me at the station, (here’s my name), and let me know if this happens. I said I most certainly would.
I kept praying the prayer to keep my faith out there.
One week later I got a call from the store. They had found my purse hanging in the purse section as if for sale. It had everything in it with nothing missing.
Coincidence? I think not!
I called the officer that day. When I told him my purse was found inside the store, hanging out in plain sight, with nothing missing, he started laughing and called out to all his buddies to tell them the story.
This prayer is so effective I have shared it with everyone I know and have had wonderful stories returned to me of finding priceless treasures long ago lost. It is so fun to rejoice with them.
And to see their faith elevated.
And the angels smile.
So, here is the prayer I put together. Now, this is not a formula, or a religion. It is simply a Word prayer I put together of the above scriptures I shared with you. It is a help to get you started in exercising your faith in this area. You can use it anyway you wish or write your own to pray or just use your memory of the scriptures.
I personally have used this prayer for years. Here it is:
Father, I know there is nothing hidden, except to be revealed and there is nothing kept secret except it be make known. So, I ask you now, in the name of Jesus, that Your Holy Spirit would search diligently, explore and examine every area, and bring every hidden thing into the light (insert here the name of the person or thing). I ask that You would release the ministering spirits (angels) who are there to do the bidding of the heirs of salvation, of which I am one, to go forth, find, and bring that hidden ____________back to me. (or bring every hidden thing to light with this person). I trust that wherever it is you will cause me to either remember, or have it materialize to my sight. I trust You to bring it to me today. Amen!!
In this Episode on “From the Heart of Dixie”, Jason and Cherie share how God miraculously healed their broken Marriage. You won’t be the same after watching this.
After we stopped filming Jason had something he wanted to add…. here is his statement – ” I wanted to say that prayer is powerful and to pray for your spouse. Even though at the time, no matter what anyone told me, I wouldn’t acknowledge that what I was doing was wrong and the enemy actually, had me believe what I was doing was right. I know for a fact that Cherie’s prayers were heard by God. Cherie’s faithfulness to God was key to our marriage being saved. Cherie did not give up on me and that was because of God’s strength and comfort. So just remember when we have given up on ourselves or given up on our spouses, God never gives up on us.” Jason –
Thank you both Cherie and Jason for sharing your amazing testimony.
“Hannah kept wailing even when Eli the priest mistook her for a drunk and questioned her sincerity. She simply set the record straight by telling him, ‘I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief'” (1Samuel 1: 15-16).
She didn’t care how she looked as she prayed. God knew her heart…
We know Hannah for her sorrow… She longed for a son, but couldn’t have children. We know her for her faithfulness. She never gave up hope that God would hear her prayer. We also know her for her sacrifice. She dedicated her baby Samuel to the Lord and left him at the temple to serve God “all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11).
Hannah is one of the most recognizable women in Scripture for all these reasons. Many of us remember her story for her deep anguish over not being a mother. We all most likely recall her time at the temple, taking her request to God in powerful prayer. And what mom wouldn’t be impacted by Hannah’s bold move – leaving her little blessing at the temple to be raised by Eli the priest?
And did you know after God answered her prayer for a child to deliver her from her barrenness, God continued to answer the prayers for Hannah? She had two more sons and three daughters– while Samuel“grew up in the presence of the Lord” (>1 Samuel 2:21).
Hannah trusted God without doubt or concern. Her reverent fear of the Lord was just one more quality of her godly character.
We have to get serious in our prayer lives.
We have to determine that we will hang on and not stop believing until we see an answer.
That’s what Hannah did year after year.
She “showed up.”
She entered her conversations with God broken, resentful, bitter, unhappy, defeated and moaned like a drunken woman. She was herself without pretense.
Do you not think God knows our humaness?
But one year Hannah decided to focus on God and His provision instead of dwelling on her unchanging circumstances. Hannah did something that brought her into the inner courtyard of God’s presence: she prayed with determination.
And her relationship with God went from the possible to the personal, from inactive to active, from nominal to phenomenal.
