The Simplicity of Abiding in Jesus

In January of 1989 a dream came to me from the Lord.

In the dream our children were walking single file through a deep canyon, and I was watching them from the plateau above as they slowly moved along.

Today in my mind, I can still see the cliffs and the well worn path winding through the large rocks that were scattered around the narrow bottom of the canyon.

Then with no prior hint of danger, a group of lions approached from behind and overcame the last child in the line. There was no gory struggle, just a sudden pounce. The canyon provided no protection and nowhere to hide, and it all happened too suddenly to avoid or stop.

Then the scene instantly changed. I saw one of our children sitting in a hospital bed and a word came to me from the Lord. The word was, “growing better day by day.” Then the dream ended.

I was startled awake, but everyone else was still asleep. I went immediately to the bedroom to lay hands on and pray for the child I had seen in the hospital bed. There was nothing else I could do, and in the months that followed, the dream was completely forgotten.

Then one day almost a year later, our eldest daughter complained of an ear ache, and within a very few days experienced severe swelling in her neck and cheek. After several hastily arranged visits to doctors and specialists the diagnosis was cancer, a very aggressive tumor in her jaw and ear, called a large celled lymphoma. Chemotherapy needed to start immediately.

My wife and I were stunned by the sudden news, to the point of speechlessness.

So we did the only thing we knew, we went to the Lord in prayer as soon as we arrived home from the hospital and put our children to bed. All we could say was, “God, we don’t know how to pray.” And that was sincere. We honestly did not know what to say.

It is amazing how tragedy reduces a person to nothing, but even more amazing how God reveals himself in that moment.

I only remember a few words being spoken in prayer that night when suddenly the Holy Spirit took over. My entire body snapped to attention and I was speaking in tongues in the most commanding tone I have ever experienced. This gift of tongues seemed to go on for about 15 minutes and the sense of power and assurance was remarkable. I do not know exactly how things transpired in the heavens, but firmly believe that our daughter’s healing was commanded by God that night.

Despite the power of that evening, we went through some very difficult days when our daughter’s life truly hung in the balance. But about one month into her treatment I remembered the dream from the Lord and the word he gave to me. We held onto that knowledge tightly, it led us in prayer, and in the end everything worked out exactly as God said it would.

For eight months we watched as our daughter grew better day by day, until there was not a trace of cancer left anywhere in her body. The medical attention she received was excellent, countless Christians prayed for her during that time, and today she is a strong, healthy person in a very robust profession.

God has miraculously preserved, protected, and healed her on many other occasions, and has also given her a wonderful hunger for righteousness. She’s had challenges like anyone else, but is now a living testimony of someone who loves God with all her heart, despite suffering inexplicably at a very young age through no fault of her own.

And this is the simplicity of abiding in Jesus.

We bring our uncertainty about the past and the future, our lack of understanding, our weakness, our tiny grain of faith, and our failures to him. And in exchange we receive his wealth of knowledge, his power, his great faithfulness, his triumph over every enemy, and his assurance that everything is alright.

No matter how long you have been a Christian, abiding in Jesus is a simple exchange of your corruption for his perfection. It is no more complicated than that. That’s how it was at the cross, and that’s how it still is today.

And if you do not know Jesus, all it takes is a simple prayer, because one step in his direction and he will make sure that you find him!

I don’t care what anyone has told you in the past, stop trying to solve your own problems. And even more importantly, stop striving to please God!

Simply look to Jesus in faith for every physical, emotional and spiritual need. If you truly want to please God, trust him fully by abandoning your life to him. Over and over God promises in his word, “I will plant you, I will nourish you, and I will ensure that you bear good fruit.” No obstacle is too stubborn and no circumstance is too grave. The Holy Spirit will deliver the goods to you when you pray in Jesus’ name.

Remember, Jesus was not afraid to be weak. In fact, the Son of God became a man and suffered all of our infirmities to prove that he is not hindered in any way by our weak estate. In the flesh, Jesus depended completely on the Holy Spirit. And now in glory, he is the one making sure we get the help and strength we need to follow his footsteps.

Do you see anywhere in the Bible where it says that he forged his own way? No you don’t, because Jesus committed his life into his Father’s hands and was led throughout his life by the Holy Spirit.

Yes, he was crucified in weakness. But then in return he was raised in power, glorified, and given the name above every other name.

According to Psalm 32, when we pray, confessing our sin and our need to the Lord, we will be forgiven and experience the same abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that Jesus experienced. And according to John 15:16, when we abide in Jesus as I have described, whatever we ask our Heavenly Father in Jesus’ name will be done for us.

