YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN
Okay. If you watched my first video update, you already know the skeleton to Joseph’s story. (Joseph is not his real name.) Here is the whole story from March until the beginning of June when he fully decided to FOLLOW JESUS! yeah!
a couple months ago my friend Peter, an American, met a guy, a Bedouin guy, from a nearby village – I’ll call him Joseph – and one evening while Peter and others were having dinner at my place, Peter got a call from Joseph asking him to come to the hospital to pray for his friend’s father who was on his deathbed. Peter asked if I wanted to go. I did. And so, 4 of us went. Peter and I prayed and sang over the dying man, talked with the family, and then Joseph invited us to his home outside Bethlehem. We went. Then we went to his cousin’s house nearby.
While Joseph and I were talking in the house, God gave me a word of knowledge about an event in his childhood. And so Joseph, shocked, began to tell me how his life changed from that moment on. This opened the door to lots of questions about God, His voice, His love, His presence. : ) And Joseph, eyes shiny, told everyone in the room what just happened and asked me if I would pray for his cousin – who is in his 40’s and really wants to get married. Well, the guy wanted prayer so I hopped over to him and prayed. I felt led to break some curses off of him; and I did, and he felt better AND he got engaged the following week! The family directly attributed this to the breaking of curses! (sadly, the engagement was broken a week ago). Regardless, this family really felt that God was moving in freedom and new patterns. <Praise the Giver! I love when God moves powerfully in Muslim homes!!! He’s a gorgeous lover! Overflowing in winks, hugs, and joy for who we are! He loves us SO much!>
Moreover, after praying for that man that evening, we prayed and prophesied over two of the other three people in the house! <C’mon Lamb of God! Revelation of atonement!>
Then, a few days later I got a phone call informing me the man we prayed for in the hospital died ten minutes earlier. I went to the hospital. He was already taken to his family’s home. He was sixty years old. His body lived through 4 heart attacks and many years in prison. His youngest child is 27. And despite his death, there is LIGHT beaming into his family. Though many Palestinian die early deaths, God is turning the tide. And I am thankful I was invited to pray over Hassan two days before his death. The Holy Spirit’s presence was energetic there in his hospital room, as I stroked his white hair and kissed his cheek while Peter knelt on the floor, interceding for this beautiful image-bearer of the King.
That evening, outside the hospital, Joseph informed me that he had a dream about me that I needed to explain to him.
Here’s the dream as told by Joseph:
I was inside a building, maybe a house, and I could see you outside walking on a path. I couldn’t see the end of the path, but it was well-lit. I wanted to be on the path. You spoke Arabic fluently and said to me, “It’s not that far away. Come with me,” but I was lying on the ground, I felt like I couldn’t move, like it was too difficult to get up and get on the path. You said it again, “It’s not that far away.” And you were wearing a traditional Palestinian dress, but it wasn’t a dark color like usual, it was light, maybe white or yellow, I don’t remember. And your hair was black. I wanted desperately to be on the path, but I was very anxious. I felt like it wasn’t easy.
And then I awoke. It was exactly 3:30AM and I was extremely thirsty. So I got up and got a drink. I didn’t go back to sleep. I couldn’t. I didn’t go to work that day. I just thought about the dream. I felt I had to talk to you in order to understand it and I called Peter to reach you, but his phone was off. What does it mean?
I explained to Joseph that in the dream the path is the Truth, the only way to God, which is through Jesus. And it’s not that far! It’s always close. It’s simply a decision away. When Joseph decides to say, “God I give you my life. I want Jesus to live inside me” God will pick him off of the ground and set him on the path. It’s Jesus’ strength. We talked for a long while about all of this. And He clearly wants very very much to follow Jesus, but he was afraid. I told him to talk to Jesus about it – to ask Jesus to reveal Himself to him.
He went on to say, “That night I asked Jesus to show himself to me. I didn’t feel anything happen and I don’t remember having any dreams that night. Yet, whenever I think of you or your name comes up, I am filled with deep peace. And I see something white. And I’m really happy. Once I even cried.”
“Today even though my friend’s father died and I was sad and thinking a lot about death, when I think of you or now when I look at you, I am filled with joy. I am overwhelmed with peace. I feel something stirring inside me now as you are speaking. I believe in you. I see your white heart. I know you are honest, I trust everything you say.”
