Greeting from Byron Bay, Australia!
I want to first apologise for not posting an update sooner. So far my time here has been a WILD ride!! The YWAM DTS course is VERY intense and daily stretching and challenging. Every day we have off is just a chance to breathe and process everything we've encountered.
I know for sure why God asked me to come here. He's been doing crazy amounts of healing and challenging my perspective. Before coming here, I felt stuck in a rut, wondering if the God of miracles was real or a sham. I WANTED to believe God healed and that salvations could happen daily. I wanted to see a faith that was passionate and fearless. I also wanted to challenge myself and expand my vision for my life.
Being here has shown me that everything I wondered and was seeking IS REAL. There ARE people so on fire for God that they have no fear of man and will boldly share the gospel, heal the sick and love wholeheartedly. I've encountered a lot of rejection, a lot of mean people and have endured some persecution. What's cool though is that every time any of those things happen, it killed fear and hesitation.
I've also seen some intense spiritual warfare and have encountered it myself. What's amazing is seeing the authority given to us by God in action. I'm done being a christian coward. When we know who we are in Christ, we realise that we are equipped with a variety of weapons that render the enemy useless. Yet, we have to exercise these weapons of warfare or we lose confidence. It's like any skill...to be efficient, we must practice and use it. It can be a challenge to walk in the power of healing for a few weeks, then not pray for the sick for a while and suddenly try again. Our confidence is so easily robbed and fear sets in. Not always....but that's been my journey.
My biggest enemy has been fear. I'm finding that fear isn't overcome by prayer alone; we MUST face our fears and CHOOSE to walk in love and authority no matter what. THAT'S true christianity. We are called to chase fear, not let fear chase us. Storming the gates of Hell requires us to overcome fear; but when our focus is on the broken and lost who are crying out to be saved on the other side of those gates, it's easier to overcome fear. Compassion is MUCH stronger than fear. Want to overcome fear? Be moved with compassion.
Another big lesson is in intimacy with God. If I try and go out to save the hurting and lost without intimacy with God, I will be easily overcome. That deep love and connection with God is what strengthens us, grows us, gives us vision, direction, identity, power, anointing and love flowing in and flowing out. "Apart from God, we can do nothing." Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. If we abide in Him and Him in us, we WILL bear much fruit. But once that connection is lost, we start to wither. God is our LIFE SOURCE. We NEED Him.
Those two things will radically change our lives and whether we see the supernatural daily or not.
My first time I saw someone be healed, I was in such disbelief and awe. My mind couldn't make sense of it. But what was cool was God REALLY wanted me to believe in HIS healing power because I saw about 5 people receive supernatural healing with 20 minutes. It was AMAZING. And it challenged my theology. It challenged my ability to understand and comprehend....well....life and what I knew was possible.
What's been a battle for me is when I try to figure it out in my mind. I didn't realise how much I depended upon my ability to comprehend something in order to believe in it. My understanding determined my faith. If it could't be rationally explained, I dismissed it.
But there was ONE thing that would override that: personal experience.
I praise God that He encountered me and for my experiences where He spoke to me and provided for me. However, basing my faith off of my experience is also dangerous. Don't get me wrong! Experience is SUPER powerful and life changing and my prayer is that EVERYONE experience God first-hand. But if I only believe in what I experience, it also robs me of believing God could do so much more that I have encountered, think or imagined. Experience is the doorway to our faith. I've never experienced seeing the blind eyes be opened or the dead rise. Does that mean I don't believe it doesn't exist? No. My faith is determined off my relationship with God and learning about His character and nature and what He is capable of. My faith is based off of WHO GOD IS. That's why it's SOOO important to KNOW HIM. The more I know Him, the more I trust Him. Do I still want to experience seeing blind eyes open and the dead rise? YESS!!!!! But my faith isn't determined by whether I ever see it or not.
Our relationship with God is the single most important thing is this life. Period.
Above ministry, healing, spiritual gifts, family, being a good person, wisdom, power, moving in authority, knowing who I am, and even saving the lost.
WITHOUT GOD WE CAN DO N O T H I N G.....nothing.
We'll lose heart, faith, get wounded, burned out, be disappointed or lose the very thing we based our life upon. But God is everlasting, never-changing, ever loving, all powerful, all knowing and loves us with a wild, passionate love that never dies.
And He is so GOOD to us.
I may never fully understand healing...or why things happen or don't happen. I do NOT have all the answers nor will I ever promote my understanding and wisdom ever again. Truth is not discovered in myself...it's discovered out of an intimate relationship with God.
Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.." Another way to look at it is Jesus is the way to truth which leads to life and life abundantly.
My challenge to you amazing people is to seek God with ALL (everything you have) of your heart, mind and strength. You'll see the supernatural break out with such ease if you seek Him first.
On a completely different note: January 15th, my team leaves for Kalkuta, India for 6 weeks. We could use your prayers. There's a lot of demonic activity and such great need that our little team couldn't help every person we were moved with compassion with. Yet, God is big and He knows how to take what we have and multiply it. Please pray for protection, authority and for God to greatly impact the city in the short time we're there.
If anyone feels led to give to our outreach in India, we could buy more Bibles, food, and resources for our time there. It would also be cool to give money to some of the local churches. Just go here if you're interested: www.gofundme.com/9qbr20 I'll transfer the money over into our general funds from there.
Thank you everyone! Love you all!