Sunday, April 24, 2005

Going to the Next Level...

We had some cool stuff go on these last two weekends.

The first thing was a major confrontation with a God-Hater. This guy was violently opposed to the Gospel, his anger barely concealed under the surface. It was all he could do to not fly in our face and get physical. We persisted, patiently explaining and preaching the Gospel to him and his friends. They mocked us, ridiculed us and told us how stupid we were, but we persisted. We all received some words of knowledge and when we spoke them to him, his demeanor changed, a strange look came over his face and he hardened. There are times when you know that what the Lord is giving you is right, even though you get no confirmation from the person you are talking to and this was one of those times. It’s not a safe practice to assume you are right even when the person you are talking to you is saying you are wrong, but this was the exception. The Lord gave us some extremely detailed information about this guys’ past, we spoke it to him and he denied it. But it was clear that it hit home.

Finally, after contending with them quite a bit and standing our ground, we got an opportunity to prove that what we were saying was true. We always ask them for an opportunity to prove it by healing the sick or casting out demons. We found out that this God-Hater’s girlfriend has a skin disease and growths on her ovaries that cause her a bunch of pain. We made a challenge; If she doesn’t get healed, then what we are saying isn’t true, they can disregard it all. But if God heals her, then what we are saying was true and all of them (about 5 of them) would have to give their lives to Jesus. The readily agreed. We prayed right then and then fasted the next weekend and now we are waiting for the results from her Doctors appointment happening in a week or two. We believe that they are going to go in there and see that the growths are gone and that this skin disease is cleared up. That will be a good one.

Also, we ran across a group of kids, told them that Jesus was King and His Kingdom was on the earth and then started prophesying to them. One of the guys on the team got a word of knowledge that one of the kids in the group (about 5 of them) had been watching a loved one get physically abused by their family. As soon as he said that, a girl in the group started weeping. Apparently, one of her close relatives was being physically abused by their family. This set off a chain reaction as the Holy Spirit began moving on the whole group. Some folks on our team start crying with compassion and the rest of the kids were undone that the Lord would be that specific for the young girl. In about ten minutes, all five of them got born again and gave their lives to Jesus!

Which leads me to my next point.

We have been plugging away at the same group of kids for about six months now. We go out just about every Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting. During this time, we have seen a bunch of people give their lives to Jesus, a few awesome miracles, some healings, and a lot of heated confrontations. The Lord has made clear to us that we are to take this thing to the next level. What do I mean by that?

Church planting.

The Lord is giving us a strategy to not only make converts, but disciples. We want to build the Kingdom of God, one solid believer at a time. At the places we go, we are known; whether that’s a good thing or not depends on the person you are talking to. Almost every week now we are running into people that have been affected, changed, healed or born again through our witness and preaching. We are getting to know them, talk with them, answer questions and move them closer and closer to Jesus. The next step is to begin their training to be a soldier for Jesus Christ.

We’ve invited them to our church, but none of them have come. Many of them have been going to their home churches, the same ones they left years ago, but that’s not going to last very long. It didn’t work out the first time and there is little chance it will work out this time. Most churches preach abstinence from sin and the things of the world, almost completely neglecting the gifts and calling that God has given to every believer. We know that to serve Jesus, the best defense is a good offense. The Gospel is offensive. It’s not about what you can’t do but rather what you can do. These new believers can preach the gospel, winning their friends and family to the Lord, they can heal the sick, they can cast out demons and they can raise the dead. It’s only as they get rolling in what they can do that they will discover all that they possess in Jesus.

So, we are praying and believing God to get these guys in a home fellowship, where they can be taught the Word and experience the presence of God with other believers. It will start as having dinner together at Steak and Shake, but will become a church of radical new believers that will carry Gospel fire back to their friends and families. As of this writing we have two of these groups in action, but our goal is to have at least ten by years end. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, a lot of time and extremely exhausting, but it’s worth it.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

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