I heard a teaching today about prayer…but not the way we ususally think of prayer…the point was being made that God already knows what we have need of before we even ask. Ever think of that…and have you ever questioned why, if He already knows, do we need to pray about it?
Because my long journey with the Lord has been a constant pondering about prayer and how to do it. There are so many types of prayer and where do we start?
What has really set me free is the fact that I have pressed into a very personal relationship with a very real God through His Son Jesus and the freedom has come in my “just talking to Him”.
So, I prefer to call prayer, “talking to Jesus”…It just makes it more personal to me.
That teacher this morning said we pray to Him to release our own FAITH….
MY FAITH ACTIVATES MY PRAYERS IN HIS PRESENCE.
That is why we ask!
It is acknowledging the fact that you are believing Him for His absolute involvement in your life and your desires, your healings, your journey….
There are many types of ways to pray, or talk to God.
Right now I am studying about Warfare.
We know we don’t fight flesh and blood, but principalities and wickedness in high places. We are seated in the heavenly realm in the spirit to adequately combat the enemy and all his forces of hell that want to defeat us on every level. But we have the power that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling on the inside of us. We have the power to fight off those wicked spirits and be victorious.
Having been beaten down and disappointed, do you find it hard to boldly and specifically ask God for something in prayer?
I know I do.
But here Hannah was, at the lowest point in her life, offering up a request that she had probably thought a thousand times. The Bible says we don’t receive because we don’t ask. Don’t give up on asking for what you most desire. And do it believing that God gives good gifts to those who ask because He does, and He is a rewarder of all who seek Him.
Let’s not linger at the gate of God’s presence, going through the motions of worshipping God and yet holding sadness and bitterness in our hearts.
Let’s count ourselves as ones who have been brushed by His greatness and honored to have the profound privilege of talking to God on every level and make our requests known.
Let’s rejoice that He gave His power to us to combat the evil one dwelling on this earth. And we can do that well. It just takes determination!
He did NOT leave us here powerless and defeated. But as His children, we are equipped to walk within His Kingdom in the here and now.
I have always created pictures in my mind of the outcomes I want to see that weren’t what was really happening. I created pictures of my situations in life in my mind that were not reality and I lived that way off and on until only just recently. I thought I had a handle on it, but still found residue of this ability I had so carefully constructed in so many areas.
The mind is a powerful thing, and is the source of all our battles with the enemy.
How many of you know that God heals us and corrects us in layers?
Like pealing an onion…one layer at a time. We can’t handle it all at once.
1 Corinthians 13: in the message says:
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
I wrote about my ability to create my own reality in my first book,
“Climbing Out of the Box.” (Which you can find on Amazon)
It started when I was a victim of incest as a child and I learned to remove myself from what was happening and would create a happy and safe environment to dwell in that wasn’t reality. I was forever being disappointed when my picture didn’t line up with what was really happening. It was a way to cope. As an adult it is an easy and tempting thing to slip back into and I have to be on my guard most of the time. But I am a grown up now, not the child victim.
The problem comes when we convince ourselves that we need a certain outcome — and that it has to happen on our timeline, in the way we’ve pictured it.
When we try to control outcomes, and make them fit our pictures, we cut ourselves off from the loving protection of God and let fear begin to rule our thoughts.
Fortunately, in any given moment you have a choice to change.
You can choose to reconnect with the reality of overcoming our circumstances instead of living in a false reality, thus enabling the enemy to continue to cause us pain in lives.
Here are some steps to follow to remind yourself of your powerful connection with Jesus so that you may begin to walk in the power to overcome that He has provided for you.
Be determined to see your circumstances with God’s eyes. Ask Him for His eyes to see clearly…not what you have created for yourself to see.
What are you saying, out loud or to yourself, that’s disconnecting you from your power?
Identify your story.
Once you’ve identified your real story, take a moment to get real about how it makes you feel. Recognize the way your words and beliefs block the manifestation of what you are praying about to begin to occur in your life..
