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Archive for August 10th, 2015

(No new sermon this week.)

The past month has been pretty interesting. I wrote these entries as a sort of diary, so there are earlier entries that have verbs in the present tense, etc; I decided to leave them as written, and not try to clean them up:

7-19:

The powers that be at my church decided that there were some sort of demonic influences in the rooms that we meet in, so we went in at the crack of dawn to walk the rooms praying to eradicate this influence. I wasn’t expecting anything other than making the pastor’s wife happy, but as I was walking I got sudden excruciating pains in my hips, something that has NEVER happened before, and the idea coming strongly into my head that I should stop walking and sit down, and also call over one of the other walkers to pray for me. I recognized this as an attempt to get TWO of us to stop walking and praying against the darkness, and I responded by praying the blood of Jesus over myself and casting out spirits of pain and affliction. The hip pains went away with suspicious rapidity, let’s just say; I’m still a little freaked out by the whole spirits of affliction thing, but all of the recent evidence does point to it being real.

A couple of minutes later, I had a pressure in my chest and difficulty breathing, and I do not suffer from asthma, or allergies, and did not have a cold; I prayed the blood of Jesus again, cast out the spirits of affliction again, and once again that seemed to work.

There was a third attack, and I might as well call it that, even though I know what it sounds like, but because I didn’t write this down immediately I’m no longer 100% sure what it was; whatever it was, I think it was a headache but I’m not positive, following the same procedure got rid of it.

7-23:

I was thinking about sending some verses, about the sweet sleep that God provides, to a member of my church who has been having bad dreams and difficulty sleeping, but hadn’t gotten around to looking them up. As I was putting together an email to her on another topic, my other computer, which had my bookmarks menu up, suddenly loaded a page with a verse on BibleGateway… NOT the page that had been highlighted, either!!  I back-arrowed to the bookmarks menu, and it happened again. And AGAIN.  I am a believer and not a doubter, but I’m also a skeptic, so I tried to see if some odd interaction of my equipment had somehow combined to make this happen… and now, I can’t even MAKE it go to that page!! Every time I click on it, it loads a different page, or jumps to a different bookmark, or enables editing for that entry, but will not load the page that is now highlighted!!  All of these things are of course impossible, and since the verse it kept sending me to was the first verse in my section of saved sleep verses, I figured it was God’s subtle way of telling me that I was in fact supposed to send her the verses about sleeping, so I sent her the following: 

Psalm 3:5 (TLB)

5 Then I lay down and slept in peace and woke up safely, for the Lord was watching over me.

Psalm 4:8 (AMP)

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.

Proverbs 3:24 (NIV)
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Nine minutes later, I got the following response:  “Thank you very much. Those verses brought peace. I appreciate it.”  In order for someone to be brought peace, they had to have been LACKING peace, and since this was late enough that she should have already been in bed, clearly she was still up and feeling stressed… no surprise there.

8-7:

I had the video of the current JO sermon up on one of my computers, with the video paused; it had been paused for 2-3 days, I think.  I was working on my main computer, not doing or touching anything on the computer with the video paused on it, when suddenly, with no visible cause, it began to play, and the following line was spoken:

“At the right time, you’ll come into a stored up blessing.”

8-9:

The visiting Pastor who had prophesied restoration ×7 over me in January came to my church again.  I have learned since I first saw him that he is widely accepted to have the gift of prophecy.  What comes out of his mouth is taken very seriously; when he ministers to our young people, the pastors write down all the prophecies and submit them to the parents.  He recently ministered to my church’s summer camp, which included kids from other churches as well, and when the latter children, who didn’t know him, tried to test him by demanding that he tell them their middle name or some other thing that he could not possibly have known, he got it right every time.  

When it was my turn to be prayed over and given a word to, he said something like, “there’s a tradition of worship,” said I was blessed, that I could/should jump up and down on my bed saying that I was blessed…  and then said that he had seen the flag of Israel come down and wrap itself around my shoulders.  He was puzzled that the latter meant nothing to me; he even repeated what he had seen a second time, prompting me again as to whether it meant something to me, and was even more puzzled that it didn’t.  It puzzled the other members of my church, too; him saying something to someone who had no idea what it meant appears to be something new.  I just can’t connect the flag of Israel to anything in my life:  I don’t know anyone from Israel. I don’t know anyone who has ever BEEN to Israel. I don’t even know any Jews.

I have given this a great deal of thought. This was a Christian pastor speaking to a Christian woman at a Christian church service;  he knew perfectly well that there were no Jews present, myself included.  There are no converts who used to be Jewish.  There is no one who speaks with an accent that would suggest that their family of origin is Jewish, or that they were from Israel or anywhere in that part of the world.  There isn’t any kind of trip planned by the church or anyone within it to visit Israel.  If there was any hint of faking to anything this pastor does, EVER, the LAST thing he would want to do is come out with something so ridiculous, because it would damage his credibility.  

He was SURE of what he had seen. This wasn’t a vague sensation that he could’ve misinterpreted, or random words going through his head, this was something he SAW.  This is a man whose prophetic gifts have a spotless track record going back years within my church. There has GOT to be something to this.

