This is a series of posts…
- “Nothing will be impossible for you” – Jesus Christ (October 2011)
- Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you HAVE received it (October 2011)
- How does faith work? (Nov 2006)
- Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit (Zech 4:6)
- The Kingdom of God grows – its a process
- In The parable of the sower we have to persist until we bear fruit
- In The parable of the lamp on a stand we will get what we ASK for
This is a story about some aspects of my journey over the last few years. Don’t gloss over this post, as it contains what I consider to be significant breakthrough that will help anyone progress in their Christian walk. The fruit is there for all to see in my life.
I’m not perfect, but I’ve come a long way and this post explains the major milestones of my journey in the last few years.
Learning to break darkness through Jesus Christ
Going back to around 2007 God was showing me various scriptures. He gave me great insight into what Jesus Christ did on the cross and in His resurrection to the right hand of God. I wrote many posts about this process of discovery on this blog.
During that time I had the pleasure of seeing great miracles in Australia and in various countries and situations around the world. Most of that is documented on this blog too. I am delighted by how God used me and all the fun stuff I got to be involved in.
But the thing is, despite having a very clear understanding of how to practically break darkness and see it manifestly retreat from a physical location and out of a person’s life, I was not prospering and living an abundant life. I had assumed that would naturally happen. But it wasn’t.
For others too!
I met people and showed them how to speak out the truth of what Jesus Christ has done for them and then when speaking to them later I’d find out that darkness had retreated from them completely. But they still struggled in other areas, for example with a lack of income. The darkness was broken but blessing had not come to them. I could not understand it, but I persisted.
Let me clarify that again so it’s 100% clear what we are investigating.
By believing what the bible says Jesus did for me, the darkness had fled from me. I was sleeping well. My dreams became enjoyable, sometimes I even woke up laughing. Oppression was completely defeated. Any spiritual warfare I got into I would win very very easily. My own personal addictions were decreasing rapidly. And yet… in Australia my business failed and I lost my visa to be in Australia and I lost my pets, my loved ones and many other people (and hopes) that I held dear.
Let me say it again, darkness had been broken through Jesus Christ on the cross, there was no doubt about that. But I personally was not flourishing. Where was the abundant life? It was nowhere to be seen!
I stuck at it!
Now… if you have been a regular reader over the years, you know I am stubborn when it comes to God and Jesus Christ… you know I don’t give up when God has said something. So… during the last two years (2009-2011) I just kept hammering away at those scriptures despite me running out of everything and often having nothing.
I pressed into the things Paul spoke about, such as…
- To count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
- To count all things as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
- To have a righteousness that comes through faith in Christ,
- To know him and the power of his resurrection
- To attain the resurrection from the dead (here in this life, already)
- To press on to make these things my own
- To forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead
- To press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God IN Christ Jesus
Then one day…
Then one day, in a prayer session God told me to ask for something for a friend of mine who was having a hard time. She makes toadstool chairs. So I asked for some things for her, and she got them right away! But somehow I just couldn’t apply that to me. Perhaps I thought it was not for me. Or perhaps… to be honest… I really don’t know why I could not just ask and believe.
I was intensely believing these other scriptures, but I somehow did not see the way for me to believe for things for myself. So I kept believing those scriptures that God had shown me.
I was relentless. And yet I went through such barrenness. My income was sporadic at best. I often ate bread with spread or toast and tomatoes. We only had hot water for one hour every two days. These last two years were awful from that perspective. Before that I had gone from having so much money that I could bless many people, to having almost none or at times none.
Why wasn’t it working?
I couldn’t understand it… I was spending SO MUCH time in prayer, I was SO dedicated, I was seeing such great things happen, God was SO real to me… He showed me His heart… He changed me right around. My journals are full of God’s words to me. People prophesied to me.