“I need you in the next few days. I am thinking so much about this thing, but I don’t exactly know what this thing is I’m thinking about. I feel like I need your help so much.”
“I feel like I have this thing in one hand and in the other hand is my family, my friends, my girlfriend, my culture. I feel like everything would change if I choose this thing. I am scared. My family would be angry. My friends would think I am very weird. Maybe they would reject me. I feel like I would be totally alone.”
Joseph and I dialogued about his concerns, Jesus’ faithfulness and power, and the liberty he was getting a taste of. By the conversation’s end he said: “I think I will make this decision to follow Jesus this summer, but I need some time.”
Well, then he had another dream:
All I could see was a huge mountain in front of me. It was gigantic. And I felt like I had to get passed it, but it was impossible. I couldn’t go over it or around it. I was overwhelmed with despair. THEN, all of a sudden I realized there was something inside the mountain making it shake! And I knew it was YOU! And you suddenly ripped the mountain in half! I could see your head above the mountain and your body was inside. I could now walk straight THROUGH the mountain!
Joseph, like a kid with too much candy, recounted this dream with zeal, exuberance, and spurts of laughter. He was ecstatic. The previously “impossible” became not only possible, but in some way already DONE. He could go through the mountain! When Joseph told me the dream, I explained that it’s because Jesus’ power is inside me that I can rip mountains in half- and that anyone who has decided to follow Jesus has this same ability. Joseph was tickled. It was evident he was encouraged that though the obstacles looked insurmountable, he too could have the ability to move mountains once Jesus lives inside him. (My friend David calls this dream “Dawn Richardson Action Hero” – haha.)
Not long thereafter Joseph broke up with his almost-fiancé because he saw that she and her family were too religious and they stood in the way of his decision to follow Jesus. And on his first Friday in over a year, he wasn’t with his girlfriend and her family – instead he was in Jericho with us, visiting and praying over an elderly woman whose demon-possessed son killed himself in September by throwing himself off a building. (David and I met both woman and son last summer.) Joseph said he was anxious all morning because of breaking up with his fiancé and because many family members were beginning to tell him, “you are changing. You are acting strange. What’s going on?” Yet, as we prayed for the elderly woman outside her house, a deep peace and joy enveloped him and once again, he felt confident to continue walking toward Jesus.
Days later, while shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for his mom, he noticed a traditional Palestinian dress much like the one I was wearing in his dream. And he bought it for me. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit made it clear I could receive the gift; and I was delighted because of both its prophetic significance AND the fact I was told by the Joseph’s family that when his 40-something cousin gets married, I should wear a traditional dress (which I didn’t have). Perfect. Revelation 19 wedding supper of the lamb images everywhere!
So, April 28, the day before I left for America, Joseph asked to see me. My friend David came along. Joseph asked me to go with him to his cousin’s house to pray for her. “Why?” I asked. “My cousin has cancer in 72% of her body” he replied. “Oh! Well, let’s go then!” I said, delighted that Joseph easily believes God heals people. : )
We went to her house. And from the moment of eye contact, I saw it: demon possession – not just the presence of the demonic, but some kind of willing pact existed. It was going to be a long night; and I was thrilled that Joseph had brought us and excited for Jesus to begin to set this woman free! Well, it was almost two hours before her kids went to bed. She had not mentioned cancer. I asked, “how are you doing really?” And she explained her two year battle with cancer: four surgeries and still a bleak outlook. I told her stories of Jesus healing people. And I asked if we could pray for her. “Yes.”
Well, the next 2 hours were pretty involved, but easy because of Jesus’ presence. The woman first heard an angel tell her to place her hands palm-up on her lap – a good sign, but the demons got fiesty and she began to move her arms around, slowly and strangely – which she continued for nearly all of 2 hours. I asked God about it and felt okay ignoring her movements. God led clearly. I prayed and placed my hands where He said, and with each re-location of my hands – the part of her body I was touching would shake violently, then she would feel “something” leave that part of her body. YAY JESUS! Then God told me she welcomed witchcraft into her house. “Do you have witchcraft in your house?” I asked. “Look on my window,” she answered. David pulled back the curtain to discover a plastic bag containing vinegar and a mirror shard. “We need to destroy this,” I said. “What else do you have?” “The bowl on the counter,” she replied. David picked up a glass bowl containing water, salt, and a strip of fabric from the woman’s clothing. “Anything else?” I queried. “Yesterday the mirror in my bathroom was glowing on its own so I broke it off the wall and threw it away.” “Okay, is there anything else?” I questioned. “No, that’s it” she stated.
