Walking in Power

Following my last post, I want to continue from the foundation of asking God for more revelation. If you missed it, here’s the summary: God wants your vision to be expanded and to know the true power you possess through him. It’s a good thing to ask (pray to) him for visions, dreams and encounters so that you may more fully know him and walk in greater understanding and authority.

Now, assuming you are praying this theme regularly, we can continue. When you see a vision of something, or are given a revelation, you are now in a position to do something about it! Lean into the Holy Spirit and seek his wisdom; Pray fervently so you may know his plans and purpose for the situation. When you receive the answer, you are now in a position that cannot fail because:

  • You know what is currently happening (through the vision / dream / encounter / word of knowledge)
  • You know what God’s will is (through the Holy Spirit)
  • You are in a position to move in His will
  • He has promised that when you ask anything according to his will, it will be done (it cannot fail!)

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

1 John 5:14-15 NLT

This promise from 1 John is so powerful that I cannot stop thinking about it! I know that when I am moving in the Father’s will, I am the most effective.

For example, a few weeks back I was at a prayer and discipleship meeting. I had a desire in my heart to pray for a woman there who had positively impacted me. I asked the Father if I could pray for her, and I felt the inclination in my gut that it would go well. Although I wasn’t 100% certain on the success, I took my chances and asked to pray with her after the meeting. Well! It was so powerful that we were standing there crying for at least twenty minutes! I got many words of knowledge from Holy Spirit and shared them with her. The power of God was so strong that my legs started to give way and were shaking. After the fact, we had no desire for coffee or cake as the usual routine goes, but just soaked in the presence of our wonderful Father.

Sometimes you don’t need an audible voice of God to know what he wants. For me in this circumstance, I had a desire in my heart and a “gut feeling” that led me. I knew it was God’s will to bless this woman because it is alway’s God’s will to build up believers (Hebrews 10).

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

When you are operating inside of the will of the Father, you cannot fail. You will see mountains move and many great things take place. On the other hand, if you don’t act, you won’t see things happen. I want to say this in love, but the harsh reality is that the Bible was only written by people who acted.

Ask the Lord to show you the impact he wants you to have in the world around you. Hold onto the vision he gives you and keep seeking to fulfill it more and more each day through his power and anointing.

Through everything, ensure your heart attitude stays right before God. We are not rewarded for results the same way we are rewarded for having the right heart. For example, if I was to save a million souls with corrupt intent (let’s say for the sake of argument I wanted to build an empire for myself), I would be rewarded with nothing, because my works would be burned up at judgement day. But, if I was to only save one soul my whole life and live completely obedient to my Father, I would have great reward.

But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

1 Corinthians 3:13 NLT

Therefore, if we are not judged by outcome, but instead with our heart attitude and obedience to christ, we can be free from expectation of men. We don’t have to focus on the output or outcome, but rather, focus on the process within, specifically the heart.

I want to encourage you to walk in the power and authority that God has available while not being concerned with outward appearances. Let our loving Father take care of the details. This may seem counter-intuitive after reading the first part of this post, but it’s important to see both sides of the coin together. We are to walk in power and faith, but also to leave it to God to sort out the details.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

Revival From Within

Going to many youth conferences and large church events when I was young influenced the way I thought God moves. I have heard many times about revival and how God will pour out his spirit and tangible presence on multitudes of people to bring thousands to the kingdom… But I subconsciously always believed it would be an event that happened outside of my influence and I would simply join in to what was happening. However, my heavenly Father has completely changed my understanding in this! I have come to realise that revival is not an external event, but rather, an internal process.

It was a beautiful spring day that I was working from home. I had so much work to do, and not enough time to get it all done. There was a little outreach event happening in the city that day and I was invited to go. I hesitated several times and nearly didn’t go. Finally, I decided to go and arrived in the city with my mind on a dozen things.

