A few days ago, while I was sitting outside one of my friend’s driveways talking on the phone, I noticed a group of little kids playing in the yard next door. As I was talking, one of the little girls, around 3-4 years old came over to the passenger side of my car. She put her face as close as she could to the window and with her piercing blue-green eyes stared at me for what seemed like a solid minute or more. I was so captivated by her. I motioned to her to come over to my side, but she just stood frozen peering at me with this breathtaking smile, and her eyes saying so much more than words. She finally came over, along with her cousin to get some of the candy that I keep in my car for the kiddos (and yes, I am that stranger giving little kids candy). And, when I started to talk to her, her cousin said to me, “Oh, she can’t hear you. She’s deaf.”
When I went over to introduce myself to her parents (to let them know who this stranger was giving their kids candy), I noticed that another one of their children was wearing hearing aids on both his ears. They told me that their oldest son was also deaf. My heart felt compassion for them. I asked them if they had heard about what Jesus did in the Bible healing people who are deaf? They said they have never heard of that. I asked them if it would be ok with them, if I prayed for both their children. They gladly accepted. I put my hands on the older son’s ears and prayed as he giggled through it (I don’t blame him, it probably felt funny to him) and seemingly nothing happened. I placed my hands on both ears of the little girl and something special, something sacred was happening. Her face was so close to mine, again peering at me saying so much through her piercing eyes. I could feel so strongly God’s love for her. I knew in that moment she felt it too. She smiled back at me in a way that she was saying, “yes, I do feel God’s love”. It was a beautiful moment and one I keep thinking about. You are probably wondering the obvious question of…Was she healed? Yes. She was healed in the way God wanted to heal her at that moment. Maybe she just needed a touch of love (and maybe so did I), after all God DID send her over to my car. Did her ears immediately open? Did she jump around and say, “I can hear!”? Not yet.
When I drove away, in tears I asked God, “Why didn’t their ears get opened immediately?” I have seen many miraculous healings since I have been a Christian, but most of them in either foreign countries or in special Christian meetings. Why can’t it be something we encounter often in the world around us? Why does there seem like such a barrier to the supernatural experience in practicing the power of Jesus practically here in the Western world? Why is it that it is not so often practiced in the normal day to day encounters where we can see God display His supernatural power and love through healing?
I have heard it spoken of that those of us from the western world, especially the culture of Christians, experience God more on an intellectual level, whereas those in the majority of the rest of the world experience God more on a supernatural, spiritual level. I found this to be true, in particularly when I traveled and ministered in Africa. Wow, some of the things I saw happen represented more the Jesus I read about in the Bible, evident and demonstrated love practically. The supernatural power and demonstration of God’s love through healing was evident. Unfortunately, I have found it to be true that most church-folk seem to be more comfortable with the intellectual Jesus instead of the supernatural Jesus.
What about this supernatural world? I am someone who is and has been as long as I can remember- very much interested in the supernatural. From an early age, I would have supernatural dreams (the kind in the night) and even thought I had “ESP” when I would know certain things before they happen. What I did not know then, is that God has an answer to all this in the Bible. He is a supernatural God and we ARE supernatural in every ounce of our being! So, it is no surprise that we would be drawn to the spirit world. Wait, what? Spirit world? That just sounds so mystical, so kooky. But, hey some of us can use a little more spirit in our life (picture me cheering you, “We got spirit yes we do, we got spirit, how about you?!” ok, cheesy, I know, but it is true). Now this is the kind of talk that when in Africa, everyone would be nodding their heads in agreement, because they function in a spirit world and its hierarchies. And, when talking about Jesus and the Holy Spirit being the highest Spirit on the totem pole and how it is the most powerful Spirit who is also 100% pure and Holy…the attention is yours! But, then again, I am probably talking to those mainly in the western world right now, who are reasoning like crazy in their minds all sorts of reasons why we shouldn’t even be talking about all this to begin with and especially not about-the spirit world. The message of Jesus will never be for those who want a life without ruffled feathers ; )
experience always trumps theory.