Even without the oddly-phrased comment about how blessed I am, which for the record is true, this certainly seems like a positive message; anything coming down, in other words coming from above, is presumed to be coming from God, and something wrapping around my shoulders looks like protection, or something being given to me. Although Israel is the Jewish state, it is also the Holy Land, where Jerusalem is located, so it has enormous significance to Christians and to God…  but what is its connection to ME beyond that?  The woman who is widely considered to be the most spiritually mature in my church said that I shouldn’t take Israel literally, which would pretty much have to be the case, and that the first meaning that came to HER mind was shalom = peace.  There are certainly several unresolved social situations where peace would be appropriate and welcome.  Still, I’m sure the Holy Spirit is aware of the peace sign, which could easily be emblazoned on a banner, and Israel itself is hardly emblematic of peace, so…  

The one thing that came to my mind after I got home that day was the thought that I’m a descendent of the Israelites.  Considering that the Israelites, who we call Jews in the modern day, existed in the Western world thousands of years ago, pretty much EVERYONE with any Western descent, or descent from the sadly-many parts of the world that were occupied by Western nations, as well as anyone with Middle Eastern descent, probably has a tiny piece of Israelite in them.  Be that as it may, what would be the point of making an issue of my being a descendent of the Israelites? They were God’s chosen people; does that mean that *I* am chosen in some way?  Chosen for WHAT?

The other thing that came to my mind was this verse:

1 Kings 19:19 (VOICE)

19 … Elijah wrapped his cloak, his token of spiritual power, around Elisha

“The mantle was the symbol of Elijah’s prophetic authority. This was a dramatic symbol that said, “I call upon you to join in my work as a prophet.””

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1119.htm

Interesting, given that a prophetic man is the one who saw this image, but it doesn’t explain why it was specifically the flag of Israel that he saw, and in any case he was not involved in the flag settling onto my shoulders. 

Other than that… I’ve got nothing.

I had really been looking forward to this pastor coming back; everyone in my church looks forward to his appearances.  There has never been a single peep about him being wrong, or coming out with something that didn’t make any sense; if you knew me in real life, you would totally understand that everyone who knows me would absolutely expect ME to be the one exception to that.  Anyways, if you have any thoughts about what the flag of Israel coming down around my shoulders might mean, however crazy, please let me know; when God sends me a message, there’s nothing more important than finding out what it means.

8-16:

This one will sound crazy, but it is nevertheless true:  I’m one of a handful of diehards within my church who are still going in at the crack of dawn to walk the rooms and pray.  I felt drawn to go and walk the secondary room when nobody else was there yet.  Two or 3 times, I heard some strange noises from the far end of the room; it was sort of a repeated crackling sound, that I had never heard any of the other times I had been in that room protractedly by myself. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal… until I saw a shadow where no shadow existed, a shape like a person but bigger, for a split second by the back door.  I am impossible to intimidate, however;  I finished walking the room and praying. When I was done, and was coming from the back of the room, I had to go down a few stairs. They are carpeted AND have no-slip rubber strips at the edges. There is also a little chunk of railing, that I had my hand on. I was moving slowly, because after all it was early in the morning, and wearing flat shoes with heavy rubber treads.  I have gone up and down the stairs a zillion times with no difficulties.  This time, my foot slipped; if I hadn’t already been touching the railing so I could grab it, I might have fallen.  SLIPPED.  I didn’t stumble or trip. I’m not saying for sure that whatever I heard or saw was responsible for that, but it’s at the very least suspicious.

I went back to the main room, and one of the most spiritually powerful ladies in the church showed up; I told her what I had seen, and asked her to go back and pray with me. She said that we needed to ask the pastor first, which actually we DIDN’T, but I went along with it, mostly so that I could tell him what had happened.  He gave us the ok, and we went to the other room and started walking and praying. In what I have since realized is a touching display of confidence in my perceptions, the pastor showed up a few minutes later to join us.  When he left, my friend and I continued to pray. And then, a couple of minutes later… I saw a GIGANTIC shadow, one that sort of… FLAPPED a couple of times, like a giant wing, in the aisle leading to the main door out, which was NOT the door where I had seen the previous, MUCH smaller shadow.  There was a clear sense, even though I only saw it briefly, that it was LEAVING. 

And then, a couple of minutes after that… what I can only describe as a big light appeared at the far end of the room for a split second, and I don’t mean an increase from the overhead lighting, I mean an opaque area of light that looked like it might have reached all the way down to the ground or close to it, extending 3-4 feet over the tops of the chairs, centered along the horizontal axis, and in width probably about one third of the size of a pretty big room. 

What was the light? What was the shadow? Clearly, I’m starting to step into some deep waters here.  If I’d been watching these events on a movie screen, the obvious plot line would be that the shadows are something bad, that they were trying to scare me or drive me away, but the combination of 3 people invoking the name of Jesus was too much for them, and they withdrew. The light, of course, would be some force of good (an angel?), showing itself to let me know that it was there, and that I was safe.

How close is that to what I actually witnessed? I have no way to know at this time.  What I DO know is that there has to be a great deal of spiritual power in my church for these manifestations to be occurring. Things might be about to get more interesting… 

On an unrelated note:  my restoration is poised to take an enormous step forward this coming week. I don’t want to go into any details at this time, but if you’d like to pray for me, I would truly appreciate it. Thanks!! 

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