After some time passed with the usual events happening, I saw a homeless man stop and watch the event about five meters away from where I was standing. I went up to him and started talking. After the speaker finished, I talked more with him and asked to pray with him. As I prayed, the tangible presence of our heavenly Father came so strongly I started to get emotional. I looked at the man I was praying with, and he was already crying, tears flowing down his weather-worn cheeks.

After prayer, I talked to the man about the Father and his love for a while, then asked if he wanted to surrender his life to Jesus. He wanted to, so we prayed through a prayer of repentance and surrender! It was incredible how the Father took care of everything. It was so easy; The man wanted to be saved.

This all happened only days after a discussion with friends about how God works in us, then through us, then around us. I know the Father’s love and his presence, so I wanted to move on to the next part, God working through me! I expressed this desire in the conversation, and only three days later was able to lead a man to Christ!

I realised that God wanted to use me to bring about a revival. It wasn’t an external event that “just happened”. No, it’s a process that goes on inside of me, (healing and transforming me) until I am ready to step out in faith and advance the kingdom of God!

Psalm 51 points to this reality of looking at the heart first, and being revived there first.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.

Psalm 51:10, 12-13 NLT

The progression here is firstly being right before God, then from that place teaching his ways to the ungodly and bringing them to salvation. This makes sense because how can we save someone if we ourselves are not saved? Jesus said it this way in Matthew:

So ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.

Matthew 15:14 NLT

If a teacher is teaching something he does not know, how will the person hearing be helped? There is another verse that talks about the heart:

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

There is certainly a pattern here of working on the heart first, then from that seeing God at work around us. Are you willing to start the process of revival from within you? Will you open your heart to the Father for him to work in it?

Growing In Relationship with God

It was in 2017 that I had a dream I felt was significant, and a direct revelation from God. In the dream, I was driving my car down a road. The road disappeared and turned into rough ground. As I kept driving, I could see a large desert up ahead with a lot of rough terrain. As I got closer to the rocks, cactus and other obstacles, the car I was driving lifted up several hundred feet into the air!

In the air I was able to see very far ahead of me, and I saw many other cars that were still driving on the ground. Some were very expensive exotic cars, and one in particular was a Ford Mustang. It looked brand new and was speeding along at easily over 280 km/hr (174 miles/hr). Because of the speed, it couldn’t slow down when it entered the desert. The vehicle smashed into a large rock and instantly burst into flames. I knew that the driver (and potentially passengers) had died. The dream continued with other events, but I won’t go into detail here.

At the time of the dream, I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, but I wrote it down and mostly forgot about it. It was only this year that I remembered it and reflected on my relationship with God. I realised that at the time of the dream, my relationship with God was like a car driving on the ground. I was moving forward in what he wanted me to do at a steady and sustainable pace, but I couldn’t see what was happening around me. It was in 2020 when I desperately sought God that I was raised up and shown many things around me. God started talking to me daily about what he was doing in my life, my friend’s lives, and the world at large.

So I realised that the dream had come true. I was in my own world, going at my comfortable pace, when I was lifted up and shown what was happening all around me. A Bible verse that confirms this transformation is Isaiah 40:31.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
   They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 NLT

It is when we wait upon the Lord (being still in his presence for extended periods of time) that we will rise up. I simply love how this verse is so close to the dream I had!

I also love the following verses from the books of Revelation and Jeremiah because they reveal God’s heart for us.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Revelation 3:20 NLT

Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking. It is up to you to let him in. It is in that place of friendship that he will communicate to you as a friend. When you eat a meal with him, (metaphorically), he will share with you. That simply blows me away!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Jeremiah shows more of God’s heart by revealing that he already has a plan and purpose for you. He wants to give you a future and a hope, but it’s up to you to let him do that by waiting on him and letting Jesus into your heart.