What is the number one negative story that you have on repeat in your brain, and how does it make you feel?
Your honesty is what will open the door for you to remember and accept the power of God to change your circumstances or enable you to accept the place you are at in this part of your season.
Once you’ve identified your story, immediately say out loud: “I am more than an conqueror in all of my circumstances” You, my friend are a child of the King of Kings.
You have to let go of your fear.
Turn it over to the Lord of your heart, Jesus, and be patient.
Talk to Him with certainty and thank Him for giving you a clear picture of your life and a clear picture of what He wants to accomplish in you. Be patient within His fruit of patience.
Try not to control your picture, but let Him create a new picture for you. Your sign from Him will be crystal clear if you’re going in the right direction. He will show you His will for you right now. And remember that if it’s not clear, it is time to trust Him and be patient and learn what waiting on Him really means.
There may be some personal fears you need to clear up, or perhaps faith you need to strengthen, before you can get it.
When you try to control an outcome or even a time frame, you cut off your ability to be patient for the outcomes and disconnect from all the infinite possibilities that could occur.
Surrender to the Lord and remember that nothing can take away your true power that is yours in Christ and His love and peace within you. Let Him mold you into who He has created you to become.
What would happen if you chose to be thankful and content in the place you are in right now?
Or if you are in a really trying, and grief filled place right now, asking Him to strengthen and hold you up while you navigate the waters of pain? He promises to surround you with Himself every minute of the day. And nothing ever stays the same. You can endure until change comes within His strength.
But you have to invite this to happen..
or you could ignore it….
or forget that it is yours….and walk in defeat and fear.
I used to agonize over how my children and grandchildren would turn out. When I saw them making poor choices I would try to ‘fix it’ for them so they wouldn’t experience the pain I knew was sure to come.
When they were little it was easier to do this and be in complete control of what their choices were…but as they got older and became their own person I began to realize I was losing that control, and fear would grip me.
As a parent you learn with each new year in the upbringing of your children that each year you have to let go a little more if you want them to learn how to grow up and make good choices. From the time that baby takes his first step he is always moving away from you. Oh, at first they toddle into your arms, but soon they start toddling off to explore on their own.
And the years accumulate…and one day you have grandchildren. As a grandparent you feel a whole new set of worries and even more the lack of control as your offspring grows and develops.
The cycle goes on and one.
All throughout my children’s lives I prayed Psalm 91 over them and it brought me great peace for His constant intervention in their lives.
That because “they dwell in the secret place of the Most High they shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty Whose power no foe can withstand.”
And I would pray the whole 91st Psalm through with their names right in there.
I also prayed Isaiah 54:13
“And all my children shall be disciples, taught by the Lord and obedient to His will, and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of my children.”
Now, my adult children have learned the value of praying the words of God’s own protection over their own families.
One day as I was praying for my grand kids and trying to not worry about their lives that I had less control over, Jesus spoke to me.
This is what He said:
“Dixie, did you not pray my word over your children all the years they were growing up?”
“Yes, Lord, you know I did.”
“Do you think my word returns to me void? That it just fades away, or does it accomplish the very thing you have prayed in the lives of your children ?”
“I believed and have witnessed your word at work in them always, and I know they love you and are protected by you..so the answer is YES!”
“Do you believe your grandchildren are your children too? And are They a part of you?”
Starting to get it now, I said, “Why, yes they are!” Then He said,
“That same word that you prayed for so many years for your babies, now covers your grand babies as well…my word never stops and always accomplishes what I sent it out to do. Your faithfulness to pray will cover your generation and generations to come will know me because of your prayers.”
Light Dawning!! Wow!
So, here is what He showed me.
Back in the time of Moses, Pharaoh felt threatened by the Israelites and ordered all the midwives to kill any baby boys born to the Israelite people by drowning them in the Nile River.
But Moses’ mother wouldn’t have it. She hid him as long as she could, and when she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and put the basket in the water among the reeds of the Nile.
The very river that could have drowned him was now his refuge.
