Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Do I Want to Be Right or Do I Want to Touch Jesus

I can’t do it. I’m a rule follower. We are judged by appearances–by how things appear. Even our faith walk is judged by the appearance of how well we follow the rules given in Scripture.

I listened in tears at Bible study last week as I heard a passage I knew well told in a different perspective. Luke 8:40-48 is about the woman who had a bleeding disorder for twelve years. In a crowd as Jesus passed by she touched the edge of his cloak and was immediately healed. He also immediately knew that the [healing] power had gone out of Him.

I know this passage. I’ve taught this passage. One touch is all it takes. 

But I’ve never thought of the woman as a literal individual. Only an example from scripture.

And then I hear the words she “crossed over the border of legitimate behavior to gain access to divine power.” (excerpt from Breaking Free by Beth Moore)

She broke the rules to go touch Jesus. She knew He had the power to heal her and she risked further humiliation, isolation, and possible punishment to take the risk of Him healing her.



The line was drawn yet she didn’t hesitate to walk across it, elbow her way through crowds of people, and as an unclean woman touch the holy Son of God.

***

How badly do I want what Jesus has to offer me? 

But I can’t. I’m a people-pleaser. A rule follower. I care what people think and say about me.

More than what He thinks and says about you? More than what He has to offer you on the other side of that line?

***

This goes against everything I know. I want to say that you walk through your circumstances, that you pray for God’s healing where you are, that you set an example by persevering and continuing to accept the help (medical, counseling, financial, etc.) that has been offered to you while you wait for God to show up.

But she didn’t. She broke all the rules. All the norms of society, of her faith, of her upbringing. 

She got up and pushed her way to Jesus. Not to speak to Him, not to insist that He heal her, but to simply touch the hem of his cloak and receive healing.

Twelve years of treatment and help and doing things the “right” way was her breaking point. Twelve years of being unclean was enough to push her across the border of legitimate behavior.



Somewhere along this argument in my head about whether “crossing borders of acceptable behavior” is really acceptable I realized I stepped across a border of my own recently. Except I didn’t just step, I ran.

I headed the opposite direction of many, I thought at the time, people and things that were very important to me. Important to my walk with Christ. Important to my stability.

I had every intention of crossing that border alone. I never intended to take anyone with me. Funny how that works.

I crossed the border and before long a teenager asked if they could come too. The next thing I knew my whole family was standing on the other side of the border with me.

I didn’t tell my family ahead of time what I was planning. In the eyes of everything we thought we knew, it was wrong. But there came a day, a moment actually, when I couldn’t just sit there in my bitterness and hurt with the fake smile pasted on my face and pretend that everything was perfect any more.

My emotions since that day have been a train wreck. Had I been a better person I wouldn’t have had to cross that border. If my relationship with God had been stronger I could have brought about restoration instead of isolation. You shouldn’t tell anyone you’re a Christian. If they find out about how you ran they’ll never trust you. You won’t be trusted to serve publicly ever again. You aren’t good enough to be a servant of God.

And then I cried as I listened to this story from the Bible that I’d heard a hundred times. 

God healed the rule breaker because she had faith. Jesus didn’t judge her, didn’t condemn her behavior, He healed her and made sure she knew it was because of her faith she had been healed. 

Do I want to be right or do I want to touch Jesus?

It seems like such an easy question to answer. 

Jesus! Duh!

But how many times do I let Him pass by without reaching out for His cloak because it wouldn’t look right? How many times do I try to do things on my own instead of crying out for Him to handle the situation? 

Am I working to hard for nothing when all I really need to do is reach out and touch Him as He passes by? 

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Stop Shushing and Start Serving

Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy one us!”


“Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. 

But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Matthew 20:30-31 NLT

Two men society saw as broken.

According to my Google dictionary, here are the first two basic definitions of broken:

1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order.
“a broken arm”
2.(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing. “he went to his grave a broken man”

The crowd following Jesus probably viewed these two men as exactly that. Their loss of vision made them broken physically and the fact that they were on the roadside should have compounded that to also make them mentally broken.

Broken men, crying out to Jesus from the side of the road, and probably creating a scene.

How embarrassing.