But still… where was the abundance? Jesus Christ came to give us life and life abundantly, right? But I just couldn’t seem to grab hold of all that He had for me. And yet I was convinced…
the LORD is upright and faithful to His promises: He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. – Psa 92:15 (AMP)
As a side note… I think my stubbornness (to struggle with a problem over many YEARS until I master it and am able to teach it to others so that it works for them) is very typical of people with my gifting. We hear from God and then we cannot and will not deviate. And I guess my dedication probably can also drive other people crazy. I prefer to suffer for years rather than give up and not get my inheritance. Hehehe.
But anyway… back to the story… I was very confused. So much dedication, so much prayer, so much believing what Jesus Christ has done for me. And nada, no income. My shoes ran out. I lost weight and walked around in clothing that was 4 sizes too big for me.
Learning to have a different kind of faith
Then earlier this year God began to prepare me to move from my home. And He told me that September was going to be a big month. And indeed it has been if you look at the world stage. But also for me too. And much more recently He gave me a dream in which I was forced from the place I was staying. And lo and behold I was forced out from there, quite suddenly, on a Saturday night.
So picture this… I was out, with a single bag, a blanket and no money at all. I had a phone, but no airtime (credit). What would I do? I had no option but to ask God for what I needed. And then the scripture “believe you have received” (Mark 11:24) came to mind.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24
And so… I decided to believe that I had received.
There are other verses that back this up. For example: faith is the SUBSTANCE of the things hoped for. And walk by faith not by SIGHT (what you can see). Jesus Christ said “be of good cheer I HAVE MADE the world safe for you”. And in Revelations He said “I HAVE made all things new”. And Matt 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
NOTE: There is some fine print to all of this. God is not an impersonal vending machine. I cover those issues later in this post.
I was well aware of these scriptures, but I had never made the shift to actually believing in this way.
So I sat on a bench and wondered what my choices were. After a while I decided to pass time watching some rugby in a public spot. Then while doing that I decided to go visit a friend. And after a while that friend invited me to stay with him for a few days. I kept believing, but not so much, because my needs were being met. Sort of. Then that ended after a few days. I met with the church pastor, but that was not fruitful in terms of me getting significant help.
So I kept on praying and believing. Then I had to move out of where I was staying. Again I was on a sidewalk and the on a bench, wondering what to do. I prayed, asking for help and I decided to believe I had a place. And another friend took me in, on her couch. This time I was there for a week.
A new style of prayer emerges
By now my style of praying had begun to change, I was doing a lot more believing. On that couch I began to declare with determination that I HAD received.
Again that place ended and I was outside again. I stored my stuff behind a wall where people hang their washing… and I wondered what I would do. I had posted a request to FB for prayer as a last resort about 2 nights before. Out of almost 600 friends, no one had come through for me. Despite my situation, I defiantly declared that I believed I HAVE received.
Literally at that moment I got a text message from a friend I had not heard from in a long while. So I went to visit that friend. We patched up some things, and that was God’s grace right there! She told me that I had come to mind a few times so she sent me the message. Cool… God was now moving behind the scenes.
I popped out and went to someone else who I thought might be able to put me up. He said he didn’t think his wife would agree… I was down hearted. Where was I going to stay that night? Sunset was 2 or 3 hours away.
Fighting back the discouragement and possible tears, I defiantly declared that I believed that I HAD received what I was asking for, because God keeps His promises!
I was quite specific about what I wanted. A warm place. A safe place. A friendly, relational place. And at that moment while walking along, holding back tears and mild panic, defiantly declaring God’s goodness and that I HAD received… a text message came through. “Do you have a place?” I replied no. And he invited me to stay with him for a few days.
A trend emerges
So I went back to my friend, and she offered to lift me to my new digs. God was providing right before my eyes. So I asked her… when did she decide to contact me and why? She told me, and it turned out that God brought me to her mind just as I was believing Him. I was seeing a trend! When I moved into my new temporary digs I again asked them, how did they come to ask me if I needed a place? And again, God brought me to mind just ask I was believing Him.
I began to see a pattern.
“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. – 2 Chron 16:9 NASB
Quite literally, at the times that I believed His words, that I placed my trust in Him, that I believed His provision was absolutely so certain that I could see it with eyes of determined faith… at those times He was speaking to people and bringing me to mind and creating a way where there was no way.