She had no idea what would happen to her baby, but she trusted the plan of God for her and her baby.
As we know, baby Moses was drawn out of the water and would one day grow to become one of the greatest heroes of the Bible – the one who would rescue God’s people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land.
There comes a time – many times, actually – in the lives of our children where we have to put the basket in the water. Being a Mom, and a Nana I have had to do this many times and not without much pain.
Gosh, it is so hard to let go of them, isn’t it?
We have to let go and trust the plan of the Father. The world is a scary place – a place where we fear our children could drown. But we must remember that we have to let go so that God can draw them from the waters for His great purpose. He has called us to be their parents, but they were His first.
My friend, whatever water you may be getting ready to put your basket into – whether your days as a stay-at-home-mom are ending as your child starts preschool soon or if your baby has grown into a high school graduate and is getting ready to leave your home, or if your children are grown and have babies of their own – remember that you have to put them in the water for God to draw them out and place them into His perfect plan.
Though you might not be physically present with your child as much during the next phase of life, you can always call for the heart of the Father on their behalf. And when you do this, that same Spirit that Jesus left with His disciples – that same Helper – intercedes for you, and in that you can find peace. And it doesn’t stop when they are grown. He will continue to cover them and intercede for them and their children as life goes on.
You are doing great. Find His peace in the fact that He will sustain you and your offspring for always. Your prayers are NEVER wasted!!
Recently, my ladies bible study group has been discussing the many aspects and types of prayer available for us to pray. I really prefer the words, “talking to Jesus”, over prayer. It becomes so much more personal to me when I think of prayers being a continuous conversation with Jesus every day. It enhances my intimacy with Him and my awareness of just how interested He is in every part of my life. And it isn’t just me speaking all the time…..He gets to talk too! And most of the time, I write down what He says, and go back and read His words from time to time as a reminder.
We are never more anxious to receive from God than He is willing to provide. Let’s quit acting like we are bothering God! Beth Moore said, “Prayer is accepting a royal summons to the throne room of the king for breakfast with your dad. He says, Come here child, I’ve got something to give you today. And it’s just what you needed and sought and you are so relieved.”
We don’t know what the direction will be but we know our father will give it.
When you have this kind of prayer intimacy with God, you will learn to recognize when He is wanting your attention and wants to teach you new avenues of prayer, such as warfare against a very real enemy.
So, I am going to tell you of my experience with “Lisa” a number of years back that I find amazing still, even today. I have written of this experience before in my blogging, but I have even more revelation to it now and am still just as amazed.
This is the story:
For weeks every time I grew contemplative or was talking to Jesus, a picture of a hand gun would materialize in my mind. If I was walking by a television and a program was on where a gun was being shot, I would jump as if I was the one being shot at. A picture of a gun on a billboard would seem to be pointed right at me.
The eerie feeling just wouldn’t go away.
At first I thought my imagination was working overtime but somehow I knew this was a puzzle I obviously was missing a piece to. I began to live every day in expectancy of finding out what this gun consciousness was about.
At the time I was leading a weekly women’s bible study and doing some lay Christian counseling as a result of reaching out to the community with my bible study.
His gentle Spirit was teaching me how to totally rely on Him during these times for I felt so insignificant in the enormity of so many problems that women and men face. I never wanted to do anything without His help and in my own reasoning’s as I felt inadequate within myself. I felt it was imperative that I set “me” aside and listen to what the Holy Spirit would say in how to handle each one.
Sometimes, I would be perplexed at what He would have me say to a woman and even more amazed when I would see her set free in areas of her life to move forward.
One particular woman, whom I will call Lisa, was a real challenge. I learned many things as I counseled with Lisa on a weekly basis. This middle-aged-woman had many problems and desired the Lord’s healing and direction for her life. I would just listen to her many issues and offer support and pray for her. Sometimes I would simply counsel her in the many challenges she faced in her sad life.
The counseling went on for many months with Lisa. Then the visions of the gun began. As I prayed and asked God about it I started feeling that the gun issue was somehow connected to Lisa.
