Thursday, 29 October 2009

What are you Expecting?

God is speaking to me a lot at the moment about what I'm expecting. I know in my head that He loves unconditionally and that He can't be anything but perfectly good, yet I still find myself (much more often than I would like to admit) expecting to be disappointed over and above expecting His goodness. This has massive implications...not least because if I'm expecting to be disappointed I'll avoid looking for His goodness in order to guard myself against the disappointment I fear (get your head round that!) The more I hope for, the bigger the disappointment could be if He 'doesn't come through for me' - and so I learn to limit my expectations to guard my heart. This is a such a killer because what we expect will have a direct impact on what we see.

That's certainly been my experience at conferences I've attended, where people have come along hungry and expectant for the goodness of God to be poured out. Guess what? That's exactly what's happened. Again and again, lives get changed; bodies get healed; broken hearts are restored. It's just amazing. When I went to Bethel earlier this year I was totally blown away by the corporate expectation there of the goodness of God. Everyone seemed to be utterly convinced that God was going to be very good all the time - after all, He's ALWAYS in a good mood! What we're expecting is so important. And so God seems to have me on a bit of a personal journey regarding my expectations. I hope that what He teaches me will, in turn, have an impact on the King's Arms as well as churches elsewhere. I'll keep you posted!

For the time being I feel stirred to be intentionally looking for, and recording, God's goodness in my life. To start, here are the many ways that He was good to me during the time of my operation:

1) When I found out the original diagnosis of my condition - that it could be cancer and I'd need an operation, I had my good friend Karen with me. I got to cry with her
2) Two friends spoke to me of similar operations they'd had and how God had been really faithful
3) A girl who had gone through 2 operations with the same incision happened to be staying with us when I found out what my operation would be like - She was an incredible encouragement.
4) A friend made 'truth' cards for me the day I found out that I needed an operation
5) The lady who saw me in the hospital before my operation said they'd do everything they could to save my ovary (even though the consultant had said I'd probably lose it) I didn't lose it!
6) A couple in the church drove me to a friend of theirs in Chelsmsford the day before I went to hospital so he could pray for me. I got a lot of freedom!
7) I went into hospital on a Sunday afternoon which meant I could go to church in the morning and have people pray for me
8) There was a lady in the hospital who'd had a similar operation a few days before me who was also a Christian - she supported me when I was having a tough time
9) God woke a friend of mine up to pray for me in the night when I was having a particularly bad time in the hospital
10) I recieved countless cards and people were praying for me all over the world.

I could go on, but I won't. What are you expecting?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

My Hand Went Hot!

I really want to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. There have been many times over the past few weeks during worship at TSM that I've had no clue where to take things. God has been very present and speaking - He always is - and I have had to try and make a call as to whether we keep going or stop or pray or just be silent etc. It's a great learning curve! Most of the time in these situations we have simply decided to remain in God's presence and just 'be'. After all, His presence is what we long for.

Being sensitive to God's presence in the middle of a worship time is one thing, but being sensitive to the Holy Spirit out on the streets feels entirely different (although I'm wondering as I write this if it has to be that way?) I've been trying to be more intentional about praying for the sick as I'm out and about in town. Praying for the sick in team (during treasure hunts) is one thing, but if I want to be naturally supernatural I'm going to have to be able to step out as I'm hanging out in Costa, or doing my food shopping; as I'm living my life day to day. So I have an agreement with God. During the month of October I will do my best to offer to pray for anyone I see on crutches when I'm out and about. There have been no shortage of opportunities!

So today a lady walked out of a shop infront of me on crutches. I was tired and heading home and had decided to take God's grace in this situation and not pray. But as I slowed down to say to God that if she turned to walk the same way as me I'd stop, she followed me - so I stopped to speak to her. She was a very friendly lady, originally from Argentina, who was recovering from a knee operation. As we were chatting, all of a sudden, my right hand got really hot! I've heard of others experiencing heat in their hand as a sign of God wanting to heal, but I'd never been so aware of it in me before. God was with me!

She was really happy for me to pray and so I did - twice. She said that she felt heat in her knee as I put my hand on it and that her knee felt a bit better after I'd prayed. As I walked away from her what felt most exciting to me was that I had been aware of God with me and had responded to His promptings. It feels like a step up in my ability to be sensitive to His presence when I'm out and about. Here's to much more!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Growing in the Prophetic

A car load of us from the King's Arms took a road trip to Revelation Church London on Saturday night to spend the evening with a prophetic team from their church. Our brief; come and share stories, prophesy and impart all God has given you, so that's what we did.

It was so much fun being 'on the road' with such amazing friends. John, Mike, Phil, Philbe and I have the privilege of being part of a prophetic team at the King's Arms - There's never a dull moment when we get together to seek God. This time was no exception!

It started in the car when Phil saw an angel running in front of us, preparing the way as we drove into London. The angel was carrying what was like a nuclear bomb and God's promise to us was that we would deposit something really significant with our friends at Revelation church in terms of the prophetic and the heart of God.

The highlight of the evening for me (apart from stopping off at Costa on our way home at 12.30 in the morning :o)) Was when I shared a word of knowledge I'd had where someone was practising putting a golf ball (Random!?) I'd seen a young boy practising, and his dad behind him holding his hands to guide his putt. As I shared the picture, one of the guys in the room told us that he practises putting in his back garden. As we began to pray for him it became apparent that God wanted to speak to him.

God wanted this precious son of his to know that He is incredibly patient and gentle with him. God had shown me and John that this chaps earthly father thad been just the opposite; impatient and violent. Now God was breaking in to speak healing and hope. I also felt I saw the Muslim world over this man. After Phil shared about seeing foreign lands over him, I shared what I'd seen. As it turns out, this guy and his wife are called to Iraq! (What was really fun was that 1 minute before he shared this with us, Phil had turned to me and said that he felt God had told him this guy was called to Iraq!) I love it when we hear God!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

TSM - The Adventure Begins!

It seems such a long time ago now that Simon and PJ first spoke to me about handing over the youth work to head up a School of Supernatural Ministry at the King's Arms. We're now two weeks into our exciting new adventure and I'm blown away that I actually get paid for leading something that is so much fun. God is already breaking in in amazing ways!

We have 22 students on the course - incredible men and women who are hungry for more of God and His Kingdom. The atmosphere when we come together to worship is electric and I am so encouraged that we're already feeling a lot like family. We have laughed together, cried together, eaten together, learnt together, prayed together and celebrated together. On our 3rd day together I asked if anyone had any stories to share that we could thank God for. Here were the highlights...

- One girl shared how money kept re-appearing in her pockets after she'd spent it. She also told us that £100 had been deposited into a bank account she'd closed and that she had been given more housing benefit than she'd asked for (MIRACLES!)
- One lady shared about how she'd prayed for a guy at a wedding who had broken his collar bone and had his arm in a sling. After prayer the pain he was experiencing reduced from 8/10 to 4/10!
- A guy shared how he'd injured his ankle while out walking with friends but it was instantly healed after prayer - all the pain completely disappeared! He also shared how a girl in his youth group who had a hole in her eardrum was healed after 5 times of prayer (Woop!)
- A couple shared how they'd been able to share the gospel with the people round their table at a wedding and how a guys back got completely healed after prayer!

These are ordinary people living supernatural lives! It's such a privilege to be part of what God is doing through this school. I've got the best job in the world! All these stories after only 2 weeks; imagine what's going to happen in the next 9 months!