The remarkable thing I find in all of this is that I was a Christian the whole time in the dream I had. It wasn’t as if I was unsaved while I was driving, and when I accepted Christ I was taken up and my vision expanded. No, I was already saved. However, I wasn’t being intentional enough with my time with God to allow him to take me where I needed to go.

If you are “driving” and not seeing what God is doing, (as shown in Revelation 3:20 when Jesus shares a meal with you), I want to encourage you to spend as much time with God as you possibly can in the coming weeks. If possible, set aside large portions of time, up to four hours at a time, or more, to really go deep into his presence with praise, worship and prayer. If you do this, I promise you your life will start to transform!

Be blessed!

The Power of Prayer: A Testimony

Following on from my last post where I wrote about the power of God working through prayer, I want to share a testimony.

I felt God lead me to a remote church to help them while they started up. This church was less than six weeks old when I first visited, and at the time of this story, I had attended a handful of times. One Sunday night, after a regular service, I started talking to a young woman who was there with her partner. I found out that they used to attend church, but it was very dry and didn’t operate in the power of God. As a result, they left God and were very sceptical about connecting back into a church.

While I was talking with this young lady, my spirit inside of me felt like it would jump out of my body with excitement! I felt such a joy and connection to her. I have never felt this way before, and not since. One of my friends had organised to catch up with them after the service at a cafe, so we left the church and went to the cafe.

At the cafe, there were three friends and I talking to this young couple. As we talked about God with them, I again felt a strong connection to them. As I shared my testimony with the young man, he said he had gone through very similar life circumstances. He could easily relate to me and the struggles I went through. By this point, my spirit was just about to jump out of my body with joy and excitement for what God was doing in me! Wow! It was truly amazing.

After some time of discussion, the cafe was closing due to it getting late. We all went outside and kept talking in the freezing cold. After ten minutes or so, one of my friend asked to pray for them. After he prayed for them, he suggested I also pray. Well, safe to say no one expected God to move so powerfully!

As soon as I opened my mouth and started praying, the power of God hit everyone forcefully! One of my friends yelled out from the shock and staggered around, while I started weeping uncontrollably! I kept praying through the tears, desperately asking God to reveal himself to this couple that they might be saved. I heard myself prophesying over them, speaking of their faith-filled future.

After the prayer, I felt so alive; I truly felt used by God in the best way possible. Speaking to the couple, they also felt something, and they were very grateful for the prayers. Although they didn’t choose to accept God as their saviour right there and then, I know without a doubt that God is working in their lives.

This story is just one where God moved in me through prayer. I have seen him move through me more since I shifted my focus to what he wanted me to be doing: praying! I know I have a call to pray with and for other people, and as I walk in that, God uses me powerfully. The best part about this is that I didn’t do anything extra special. It was all God! He worked through me and did everything. There was no special prayer beforehand, and I wasn’t fasting. God simply used me as I walked in his purpose for my life.

There are some verses I want to highlight that show how God uses us when we are willing vessels:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13 NLT

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:16

As you can see from these verses, God works through us, not requiring us to produce the good works. For God planned long ago what we would do. How incredible!

Knowing these verses, do you know the call God has for your life? Are you walking in it? If you are, I would love to hear your stories of God’s power working through you. If you don’t know if you are walking in God’s call for you, I encourage you to read my last post and ensure you are in God’s will. From that place, there is no striving, no trying to make things happen. It just automatically works.

Have a blessed week, and may God be with you.

Who Is The Stronger Man?

I was resting when a scene played in my mind. I saw a very strong and muscular man protecting his house. Next, I saw another stronger man overpower the first and take ownership of the house and all that was in it.

After seeing this I was disturbed – why would someone take what isn’t his? Why did one man overpower the first?

I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what this meant. Later the same morning as I was reading through my Bible devotion for the day, I came across this passage:

 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—  until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.
 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

Luke 11:21-23 NLT

The strong man Jesus talked about here sounded exactly like the picture I saw. I looked up what it meant to understand more of what this meant. It seems that Jesus is saying he is the stronger man who is overpowering Satan and taking back what was stolen. This makes more sense as to why the second man would attack – he was taking back what was stolen and rightfully his!

