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Posts Tagged ‘sufferings’

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us …”  (Eph. 3:20)

I went to go pray over a friend of mine who was in serious condition in the hospital. We had prayed for him a couple months ago when he was slipping over the edge into death, and the Lord answered mightily. I was on the phone with his wife as we were praying, and about 15 minutes into it, we both experienced the power of God come down in a finality that established the victory like slamming a standard into the middle of a battleground. It was done! God had answered!

Needless to say, the next morning, instead of dying as everyone expected, he immediately took a major turn toward life. Prayer had literally pulled him back from the dead.

Three months later, however, he was still in the hospital. It was up and down, back and forth. This week he is chipper and doing well; next week he is faltering. We had prayed him back from the dead, but now it was time to bring him back to life, real life.

I have seen just about every miracle healing I can think of from  blind, crippled, paralyzed, barren, broken bones, even one man who was virtually dead, but I still have no idea how it works. Or why.  I have listened to all the theological experts (who, by the way, rarely have done this themselves) explain how the whole process works, but I am still clueless. I can only step into the situation, lay hands and pray, and wait for God to do something miraculous.

And He does. Many times, an entire line of people who have come forward will get healed – every last one of them! But there are those times when you pray your guts out, and nothing happens. Burned into my memory is the picture of me in Africa holding a child that was brought to me with malaria. I prayed harder that morning than I had ever prayed, but, on the way to the hospital that afternoon, the baby died. You can’t question these things; you just keep going and keep doing. God is in charge.

In spite of all that I have seen, I am still intimidated and a little scared when I am asked to pray over someone. I don’t know how it works, I don’t always feel something when it does, and who am I anyway to drive my way into the Throne Room of God to demand this thing? This past weekend, however, the Lord was pressing me hard. Go and pray. Exercise your authority that I have placed upon you. Have the guts to believe Me and establish the promises that are planted in the Word of God.

Yikes! This has now taken a very different tack. This is no longer a mission of choice – this is a campaign of battle to establish the will of God. This is now a commission, not a request. The honor of God is on the table. He said it; we have done it; it is finished. Go!

And then the above scripture came to me. “Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” I get that part. God is sovereign. Everybody knows that. What has that got to do with prayer?

Ah, the “rest of the story”, so to speak, is in the other part of the verse, “according to the power that worketh in us …”

All of a sudden, this is not a work of chance or wishful thinking. It is not about tossing out some anemic prayer requests and hope that it works. And if it doesn’t, oh well, it must not have been the will of God. No excuses, no backdoor exit, no nebulous theologies. NO MORE EXCUSES!

What did God say? Then have the courage to believe Him! As a friend once told me, “Act like you believe the Bible.” That’s it. It’s as simple as that. Just step off the edge of the cliff and let God catch you.

The catch in this, however, is predicated on that one little turn of a phrase, “the power that worketh in us.” This is not a free-for-all; there is a price to pay for the kind of power that God requires. This is not a matter of “works”; this is a matter of power. And we are required to do what it takes to get that power in God so that we can, in turn, exercise it so the world can see how great God is.

I have said before that your place in God is determined by your depth of prayer. The oil for your lamps is gotten on your knees before God in deep, broken subjection. The deeper your prayer, the deeper you go into His bleeding side. That “secret place in God” that David speaks about in Psalm 91 can only be found in a place that is nailed to the Cross.

The troubles and pain in the valleys, the sufferings of the Cross, the crucified walks, the brokenness and surrender all lead to a place in God that cannot be found in the mountaintop experiences and pleasant times that we celebrate in church. This is the price we pay for that deeper walk in God. Pain and sorrow open wounds that take us into a depth in God that laughter never will. It also brings us into a walk of righteousness because the closer we get to God, the more we approach His holiness and are finally able to understand the fear of the Lord. Righteousness establishes the promises of God, and a crucified walk that takes us into the sufferings of the Body of Christ brings us to that place of righteousness, not because pain cleanses us, but because it opens depths in our soul that brings us closer to God.

Walking in this kind of depth establishes a confidence of faith and power in you that you never had before. It exposes your understanding to realize that time and space are not real. They are unrealities that tie us to this world. Only when you understand that time and space are not real will you ever be able to believe God for the impossible.

Walking in the power of God blasts demons, breaks chains, destroys obstacles, and heals the sick. God has given you power to heal the sick – He didn’t ask you to ask Him to do it. He told you to do it. Now you understand; now you are empowered to exercise that which is “exceeding abundantly above all” because we have a power that works in us which has been forged in the fires off the altar of God – the same altar that accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that is covered with His blood.

That is where the power comes from – His blood on the altar of the suffering of the Cross.

But …  you have to go get it.

Are you wondering about why things are so weak? Are you, like Gideon in Judges Chapter 6 wondering about where the miracles are? Why are our altar calls so empty? Why are services more like a college lecture than a supernatural experience with God? Where is the power?

It starts on your knees … and goes down from there. Power in God only comes from a depth of prayer that is washed in the agony of His blood.
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Brother Dale

 

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