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Saturday 24 November 2007

Email to friend

This is a part of an email that I wrote to a friend of mine this morning, that leads a church about 2 hours drive south from where I live.
He just returned from the "Glory and Grace" conference with Rob Rufus and Fini De Gesigny in Hong Kong.
Since his return there has been revival in his church. With tangable presents of God, healings and "gold dust".

I am curious if anyone else is feeling like this?

That is great news.

Long for that this side. I am kind of legalistically asking God what I am doing wrong. What more must I do, to see these miracles, signs and wonders.
Remember in Bloem you asked me that if I am living in grace, and grace brings the miracles, then where are my miracles. I keep asking myself this. Like Father "what about me???". I get quite bummed sometimes.
Am I still living too much in the old? Am I not living in Gods grace. I thought I was, but nothing obvious is happening.
Is it because I am at the church I am. Should I look for a place that preaches just the gospel? I have all these thoughts running through my head.
I wonder if I am too concerned about the signs and not enough about being in the presents of our Father??

All these questions, yet I see a remarkable difference in my and Shans life. I suppose we grow in grace. I need much patience.

Take care and well done bro. Praise God for what He is doing that side.

Later
GB

10 comments:

Dan Bowen said...

Hiya! I too was at the Grace and Glory Conference in Hong Kong and I'm so glad you posted this. Because I have heard Rob read out some testimonies at subsequent City Church Sundays of angels appearing and gold dust and revival, and while I know for a fact that my life changed forever by being in Hong Kong - I just feel I have yet to see the fruit.

My best friend Scott has got a really bad ear infection and he can't hear out of either ear. I laid my hands on his ears and prayed that God for His glory and by His grace would open his ears and cure the infection. And that from all I had freely received in Hong Kong - freely I could give to him.

Guess what ....

Nothing happened!

But it's great to be on this journey. I'd rather be questioning why these things aren't happening and how we can best yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and align ourselves with Him rather than live with the pessimistic, fatalistic concept that all we have to live for is an hours academic sermon every Sunday.

But thank you again - I am glad that I'm not alone in fearing God has passed me by! Let this increase my passion for more of Him.

Joel Brueseke said...

Hi,

I'd be interested to hear how your friend responded to your email. My own thoughts on this may be different, but I at least want to share how I've come to see things during the past 10 to 15 years. I think one of your last sentences gets to the heart of where I'm at with all this. In John 17:3 Jesus said, "and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." We have been given the gift of eternal life (an ever-present reality), and it's all about knowing God, and simply being in His presence. Not to downplay the truth and validity of miracles by any stretch of the imagination, but my personal belief is that they are only one small part of knowing God.

I looked up the phrase "signs and wonders" in the New Testament. The three times that Jesus uses the phrase, He uses it negatively! Matt 24:24 and Mark 13:22 are actually two accounts of the same speech, in which Jesus said, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand." I think John 4:48 is also spoken in a negative sense. "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." The reason I think this is negative is because Jesus also says, "a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign" (Matt 16:4), and He told Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). Right after this, John goes on to say that Jesus did many more signs in the presence of His disciples, and certain ones were written down "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

What I draw from all this (which is certainly up for debate) is that a person who doesn't need to "see" Jesus or who doesn't need to see signs and wonders is more blessed than the person who has to see them in order to believe. It appears as if God does indeed perform signs and wonders to help people believe, but yet "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

My conclusion then is that signs and wonders are done as a means of helping people to believe. False christs and prophets use them to get people to believe what is false, and godly people use them to help people believe in Christ.

As I find instances of signs and wonders in, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Hebrews, etc, each mention of signs and wonders seems to be for the purpose of causing unbelievers to believe.

As people who have already believed in His name, we now have His Spirit indwelling our spirit, and "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God..." (Rom 8:16). We need not look externally for signs and wonders, but we have the Holy Spirit of God witnessing and testifying inside us. We can certainly see and experience God in many, many external ways, but we know Him inwardly, in our spirits. If we're walking by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:8), then our reality will be: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1).

