Friday, November 25, 2011

Can You Believe?

Belief is something a lot of people struggle with. People struggle with seeing a new and greater reality than the one they're currently aware of. A wheel-chair bound man, for example, can't recast himself as running and jumping, while playing basketball. He can't see the muscular definition in his lean, strong legs. He only sees the atrophied reality.
A woman raising a mentally retarded teenager can become a life coach, and the only possibility she can show you is how to navigate situations while burdened with handicaps. Some people suffer in a condition for so long that they see absolutely no other possibilities. It's like getting so used to the stench of rotting flesh that it no longer offends you, and has become a part of you.

One would think that such people and conditions are not only permanent, but universal, yet people have been emerging from oppressive conditions to new realities.
In places(such as areas in Africa & South America) not touched by the influences of modern media, people are walking out of being crippled from birth, the only condition & reality they ever knew. While others in more "civilized" societies strain under the oppression of a plethora of conditions yet unknown to those remote nations. Why is that?

A Pastor from America saw the state of these remote places, the lack of medical facilities and all the modern accoutrements, so he decides to bring salvation to the wild. He goes around and gathers all the village chiefs willing to participate and have their subjects partake. Pretty soon he has a small crowd, open and waiting for something; expectant. He preaches on healing, and randomly, people in the crowd are being released from blindness, deafness, pain...
The Pastor is flabbergasted! He hadn't even called people to be healed, hadn't even prayed for them, wasn't even aware that a message imparted by him could have such an effect. He's never experienced this before. Man!
What happened there?

How is it possible that a Pastor can preach one message in his home church in Ohio, then preach the same message with slight tailoring to fit an African audience, yet get two vastly different effects? How can he preach on healing miracles in church, have loyal, longstanding, dutiful church members suffering diabetes, wheelchair bound, etc, yet a stranger sits in on one message and is automatically released from cancer. How did that happen? 

The problem the civilized people have is their inability to be persuaded by Truth. The Word has become common for the church members such that they are loyal to the church for intellectual reasons. People have magnified intellect to the point where it's a giant in their lives. Every experience (and I use "experience" very loosely here) is cerebral. Every message has to be analyzed, dissected and look at from various angles, but at a distance. It never gets in the analyst's spirit. But how can it when it's been categorized as historic information, appreciated for etymology and allegory?

Somehow people have been convinced that being "brainy" is the ideal to be attained. Some Christians form a process called "Apologetics" in order to debate the atheist on an intellectual level. Such Christians even run the risk of being swayed towards the dead's perspective. Have they won over any atheist? Some have, but how lasting is mental maneuvering without intimacy with Truth?

If you're a Christian intent upon winning over the carnal man who is mind ruled, you've got to get past his intellect and reach his spirit. Trying to win him over by mental gymnastics is next to futile because that's his territory. Don't focus on refuting his arguments in debate, because that's when you're dancing to his music and it won't work. Take him out of his comfort zone. Your mind won't tell you how to do that well, so you have to ask the Holy Spirit to give you utterances that will shake his "foundation". Utterances that will reach into his core. Now you may not see the immediate shake, but he will leave the conversation with niggling questions of his position. The dam has a hairline crack...

Listen friends, our God is a supernatural God. He functions in the realm where all things are possible. You've got to take advantage of the grace you received when you confessed Jesus as Lord.

In his first letter to the Corinth Church, Paul said "...when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. ...but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). You have to come out of the realm where you see words in the Bible as mere words. Make them real to you. Experience them.

A man's soul(mind, will and emotions) is the gateway to his spirit. Your spirit is where ideas, behaviours, life boundaries and directions live. It is the person God's Spirit connects with. The same way food and eating habits shows up in your body (whether you're svelte and healthy or overweight and disease prone) is the same way the ideas, words, pictures, thoughts and emotions show up in your life and present state. Feed Truth to your spirit.

Start with his mind: We experience the world through our physical senses but did you know we have spiritual senses? The same way your eyes allow you to experience the physical world, you have the ability to see with the eyes of the spirit, to use your ability to picture possibilities. 

Your ear allows you to experience sounds, to decipher positions and directions based on sound vibrations. The ability to hear the state or condition a person is in, to hear past and future conversation via thoughts, to get directional vibration, is within your spirit. We have the ability to imagine. The Bible is replete with admonition to meditate (examples are Joshua 1:8 and Psalms 1:2) on His Truth.

Touch his soul's will: We drop our defenses and allow ourselves to trust Truth. We stop seeing ourselves as inferior, undeserving or in condemnation, so that we can step boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). Having the conscious awareness of who we are, who God is and our relationship, allow us to dwarf any and all circumstance that tries to exalt itself above the knowledge of God. Take action on God's Word.

Grab his emotions: Our physical bodies allows us to experience sensations of pleasure or pain; similarly our emotions/ feelings allow us to experience various forms of either joy or hurt. As we meditate God's truth over current physical circumstance, we allow feelings of well-being and gratitude for our change in state. We rest in His Truth.

This is how belief works. What a man meditates on in the spiritual becomes reality in the material. But here is a key, the reason people in third world countries experience miracles in cases where North Americans cannot is simply this: No is not an option. They've meditated on a new reality such that it's now their experience and no other possibility exists. Influenced by media, and "logical" people in their lives, North Americans have made God's Word foolishness in their own sights. As a result, they live oppressed lives.

Read on the woman with the issue of blood (Mat 9:20-22; Mar 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-47). She'd been oppressed by an issue of blood(probably fibroid) for 12 long years, then she heard  of Jesus and his working of miracles and made a decision(her will) that today she will be free. She saw no other possibilities except a healing. How do I know? Levitical law pronounced her as unclean in such a condition, so legally she's not allowed to go into crowds (Leviticus 15:19-28), but her meditated experience was so real to her that she was blind to legalities and possibly consequences. She acted on what she said within herself (If I touch his garments I'll be whole). And get this, Jesus' own will/faith had nothing to do with it!

If you're a Pastor struggling with a bum knee, hear me, that's wrong! Don't vacillate between Truth and present circumstances. Staggering between two stories only lead to failure (James 6-8). Let go of vain reasoning and lose yourself into Truth!

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