Isn’t it bad enough that they had fallen on bad times, but now they had to go and draw attention to themselves. Someone that low, that bad off, trying to get Jesus’ attention.

How shameful.

So, the crowd did what any respectful follower of Jesus would do.

“Shhh. Don’t bother him now. This is Jesus. He’s too big a deal to be bothering with this…with you. Hush now and be respectful.”

Two men crying out to Jesus and the Christ followers, Christians, shushed them.

This wasn’t a one time occurrence in scripture. Do you think it still happens today?

I wonder how many times people walk into our services and they don’t look like us, or dress right, or use acceptable language, and we shush them because they’re making in scene in God’s house.

I wonder how many times someone comes in our doors with a need we could meet, immediately, but our bulletin dictates a schedule. So, we shush a need for now and make intentions to get back to it after we worship. I’ve fallen into that trap myself, and guess what I usually forget about after service?

I wonder. What would Jesus do in these situations?

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him. Matthew 20:32-34

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy. Nothing could stop Him from becoming our sacrifice. Yet even when His religious followers tried to shush the broken men, Jesus Himself stopped and asked what they wanted Him to do for them.

I ask students that question a lot. When someone comes and tells me something, I respond with, “Ok, and what would you like me to do?”

Let me tell you, it’s obvious that kids haven’t been asked this before. The look of confusion on their face is almost comical. And it happens every time I ask the question. I always have to explain what I mean.

“Here’s what you told me (and I repeat what they said). Now, I need to know. What exactly are you asking me to do in response? How are you expecting me to meet your need?”

I have an idea that if no one has asked my students this type of question before, then the same is probably true for their parents.

When is the last time you truly looked at the broken person right in your path and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Let me be transparent here. I never intended for this post on shushing the broken men to go this direction. I really intended to focus on the broken men, but apparently something else needed to said to someone today. Maybe just me.

However, I’ve been one of those broken men.

No, I’m not blind. Physically, or even more importantly, spiritually. My salvation is secure.

But while crying out for Jesus I’ve been shushed by some of the most religious people in the crowd. 

Shushed.

Folks, Jesus didn’t come to heal the healthy. He didn’t come, and won’t return expecting, to find a church full of perfect people, putting on a perfect service, without the need for a Savior. 

I think He expects to find us out on street ministering to the very ones our flesh wants to shush. 

Stop shushing and start serving. 

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Matthew 25:40 NLT

Until then, I’m going to keep crying out. Lord, here’s my Broken Hallelujah.





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Risk: Trading the University for a Hospital

As a teacher, I show up to my classroom each day with a plan for the entire time I have students. In that time I have an objective to meet. I have an agenda. I don’t have time budged in for us to get distracted or off target. So, I guard that instructional time intentionally.

Do we do that in the church?

Last week I shared an old post with the
Christian Bloggers Community for #Wednesdayrewind on the Preaching Church vs. the Protecting Church. I believe this question goes hand in hand with the concept behind those two types of churches.

A Protecting Church is going to attempt to guard their Bible teaching and preaching time like I do the instructional time in my classroom. There will be order, routine, and tradition to their programs, services, and ceremonies. Interruptions, questions, and things generally outside of the norm will be considered attacks on their beliefs…will be considered persecution.

In a Protecting Church, we would definitely keep Jesus safe. We would make sure there wouldn’t be any interruptions while He addressed the crowd. He would preach or teach in peace while a packed house soaked up His wisdom.

The teacher in me loves this scenario. Wow. Valuing the educator enough to keep the crowd quiet, focused, and moving toward the main goal.

But wait. What is the main goal?

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said,

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. Matthew 19:13-15


And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” Mark 6:34-35

Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:2-4



Three sets of scripture.

The first, Matthew 19:13-15, shows children being brought to Jesus for Him to put His hands on them and pray for them. Can you imagine having Jesus in the flesh to lay hands on your child?

The disciples attempted to send them away. They rebuked them for coming. The disciples refused to let the children near Jesus. Jesus, however, wasn’t ok with that. He corrected the disciples, and invited the little children to come to Him.

We don’t need to protect Jesus from people we think are inconvenient. He loves them just as much as He loves us.

