It's been a few weeks since returning home from Brazil and I've had a few weeks to process. More than any other trip I have taken, this one has challenged me. Our team saw well over 500 people healed. I personally saw God heal at least 10 people in front of me. Many were “sovereignly” healed as our team called out words of knowledge and people responded when they felt 80-100% better. Coming from a country where I simply don't see results like this, has given me pause.
As one wise pastor said, “In the absence of experience, bad theology is formed.” Meaning, if my experience, or lack thereof, isn't matching up to what it says in the Word, don't try to come up with a theology to explain why. So what I experienced in Brazil was more like what the Word described than what I see going on in the U.S. What Brazil did was give me an experience that put a final nail in the coffin of a bad theology that I had used to excuse a gospel that had a "form of godliness" but had no power. So rather than invent a theology that explains why, I want to draw closer to God, bring heaven to earth, and then my experience will match it.
What was neat about the trip was that God seemed to be teaching me different lessons each day. We first got there and were given testimony of what God had done in Thailand. The next night it was all about the Father's love. The following two nights many of the people that came to Lisa and I for physical healing also needed emotional and spiritual healing as well, and God was just as concerned about this. It is no accident that in the middle of talking about spiritual gifts, Paul includes his famous love chapter. I also learned that the best way to receive more from God is to give away what he has given you.
On Friday night, I got to see God at work powerfully, and almost everybody that came up to me experienced His healing. My faith increased. On Saturday God had me in a time and place where I prayed for two women in wheelchairs most of the evening session. It was as if he was asking me to push into new territories of healing. Sunday night, God brought forward mostly people who had conditions that nobody would be able to know if they were healed until a later date. This emphasized the importance of the local church body walking in love and power to unravel the complexities of life and healing. It was also there that God impressed upon me through the Brazilians, how incredibly joyous it is in heaven when God's lost children come home and are set free!
I remember one of the messages... After God had moved powerfully and many people had been healed, it was simply said "change the way you think, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." That is the definition of repent: changing the way we think. I felt God speak to me when I was installing Windows 7 on my computer at work. My machine has a ton of power, but it was running Windows XP. XP was written when computers had 32 bit processors and had much less memory. Because it doesn't know the power is there or how to manage it, it can't use it. I felt God showing me that an operating system is similar to the way we think and the Holy Spirit is like the hardware but is infinitely more powerful. The church is only limited by how it thinks. God is much bigger than the box we put him in. In fact he doesn't live in boxes at all.
We are free from our sins and our debts have been payed off. But Jesus wants even more than that for us. He wants the knowledge of God to fill the earth. He wants us His body to grow in love and power as Paul says "from one degree of glory to another." As we continue to do this, I believe what is impossible today could be possible tomorrow and that should give us hope.
Thank you to everybody who supported and prayed for us. We were so blessed! If you have any questions, I would love to talk to you. If you would like prayer for healing, please let us know that too. We would enjoy the opportunity!