I was recently on a ministry trip to an amazing church in Isla Vista, California. Our mission? Bring the fire of God's love, encourage the church, and get radically wrecked by The Father and His goodness.
I want to share with you some insights I gained while on this trip. My hope is to give you a perspective shift, that you may see through the blood stained lens of Christ. Why? Because I believe this is true prosperity. When we see things the way God intended us to see, as lovers and overcomers, then long gone are the days of depression, lack, poverty, and darkness
During this 6 day trip, the theme was really The Father's love. He took me deeper into His heart. He showed me what it looks like to love without judgement and without an agenda. He also revealed to me how fulfilling it is to serve and love.
So much of the time, ministry can be all about us, how well we do, how many people got healed, how many got encountered, how many didn't get healed, and how much faith we did or didn't have. All of it is irrelevant, all is still focused on us.
The enemy wants to keep us self focused as much as possible. He doesn't mind when we are inflated by our great performance just as long as our identity is attached to what WE are doing instead what HE has done. Because if we are moved when we do good, we will be crushed when we make "mistakes."
The beauty of being born again is that we were transferred out of the kingdom of self to the kingdom of Christ. We are a people that are called to live out of rest in the finished work of Christ. He is now our identity. Everything He is, we are. (1 John 4:17) How? Because He stooped down and became everything we were. What were we? A false identity, molded and shaped by sin. But He removed the veil, and showed us our value. He revealed to us a new identity we could live from, Himself. He destroyed the self conscious man, buried him, never to be seen again. And when Jesus was buried, we were buried, and when He rose, we rose with Him, as new creations. The old has gone, and the new has come! (2 Cor 5)
This is the gospel. That we would be restored to the image of the one who created us in the first place. Above all that looks like being a mighty flame of love, not seeking our own but serving with our very lives.
So this is where true ministry should flow out of, our innermost being. When we are abiding like Jesus tells us in John 15, we see clearly, we see ourselves as God sees us, and we see others as beloved children of God just waiting for someone to tell them the good news. For when we encounter the truth, we are set free.
Ok… enough preaching, lets get into some testimonies!
We partnered with a ministry called "Jesus Burgers." It is a ministry to mostly college kids that party hard on the weekends. What they do is cook up 250 burgers and give them out to all the drunk people for free. There are no strings attached. They just feed them and love them. Sounds like unconditional love to me.
This particular weekend was halloween. That one night alone 20,000 partiers converged onto this 1 mile street, looking for fun, a fix, a buzz, something to take their minds off the cares of this world. Little did they know that we were about to love the "hell" out of them.
A particular encounter that stood out to me was with this young lady named Mily. I began to strike up a conversation with her and her boyfriend. Instantly I could feel the compassion of The Father for these two. Its hard to explain, but its a feeling of deep longing within the core of your being. It was like my heart broke for them. I mean this is what God's heart yearns for, the world to be reconciled to Him. This is the ministry we have as believers, the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18) Anyway, I began to prophecy this young girls identity, that she was a women that is dearly loved by God, accepted and approved of by God no matter what she has done. I began to tell her some things about her life that only God could know and she freaked out a bit saying, "how do you know these things, who are you!?" I then received a word of knowledge from Holy Spirit about her boyfriends career. I asked him if he was an accountant and boy, you should have seen his face. He was like, "What? How did you guess that? Thats what I do for work." I said, "God just loves you bro and He lives inside of us and likes to encourage His children." I continued to preach the love of Christ to them, you could just feel the tangible love of God in the moment. Mily told me that she grew up catholic and never felt any real power from God until that night. She said that she could feel that what I was saying was real. As I poured into her, she began to cry. She was overwhelmed by the truth of God's love and just couldn't contain it any longer.
This is what love looks like, stepping outside of our own convenience to love strangers. To tell them the good news that God loves and accepts us apart from what we do. That He doesn't count our sins against us, but forgives us of all sins, past, present, and future. For it is the kindness of God that leads us to change, not judgement or criticism. (Rom 2:4)
Another encounter I had was when I went inside the house to just get out of the cold. As I am sitting on the couch, two guys come and sit next to me. Adam is one guy, and I don't remember his friends name. I do remember that they were both hammered drunk, on alcohol, not The Holy Spirit. I began to prophecy over Adam that he is a leader and a pioneer, that he has a purpose and that God is going to show him how much he loves him and so on… I then got a word of knowledge that he had back pain. He said it was at a level 5 pain out of 10. As I am talking to Adam, his friend is over there acting a fool. He is talking smack about the bible and so forth, just being a joker. So I had Adam stand up and I commanded all the pain to leave. He sat down and said that all the pain left! Yay God! Then his friend was like, "you did a placebo effect on him man!" I said, "how did I fake his pain leaving?" He then said that he had back pain to and that I should make his pain leave. He stood up and got healed as well! Yay God again! He said, "man if everything your saying is true than your going against everything I believe." I just proceeded to love on both of them showing them the goodness of God! They were very grateful and they left that night transformed by the love that never fails.
This is what its all about, loving people without condition. Why would I be offended at his behavior? He just doesn't know who he is, thats all. God isn't offended, after all, He died for as while we were yet sinners right? Not while we were doing everything perfect, but while we were in our deepest darkest moments. (Rom 5:8)
After that, we walked down the street a bit and ran into some other christian guys handing out tracks telling people about Jesus. We all ended up praying together and it was fun! The cool part was when one of the guys had tendinitis in his elbow and the pain was at a 5 out of 10. We prayed for him and all the pain left immediately! Yay, yay, yay! I love seeing God crush pain, sickness, and disease! They were encouraged in the fact that they could walk in supernatural signs and wonders as well, it was beautiful.
One of my favorite testimonies was when we ran into a couple drunk guys out front of a house being loud and proud. I like those kind of people so we went right over to them and started chatting. One guy was dressed like a basketball player. I got a word of knowledge that he had back pain. He said that he has been playing basketball non stop and his back is pretty messed up and that the pain was at a 6. This guy was a real cool dude. God just showed me some stuff about who he was and he was really encouraged. I then told him that I was going to make his pain go away. He was like, "do you do some energy healing?" I said, "totally bro, its some really good energy." Haha and I simply told the pain to leave and it did. He freaked out because he was able to touch his toes again. So he shows his buddy, and he freaks out as well at what just happened. I love it! The most beautiful part was that they asked us if we could pray together before we leave. I had the one guy lead the prayer and he received Jesus into his life without anybody telling him what to do! He said this, " Lord bless these people, and I just ask that you come into my life, I know I'm gonna mess up but I just need you in my life." It was true love dominating darkness.
My encouragement for you today is to let God's grace transform you into the express image of love. Let your heart be aligned with heaven. Take time out of your day to stop for the one. Focus your energy on loving and serving and watch how God just wrecks your heart with His overwhelming presence. You were made for this. He lives inside of you and He likes it. He also likes when you show Him off to others!
So I pray that your heart overflow with His presence right now, that you would encounter God's face in such a way that you would never be the same. I pray that the spirit of wisdom and revelation would rest upon you so that you may see and know the truth. I pray that you would fall so deep in love with God that you would become an unstoppable force for good in the world!
Till next time!