So be very encouraged. God has you in the palm of his hand no matter how weak or unsure you may feel. Confess your need to him and he will do the rest!

He wants to heal, and deliver you today. Simply pray… Jesus is closer than you think.

Advertisements

The Golden Chain

One morning in 1988 my wife received a dream from God as she awoke. I had just finished praying when she came down the stairs. As she described the dream, a vivid picture came into my mind as if it was my own, and with that came the interpretation from the Lord. It all remains as clearly today as when it happened.

In the dream my wife saw a very old, strictly orthodox religious man, leading a woman by a thin gold chain attached to a bracelet on her wrist. The woman was also very elderly, and had obviously been subject to the old man for a long time. The chain however, was extremely thin. She could easily have broken the flimsy restraint, but was thoroughly conditioned, afraid of going beyond familiar confines.

They were walking through a school yard, and as they passed, the old woman reached out, grasping my wife in a desperate embrace around the shoulders. Then like a drowning person, she would not let go. Repeating, “Help me, help me,” she dragged my wife downwards with her.

Almost brought to the ground, my wife pushed the old woman away with all of her might. Now free and leaving them both behind, she was instantly running with great leaps and bounds down a main residential road. As she ran, my wife passed lines of people from many nationalities and religions, all sitting beside the road.

This whole scene took place in the small town where we attended church.

The old man in the dream represents tradition, and the old woman, the church. The gold chain represents the thin thread of lies that keep the church in fear. Running in leaps and bounds represents the joy, liberty, and power we will find when we break free of man-made religion and follow the heavenly man, Jesus. And the people at the side of the road are the nations, who will witness the glory of God as the remnant of God sheds the shackles of tradition and walks in truth and power before Jesus returns.

Religious tradition is one of the cloaks that Satan wears in the church. Listing his many ploys would require a whole book, but his goal is always the same – to replace Jesus as the head of the church.

It is plain from scripture that the church ought to be governed by the gifts of the Spirit, and not by the institutions of man. For when the Holy Spirit is in charge, Jesus is glorified, the church grows in faith, the world sees the miraculous power of God, and multiplied souls enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Every Christian denomination started this way, as men and women were touched by the Holy Spirit and learned to submit to his leading.

But over time, Satan subtly hides behind naturally gifted, self-willed men and women, who love to have the preeminence, who worship the work of their own hands, who use pious, reasonable sounding arguments to lead the church away from a vital, living relationship with the Holy Spirit. Then, not knowing the Spirit, well meaning underlings preach self preservation to the natural man, as the spiritual man who craves to be given for others withers and dies. Finally, gasping, the church latches on to anything she thinks will help, trying to rise above the world she knows is sinking.

So it is with great sadness that God and those who know the Spirit view much of what passes for spirituality in the church today. It seems that the hope of the world is blind and failing at a time when lost souls need someone to show them light and a new way to live.

Jesus wept at this terrible, terrible wrong in his day. He wept because the word of God declares freedom from every doubt and earthly restraint, but instead the people of God willingly maintain the chain they could so easily break.

Now. Can I tell you the secret to a life of power in Jesus Christ, where you can experience the full measure of God’s liberty and joy? It is not complicated. Jesus taught us what to do.

Instead of loving yourself and the world, love your neighbour. Lay down your life, abandon your ambitions, forsake your own comforts and pray earnestly for souls. Can you do that?

I have learned that I am unhappy when I am double minded, and fearful when my eyes are on the circumstances around me.

But when I pray and share Jesus’ love for souls, I see that he is already moving in sovereign power, that many are answering his call, and that soon he will do something the whole world will notice.

In the word of God it is written. God always has a remnant who walk as Jesus walked.

I received a word of knowledge from the Lord in July 2003. “The church is about to have a short period of tremendous success, but then persecution.”

God has been preparing again, a remnant who will fulfill his word in the final days, and there will be a great harvest in every corner of the earth. But it will not be without cost. As revival goes throughout the land, persecution will arise, and a conclusive choice will have to be made. Either forsake your life and follow Jesus Christ to certain death, or choose to preserve your life and fall away to the Antichrist. For many years I have sought a gentle way to say that, but there is none.

It also grieves me to say that the distinction will not be obvious to everyone. Only Jesus’ disciples will have their eyes open. If you take up your cross, you will be his disciple and you will understand. But if you refuse God’s way, you will not understand or be ready for all that happens as the end of time approaches.

If this message finds a place in your heart, I feel confident saying that you have probably been mourning the same things I am writing about. But rejoice now, for during this difficult wilderness God has been teaching you to trust him, to follow Jesus without qualification or fear, and soon he will release you into his new work.

