Witness Him Now
OK. I want to tell you what happened yesterday at church - October 13th. After the service we had a meal. I went out to see where they needed me to serve, and as I stood there in my spot a woman came up to me and started talking. She shared about her neighbor who had moved in next door four months ago. This lady had loaned her neighbor money several times in that time period, and she found out she was spending it on whiskey. She wanted to know how to deal with her neighbor. Then she said that the day before she went to check on her and this 65 year old woman was stark naked, screaming in her house. She didn't know how to help.
So I started speaking to her about speaking the truth in love and about taking others to Jesus. The truth will win if there is an open door into her heart, but I then said, "You cannot take on the burden of what you are seeing. Face Jesus and open your heart wide. Tell Him you are guilty and sorry for trying to take on the burdens of others." Ya'll, when she said this, she burst out crying, talking about her children and alcohol and she couldn't help.
Because she was distraught, I took her into our pastor's office to counsel with her. I had her face Jesus with her heart wide open, and I asked her if worry was in her heart. She said, "Yes." So I had her confess her sin saying, "Jesus, I am guilty and sorry for allowing worry in my heart. Would you forgive me!" Now every other time confession takes place worry leaves, but this time it didn't. I had her to command it to leave. It didn't leave. I commanded it to leave. It did not leave. So I looked at her and said, "Maybe we have the wrong spirit. Do you have fear in your heart?" I saw her eyes change. I could see fear. I then said, "Face Jesus with your heart wide open and tell Him you are guilty of allowing fear into your heart." At this point she started screaming, howling, spinning. OH MY! This normally does not happen.
I went to the door and asked someone to go get Todd or Rusty. Todd was eating, so I said, "GO GET RUSTY!" So I had her stop and face Jesus and open her heart wide. I said, "I am going to speak truth over you. I need for you to know that Jesus loves you and he loves your children." She started whaling. "He doesn't love me! He doesn't love me! How could He love me!" "STOP! You are believing a lie! Tell God you are guilty of believing a lie that God doesn't love you." All the time I was saying this, Rusty was speaking truth, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." It took her a long time to say it, but when she did, I could see a change in her countenance. I asked her, "Did love enter?" She shook her head yes, and I could see it in her eyes - love was there to lead the way. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus! Jesus was in the house!
So then Rusty and I turned her face towards Jesus to confess fear. She started screaming. She started spinning. Her eyes rolled back and she was screeching. Rusty and I both at the same time started speaking truth over her, "God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind! GOD HAS NOT GIVEN YOU A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER AND LOVE AND A SOUND MIND!" Over and over we said it until truth entered. She confessed her sin of allowing fear into her heart and the spirit left with a scream. WOW! I have never experienced anything like that. Rusty has, but not me, not during counseling.
That 4'11" seventy-one year old lady received freedom yesterday. We then began to speak truth over her life and over her children. She said that she has lived with fear her whole life. She said that when we were praying over her - A SOUND MIND - kept coming. She has struggled with that for years.
So I want to note what I witnessed in this sweet lady yesterday. First, she found deliverance because she wanted so desperately to help her neighbor. I think she saw herself in that 65 year old lady who was naked, screaming in her apartment. Second, the whole time she was howling, out of her mind, she kept saying, "Jesus!" Over and over again, she called on that name. It is written, "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved!" It is only in the name of Jesus and the power of that name that any of us will make it. From deep within hearts right now, there is a cry. That's all it takes - call on His name. Keep calling on His name. Finally, I believe with all my heart that that woman will find complete freedom and when she does, her ministry will be toward others who are on the brink of losing their mind. Her heart is full of compassion. And I believe with all my heart that her children will be rescued because it is written, "I will fight those who fight you, and I will rescue your children."
So if you have read this post and you or someone you know is in the same situation and you want freedom, too, Rusty Howell and I meet on Monday nights at 6:30 at the High Mesa Youth Room in Brownwood, Texas. We are trying to teach what we know to others. We call this ministry LIVE FREE because whom the Son sets free is free indeed. We just have to learn how to walk in that freedom. When we have a little bit of time, we will revamp my web site to reflect this new step-by-step teaching. We will also co-author a book along with our brother Robin Howell. We want to take people from being a new born baby in Christ to a mature, unmovable, fruit-filled child of God. We do this as we expose lies and replace the lies with the truth. We have to reprogram our hard drive.
So if you are interested in learning how to live free and to take others to this glorious place, we invite you to join us. If you are not in the Brownwood area, message us. We would love to help in any way we can.
Blessings to you, my friends. May you, too, find freedom in Christ Jesus!