I couldn’t help but start to get nervous when she would come to our meetings carrying a backpack, wondering if the gun was in her backpack and she was going to go crazy and shoot me. I listened to her intently in our private meetings to see if there would be a mention of guns but there never was.
I thought about the gun almost continuously for at least 3 months while I spent time with this woman. The feeling really began to shake my faith and I wondered if I was being warned by God to stay away from Lisa. I noticed every gun shop in any place, in any town, and it seemed like they were on every corner, though that wasn’t the case.
I continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what this meant.
One night I had a dream that someone was in my front yard with a gun and it was night. Lisa pulled up in a car and got out and this unknown person shot her and she fell dead on the lawn. I was horrified but went to her and began to pray earnestly.
To my amazement she was raised from the dead. Needless to say, I prayed all the more for Lisa after this dream and wondered where all this would lead.
Counseling her became a strain on me and I had to fight fear as this revelation became more pronounced. I has this sense of awareness and just “knew” that Lisa owned a gun and as I saw her growing more despondent I gave way to much prayer on her behalf (and, truth be told, mine too!)
Then one evening the most astounding revelation happened. I was teaching at my bible study and was quite tired as the staff took over with passing an offering basket to pay for overhead costs of the study. I sat on the stairs in front of the group of ladies preparing myself to pray for those who would come after the meeting was dismissed.
As the offering basket was being passed I looked up just as I saw Lisa drop something into the basket that wasn’t money but something else, but I could not tell what it was. After the meeting was all over and most of the other women had left Lisa walked over and sat beside me on the steps.
“Did you see what I dropped into the offering basket?” she asked. I told her I had seen her drop something but didn’t know what it was. She got up and went over to the offering and took the mysterious object out, walked over to me, took my hand in hers, and dropped a bullet into it.
I just sat and stared at it with my mouth hanging open.
“This is your bullet isn’t it?” I whispered.
“Yes, it is for my gun,” she replied.
“God told me you had a gun,” I told her.
“I know” she said with resignation.
Lisa then began to tell me her story. The reason she brought the bullet and gave it as an offering was because of something that had happened the previous Thursday night.
She had felt totally despondent. She had taken her revolver, and the one bullet she kept for it, into the closet with plans of taking her life.
She said as she sat on the floor of the closet she lifted the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.
It would not go off. She tried for half an hour to get the gun to discharge the bullet, but, mysteriously, it would not.
She then broke down and cried and Jesus spoke to her heart, revealing that the ladies of the bible study were praying and the prayers had broken the bonds of death that had a deep grip on her.
She literally could not kill herself because of the power of God and the power of obedient women to pray. God’s overwhelming love then flooded her as she sat in the closet and broke and wept before the Lord for hours.
She declared her life was totally turned around at that moment.
As I thought back to that same Thursday night, I remembered that was the night I had met with our staff to pray for the ladies of the study and I was again overwhelmed with the image of Lisa and a gun. We all then began to pray in earnest for Lisa, especially, and someone even mentioned a spirit of death over her.
I remembered feeling a relief as we prayed that night and believed that whatever it was with the gun and Lisa, it was taken care of in the spirit that very night. The gun awareness seemed to vanish.
I realized when I spoke with Lisa that while we were praying for her, it was the same night and at the same time that she was in the closet trying to pull the trigger.
I have often wondered if we had not prayed what would have happened to Lisa.
I think back to this time often and use it in teaching obedience when we feel the urgings of God to seek His face on another’s behalf.
And how to wait and trust when He is revealing something we need to see as we are praying.
I have been talking to Jesus for 45 years now, and I am still learning so much more about the many facets of communicating and obedience in the spirit realm of communication with God!
Do we ever stop learning? I think not.
As His children He wants to teach us true Kingdom living. He wants us to know how much He wants to use us, move through us, love through us, and reach others through our obedience and transparencies.
In our obedience to live in Him and obey when He impresses us to move on what He shows us, we can witness mighty things happen in the here and now.