One of the things that threw me off track in my early pentecostal walk was my attempt at understanding, interpreting and applying Jesus' words: "he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do." The thing I was focused on when I thought of those words was "miracles." I realize I'm going long, so I'll end here. What I've come to see is that the most important "thing" that Jesus did was to love people. His love was manifested in lots of ways, including miracles, but certainly not limited to miracles. And Paul came to the conclusion that in Christ Jesus, nothing has any value except "faith working through love."

I've come to realize that each believer will not necessarily manifest all the things that Jesus did, but that the body of Christ as a whole will perform the things He did, and even greater things. God has placed each part of the body where He wants it, and has gifted it in the way(s) that He wants to for the benefit of everyone. "For to one is given the word of wisdom... to another gifts of healings... to another the working of miracles... to another prophecy..." and so on... (1 Cor 12:4-11). My hope is that each member of the body of Christ would be content in being the part that they are, and not in trying nor desiring to be what they're not. The foot is not the hand is not the eye is not the ear. :) But we are all one body.

I just want to say that I believe you are doing nothing "wrong" to not be seeing miracles, signs and wonders, just like a hand is doing nothing wrong if it's not working to pump blood through the body. :) You are who you are, and if God chooses to do certain things in and through you, that's His prerogative, not yours. To me, this is good news, because God is wise in all this. We are not!

One last thing on my book that I'm writing here. LOL. Jesus said that "he who abides (rests) in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing." Our "job" is to rest in Him. His job is to flood us and fill us with His own life and to work in and through us as He desires, producing His very own fruit.

I think I've just broken my own record for comments on a post! Again, I don't want to downplay the true validity of miracles, signs and wonders by any means. What I've shared here are simply my thoughts that I've personally arrived at through the years.

Grace said...

I think that my biggest problem is that I want people to believe that the grace message is the only answer. I want to walk in and teach grace and I want this to be confirmed with signs and wonders. as in:
Mar 16:20 And going out, they proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by miraculous signs following. Amen.
Then no one could deny that this is the only way to go. No works, no law, just grace.
Just writing this seems as though I have a bit of pride that might have to be dealt with.

Daelon said...

I've felt those same things. I've wished that God would do all these works through grace to prove to people that it is the truth.

But Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign. But no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

Why did the early Church have signs in abundance and we're sort of left without all the wonders? I'm not sure. I think one possible reason is God wants us to be consumed with knowing Him and His love for us rather than signs. Jesus told His disciples not to rejoice in the fact that they could do cool stuff like casting out demons, but to rejoice in the fact that their names are written in heaven.

I hope no one takes offense to what I say. I'm not denying God does signs and wonders.

Joel Brueseke said...

Steve McVey of Grace Walk Ministries came to my church a couple of years ago and he preached 4 or 5 solid grace messages throughout the weekend. I mean, the place was dripping with grace, if you know what I mean. A sweet aroma of the Lord's grace. Among the many things he said, one thing stuck out that has truly remained with me and I'm sure always will now. I've shared this on Daelon's blog recently, too. Steve summed up all that he had said during his messages. It wasn't some deep, profound, eloquent summary of all his words. Rather, he said this: "Lighten up." :D (With a big smile on his face).

The message of grace should free us and not entangle us. It should set us free from worry about what happens to us, including spiritual fruit, and how God chooses to use us. I've come to see the grace walk as a palm tree (see Psalm 92:12-15), slightly bent over, with its branches spread out, looking upward, simply gazing at God. It's roots are digging deep into the fertile soil, digging deeper and deeper into Jesus, drawing up nutrition from Him (Col 2:7 NLT).

With the grace of God having grabbed us and captivated us and enchanted us, it's only natural that we want others to have what we have. Not only a ticket to heaven, but grace that is active in us all the time. But sometimes I think we just need to have that steady gaze, and our roots drawing up more and more of Jesus, and letting Him produce the fruit as He sees fit and in His timing.