So, what does this mean? I think it’s a pretty cool reminder that no matter how muscular Satan looks, Jesus is stronger and has already defeated him! We can trust in Jesus and his strength.

Pure Love

After talking about the harder topics such as hell and Jesus’ return, coming back to his love is even more powerful! If God is so pure that sin has to be cast into eternal fire, yet he still chooses to extend his arms and show his love to us, (sinful beings), how incredible is that love!

I believe that the love Jesus has for us is beyond understanding. Having experienced closeness with him, I must shake my head and say I cannot describe the love. It is absolutely out of this world. There is no comparison. Family love, best friend’s love, or even romantic love, have nothing on Jesus’ love.

It makes sense when you take some time to think about it. The only being in existence decided to create some intelligent, lesser beings. Those people, his very own creation, refused him and rejected him. Instead of responding in kind, he put aside all of his power and took the form of his creation. He then lived a life of rejection and loneliness, to finally end on a cross, dying in the prime of his life for the very people that killed him.

That’s crazy love!

I am so thankful for the love Jesus has for me! He has held me in the darkest moments of my life and whispered caring words in my ears at the perfect time. He has told me he cares for me and wants the best for me, and those words have comforted me in the worst of times.

Jesus’ love is not limited to me, though. His love is for you too when you turn to him. I encourage you to spend some time quietly praying to thank him for his love. 🙂

Encounter

One night I was quietly praying in my bed when I suddenly felt the presence of a heavenly being! I believe it was Jesus because love flowed out of him and he was very powerful. There was also a feeling like electricity going through my veins; this electricity was far more potent than adrenaline and the feeling of butterflies from a new relationship, combined! It is so out-of-this-world that I cannot describe it.

Although the most powerful feeling was love, the second most dominant feeling was fear. This fear wasn’t rational, though, it was different. I wasn’t afraid of Jesus, although I had a fear of him. It isn’t easy to put this into words. I think what I experienced was the fear of God. It’s different to rational fear; This fear was almost…healthy?

This experience was all very strange to me, and I was terrified because I knew Jesus had the power to kill me in an instant. It wasn’t that he would kill me; it’s just that he could. I know it isn’t in his character, but he is simply that powerful, and it was instantly understood.

Some things in this world can be explained logically because they frequently occur to many people, while others cannot be explained. This encounter is one of those things that can’t be communicated easily. It’s one of those things where you’ve either experienced it yourself or can’t relate at all. There isn’t much middle ground.

I want to encourage you to be more intentional with your relationship with God. He embodies love and is waiting for you with open arms, even coming close physically in some cases. Please pray about this and ask Jesus to visit you personally. I’m certain he will 🙂

It’s all about Jesus

Following on from my previous post about Cambodia, I want to dive deeper into the need for Jesus.

The culture I live in loves job promotions, high status, being famous, good looks, and absolutely idolises having loads of money. The thought of being able to retire at 30 and travel the world eating endless amounts of delicious food is just too good to be true for most people. I’ve often heard it said that I should “be happy” and do things I want to. Being selfish is wisdom in this culture!

However, I have come to realise that a lot of pain and suffering comes from the selfishness in me! Every idol I have put in my life has been from selfishness, and it’s those idols that hurt the most. For example, by putting my career as an idol, any time something went wrong with my job, I got extremely distressed. I was always fearful of losing my job and the social status that came along with it. The fear was crippling and draining my life.

If I had genuine unselfishness and had put my focus on Jesus and what he wanted for me, this suffering would have never happened. I am so thankful for the trip to Cambodia, which taught me a lot more about what is most important in this world. My job is just that – a job. It’s not my identity, and if I lose it, I’m sure my Father will lead me to another one to pay the bills. 🙂

I challenge you to put your trust and hope in Jesus. Don’t put more weight on things of this world than you should. After all, we are called to be “in the world but not of the world.”