I explained how welcoming such things gives them authority, but Jesus is the highest authority and so, He is the only one that can defeat all these things and bring total freedom. Then God said to sit down and tell her the gospel. In classic Jesus-sync, the moment I sat down David began to tell the woman the gospel. : )
I asked her if she wanted to surrender. She said yes. I saw it wasn’t a full surrender, but God said to go ahead, so I did. And she repeated a prayer after me. And then her whole body went limp in the chair. I was so happy for her to have that deep moment of release. : )
So, God told me to prophesy some things over her and to blow into her hands. I told her what I was going to do, and I did it. And with each breath of mine, her body went limp and she said, “something just rushed out of my arm!” hip-hip-hooray for our Warrior-Lord!
Before I left I told her I was leaving the next day and would be away a month, but she should call my friend Pastor Khader in Beit Sahour the very next day because he works with Jesus to clean people out and set them free. And I asked Joseph to make sure she did.
She felt bales of hay lighter by the time we got up to leave. Her eyes were clearer. Granted, she did try to give me a pinch of salt to sprinkle on the stairs as I left, which I strongly refused with, “You don’t fight witchcraft with witchcraft. Jesus is the only One who really brings FREEDOM.” Anyhow, we all left jubilant. We know it’s the start of her eyes being opened and we are excited! Woohooooooo! Let things in darkness be brought in the Light!
The next day I called Khader to give him a heads-up and he explained she already called and she said to him, “I see that you have many spirits who obey you. I want to exchange power with you.” Oh boy. Also, the woman admitted that she got cancer right after she began practicing witchcraft (which God showed me the night before so, good group confirmation!) Well, Khader and I had a nice chat and I asked him to get 2 women in his church who would pray weekly for SALVATION breakthrough for this woman. He thought that was a great idea and said he would do so. (Three cheers for TEAMWORK!)
Moreover, in all of this, my joy bubbled because Joseph was able to be a part of deliverance, healing, prophecy, faith, hope, and love in a variety of venues. And he was thrilled to have all these “date nights” with Jesus. Haha.
Weeks later, while I was in Cyprus, Joseph sent me a text: “when will you be back in Bethlehem? I have great news! And I am so happppppppppppppppppppppppy!” Initially, he refused to spill the beans, but a week later, while I was in Jordan I asked him if he was happy because he found gold in the ground. He responded with, “Yes, but don’t tell anyone.” Which, naturally, prompted my response of, “what? How could I tell anyone, I don’t even know what you are really talking about!?”
And then came my favorite text message of all time, which is still saved in my phone:
“i w i l l f o l l o w j e s u s”
I broke open the jar of my praise. I yelled. I danced. I sang. And the Holy Spirit tickle-tackled me. That single sentence left me glowing, positively radiant inside and outside, for days. Moreover, the YWAM friends I stayed with in Jordan were pretty encouraged and happy too!
So, right after my return to Bethlehem, Joseph explained it like this, “I don’t know what exactly happened. I just, how do you say it? Surrendered. And I am so happy all the time now.”
Haha. I love it. I love the whole story. It is absolutely beautiful when one gets to be part of a story in which you simply lean back, moment-by-moment into Jesus and He moves powerfully. One’s lean into Him, is a YES and AMEN to the YES and AMEN of who He is. He only did what He saw the Father doing. He did YES and AMEN. He was YES and Amen. Sometimes I think that if all Jesus’ acts were recorded and they did fill all the books in the world – like John’s idea in the last verse of his book – all of the books would simply say, “Yes” and “Amen” over and over, endlessly through all the books. Zillions of books blanketing the earth in two words: “Yes” and “Amen.”
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.
And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20
<Jesus, teach my spirit this constant song. Teach me to lean into your example.
Teach me to YES and AMEN all the time.>
YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN YES AMEN