As regular readers will know, I have been promoting a different approach to “faith”.
- Faith is not how hard you believe, instead it’s agreeing that Jesus is who He said and He has done what He said.
- Faith is not dogged obstinate arrogant blindness of some Pentecostals, instead it is firm agreement with His finished work on the cross.
- Faith is not positive thinking (that is called “hope“), but faith is agreeing that what you read in the bible about what Jesus did on the cross is true.
- That is why our faith overcomes this world and that is why double mindedness about what He did causes us not to receive. Having faith in what you can’t see is tough. You just have to agree He did it and decide that’s that.
And it works… on a grander scale than you can imagine. In these post I show that beyond all reasonable doubt.
So… in my posts over the last 18 months as I experimented with what form of faith works and what style or type of faith doesn’t work, I have been gradually campaigning more and more that Jesus Christ has DONE IT ALL and we simply need to believe that is the case. We receive by believing.
I have frequently written about my fruitless searches for freedom and deliverance. I searched the OT, music, churches, books… and found nothing that could set me free. I read about the “doorway of hope in the valley of Achor (trouble)” (Hos 2:15) but try as I might I could not get through that freaking door!!!!! That’s because I didn’t realise – I wasn’t taught – that HE ON THE CROSS IS THE DOOR (John 10:9) to that pasture and vineyard that Hosea wrote about.
I was searching, looking hard, digging… and I had no idea I was fulfulling His parables! 🙂
Lucky man finds the Kingdom while taking a walk and sells everything to get it
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. – Matt 13:44
Hard working pearl merchant trades everything to get the Kingdom
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. – Matt 13:45-46
Hard working fisherman catches the Kingdom and stops working
Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. – Matt 13:47-48
Just like the pearl merchant, I traded and traded until I found the priceless pearl. But since I was very very very jaded from the vast numbers of false starts and chronic failures I had previously had, I struggled to be like a child and simply accept the simplicity of the message – that HE HAS DONE IT. I needed to test it and I needed to see it.
I spoke to friends about why we don’t see the new heaven and new earth if He has done it?! My friends waxed lyrical that He had done it, but it was somehow not done yet. Or. He has done it, but it’s for a future time and that’s why we don’t see it now.
Well. That’s an unacceptable contradiction to me – a complete denial of Him and it’s frankly not at all what was prophesied that He would do – as the Messiah who would release us from the law of sin and death
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it (SIN!) you shall surely die. – Gen 2:16-17
To eat when He said not to, is disobedience, and disobedience is sin. The consequence of sin is death. That command was the FIRST COMMAND and amongst the very first words said to Adam and Eve. It is the reason for our suffering, our sin empowers death. It’s just that simple. So to undo sin and death, accept the complete, total sacrifice of jesus Christ! It’s just that simple too. 🙂
Listen to me. 188 million people died in wars in the last 100 years and we all just shrug our shoulders and build bigger church buildings? And what’s worse is that some Christians look forward to the day of vengeance to come? 188 million. Two or more world wars. Crusades. Ecological disaster. Uh, need I say more?
All around us we see death and decay in our ecology and we smile blissfully and comfort one another with platitudes about “God being in charge”. No! Stop playing the violin as the Titanic goes down. Sin and death are in charge and WE were meant to be the light to the world. (*SLAP*!)
But like the pearl merchant, I had found the priceless pearl. I had to sell all my other pearls (church, theology, books, music) in order to actually get this pearl. The truth of His finished work was so subtly contrary to the prevailing teaching, that I couldn’t allow anyone to teach me old theology from the old covenant, or listen to music that made me strive for more more more, or anything that told me I could somehow earn this treasure.
I had to get my head around the fact that I could simply accept it as a free gift and stand (strongly, defiantly, aggressively) on that truth. THEN my faith would overcome this world. The world will begin to change over to what He has done.
But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man].
For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many. – Rom 5:15
So armed with my new theology – of His completed work, to be received by faith – and a promise of a new heaven and a new earth which is already done and available, I set out to test this. I needed to see if it works, before leading others headlong into yet another brick wall – as I had been.
Now… I have mentioned several times that I am a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to these things. I don’t just go along with the lemmings as they run off the edge of a cliff. I have done that too many times, got hurt and disappointed too many times. Now, I listen, I go slowly, I watch for fruit. No more mad dashes “under the covering of leadership” towards a solid brick wall into which I and my theology get smooshed.
No no. We need to test things. Try them. See if they work. And we do it in our own lives first. THEN we teach what works to others. And if it doesn’t work… we DON’T teach it!
So… I stood on His completed work for my own life – and I have seen a dramatic turnaround in my own physical and mental health. My background is very damaged – to say the extreme least – and I have a lot to recover from, even now still I struggle with things. But miraculously the changes began – and they continue now still! And not just personal changes, but things around me changed too.
So… emboldened, living by the concentric circles idea, I tried to show one or two people around me. And they took it up and also saw some changes in their lives. They got healed – slowly – and their kids got healed, also slowly. When I say slowly, I mean that in a week or a month they were healed. Fast by the world’s standards, but slowly by comparison to Jesus Christ.
So… here in Aussie we are constantly told about the drought, to the extent that there are signs along the side of the road telling us the water usage of the previous day and the target we all should aim for. But one day I was driving home and I *SWEAR* that the black and orange electronic sign said “PRAY FOR RAIN”. No, I’m not kidding. It did. (But of course it didn’t. But…. but… but… it did!)