Rejoice because your names are registered in heaven

As many times as I write about this, it still burns in my heart: a healthy relationship and intimacy with God are more important than anything else in this world. At one time in Jesus’ ministry, he sent out the Twelve disciples, along with many others, to preach the gospel. They returned to him excited because demons obeyed them! However, Jesus brought perspective:

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” 18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

Luke 10:17-20 NLT

From reading this, I can see how much value Jesus puts on salvation. Miracles are of more value than money because you can’t buy them, yet Jesus puts their value below salvation. Healing is impressive, but salvation is better. Spiritual authority is excellent, but salvation is better. Immunity from all earthly harm is unbelievable, but salvation is still better.

Salvation is of utmost importance to Jesus, and if it isn’t for you, you may need to change the way you think. Take a moment to pray and let the Holy Spirit point out one or two things in your life that you have put more value in than salvation.

Cambodia

Days before the coronavirus influenced border closures around the world, I went on my first overseas trip to Cambodia. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to go overseas, yet I don’t regret it for a second.

Although the trip was a short one-week arrangement I learned a lot about the culture, people, religion and area. When I stepped outside the airport, a very strong and unpleasant smell greeted me and didn’t leave until I flew out again. I was shocked to see my “taxi” driver blindly walk across four lanes of traffic (which in Cambodia translates to about 12 lanes. I’m not kidding.) and somehow make it out alive! I was surprised to see enormous amounts of trash, rubbish, food scraps and goodness knows what else thrown on the side of the roads. everywhere. My heart broke to hear the stories of the people who were oppressed by an evil government who killed close to 3 million of their innocent only 45 years ago.

The whole trip I soaked in the culture, doing my best to learn how they work, eat, travel and live. I learned that a lot of Khmer (Cambodians) make less than $1 per day. I saw young children playing in rubbish. Most children work when not in school. Yet somehow those children were happy. They were content to play in trash, and they didn’t mind the smell.

After seeing these things, I realised just how important my attitude is. I choose to be happy or upset. I can have fun playing in rubbish, or I can live in Australia with luxuries most Khmer only dream about and think of 101 things I don’t have. Getting back to Australia, I realised just how wealthy I am. I had a different appreciation for things that I didn’t before. I’m aware that I can still be a sour grape at times 😉 but I am trying to be more thankful for what I have.

I have realised the vanity and yes, even stupidity that lies in wanting more things and not being content. A discontent man will never be happy, but Godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:6-11 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Desiring money seems good at first, but it always leads to harmful desires. I think I need a reality check every so-often because the whole Australian culture revolves around where you work and what you do on weekends. Do you work for a big company? Do you have a university degree? How much money do you make? How nice is your car? These questions don’t ask a more important question: who are you? For real, who are you deep down? If you had no job, education, money, or possessions, who would you be? Would anyone want to be around you?

While I was away I had a lot of time to think about these kinds of questions. Almost all tourist sites were shut down due to the virus, so there was plenty of time for deep thinking. I started to realise how selfish I am. I want a good education, job, and above all I really want to be seen as “successful”. I think my perspective is starting to change. I don’t need any of those things to be happy. I realised that when you don’t have possessions, the only reason people stay around you is because the love you for who you are. That is worth more than any amount of money or success. However, even more important than relationship with people, is my relationship with God. Am I close to our Father in heaven? Am I actively listening to the Holy Spirit?

Now that I’ve seen another side of life, I want to go back there and help. Unfortunately, many Khmer pursue greed and desire to be rich like westerners. They don’t realise the trap it leads to and that they can have everything they need without money. All they need is Jesus. All I need is Jesus. With him I have everything, and without him I have nothing. To me this is clearer than ever, and I pray that by reading my story you see this just a little clearer too.