Some friends were passing through Redding this week and they called me to meet up for coffee. One of them said, “we want to hear some of your crazy stories!” I laughed and agreed to meet them at Starbucks. I began to think about the definition of “crazy” and I thought about a conversation I had with another friend a couple weeks ago about agape love (the “highest” form of love, or God-like love) in which, in the context of how we train our hearts to live FROM heaven, I said, “Really, God is so normal” and my friend immediately wrote my words down to add to his collection of quotations. haha.
Ultimately, God is the norm.
Jesus is the most normal Christian ever.
Heaven is the norm.
The way things are in heaven should define “normal” for us.
After all, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
* Wholeness * Joy * Life * Glory * Every color in existence (and those “not in existence”) * Fulfillment *
Heaven is here. Jesus brought it with Him.
And the kingdom of heaven is within us.
I was talking to God a few days ago and I was struck with the words, “See Heaven.” I realized this is one of my life’s banners: “See Heaven!” I want everyone, everywhere to SEE HEAVEN. I want us to all live in the reality of heaven constantly. And I want us to be so tapped into heaven, so aware that it is the highest reality, that we easily agree with its reality and therefore, bring it into our earthly midst. hahaha! What glorious fun!
And so, I thought I ought to toss some normal stories on y’all – to stir up hunger for heaven, to anchor hope inside you, and to stretch you to believe that every fear, every insecurity, every lack you perceive is ITSY BITSY compared to the size of God’s heart. So, shout down the walls of fear and take hold of your inheritance in Jesus!!!!!
First, several weeks ago I saw the red flashing lights of a fire truck in my kitchen window so, I went outside to inspect. There was the firetruck alongside an ambulance. The three year old son of my next door neighbor’s friend had a seizure and was in the back of the ambulance. I asked the mom if I could lay hands on the son and pray for him (mentioning I’ve seen a seizure stop through prayer), she said yes, but when I asked the paramedic if I could lean into the ambulance to lay a hand on the boy and pray, he said, “only family can, but you stand right there and pray.” SO, I stood at the ambulance’s bumper and commanded the seizure to stop. And immediately it DID! hahahaha! The paramedic looked at me and said, “the seizure stopped and all the color returned to his face!” hahahaha! It was wonderful! Hooray for Jesus!!! They did take the boy to the hospital for follow-up that night, but since then my neighbor’s son informed me the boy is completely fine! YAY!!
That is a story about taking authority in your neighborhood, your city, your state etc. Jesus is the King of Kings. Let’s agree with His rule by being part of transforming our cities!!!
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Next story: This one is about listening to Jesus and doing bizarre things in obedience and love. haha.
It’s a testimony from the Old Testament.
In 2 Kings 5 there is a general named Naaman. Naaman had leprosy and desperately sought a cure.
Verses 9-14 read:
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
YES!!!! God prodded Naaman out of His comfort zone and Naaman’s willingness to step out in faith led to his healing!
Now, let’s drink (feel free to gargle it before you swallow it) a testimony from the New Testament.
Next Story: also about peculiar obedience.
In John 9 there is a man blind from birth. Jesus healed him as recorded in verse 6:
“Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”
YES!!!!!!! Not only did Jesus spit into dirt and put mud on the man’s eyes (unusual? one would think so), but then Jesus asked more of him, he told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.
Another story: this one is about kissing a foot.
A few months back, a friend of mine injured her foot. I asked her if I could pray for it and I felt like the Lord said to kiss it. So, I did. And some of the pain left. Then I felt like everyone in the room (about 10 people) was supposed to kiss her foot. So, I told them this. Gradually, they each kissed her foot. With each kiss, the pain diminished. There was only one person left to kiss the precious foot. And he refused. “I’m sorry, but I am NOT kissing someone’s foot!” Well, after some healthy encouragement from the rest of us, he gave in and kissed the foot. Immediately, she lept to her feet and began running around the room saying, “the pain is gone! the pain is gone! Praise YOU, GOD!” hahahahaha!
So, we got outside our usual prayer routine and whaddya know? God showed up in power and my friend was completely healed! hahahaha!
