Friday, September 28, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again – Part II

I told you that I would tell you about Sona. Here’s what we found out about her. Sona was born in Thailand to Phillipino parents. Now here Mom lives in Kentucky where she is very ill with advanced diabetes and for some reason she has ended up in the hood with her cousins. I got the impression just walking by Sona that she would hurt you if given a reason, any reason! She is a tough kid, probably near 20 years old who h as lived hard her entire life and had to adapt to it. When we ran into her, everything in the natural would have told you, RUN AWAY! But I was drawn to her, I just KNEW that God would have something for her… and He did!

We’ve learned something in the last few years preaching in dangerous places. If you go for the strongman in a neighborhood or group situation, everything else is easy and just falls like dominos. I’d describe the strongman as the person ruling an area or arena thorough intimidation, witchcraft, manipulation or demonic control. In a group setting, it’s the baddest, meanest and most demon possessed person. Sometimes in a neighborhood setting it’s the neighborhood violent drunk, drug dealer or math-head.

Jesus talked about the strongman here:

“Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless first he binds the strong one, and then he will plunder his house.” Matthew 12:29

The only way to plunder that sucker is to bind him. Practically, we are searching out the strongman and going after him, FIRST. William Booth said, “Go for sinners and go for the
worst!” The worst sinners many times make the best disciples! Even if they don’t bow the knee to Jesus, they control people through their intimidation and behavior. When you confront that and defy their control or intimidation, the people around them see them as frail and human and are set free. But as you can imagine, it can make some situations get a little hairy. The person acting as the strongman in a household or neighborhood likes their control and is used to their control. Sometimes they defend that house violently! Maybe that’s why we’ve been in more than a few altercations and riots?

Anyway, we walked up to a group of men and women on the sidewalk. There were about 4- guys, dressed all thuggish with their 40oz. beers in their hands and 3-4 Phillipino girls talking out with them on the sidewalk. As we walked up to them I’m thinking, “Ok now, in this group, who is the strongman?” What you can count on is that many times the strongman has a big mouth! Everyone normally jumps when they say something. So we walked near them real slowly. They were all checking us out and it felt pretty uncomfortable. So this girl, Sona, takes a look at my shirt which says on the front, “got power?” and on the back, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power. – I Corinthians 4:20” and yells at me saying, “What, you think you got power or something?” Invitation received. That’s our cue to move in, seek out and destroy the Kingdom of darkness.

Instantly I could just tell that Sona was the strongman holding the little band of thugs and immoral women together. I could also tell that out of everyone standing around, Sona would be the one at her high school voted “Most likely to shank you in the prison yard”. This girl had anger and hate all over her face. She was hurting and all that it took to understand that was for her to challenge us. I turned to her and her friends and addressed her very simply, “I sure do.” I went on to tell them, “Jesus is with us and His power is at work in and through us. We see sick people healed and lost people such as you rescued from lives of sin!” They all went into “oh great, what do we have hear mode”. A couple of the guys scattered and scampered away, I called after them “where are you going? What are you afraid of? Get back here!” Sona was like, “So what, you here to preach or something?” I replied, “Oh yeah, you need what I’ve got!” Sona’s girlfriend, who I later found out was her cousin stood there and just said, “Don’t waste your time preaching to her, although she needs it the most (pointing to Sona).” Sona took a hard swig of her 40oz. beer and I could tell that she did not relish the thought of being the “hard case”.

So I focused in on her.

I just stood there in front of her, looking at her and silently asking the Lord for something that would break her hardened heart. As I looked, the Lord began to show me that in her past she had to resort to violence to protect herself and the violence had become an addiction, she liked to inflict pain on others. I then saw a picture of her being pulled from either arm, one by the Lord and His Kingdom and one by the enemy and his kingdom. The enemy had been puling harder and she was about to completely give in to the dark side and just go with it. I started by telling her, “Listen, I have to tell you that Jesus is King! That means that He is the boss and we have to serve Him. You have to serve Him!” She rolled her eyes and backed up a little. I continued, “I also have to tell you that His Kingdom, a Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy is here, right now!”