Another thought I had is this. Again, not to take away from miracles, signs and wonders, but just think about how many people God has saved over the past 2,000 years. I wonder how many of them had signs and wonders that followed their conversions and how many simply had become a new creation on the inside with outward expression on the outside, but no miracles and wonders. My thought is, while signs and wonders are truly valid, does that mean that God works that way most of the time? I ask this prayerfully, because you've stirred some thoughts in me over the past few days that I'm praying about, and I'm excited as the Lord reveals truth to all of us by His grace. :)

Grace said...

Hi Daelon and Joel

I spent over a hour with a friend of mine last night. He is a wonderful child of God and just walked me through this dark cloud of legalism that has been hanging over my head the last two weeks.

I agree with you Daelon. I think that God just wants to be with us. To walk in the quiet of the garden with us. For us to focus on Him and not what He does. Nice one.

This said, I still believe that we should be a people that operate in signs and wonders. The apostles and early church did. We are an end times church and thus, I believe, should be even more comfortable with these things.
Fact remains that we live among the "wicked generation" that need signs and wonders to believe.

Joel, I really am getting my moneys worth with you bro. Thank you very much for your time and effort, as always:-)

I have been so wound up lately. Forgetting Heb 4 and working in the flesh. (Sorry Father).

These clouds sometimes come over me, but thank the Lord less often than before. I can't wait until they are gone forever.

Thank you my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you that we can encourage each other on this journey.

Bless all of you

lydia joy said...

This is just a thought coming at you, not sure if it will be helpful, but I can totally relate to where you are at, I too long for more and all of God, miracles too! I have listened to Rob Rufus a ton and have been stirred by all his talk of miracles and healing, but even more long for the Presence of God more deeply and tangible in my life, anyway, I have thought about the church in the book of Acts alot, how incredible it must have been...and that I long for in my church...however, I am aware of the years the disciples had with Jesus, learning beside him, seeing miracles performed, but not yet performing them themselves as they woud one day....and I just wonder, if maybe there is to be a season of time spent close to the Lord learning from Him, spending time with Him....I dont' know if this makes sense, but these are my thoughts, is there a season of preparation and faith in trying for the miraculous before we too walk in signs, and healing...???? just wondering what you might think?
I also agree with Joel I think he said something along the lines of "Lighten Up" and Rob would say "Chill out" relax, enjoy the Father....for now that is enough, I know I want to learn to live in His presence regularly and that is my focus, ..... anyway, I think it's great to want and hope for these things - I too can't wait to see more of God's power manifest itself like that!!!

Grace said...

Hi Lydia

I am not sure if you are right or wrong, but I agree with you totally. It makes sense to me.
What a wonderful post thank you.
I am so excited right now.
I think you hit the nail on the head.

Have a wonderful day.

lydia joy said...

Hey again, I just listened to a message that may encourage you in light of what you wrote in this post...it's Feb 25th, 2007, Rob Rufus, "The Supernatural Operation of the Gifts of the Spirit - you can't have greater miracles with a shallow encounter with God."

You can't have greater miracles without greater levels of intmacy. 1:16:12 Rob Rufus City Church International Gospel
(highlight and click go to this address, should work)

Enjoy, I was really encouraged and inspired to want God more!!!

wayno said...

Hi Guys.
We all live with less anoninting that we want!! But we must not settle for it. Otherwise the sub normal becomes the normal!!
John 14:12 promises us that we can all walk in the anointing..anyone who believes. We must all by the grace of god, change what is normal, back to Jesus level of normal.
Bill Johnson says "jesus high point of ministry shuld be every believers starting point according to John 14:12".
I heard Rob also say we can operate in the supernatural, an hour after were saved.Even if your three years old. Guys were his children, we can do any thing.
No striving tho...resting, being lead, lead to pray, and wait, and grow...prepare yourselves, as i prepare my self too, this is the time of deeper levels of anoniting, and a higher level of healings and signs and wonders.
"Do it lord we long for more"
God is going to put his glory on display through his sons and daughters, for all the world to see, to the Glory of God!All over the world...see the glory is ever increasing, and it will cover the whole eart. From the valley to the highest mountain.