I received a phone call today from a woman who had heard through the grapevine that my husband and I had a Deliverance Ministry. One of the first questions she asked was, "Who did you train under?" My spirit's response was "Jesus", but I knew that this world demands some kind of human accreditation or authorization. I had never really thought about having to give justification for the journey Mark and I have been on in order to give credence to our walk with the Lord, but I realized that He had actually orchestrated a pretty good resumé for us -- studying and training under Dr. Charles Kraft (a student of John Wimber, and the Vineyard Movement); training under Luke 4:18 Ministries, and Dan Duval and Bride Ministries. But most of all, I would say that the greatest training and guidance has come from the Holy Spirit. And the effectiveness of our ministry has come because we are simply willing to be obedient, risking it all for the Kingdom -- our reputations, our livelihood, and our faith.
You see, we are interested in presenting the manifest presence of God to the world. By that, I mean that we want this world to experience an encounter with the Father, with Jesus, and with the Holy Spirit -- to know They are real, They are alive, and They care about whatever it is a person is going through or has experienced in their lives. Certainly, that can happen inside the Church walls, but for us, Jesus has called us to take Him to those who need more than just hearing or reading about Him. They need to actually experience or encounter Him in a very real spiritual way. That may come from physical healing in their body; from hearing a Spirit-led word that was prophesied over their life; or from being set free from spiritual bondage -- all ways that will transform a person's life in Christ, but are not universally accepted by the Church.
We are supposed to walk in the power and authority Jesus gave us to continue His work. Yes, Jesus came to represent God's love for us, and we are to love one another as He loves us. But there's more for us to do than just loving our fellow man. Jesus also declared that He came to destroy the works of the devil. And physical infirmities, inner soul wounds, and spiritual torment are not manifestations of God's love -- they are evidence of the works of the devil! Loving our fellow man also includes doing what Jesus did to show the Father's love -- healing, deliverance from demonic torment, and letting the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in us to manifest in another person's life.
Will we always be successful? No. Even Jesus had to heal the blind man twice before he saw with clarity. But it is our persistence that builds our "faith muscles". We learn a little bit more about the Father's heart each time we try. And even if we fail, we know it is still God's purpose for that person to be healed or delivered, and so the event is wrapped up in trusting God's sovereign desire to see His purpose done, as we continue to live in a world ruled by Satan.
But here's how I look at it... even if the world sees my intervention as a failure, God sees it as a success because I was obedient. I was willing to try and He will always take that over someone who refuses to even contemplate that He can still intervene in the affairs of men; or one who believes that all He wants from us is blind worship with no action. The world demands perfection -- if the heart attack victim is not healed, then we are wrong to pursue healing; God no longer works miracles. But to God, our persistence and willingness to go is seen as success. We went just because He said to go. And we will continue to go, no matter how many times the world or the religious Church says its wrong -- just because we know it pleases our Father.
Here is what I pray for the Body of Christ.... Recognize that opportunities abound for the Kingdom of God to break into our existence -- both inside the Church walls and outside. It doesn't matter where you minister. Take it from me, there are enough hurting people in this world to share the healing power of Jesus with -- both Believers and Non-Believers! Ask the Holy Spirit to bring your spirit into communion with Him so you can identify those who need an encounter with Jesus. They may be sitting in the pew next to you in Church, or they may be the person you meet in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The point is, Jesus died to set all men free, and He gave us His power and authority to continue His work. I can promise you that it is rewarding to sow into the Kingdom by partnering with Him to free men and women and children from their bondage in this world. But it doesn't even compare to the rewards you will reap in Heaven when your Father says, "Well done, good and faithful Servant!"
Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”