I was about to lose them, they were backing away and losing interest, so I quickly said to Sona, “Look, sometimes Jesus shows me stuff about people and He’s showing me some things about you right now, do you want to hear them?” She just kind of stared. I took it as a yes and proceeded. “The Lord is showing me that you have been contended for. Both the Lord and the enemy have been working to gain your life. The Lord has saved you from certain death more than once and the enemy has really played his hand in your life. I believe that the Lord is showing me that the enemy has been pulling at you much harder than the Lord, but I am here to announce that it’s God’s turn! He’s going to start winning you over to Himself!” Tears welled up in her eyes and she started power drinking, just guzzling that booze. I told her, “I’m taking your swigging the beer that I’m on track?!” She nodded and so I continued. “The enemy’s work in your life has produced anger. Anger that seeks relief and you have found your relief through inflicting violence, but we’re here tonight to set you free of that anger. Do you want to be free?” She took another hard swig, this time tears streaming down here face and nodded, “yes”.

We asked if we could pray for her and lay hands on her and she said yes. All of her friends, once mocking, just sat there in stunned silence watching their partner in crime break in front of us. She was a little girl again, vulnerable and needy. We laid hands on her and broke the demonic power of anger. We released her from all of the spiritual garbage she had attained while walking in darkness. Tears streamed down her face and she was shaking softly under the presence of God. I didn’t ask, I just instructed her, “Say this with me, Jesus” She said instantly, “Jesus”. “You’ve got my attention tonight and I now realize that you are King and Lord.” She repeated. “I tonight, repent of my anger, my violence and my walking apart from Your Kingdom and rule. I, tonight, ask forgiveness for the wrong I’ve done.” Without hesitation she said what I told her to say, growing stronger with every sentence. “I feel Your presence and Your peace right now and I want more of it! I submit to the Kingdom of God and commit my life to you in service.”

The Presence of God overshadowed her and she was weeping and trembling under His presence. When she looked up from the prayer she smiled! She had this huge, ear to ear grin across her face. All of her friends were staring, mouths open at their hardened friend, weeping like a baby! I couldn’t resist and used her countenance as a testimony, calling them to change the way they thing (repent) for the Kingdom of God is on the earth! The night ended with us prophesying to three of her friends and relatives, calling all of them to serve Jesus. One of them made Jesus her King and all of them witnessed the power of the Kingdom!

Bind the strongman, plunder his house… It’s as easy as that!

PS - We start our UMT - High School/College INTENSIVE tonight! ( I'm excited!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back In the Saddle Again - Part I

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote. Mainly because I was off on vacation for a couple of weeks… Ah, the beach! Anyway, I’m back and have already seen God do some very cool stuff in the last week. What’s best is that I came home to a bunch of stories from our outreach team and other folks in the church. Lots of healings, salvations, disciples being made and even a few house churches coming together!

The week before I left town we visited a neighborhood that’s new to us this year. We’ve been in there 5 or 6 times already and before I left town for a couple of weeks I wanted to get in there again. This neighborhood has been weird, because we’ve seen some people get healed and prophesied and prayed for a bunch of people, but nothing really was happening past that point. No disciples were coming out of it and we haven’t got a meeting going in there yet. What we’re looking for is hunger; a hunger that lasts past the point of receiving a miracle or witnessing a demonstration of God’s power. As we demonstrate the power of the Gospel through prophetic gifts or healings and miracles, we then call people to repentance and to lay down their lives and serve Jesus. The ones who respond with true hunger are the disciples we can work with. So as we were driving into Sedgefield a couple of weeks ago, I was praying and asking the Lord to help us get our foot in the door and meet the right people.

The Lord didn’t just let us get our foot in the door; He let us kick it down!


We were barely in the neighborhood more than about ten minutes when I spotted a guy that we had talked to a couple of weeks before down the block and across the street. I turned to the team and told them, “This guy hates me.” It was because a couple of weeks before, things got a little heated. We were preaching to him and then he tried telling us about some demon doctrine through his alcohol induced haze, calling himself a Christian, etc. I can’t stand it when sloppy drunks try to instruct me in the things of God, so I told him that I didn’t want to hear anything from him until he sobered up and repented for his sin. He got ticked! But that was a couple of weeks before.

As we approached him, he looked up and saw me coming. He had a rag in his hand and started waving it around wildly, calling out to me, “If you step over to this side of the street, you’re going to get shot!” I proceeded directly towards him undeterred. I didn’t really bother preaching to him, I just wanted to remind him that everything I had told him a couple of weeks ago was still valid. Namely, if he wanted freedom, he just had to repent, call on Jesus and we would pray for him and get him delivered. He didn’t want anything to do with it, so I proceeded to talk to his neighbors sitting just a few feet away.