Are you ready? Embrace your cross and carry it to the end.

GOD will take care of you. He will make you stand, and not fall.

The Church Edifying Itself in Love

After moving from the city to the small town, we joined a nearby church, became friends with some other young couples, and started meeting for prayer in various homes.

One night at our home with approximately four other couples, we started to pray. After about half an hour, several individuals received the knowledge that Jesus wanted to baptize one of us with the Holy Spirit. Eventually someone had the courage to act on this knowledge and interrupt the prayer. Then after a brief discussion, we discovered that we agreed about the Lord’s direction, and gathering around the individual we laid our hands on her and began to pray.

Within 5 minutes the Holy Spirit came down, she was filled with the presence of God, and speaking in tongues. It was a night of tremendous joy, except later her husband confessed jealousy that others laid hands on her and not he himself.

Perhaps we should have known better and put him in charge of the prayer for his wife. Or perhaps God had to use others.

Either way, I’m thankful that the Lord teaches and forgives our mistakes when we lean on him.

Plain Instructions From God

I hope to re-emphasize that my experiences with God are evidence of his great love. Certainly if he responded in kind to my poor efforts to please him, it would be a sad situation. Fortunately, God is love and everything he does demonstrates that.

From our human vantage point, we call it a blessing when his love is sent in our direction. But when it happens, we should not be surprised or exulted as though something special has happened to us. (See Luke 10:20). God simply does all things well, and sends good at every occasion. He is always ahead of the game. We may view circumstances as an indication that God has changed, or that God has reacted, but that’s just our limited view of things.

I had been saved about 2 years, it was early November, and my wife was expecting our second child, however we lived in an adult only building. No one was complaining or asking us to leave. But we knew we could not stay there much longer.

In prayer one morning, not thinking or praying about our housing situation, God said to me, “by April 1st you will be living in _________.” It happened to be the town my wife spent her teenage years in.

Getting up from prayer I told her about this word of knowledge from the Lord. But there was a problem. We did not want to move to that town. I had just begun working as a tradesman in the city, and after many months of searching we had finally found a really good Spirit filled church. Counting the time before and after we married, we had both lived in the city on and off for approximately six years, and did not want to leave the things we enjoyed or the things we were learning. And we certainly did not want to move back to a small town.

So we continued throughout that winter, looking for a house or apartment to rent. I took a college night class and joined the church choir. My wife was raising our daughter and pursuing her interests. Evenings and weekends we would visit the markets and enjoy the things that only a large city can offer. But we still could not find anywhere affordable to live.

We honestly had put God’s instruction completely out of our minds, when early in March, during prayer again, God spoke to me, reminding me about moving by the 1st of April. Getting up from prayer I said to my wife, “You’d better get in the car, drive to ________, and look for a place.” She did, that morning, and late that afternoon called me. In spite of almost zero vacancies, the main floor of a house was newly advertised that day. She had met the owner and placed the deposit. The new apartment was empty and available for April 1st.

Our landlord in the city forgave our lease, returned the last month’s rent without any dispute, and on April 1st we were sitting in our new apartment, in the town God appointed, on exactly the day he said.

At the time I was too immature to realize that God had gone ahead of us, and just how wonderfully he had provided. In fact I am only recognizing the depth of it for the first time now as I write this. That he would be planning every detail, ahead of our need, without being petitioned. That’s amazing.

Oh, if we only knew how much God loves… then I believe we would find rest.

He is so good, and I feel so encouraged writing about this. I hope you are encouraged too.

Global Economic Collapse

I was born again in 1983 and immediately God arranged a job that allowed for many hours of Bible reading as I rode public transit to and from work each weekday.

Reading the old testament, I noticed how God sent judgment when Israel stopped calling on him, but also forgave, delivering them from oppression when they humbled themselves and called on him again. I was awed by a Creator who allowed free will, and yet upheld justice and righted wrongs, all while never letting his chosen people stray too far.

Then sometime in 1986 I heard a preacher prophesy of economic calamity (and other judgements) coming initially to nations that have turned away from God, but ultimately affecting the whole world. I stored all of that in the back of my mind for future reference.

Of course today, theories of looming economic and natural disasters abound, especially on the internet. But even before the world wide web became available, my wife and I removed television and other news media from our home for a span of over 20 years, limiting ourselves to the word of God. This is something we’re very thankful for. Since God alone holds the future, meeting regularly with him in prayer has proven to be far more powerful and reliable than seeking out anyone else who claims to know what’s in store.

… and in the fall of 2000, I received a dream from God warning of a global economic collapse that I believe will be the first of many world changing events.