So, reluctantly, I prayed for rain. I prayed based on His finished work, that we don’t live under the law of sin and death, but we live under the law of life and the Holy Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. – Rom 8:2
And it rained. In fact it bucketed and poured and belted down. But only locally. The local restrictions were eased off a few weeks later. We could water our lawns again. Woohoo! Jesus rocks!
Mysteriously… at the same time people randomly began to oppose me, people I had never met, or who had previously received me well. *I* had not changed, I still smiled at everyone, still helped where I can. But as I became focussed exclusively on the finished work of Jesus Christ, the opposition against me increased remarkably and dramatically. Sadly.
So… I began to think a bit bigger. Years ago I had said to God that maybe we could do this as concentric circles. First the plank in my eyes, then the speck in yours. First Jerusalem, then Judea, then Sumaria and then the ends of the world!
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? – Matt 7:3
… in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8
so Lord, first show me that it works, then show me the change in some friends, then a wider set of people, then more, and THEN we can go public. In that order.
So… things looked like they could take off based on my little experiments. But I am a cautious person. I am very concerned about sticking my head up and having nay-sayers chop it off because I couldn’t prove what I am saying. So I did my best to keep my head down. But opposition grew, even in the church.
So I kept my head down even further! Until one day. One day the situation of drought in Australia somehow leaped up into my heart. I became very very concerned. I Googled the issue extensively. It was weird. I had been so focussed on myself until then that I had not really been aware of the needs of the farmers. I had heard that famers were committing suicide, I even knew a counsellor who tries to help them.
- Australian Farmers Commit Suicide as Hope Evaporates – Planet Ark
Drought pushes more Aussie farmers to suicide – Daily Telegraph
This whole situation ambushed me one day. I went to an internet cafe, I began Googling the drought and seeing the absolutely terrible condition and the relentlessly worsening situation. I felt I had to at least see if Jesus had done something that could be applied to this situation.
Surely I had to give it a try, give it a go? Surely. “You gotta be in it, to win it” – as they say here in Aussie. Surely I had to try.
But my low self esteem and feelings of shame because of my past and my ongoing sinful behaviour… surely God only listens to those who obey His words?! After all that’s what the man said to Jesus. But… but… Jesus had set me freer (not totally) and He had set my friend free of so much and her kids, and other people. Wheat had begun to grow spontaneously in my back yard. During winter my grass kept growing instead of dying and going yellow like everyone else’s. My food doesn’t go off in a few days, I can eat it after a week or more.
Surely I had to try. Just try Mark. Give it a go. So I did try, I did give it a go. The date was July 17, 2008. I know because – as I said – I am very careful to document things so that IF they work, I can prove it. hehehe. (CYA = Cover Your Ass!)
If there were a hundred years of rainfall data that were sorted from the driest to the wettest, the five driest years would fall below the 5th percentile and the five wettest above the 95th percentile. – source (The average is therefore at the 50th percentile)
Understanding the current conditions in Australia
The warmest year for Australia since 1910 was 2005, while 2007 was the warmest year for much of southern Australia. The number of hot days and nights has increased and the number of cold days and nights has declined. – source
Here is a chart showing the increasing heat in Australia – which leads to less and less water. The drought (and the suicides) were irreversible. Or so it seemed.
Drama and tensions rose as the fabled Murray River continued to dry up and wrongful use of it’s remaining water was even labelled as terrorism
- Water thieves are terrorists, declares Australian Premier
- As the Murray River dries, hope dies
- Rescue plan for Murray River feared too late as hope dries up
The Murray is not flowing again – yet – but I know that I know that God has said that the ancient rivers will flow again. The Murray WILL flow again and we need to be ready to give Jesus Christ the praise that He deserves. To claim we somehow did it, is to be extremely disrespectful, it’s to deny the hopelessness of the situation and to refuse to give Him the credit that is due to Him. Let’s not do that. Ok?
Stick with me, there is a point to this. There is a dramatic turnaround as I pray the finished work of Jesus Christ over the rainfall of this nation. This post has become too long, so I will present that in the next post.
Lift up your eyes! Get excited. The MIRACLES that Jesus Christ has done for me, for my close friends, for people, for the local region, for Australia, for Gustav and for Ike, for the Hurricane season as it’s peak… He HAS DONE for you and for your family. You just need to have faith. The finished work is received by faith.
In the next post I show in detail the turnaround – which is not yet completed, so I’m just calling it a turnaround. 🙂
This is a part of a series…
- Murray River (finally) begins to run – fulfillment of prophecy Posted on 7 September 2010 (most recent post – completed series)
- Rain sparks ‘refilling process’ for Murray Posted on 12 April 2010
- Rivers and lakes BEGAN to run – part 3 Posted on 28 January 2009
- Blocked, redirected and promise achieved! – part 4 Posted on 29 January 2009
- Rivers and lakes – part 2 Posted on 15 January 2009
- Lakes and rivers to run again in Australia Posted on 31 October 2008
- The Aussie rain miracles – the proof, part 2 Posted on 3 October 2008
- The Aussie rain miracles – faith, part 1 Posted on 3 October 2008 (earliest post)