Believing I HAVE received
So now, safely ensconced in my new digs I began to see blessing happening. Small stuff that has not happened in years begins to happen. So I kept believing I have received… and wouldn’t you know it, I got a message from an absolutely unexpected person who invited me to stay with his family – for more than a month.
Again, when I got there I asked them how this came about, and again it was just as I was believing that I had received from Jesus Christ – my “husband” – that God was prompting them to find out how I was and they saw on my FB wall that I needed assistance.
Time and again, from when when I first believed for that friend of mine who makes the toadstools, right through to now – today – I am astonished at how God moves when I believe Him.
I broadened my requests
So… with evidence like that… I broadened the things I asked for and believed I HAVE received! Who wouldn’t? :)
These days I have been believing for a healthy body. Do you know that the moment I began to believe that I HAVE received a healthy body from Jesus Christ’s provision on the cross, that same day I went from someone who struggled to say no to yummy food, which is in ABUNDANCE here, to someone who can happily have 2 Tim Tams waved in his face and say no thanks. Now THAT is a miracle my friends!!! :)
And just today I was believing that God HAS made me whole, inside and out, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and tonight as we drove in the car I suddenly had insight into my failed marriage from 10+ years ago… and I saw in such clarity and depth… and I went in a moment from a feeling of repressed hatred (which I had to face up to earlier this year) through to complete forgiveness. In less than a minute all that was washed away and with NO pain at all. I cannot express to you the clarity I have towards her now.
And the story goes on… I decided to believe that Jesus Christ HAS given me a specific amount of money. Do you know that in the whole of last year I have not earned as much as I have earned in the last 3 weeks? I even went shopping the other day! :)
What if I am believing about the wrong thing?
I am currently believing that I HAVE received in 5 areas. If I am wrong about any of them, I know that He will tell me, I will feel His prompting. Instead, when I began to believe that He HAS made me healed – and I’m specifically referring to being overweight – I heard Him audibly speak to me “this is My will”. So, rather than hearing Him discourage me at all, instead I’m hearing encouragement!
But still… what IF I’m wrong, or asking out of wrong motives? Well… even if I am wrong about some of these things, the good news is He doesn’t give bad gifts…
Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? – Matt 7:10 AMP
I know now from all these stories that as I believe, God is working in unseen ways. I know, because when the thing comes, I ask the person or people involved and they tell me how God prompted them.
I have it clearly in my head now… when I ask and believe that He HAS provided… then His work occurs where I can’t see it. It’s like a root system, most of the initial work is underground, out of sight.
I am believing for 5 things and in two of them I have not yet seen any visible movement above the ground.
But I won’t doubt. By the time I can see it in my hands, God has done a lot of work unseen by me :)
And I like it this way. I can relax. Trust. Wait.
Different kinds of prayer
Over time I have come to realize that there are different kinds of prayer.
Intercession is what I was doing and it’s not relational, it’s declaring the truth and being rather like a policeman. You don’t make the laws, you just enforce them. When we intercede we simply enforce the truth, the words of God, with the sword of our mouth.
Pushing darkness back was simply enforcing what happened on the cross. But now I needed to have a different kind of prayer. It’s more personal, more relational. It can be deeply understood when we consider the kind of relationship that God wants between a man and a woman in marriage. It’s the same from Jesus Christ, He wants His bride to trust Him to do what He says He will do. Selah.
Different kinds of faith
I also once heard a teaching that there are different kinds of faith. For example: at one time Jesus said He could see that the man “had the faith to be healed”. Another scripture speaks about “saving faith”. I have also heard of “overcoming faith”.
I had grown in the kind of faith that accepts what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Now I had to grow in a kind of faith which is more relational. I had to ask and receive from God.
Thanks for reading
Although this is a very long post, I hope this has helped someone in some way. :)
Please share this post with someone who is searching, or someone who needs to see their life and their potential in a whole new light – as an overcoming victory through Jesus Christ. May God bless you – and I look forward to reading your comments and replying to them!