The second set of verses depicts a Savior and His disciples exhausted from ministry. Yet Jesus sees the multitude and has compassion. He stops to teach them instead of going on to rest like He had planned.

The disciples are irritated. “Send all these people home. We’re in the middle of no where and no one has any food. There isn’t even any where to get any food.”

We may get tired, but Jesus is the Son of God. His love and mercy is never ending. We don’t need to protect Him from exhaustion. We also don’t need to protect Him from potential failure. Lack of food on the premises is not a problem for the Savior.

The third set of verses shows us a full-house. The church was filled to overflowing. So full even the doorway was jammed. A man shows up needing healing. His friends couldn’t get him through the crowd to the Healer.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this story bothers me. We always talk about the friends, about the miracle, about tearing off the roof to get to Jesus.

But what about the Christian people who blocked the path?

They really didn’t see the men carrying their friend on a stretcher? Not one of them thought to step out of the way, clear a path, and let the men through to the One who had the power to heal?

Church the main goal is to get people to Jesus!

Jesus is the Healer. Read Mark 5 for starters.

Was there a risk for the adults who took their children to be prayed over by Jesus? I believe there was, and Jesus’ followers almost made that risk a reality.

Was there a risk when the multitude met Jesus in that deserted place and didn’t bring any food? Absolutely. Except for they met Jesus, and the risk turned into reward.

Was there a risk when some friends picked up their crippled friend and packed him to the place where Jesus preached? Faith and follow through led their risk to the Revealer.

As we head into the Easter season I’m asking myself what am I willing to risk for Jesus?

Am I willing to risk moving out the role of protector so that others can get close enough to touch Him and be healed?

Am I willing to risk interruptions for learning opportunities?

Am I willing to risk being asked questions that I might not know the answer to in order for someone else to grow?

Am I willing to give up my order, routine, and tradition in order to meet people where they are?

Jesus wasn’t a rule follower, per se. It’s why so many “religious” people of His time struggled to accept Him as the promised Redeemer. He didn’t fit the mold. He didn’t follow the law.

Jesus healed people where they were as He went. Jesus was a Preaching Church.

Am I willing to risk my perceived feeling of safety for the reality of His Saving Grace?

Am I willing to view the church as a hospital instead of a university?

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Christmas Spirit? Bah Humbug!


Christmas spirit. Do you have it? Are you in it?

Have you said, or heard someone else say, “I’m just not in the Christmas spirit yet?”

I found myself having this conversation more than once today. Sure, I’m going to Christmas choir practice at church, I’ve made a few purchases, I’m attending Christmas events, and I’m putting up a tree. By all appearances I’m celebrating Christmas, but I don’t feel Christmassy.

What is the Christmas spirit?

I’m thinking about the shepherds from Luke chapter two tonight.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.”

And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them. Luke 2:8-20


Even in the midst of the darkest hour, Christmas spirit brings calm to our fear and great joy. For regardless of our situation or location, a Savior was born in Bethlehem.

Christmas spirit is calming and joyful.

How calm is your Christmas? My Christmas is crazy. My Christmas is stressful. I’m not sure calm is an adjective I’d use to describe Christmas. The shepherds were very afraid. The angels told them not to be afraid.

Calm down, shepherds, calm down.

How many times a day does God whisper this to me?

“Calm down, Carrie, calm down. I got this. I’m already there. More importantly, I already sent my Son, Jesus, and the battle’s already been won. Calm down, and stop being so afraid.”

We get so stressed over things that God has already taken care of that we forget He wants us to be fearless. When God is on our side, whom shall we fear?

After insturctions to relax, the angels inform the shepherds that the news they bring carries great joy that will be to all nations. Not only will the shepherds find pleasure in the news, but the entire world will be filled with joy to the point of overflowing. How amazing is that?

Is our joy overflowing? In the midst of my mess, a Savior was born just for me. His birth is worth celebrating. It should fill my heart so full that it is overflowing.

Finally, the angels gave the shepherds directions to find the Savior. They didn’t leave them to their own devices. They didn’t just tell them what they knew and leave. They gave them the news and then offered a plan for them to follow.

How many times does God do the same for me?