I’ve kissed other people’s ailing parts in prayer – and it’s always a sweet blessing to their soul and their body. : )
And, really, WHO CARES if it’s uncomfortable or weird? It’s FOR HIS GLORY and it’s to LOVE HIS KIDS!!! That’s the point. What other people think of us, is NOT the point. haha. It’s always fun to jump out of earth into heaven. We were made for heaven’s reality. We were made for Eden. That’s our natural habitat. haha. “Weird” is normal if it’s what God’s doing. And it’s really really outrageously fun to BE OURSELVES: full of heaven, full of insane freedom. haha.
Love releases healing. Love releases freedom. Love releases acceptance in the receiver’s heart, the walls come down and healing more fully comes in. Hooray!
And now to a more recent story: this one about swinging someone like a bridge. (why not?)
Last week a friend of mine asked me to come over to his flat because he had friends in town and they wanted people to pray and prophesy over them. Well, I went over. We prayed and prophesied over 4 of the 5 people and when I turned to the last one to ask if we could start praying for him, he said, “well, first, could you pray for my head? I have a horrible migraine. It’s the fifth time today and I’m actually planning to go to the E.R. after this to get it checked out.”
“What?!?” I replied. “Well, that’s going to stop right now!” So, we prayed for him. And I asked him how he felt. “A little better, yeah,” he answered. “On a scale of one to ten, what is the pain?” I asked. “Probably an eight,” he explained. “Okay, we’ll keep praying. God, thank you that the pain is going down! Let’s see it totally leave!” In the moments following the pain went to a “7.5” and people began giving him prophetic words as we prayed. We were recording the prophesies on an audio recorder so, I said, “stop the recording.”
“I have a picture,” I said, “we are swinging you like a bridge, holding your arms and feet and just swinging you and when we swing you, you are going to be totally healed.” Faces in the room turned to shock and wonder. I explained that God likes it when we step out of our comfort zone into faith and I mentioned the story of my friend’s foot being healed. “Well,” the man turned to me, “I would let you swing me, but the thing is, I actually can’t.” “What do you mean?” I questioned. “I have titanium in my back and movement like that would hurt my back.” “What?” I exclaimed, “well, let’s get that taken care of! that’s easy! Titanium can dissolve just like that!” My friend Sam piped up with a story in which he saw titanium dissolve in a man’s forearm when he prayed for him. So, Sam prayed for the titanium in this man’s back to dissolve. And most of the rest of us popped into praise and prayer exclamations. haha! The Presence of God was in the room like a net pulling in a load of fish, we were being yanked up into the Lord’s boat. haha. After a bit of hot sauna Presence prayer, the man said we could swing him. He was coated in God’s goodness and ready for the next step of faith. Two men took his hands, two men took his legs, and they swung him. And I about fell over in Holy Spirit tornado laughter. haha. I LOVE GOD!!!! I love co-operating with Him!
Well, after some swinging, he stood up and I asked what level the pain was at. He said, “it’s a six. really. it’s going away.” I screamed and lept. Also, in the midst of all this he mentioned that his father recently was told he has brain cancer and that this man was scheduled for a brain check-up soon. Someone immediately said, “we break those words off of you. You have the mind of Christ. There is no cancer in you and we break off any anxiety or fear related to that.” It was becoming clear that much more than a series of headaches was being healed and set free. Well, as we stood there, he said, “it’s a four.” And I yelled and jumped up and down, all the while laughing insanely in red-cheeked, blushing love for Jesus! “YES YES YES!!! Thank you, Jesus! haha!” And then, he paused in a sort of slow speed moment of evaluation, “It’s gone. It’s gone. Really. All the pain is gone!” HAHAHAHAHA! He was in shock. We all began to laugh and celebrate and he simply stood there in utter shock. Then he smiled and chuckled. He asked if there were magnets around so he could check to see if the titanium left his back. Someone looked, but the magnets weren’t large enough to work, so he said he would let us know after he went through the airport Thursday. He always sets off the metal detector on account of the titanium, so he was expecting to not set it off and therefore know the titanium was gone.
AWESOME!!!!!!! Healed of migraines while being swung like a bridge!!!! HILARIOUS!!!! I love it! God is definitely my favorite AND ONLY God to follow! haha! He’s the Creator! And He’s creative!
And wow, is He normal.