In the dream, I was walking from my house to the carpentry shop to begin a normal day of work. In fact everything about that morning was normal. The way I was dressed, the sights and sounds, the thoughts going through my mind, everything going as usual until opening the door of the shop and stepping inside. I found it was completely empty. Not one machine was left, no raw materials or finished goods on the floor, the walls where the tools and the jigs hung were also bare. Everything was gone, and there was nothing for anyone to do!

What I saw was not the natural ebb and flow of economic activity. No, I saw a devastating, times altering collapse of the entire system. Overnight, production came to a halt, and all employment vanished. Exactly what will cause commerce as we know it to suddenly cease was not revealed to me, but it will be a day that affects everyone.

The dream happened as I was waking, along with the interpretation, and I held on to this knowledge for many years saying very little about it. Then 18 months ago I received a word of knowledge that led me to the book of Numbers chapter 33. And that scriptural truth convinced me, now is the time to speak out.

Global economic collapse is inevitable, because the Bible reveals that when God judges men for their sins, he judges them… and he judges their gods. “For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.” (Num 33:4)

Now, I can only speak of the society I know, but what I see is store after store, in mall after mall and city after city, promoted by advertisement after advertisement, all promising more and more, bigger, better, cooler. The lust to possess all we can, our obsession with wealthy and famous people, the abandonment of family for finances, it all points to one thing, a selfish society controlled by greed, that worships money, where materialism mostly shapes our sense of right and wrong, proving that it is our god.

And our society is not unique, because the heart of man is the same worldwide.

Even the majority of false doctrines prevailing in the church today are based on worldly gain. Wealth and success are held up as the true measure of God’s blessing and the evidence of great faith, and no one wants to talk about a time when worldly prosperity could end.

But this false prosperity will end, overnight it will end, because the true and living God will judge and pull down the false gods we worship.

If you can hear this message, and have been wondering why recently the world is losing its lustre, be encouraged. Jesus is at work teaching your heart to divorce dreams and hold possessions loosely. Learn to watch and pray, and soon, when the time comes that many are counting their loss, you will be counting your gain as spiritual riches are multiplied to you by the Holy Spirit.

And if you are concerned about the very real suffering that will accompany the shaking of the nations, I was too until I compared it with the end result of unrestrained sin. God revealed to me that when he allows people to live exactly as they please, their sinful path becomes darker and their situation more desperate as time passes. Without restraint, lust only increases, and Satan’s influence spreads. Then sin and the devil conspiring to blind and enslave the soul, extinguish every last ray of hope.

Therefore, it is the mercy of God to send judgment on the world, because God’s correction is redemptive, restraining lust, cutting off the power of Satan, and setting the captives free.

He may rebuke, and he may chasten, but Jesus knows how to save and lead his people into a land flowing with milk and honey. Don’t forget, he is still waiting for the rest of his sheep to come into the fold. Learn to fast and pray, and as the end of time approaches Jesus will increasingly empower and protect you in miraculous ways that reveal his mercy and light to this world.

And that means that those around you, will see God in you, and be saved!

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:2-3)

So don’t be afraid of the future, live the miraculous life, and let God have his way. Challenging days are ahead… but he has everything under control.

Nuclear Attack on the United States of America

Only a few mornings after being born again, sitting on the edge of my bed pulling on socks, I received a vision from God.

In the vision, I was leaving the front door of the farmhouse where I lived and walking down the front steps to the paved sidewalk which led away from the house.

The actual farmhouse I lived in faced south, and the sidewalk in front of the house led across the lawn through a wooden gate to a graveled yard. Past that a large barn and a forested hill behind it completely blocked the view.

But in the vision the landscape was very different. To the south I saw a beautiful range of rolling hills, “falling away.” My viewpoint in the vision was from high ground and the scene of cascading hills stretched out for many miles. It was summer, it was warm, and the fields were green.

As I stepped onto the sidewalk, without warning three of the fastest fighter jets I had ever seen flew directly overhead. They came from the north, rocketing toward the south. My whole attention was now on the jet planes. But within seconds, and in perfect formation, they banked sharply 90 degrees to the left and vanished out of sight.

Then a massive flash that I recognized as a nuclear explosion filled the whole sky. I dove face down onto the grassy lawn, covering my face and eyes with my hands to protect them as best I could. Then I waited.

But to my amazement I was not harmed, and the vision ended.

I did not have to pray about it. God immediately revealed to me that sometime in the future there would be a nuclear attack on the United States of America.

I had been a Christian for only a few days. I was not confused by what I saw or heard, but I did not tell the vision to anyone for a very, very long time.