“Get a grip, Carrie! Now, take a moment to celebrate. Here is the plan to get you where you need to be next.”

Healing, celebration, motivation.

In one small newborn baby, Christmas spirit was born. Peace, goodwill toward men. A way has been made for us to live at peace with one another. God has provided a way for us.

Healing, celebration, motivation, and restoration.

The shepherds could have stayed in that field tending their sheep and having the biggest party the sheep had ever witnessed, but they didn’t. Instead, they set out to see the Savior with their own eyes.

What they sought, they found, and even that was not enough. The shepherds went forth telling everyone what they had been told about the child. And people were amazed by what they heard.

The shepherds then returned praising God for all they had seen and heard.

Christmas spirit is sharing Jesus with everyone we come in contact in a joyful manner.

That sounds like a “duh” statement, doesn’t it? Yet when I reflect on my last twenty-four hours, I’m embarrassed by my lack of joy. I’m embarrassed by my lack of sharing Jesus.

All of the sudden my Christmas spirit seems to be lacking but for an entirely different reason than I mentioned earlier today. It has nothing to do with the weather, snow, fires in fireplaces, gifts, dinners, cookies, cards, or any of those other mundane “Christmas” tasks that have me stressed out.

Christmas spirit is about loving others the way God loves me. It’s about taking time to let Him lead me the way the star led the wisemen, the angels directed the shepherds, and His still small voice wants to lead me. Christmas spirit would be fearlessly, joyfully leading others to Christ regardless of situation and location.

Sometimes we need to take a look at what we believe something is as opposed to what it truly is. You see, I know Christ is the reason for the season. I have never doubted that particular fact. Unfortunately, I have let the hustle and bustle redefine Christmas spirit for me and therefore have not been behaving in a very Christmassy spirit.

Just as Scrooge changes in A Christmas Carol, I believe I too can change for the better.

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Thanksgiving Scare

I couldn’t talk about this a year ago. Today I can.

Last year on Thanksgiving Eve 2011, I finally went and had the CT Scan my doctor had been pushing me to have. I left the hospital stressed and irritated, certain I had just wasted part of my holiday weekend and a great amount of money on a test I really didn’t need.



I headed straight home from the hospital, a 25-30 minute drive depending on traffic. About 10 minutes from home, my cell phone rang and my doctor’s number showed on the display. I answered, hoping they weren’t going to tell me something had gone wrong and I had to go back to re-do the test. The conversation I got instead was much different.

A round of questions about how I felt right that moment immediately concerned me. I tried to temper my responses because both kids were in the van with me. I didn’t want to alarm them.

After a ton of questions he told me they called immediately after reading the scan with the results. A “spot” had been found on my bladder. The doctor’s office had already tried the specialist’s office, but they were already gone for the holiday. It would be at least the following Monday before they could even get a hold of anyone to schedule me a consultation.

I was then given a list of symptoms that should send my immediately to the nearest ER if they should occur over the holiday weekend.

Mind you, I was driving my van home, with two kids in the back, while talking about a potentially life-threatening health issue on the cell phone with my doctor.

I totally held it together and gave nothing away to my kids. I thanked the doctor for calling and wished him and his family a happy thanksgiving before I disconnected.

The kids and I stopped and got groceries before we continued to the house. We unloaded groceries, put groceries away, and Chris and I started cooking.

All before I even told Chris what I had found out.

I didn’t want the kids to know. I didn’t want my potential fight to ruin anyone else’s holiday.

I had taken the time to research my “spot”.

90% of growths in the bladder are cancerous. Those were my odds. I knew it within minutes of the initial phone call.

I calmly told Chris in the kitchen while we cooked. He couldn’t believe they would call me with something like that on the phone.

I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I wanted to attempt to enjoy the holiday. Well, that’s what I told Chris, but the truth is I just didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to share my struggle. I didn’t want anyone, including him, to know I was scared.

That was the longest Thanksgiving weekend I have ever experienced. I wanted it to be over so I could find out what the next step was. I wanted to know just what I was up against. I wanted a plan of attack.

I didn’t want to tell anyone. Chris wanted me to even tell the kids. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to tell anyone that it was even a possibility until I knew I for sure.