I have just a few minutes, but there is a lot on my mind this morning. I woke up thinking about heart-wide-open. Eight years ago God gave me a parable that rocked my world. With this parable, He placed the keys to the Kingdom of God in my hands, and I got to walk in that power for a short season. Then after a few months He said, "You can go through any door that I open, but you cannot open a door yourself." Then He proceeded to close every door. Hearts closed to me. God did it. But in the middle of all of that, God taught me how to keep my heart wide open toward those whose hearts were closed to me. This kind of sounds crazy. I hope you are picking up what I am putting down. Many of you who really know me know what I am saying because your heart closed to me for a time or a season too - it may still be closed, and that's OK.
So I tried to address this issue the other day with people I love the most. I don't know that they understood what I was saying. They kept saying, "So you are right, and we are wrong." No. It is not about right or wrong, it is about open or closed. Then this morning I woke up thinking about open and closed. What causes a person's heart to close to another? Sometime our hearts close towards those who smell different or look different or dress different or are of a different color or a different economic status or a different religion or a different political stance or of a different sexual orientation. Lots of things get in the way of heart-wide-open. Sometimes pain and sorrow will not allow a heart to open wide ever again. Sometimes - maybe all the time - being offended causes the heart to close tightly. Whatever it is, it has to be addressed because there can never be a relationship unless the heart opens wide to receive it. For some of you that sounds scary, but it is not scary if we let God heal all of the broken places and all of the things that are getting in the way of heart-wide-open.
The first person we have to open our heart wide to is God. Without His healing power we will never be able to stand heart-wide-open. It is too much. We are too vulnerable . Jesus said He is always standing at the door knocking, and He said that if anyone opens the door to Him, He will come in and sup with them. He will talk to us and counsel us and heal us and set us free. He will take us to His banqueting table where we will find plenty of good things to eat, and as he begins to mend all of our broken places, our heart will be able to open to others once again. His perfect love will cast out all of our fears, and then we will be able to turn towards others, even those who are different from us or who have abused us and spitefully used us, and we will be able to open our heart wide toward them. We will be able to forgive and let go. Our heart will turn and open, and it is at this point that we will be able to love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. We will be able to open up to those who are different, those who do not look or act like we do. And even thought God said to mark those who cause divisions and stay away, we can still be on their side - even those who God will not let us hang around.
So heart-wide-open is a choice. We get to choose to close our heart to God and to people, or we get to choose to - I KNOW IT IS SCARY - O P E N our hearts wide to God and to people. Oh my goodness! If we could get hold of this one, it would change everything. It has already changed the ones I love most.
Anyway, I just wanted to say, "I love you guys. I want so desperately for hearts to open wide. I would do anything to see that happen, but I can't do it, only you can. But I will choose to stand here with heart-wide-open no matter what."
Blessings, my friends. May the LORD Himself teach us to live heart-wide-open.
This morning, October 17, 2019, I woke up early thinking about how none of us can change what people think of us or how they treat us. We can't make people love us or even like us. We can't make people be on our side. We can't control what another person chooses to say or do. All we can do is control how we respond to what is given to us.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12-14, "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. You can enter God's kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
So woke up this morning with this scripture in my heart. It is a word for the hour. The narrow way that leads to life is to treat others like we would want them to treat us. We cannot control how others treat us, but we can control how we respond to them. This road is narrow and difficult and very few find it. I already knew this in my heart, but it is what came next that shook me to my core. I am still trembling.
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." (15-20)
Oh my goodness, I want to cry. How do we treat our bosses?How do we treat our employees? How do we treat our parents? How do we treat our spouse? If we don't treat others like we would want to be treated, if we continue to turn our backs on people, if we continue to point our finger and speak wicked things, if we continue to mock and judge and condemn we are really a vicious wolf in sheeps clothing, a bad tree that produces bad fruit that will be chopped down and thrown into the fire someday. We have to stop closing our hearts to others. If we continue doing what we are doing, God will close His heart toward us.
"Not everyone who calls out to me, 'LORD! LORD!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter. On Judgment day many will say to Me, "LORD! LORD! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name." But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God's laws." (21-23)
So guys, what started out being a simple word this morning has become something that is shaking me to the core. We have to start treating others with kindness and honor and respect. Jesus said, "When you do this to the least of these, you are doing it to me." How we treat others is actually how we are treating Jesus. So if we are rejecting a person, we are actually rejecting Jesus. If we are slandering, mocking, ridiculing others, we are doing the same to Jesus. When we act like this, Jesus doesn't know us. He only knows how to honor and glorify. He only knows kindness and goodness and faithfulness and self-control. He only knows love and joy and peace. He only knows light and truth. He only knows mercy and grace. In order to know us, we have to become how He is. He is unfailing love.
Blessings my friends. Meditate on this a while. It is huge. May we all see ourselves clearly, and may we all strive to enter the narrow gate by treating others like we want them to treat us.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."