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.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

Two weeks after being born again, I left the farm where I worked and started a new job as a purchasing agent for a manufacturer of mining exploration equipment. Two weeks later, another new employee started in the sales office, and about two weeks after that he came to my desk one morning with a big smile on his face.

“You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” he said. I was pleased that he noticed. So I responded, “Yes I’m a Christian.” Then with an even bigger smile and without any hesitation he said, “That’s nice, I’m a witch.”

It turned out that he was the warlock of a coven. And with a 7th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Hapkido, he was fully immersed in the worship and power of satan. He was a friendly person, but pursued me for over a year, many times telling me that Lucifer was the powerful and illuminated one, and that Jesus could never do for me what Lucifer did for him. He demonstrated very real demonic power, particularly on two occasions, once “punching” me in the chest from about 40 feet away, hard enough to almost knock me down, and another time bringing a lightning strike down in the middle of the city on a nearby electric tower. Writing about it now sounds wild, but these incidents really happened.

But one day on the bus to work, God stepped in. After reading John’s gospel chapter 14, where Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you and shall be in you,” I arrived at my stop, and while closing my Bible, walked down the center aisle to the exit door praying, “Lord, I know you are with me – I want you in me.” I did not have any particular burden in mind. I just wanted to know God more than anything else in the world.

Immediately I was speaking in tongues (while walking down the steps of the transit bus to the street) and singing in tongues, and praising God. Walking the rest of the way to work, the praises, the songs, and a language I had never learned continued to flow from inside me for almost fifteen minutes. It wasn’t that I could not stop, I just did not want to!

Now let me explain the reason for telling this story.

Remember the witch, empowered by worshiping Lucifer and practicing martial arts, who was sent to my desk every day for 15 months to cast doubt? …..He never spoke to me again.

And from the day I received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit until the day I left that job 5 months later, I never once spoke to him about what had happened, but the demonic spirit in him recognized the Spirit of God in me and never challenged the name of Jesus again.

God wants to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Fast and pray and seek God. He is the one to trust now.