I knew the odds. I knew it was very likely I had cancer. But I didn’t want anyone to have to worry about my problem. Especially not one minute before they had too. So I kept it all inside me.

I researched in secret. I would minimize computer screens and log out of chat sites when Chris would walk in the room. I pretended the possibility didn’t bother me, but in all reality the not knowing was driving me to obsession. I learned everything I could possibly learn about the disease. I learned about known causes and risk factors, and I had none. I learned about all the stages and degrees. I learned about all the different forms and degrees of treatment. I knew best and worst case scenarios. I researched the best doctors in our area.

I was prepared to do my part as a patient. And then they told me they couldn’t get me in for over a week and a half. I got sick. The doctor’s office told me I was handling the stress of not knowing for sure well, but did go over the reports with me. Did re-verify that growths were very rare and typically cancerous. And even asked me how I was so calm.

I looked the doctor, filling in for mine, right in the eye and said, “I want to raise my kids and grow old with my husband, but I am a Christian and if this kills me, well, I know where I’m going and I’ll be much better off there.”

He nodded to me once and wrote a prescription to get me through until I got in to the specialist.

I continued in my obsession for information until my appointment. I did finally tell a very few family members, close church family members, and a very, very, very few co-workers before my appointment. Most of the people who knew I was having some tests done didn’t know the extent or specifics. And I still hadn’t told my kids the possibility of the “c” word.

At my first appointment with the specialist I expected a biopsy. That’s not the way the place I was referred to handles it. All they wanted to do that day was talk. I waited three weeks from the first phone call for a specialist to talk to me.

Then they tried to tell me they couldn’t get me in until after the New Year to do the test to see what the “spot” was. I was absolutely appalled. I hadn’t cried in front of anyone at this point, but I was close.

I looked at Chris, not the doctor, and said, “I’ll start making calls to other doctors. That’s unacceptable and I won’t wait that long.”

The doctor asked us to excuse him for a moment. While he was gone I just kept repeating that it was unacceptable to expect someone to wait that long to find out if they have cancer or not. What if it was their wife, mother, or daughter? They would not wait that long for a diagnosis. They would insist on the earliest diagnosis possible.

When he returned he let us know that they had a cancellation for the very next week. Would we be willing to come in that quick?

I still wasn’t happy with having to wait that long, but at least it wasn’t until after Christmas!

I got sick again that week and had to see my regular doctor. Again they went over reports and possibilities. Asked how I was holding up.

The day of the test nothing went according to schedule. I imagine the day was hardest on Chris. That’s his story.

The end result, however, wasn’t even close to what we expected.

The test found NOTHING inside my bladder. No growth of any kind. There was some irritation in a different spot. There was some sign of damage, but no growth at all. Samples were still taken and sent off and it would be several days before we had a final all clear.

That all clear did come, though. And before Christmas I got the call that said no cancer.

What happened? I could tell you the original CT Scan was wrong. I could tell you whatever the “spot” was came loose and flushed out before the test. I could tell you maybe the test missed it, and later on they’ll discover I do have a growth.

But instead I’m going to tell you God. God showed up and healed whatever it was His way.

The lesson, the test, was for me. I kept on doing the things I was doing. I kept believing that even if I had cancer it was for a purpose and everything would work out.

I won’t tell you that I wasn’t scared. I was terrified. The what-ifs were eating me alive. I was more concerned about my husband and kids than myself.

But I also have no problem looking you in the eye and telling you my salvation is secure. Cancer, a car wreck, or old-age…when my time comes I am prepared to meet my Maker. I am not afraid to die.



I am thankful today on Thanksgiving that I had the opportunity to celebrate another year. This year I did it without the fear of the “c” word hanging over my head. This year I know just how quickly things can change.

We only have one life to live, and there is no guarantee how long that life may be.

Thanksgiving is not just one day of the year…it’s a way of life. It’s a decision. I will choose to be thankful each day for another day to invest in the lives of those around me. I will choose to be thankful for another day to be alive.

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Secede? Union? Kingdom of God?

 Today I listened, just listened, as students discussed the current petitions circling in 30 plus states filing to secede from the United States of America. Huffington Post Article

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t made my mind up on this situation yet. I don’t have enough information. However, I learned quite a bit just listening to students discuss feasibility, possibility, and the reasoning behind it.

