These Signs Shall Follow

An exchange of conversation bounced back and forth between the interpreter and the young women.  Before I knew it, the team and I were being ushered into the woman’s home.  Our interpreter explained that this young mother had an infant son who was sick.  She was unable to work that day and the day before had taken her child to the doctor.  She couldn’t afford to miss any work, but more concerning was that the doctors couldn’t do anything for her child.  He wasn’t eating, slept very little, and he cried or coughed most of the time.  It was obvious she wasn’t sleeping either.  She pleaded with us to pray for her child’s healing.

My mind began to race and my heart was beating so fast, I was sure the others crammed into the tiny space could hear it.  As I looked down at that little cherub faced Romanian child, I could tell he was struggling to breathe.  He was coughing, crying, and gasping for air all at the same time. 

Have you ever read Scriptures and thought,

  • “Yeah, that’s not for me.”
  • “Yeah, that’s not for today.”
  • “No way, I am NOT doing that!”
  • “I can’t possibly do that.”
  • “Jesus didn’t really mean for me to do that. He was God’s son, and I am not.”

Fear used to be a big part of my life and it would stop me from stepping out in faith.  I believe that fear and faith cannot reside in the same place at the same time.  So, if fear is rising, it is pushing out faith.  However, if faith rises, then fear is pushed out. God’s Word promises that fear is no longer part of my identity.  Once I have chosen to believe in and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for me, then I am God’s child and fear has no place within me.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:15-17 (NIV)

When we doubt or walk in unbelief, it’s really called FEAR.  Fear of what might or might not happen can cause us to miss amazing opportunities. Fear is what stops us from believing and even acting upon Scriptures like John 14 or Mark 16:

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:12-14

We had less than a second to decide.

  • Were we going to do the very thing we came to do?
  • Were we going to allow fear or faith to rise?

Of course, we all agreed to pray.  This was exactly why we were going door to door.  Yet, I also realized none of us actually expected to pray for healing that was so desperately needed. 

Faith allows God to work, but He can only work according to the Faith that is in us!

We chose to act on the commission Jesus spoke over His disciples and to us saying:

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)

In that second, even though no one voiced it, we knew we couldn’t allow fear of what might not happen cause us to miss an opportunity to see God perform a miracle.  We were there to “do the stuff.”  To lay our hands on the sick, to preach the gospel, to help anyway we could in Jesus’ name. We all knew Jesus performed miracles signs and wonders because He listened to the Father and the Holy Spirit. We just needed to do the same.

God has called us to be people of action not inaction! 

So, we prayed fervently.  We laid our hands on this cherub faced little angel and we cried upon the name of Jesus for healing.  God is the miracle worker not us.  He performs miracles using us, His people.  He works in and thru us with the power of the Holy Spirit to do these great things mentioned in this passage of scripture.

By the time we had all prayed the child was breathing with ease.  He was resting peacefully and was drifting off to sleep.  The momma, who looked to be just a child herself, began to weep and thanked us profusely.  As we left her tiny home, we all knew God had showed up and made Himself known, not just to this young mom, but to all of us American believers as well.

His Word promises that His signs will follow when we step out in faith allowing God to work through us. 

Let’s Expect Miracles and pursue the promises of His Word!

 

Peace Amidst the Storm

The other day I was driving home from work and just felt a general heaviness over my life.   You know how those drives are.  You finally have some alone time to reflect on how you have been feeling, doing, and living and they aren’t always positive.

It had been a long day, a long week, and a long past handful of months.  As I kept driving, I noticed big, dark clouds approach as the sky turned grey.  Perfect!  Just as I thought my day couldn’t get any worse.  My mind began to race over all the things my life had consisted of and I realized I was letting myself outweigh the positive with the negative.  So much so that I became more than sad, I became angry.  I felt betrayed.  I asked God how could He have let me down?  How could He have just turned His back and left me alone?

As the clouds began to release their tears I did the same.  But not for reasons you might expect.  You see, during this time of lowness and self-pity, God gave me a revelation.  He asked me what could be seen after a heavy rainfall?  At first I figured wetness, flooding, destruction, or any negative connotation people have with rain (there are a lot).  Then I remembered that rainbows are seen after rain.

God was showing me that something beautiful could come out of a season of rain; that there can’t be growth without strengthening, reward without challenges, or peace without belief. Believing that your rainbow is brightening through each hardship and that rain isn’t always a bad thing is the key to finding peace amidst the storm.

Think of it this way: our world cannot function without rain.  Rain waters our crops and the plants of the world; it replenishes freshwater systems, cools down a hot atmosphere, and so much more.  Out of all these, the most important characteristic of rain is that it brings life.

 

“Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”

 -Leviticus 26:4 (NASB)

 

Rainbows aren’t just pretty pictures seen after a hard rainfall.  God used a rainbow to show Noah that He would never flood the earth again.  We can have peace and safety in knowing that God always keeps His promises, that He is never going to flood your life to a point of drowning, and the seasons of rain are meant to draw you closer to Him.

 

“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”  

 -2 Peter 1:4 (NLT)

 

So I encourage you to reflect on the things of your life and ask God about His promises to you.  Don’t lose sight of His deepest desire to love you, to be your friend, and to strengthen you for the magnificent plans He has in store.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)