This has been a fantastic week of BREAKTHROUGH!!!! Hahaha I am overflowing with joy at the goodness of God. This is my testimony EVERY week, I am so serious! Last Sunday morning I awoke with pain all over my body. I was to preach on the Kingdom of God IN you in our church this very morning. So I said to the pain, no no not today, and I pressed on. As soon as I stepped into church, into the anointing, all pain left my body. The message was so incredible. The Lord gave me an amazing revelation concerning His Kingdom and what that really means to Him.
Jesus mentioned in the four gospels, “the kingdom”, over 150 times. Pretty important message I think. This is what the kingdom looks like….. He constantly tried to teach us what it should look like. Then He tells us, “The kingdom is IN you.” Then I started to think about the “Our Father” prayer and how we ask for the kingdom to come here on earth. And it began to make sense that if we are praying this prayer, we are praying in salvation on the earth. The kingdom is in us. We are the kingdom here on earth. The more we pray the kingdom to come, the more we are praying for more of us to be here on the earth. I pictured massive amounts of kingdom seed crowding out the devil’s seed and overtaking it as more kingdom comes, more of us are here. It was too awesome too think about. It was a very encouraging message. As soon as I left the church my body started to hurt again and I had a fever all day and night. Five of our seven missionaries have had either typhoid fever or malaria or both in the past two weeks.
Monday I went for tests and found that I had Malaria and Typhoid Fever together. I began antibiotics and rested. For four days I had fevers and sweats and chills and all that jazz. I never once worried or complained or cried or moaned and groaned. I sang to Jesus and rested. On the fifth day I awoke fully healed! No pain, full energy, even put in a full workday and I am still going strong, not missing a beat! This is unheard of, having these two hardcore sicknesses and being fully healed after only four days. It is usually eight to twelve days recovery. Everyone was in awe, I was in awe! This especially does not happen to a foreigner living in Africa. Our bodies weren’t made for this. BUT, I keep telling God that if I am to live here then my body needs to change and adapt. I just believe it to be so and it is. Only God could have made this happen. There is no other way to be healed that fast. I tell you, the kingdom of God IN us is so powerful that it trumps all else in every way!
My faith in the reality of God’s kingdom and God’s ways grows ever taller, ever higher, ever wider and ever deeper. Many times I tell the Lord that I want to be able to hold disease in my very hand and watch it die under a microscope. I really want to see this. This week the Lord has just increased my faith for it. I could have been upset because I got Malaria after seeing no malaria on our compound for over a year. I could have said, now we have to start all over again. But I continue to thank God that this IS a Malaria free zone and I keep believing it is, regardless of what I see. We still have one missionary on the mend which will bring us all back to full health again.
On Friday morning our community women met for devotions as usual. I started to speak into their lives about their identities as “sons” of Abba Father (whether Jew or Greek, rich or poor, male or female, we are all one and we are all sons). I shared with them about God being our Daddy and not a stern Father. People here don’t look at Father God as approachable in the sense of compassion and tenderness. They stand off in the distance in reverence and awe but fear to approach in intimacy. When I told them how I was abused and couldn’t understand what a good and loving daddy looked like and how could I look at God this way, the walls started coming down. Wounded hearts were bursting open and some were silently weeping. We had a very tender time of ministry and layers of hardness and resistance and fear were coming off. These are the times of ministry I love, when I can be so real and ministry can go so deep.
Our pastor’s wife then testified that she has never heard a teaching like this in the church ( am hearing this about much that I preach) and our community women need to start coming. They need a change and they need to change. She told the other women that they need to bring their neighbors next week, that they all needed this life giving bread so that they could tell others the truth and households can be changed and delivered from darkness. We are expecting such big things as always. I know that there is the teaching about seed……time……harvest and there is always a wait for harvest. But I also know the teaching about the plowman overtaking the reaper. This is what we are going after here at Iris South Sudan. We want to sow so much seed and harvest so much that it is a continuous cycle that runs into each other. We believe in acceleration.
The bible says that His Word runs swiftly and it also says that His Word will not return empty. We are declaring that here, God do a quick work! Do a quick and deep work! Let Your kingdom come, let your will be done now! These are very exciting times for sure. I never get tired of saying that there is unlimited opportunity for every kind of ministry every single place in the world. No single place has the perfect neighborhood, city, state, or country. Jesus has done so much for me. Freely He has given. Should we not then freely give? Every day, every day I am tired and all I want to do is lounge on a beach somewhere sipping iced tea with a cool breeze blowing and reading a good book or enjoying the feel of my entire body in the water. I don’t want to imagine my entire life living without electricity or running water or no ice or no AC and sweating all day and night with no relief. But I love Jesus so very much and He is so good to me how can I possibly say no?
I look at the people of Africa and how they spend their lives, their entire lives planting and weeding and harvesting. It is literally their life’s blood. Their entire being and living and moving revolve around their fields and harvest. If they don’t plant, they don’t eat. If they don’t weed their land they don’t eat. If they don’t harvest they surely don’t eat. They don’t wait for someone else to plant and weed and then just take the harvest. They toil under the blazing heat with very little water or even food and all by hand and hoe, no machinery. Most are very lean. What if we looked at the field the Lord has given us as our own life’s blood? How would that change the way we do ministry?
We each are called to bear fruit, that special fruit that He has created in us to produce. We each have a ministry in us, a field to tend to. There is a great, great need in this world for the kingdom of light. Are we making it brighter or causing it to dim? How can we not want to please Him, make this our life’s blood and see His smile as we bring Him fruit each day? I see the lives He affects through our ministry and I am filled with joy to stay in my field and toil. Jesus told us in Matthew 21:43 to go and bear fruit, good fruit, and those who don’t, well, the kingdom will be taken away from them. He has given us a great gift so that we can do all things and have all things needed. It is an incredibly wonderful gift and to watch it in action, amazing! I pray that each of you would discover your own harvest field and see what He wants to do through you with all that power and provision of His kingdom to make things happen in it! Go ahead, try it, it’s amazing!