So, we talked to several people sitting on some steps nearby. It started with the Lord showing me one thing about a lady having to do with a grace and gifting that the Lord had given her. I opened my mouth to share it and got more. Some 10 minutes later, the lady is in tears, rocked by the goodness of God. Her husband is sitting right there, affirming what we were saying. An older woman is there, she’s obviously inebriated, but asks meekly, “Is God showing you anything for me?” To be honest, at the moment, I had nothing. But I knew that the Lord had something for her so I told her, “sure!” Some might recoil at that, but after years of preaching the gospel to the lost, I’m convinced that God has things to say about EVERYONE, any time we ask Him! Think about it, He knows EVERYTHING going on with EVERYONE; all we have to do is ask Him for it.

This is the scriptural basis for what I’m saying:

And He said to them, which of you shall have a friend and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has come from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him? And he answering from inside may say, Do not trouble me. The door is now shut and my children are in bed with me. I cannot rise and give to you. I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needs. And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. And he who seeks finds. And to him who knocks it shall be opened. Luke 11:5-10

If someone comes to us and asks us for bread (the word of God) we can, in boldness, go to God and ask Him for bread (spiritual provision, the word of God) to feed our friends. It’s not because of our relationship or intimacy with the Lord that He gives us what we ask for, but because of our boldness to ask Him. Time and time again we’ve seen this work. It’s a normal thing now for new believers to bring us their friends and family members, sit them right in front of us and simply say,”do them”. Meaning, “prophesy”. 90% of the time, we have nothing, but in faith, we go to God and get something for them, meeting the hunger of their heart.

I opened my mouth to say something (although I don’t know what) and out came some stuff concerning her dream life. It obviously made an impact. One of the ladies with me had something for her about the love of God and in a few minutes, she’s literally in a heap on the stairs, weeping under the presence of God. On and on it went that night, I believe we prophesied over about 12 people, all of them visibly shaken by what the Lord was giving us, and the accuracy of what the Lord was giving us was startling. The Lord showed us what people did for a living, what relationships in their homes were like… On and on it went, all night long. 3 people gave their lives to Jesus and a dozen were shaken to the core.


More and more I’m convinced that the prophetic gifts are one of the most powerful weapons in the Christian’s arsenal. Jesus used them with unbelievers and so can we. Remember the story of the woman at the well?

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give me to drink. John 4:7

Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come here. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband. In that you spoke truly.
John 4:17-18

Jesus, talking to a complete stranger, starts telling her things about her life that there is no way He could have done in the natural. He gives her some very clear details about her life, namely that she is living with a man outside of marriage and that she has had five husbands in her past. Jesus received this as revelation from God the Father, through the Holy Ghost. Just look at the result from Jesus telling her details about her life.

The woman then left her water pot and went into the city and said to the men, Come see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Is this One not the Christ? And they went out of the city and came to Him. John 4:28-30

And many of the Samaritans of that city believed upon Him because of the saying of the woman, who testified, He told me all that I ever did.
John 4:39

Many in a city come out and believe on Jesus… why? Because Jesus received a word of knowledge. Her testimony spread like wildfire throughout the city and the hearts of many unbelievers were unlocked to receive the gospel through her testimony of what Jesus said to her. Over and over we have seen the same scene play out, the Lord will show us some stuff for an individual and many times they will go and get their friends and family members, bring them to us and basically say, “Do them”. I believe that we have led more people to the Lord through prophetic evangelism than any other means, by far.

Next time, I’ll tell you about Sona, who gave her life to Jesus that night.

Come on Jesus!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Urban Missionary Training - High School/College INTENSIVE - 6 Fridays, Sept. 28th - Nov. 2nd

We've got something coming up in the next few weeks that I am very excited about. For the last sever years we have been going out and preaching the Gospel with power at local hangouts and High School sporting events. This year, we're going to take people with us and show them the ropes" of how to start a revival in public!

Here's some info:

The Urban Missionary Training - High School/College Intensive is a six (6) week training module taking place on Friday evenings that will take High School and College age students from a timid, "defense" oriented Christian to a passionate and empowered "offense" minded believer, equipped with the tools and experience to affect their high school or college campus for the Kingdom of God!

All participants will not only receive training in the miracle ministry of Jesus, but each week, we will actually take you with us as we invade public high school and college campuses with the gospel of the Kingdom of God! You will see with your very own eyes miracles happening on high school and college campuses, kids giving their lives to the Lord and the kingdom of God coming with power!

Click here for more information.