I was very surprised that I didn’t have to stop the discussion because of people taking sides and arguing. They were actually just discussing the political situation and feasibility for each state. Particularly what it could mean for Missouri if said secession was granted.

Students of mixed political parties, mixed socioeconomic status, mixed everything had a calm, rational, spontaneous conversation that lead to thinking about change.

Sometimes we don’t like the way things are going. Face it. In our homes. In our jobs. In our churches. In our communities. In our government. We get fed up with all the ‘gunk’, and many times rightfully so.

What do we do when things aren’t going our way? How do we deal with conflict? (There’s that “c” word again.)

We divide.

We split into groups of people who believe similarly. We seek out others who share our belief system, our intrinsic moral code, and our desires for the future.

We turn away from those who disagree with our perspective. Who stand against the very things we stand for. We segregate ourselves from them for many various reasons. Mostly because we disagree and we can’t agree to disagree.

Let’s look at the Kingdom of God.

*Catholic Church

*Lutheran Church

*Episcopal Church

*Presbyterian Church

*Amish

*Mennonites

*Methodists

*Church of God

*Baptist

*Assembly of God

*Latter Day Saints

This list could go on and on. I’ve listed only a few of the denominations and within each denomination are many additional splits. Why?

Can Christian people secede from the Kingdom of God?

Your heart says “No!”, doesn’t it?

Don’t be so quick to answer. Isn’t that exactly what we’ve tried to do by forming so many separate religions? Rather than working together towards one common goal, we’ve divided over differences of interpretation. We’ve divided over leaders with whom some of us followed blindly while others believed them to be false prophets.

Sounds a lot like our country right now, doesn’t it?

I don’t claim to have the answer to states seceded from the Union. As a matter of fact, I’m a strong supporter of people taking a stand and speaking up for what they believe in. Sometimes it takes something shocking and drastic to bring about change. Perhaps this petition process will set the ball of change into motion.

What I do know, fellow Christians, is that we cannot secede from the Kingdom of God if we are truly Christian people. I do not believe that Heaven will be divided into communities based on our religious affiliation. Truth be told, I’m not sure God Himself is even a fan of organized religion as we know it.

Church, if we want to see change in our country we need to be filing our own petitions.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV; emphasis placed by me)

We need to be filing our petitions with God through prayer and thanking Him in advance for the answers. When we do, He’ll provide peace that others will not understand and will protect our hearts and minds. Cry out to Jesus!

Now this confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

Our heart and motive have to be right. God isn’t a genie in a lamp. We don’t throw up prayers like magical wishes. We pray in confidence that He will answer our petitions. We know that He will answer all petitions that are according to His will. We must seek His will first, though.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7 (NIV)

If the prayers of Jesus were described ‘with fervent cries and tears’ then shouldn’t we be even more desperate in our pleadings? We need to be real instead of offering up token prayers that are meaningless to both us and the Listener. Jesus’ prayers were heard because He feared the Lord…His own flesh. Church, we need to be broken when we cry out. We need to be serious, desperate, and pleading for restoration, revival, and redemption.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Christian. Little Christ. Follower of Christ. My people who are called by My name. I don’t see a denomination name there. If you are a follower of Christ, you are His people. You cannot secede from the Kingdom or separate yourself from me, a fellow Christian.

The church is all of us who bear the name Christian. When we, the church, humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, THEN He will forgive and heal our land.

Notice what it doesn’t say there. It doesn’t say “When non-believers get saved, I’ll heal your land.”

Responsibility lies on the shoulders of those who are already saved. I’m ashamed. Are you? If we want to see true healing in our lands, it won’t be brought forth be any government or party. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, donkey or elephant, or just separating yourself from all of it…your politics won’t heal our lands.

Only God can heal our lands. He’s waiting on His people to respond. To act. To do something shocking and drastic in order to bring about change. He’s waiting on us, the Christians, to stop worrying about being “right” and to get right. Humble, on our knees, seeking Him, and purposefully turning from our wicked ways so that He can forgive us and heal our lands.

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