Speaking of ruffling feathers…allow me to ruffle some more.
What about this issue of spirits? Well, we know that there is the Holy Spirit, the head-honcho. Then there is also a gift that comes from the Holy Spirit, that is called, ‘the discerning of spirits’, which probably means there are other types of spirits out there that need to be discerned. Like, do you ever get around someone that you makes you just feel creepy? Yep, spirits at work. And, so, what about those bad kinds? Would you believe that the Bible has lots to say about them and also has answers as to what to do about them. Wait, maybe you don’t even think there is such a thing? Hum, what to say to you? Well, I would encourage you to open up the Bible and read about it because Jesus spent 1/3rd of His ministry casting out demons-crazy thought, ey? And, no they are not something of just the old Bible times either. They are referred to many times as “unclean spirits” and so true because it sure is messy work! But it is always feels so good after when the mess gets cleaned up.
One of my favorite scriptures is Luke 5:31, where Jesus says, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick”. And, what does healing, unclean spirits, love, and Jesus have in common? Sometimes there are things in us that make us sick and broken in the ability to do life in a healthy way, so… Jesus comes in, and heals us by driving out the problem all because of His merciful and wonderful love. Love is the motive. It is ALL because of love that Jesus removes the unclean in us. Why can He and where does He get that power? When someone sheds their blood for us for something that they are completely innocent in and thensupernaturally rises from the dead to give us new life and freedom…they get the power to do whatever!
I see driving out unclean spirits like fighting the bully in someone’s life who is too weak to fight them off themselves. I was thinking of this word on a deeper level-“unclean spirit” and it just makes sense. Unclean. This is easy to understand and not so mystical. We can all identify when something is clean or dirty. Even children can tell if their dinner plate is dirty or not. If a spirit is unclean, the discerning will be able to tell. For example, what do you think is at work, when a father, an uncle, a brother grossly takes advantage and molests a precious innocent child? Or, when a young girl is having compulsive tendencies to pull her hair out, starve herself or put her finger down her throat to throw up her food because she thinks she is fat and even cut herself because of self-hatred? Modern psychology tries to put labels on things that can’t figure out and find lasting solutions to, but God has the answer and the answer is not so glamorous sounding of-an unclean spirit.
But, if you are like I was, a girl, who felt like I was covered with black tar stuck in the destructive cycles of secret torment, self-hatred, and shame- you are not alone and there IS hope! That is the amazing news in all this supernatural talk! I can honestly say that I have experienced God’s love on so many levels, but probably felt it deepest when someone prayed over me to drive out the bullies by the name of Jesus inside me robbing me of a future full of life and hope, the future God has always intended for me (and you). Jesus has power of the bullies in your life! Some of the issues you are facing that seem hopeless or self-destructive can feel like you are locked in chains in your own secret prison. I understand this and believe it or not, there are more people who feel more like this than you may think or would admit. And, when someone is in chains, or is enslaved to something, they themselves cannot actually free themselves. They need someone to take a key and put the key inside the lock, turn it and open, setting them free. You just have to want to be free, that is our part of the deal. Jesus is the power that brings us freedom, but He uses ordinary people like you and me to bring the key of freedom to set others free. It is ultimate love experienced to know the freedom from the chains that have had their weight on us for a lifetime taken off.
If you are a Christian, I am asking you to open your eyes to those around you who are hurting, sick, and secretly tormented and ask God to give you the faith and courage that you may bring them a key of hope for their freedom.
If you are someone who is hurting, sick or are secretly tormented and would like to be prayed for, let me know.
Matthew 10:1 “And having summoned the twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”
Luke 6:18, “…who had come to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.”
Acts 5:16, “And also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits; and they were all being healed.”
Acts 8:7, “For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was much rejoicing in that city.”
Luke 4:36b, “For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Luke 7:22, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
Mark 6:13, “And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.”
Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”