Remember that episode of Friends where Ross thinks he has this thing called Unagi? He received Unagi while training in Kay-Ra-Tay. It is a conscious state of TOTAL awareness where a person is keen to all things around them. A sort of “sixth sense”, if you will, or what we who love Jesus might call communion with the Holy Spirit.I had an Unagi moment yesterday.
Life is always a mixture of ups and downs. Good stuff, bad stuff… it all comes with the package. Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches.
But yesterday, I was complaining a little, I will admit.
I just can’t do this anymore! This is impossible. There is no way I can handle this. I CANNOT DO IT. CANNOT. NO…. NO NO NO!!!!
And then Unagi:
“I trust you,” He says.
At first I think it is me praying these words out loud. Because that is something you PRAY, not something Jesus says to you… or at least He wouldn’t say it to me. But then I realized that I have a ton of trust issues and so that couldn’t have possibly been me who made this statement.
What the heck does that even mean?
“I trust you. You can do it. I picked you and that means you can do it.”
Ummmm…. No. No, I cannot.
“Well, not without me, you can’t. But you have Me, so you can.”
This doesn’t even make sense. What the heck is happening right now??
But something weird did happen. All of the pent-up anxiety that I had been feeling all morning just left. I felt this rod in my back, strengthening me, straightening me. I felt taller (those who have seen me might find that hard to believe).
He trusts me……… You trust me? ME????? WHY????
It’s funny how one word from God can change everything. It’s a suspicious word, I know. But His words bring life and I know that it was Him because that phrase brought life to my heart. That was the only thing I needed to hear. That He thought I could do it. No, that He KNEW I could do it.
Next time you give a word from God to someone, think about whether that Word will activate something in their heart. Will it bring life? Does it seem impossible or possibly ridiculous? Does it not make sense to you? Do things not line up with what you see? Then, baby, it is probably Unagi… errr Jesus. That’s how He rolls…. In the impossible.
I love that I have Jesus as my best friend.
I get to partner with the resurrected God-man in the lives of people around the world, in the governments of nations, and in my own life. I love that I get to hear and feel what’s on His heart, to experience His affections for me and have a taste of His affections for others. I love that I get to help partner with Him in building His kingdom. I love that I can hear His ideas and see His vision through the written Word. We get to partner with Him in healing broken bodies, in resurrecting the dead, in revealing the Father’s love to orphaned children. Every aspect of this partnership is exciting to me. The prayer part, prophetic part, the healing part, even the discipline part. It all just means that He loves me and I’m His kid and He doesn’t care about how messed up I am because He’s my dad and He loves to hang out with me and teach me new things.
I’ve been finding new ways to pray lately because a lot of times, especially during times of intercession, we forget that it’s really all about Him and His purposes. So I find myself asking Him questions, “what do you have to say, here, Jesus? how do you think I should pray for this?” Now granted, He’s given us freedom and individuality but I’m finding that it’s so much more fun to actually incorporate a conversation with Him into the hours of prayer we spend. So I’ll ask Him questions and then wait in silence (or with the background prophetic worship from the prayer room) and expect Him to answer me because Dad’s don’t ignore their children. So He will and I sense His thoughts towards me and I hear His voice giving me a scripture reference or a phrase to let me know His thoughts on the topic I am praying for. And even if I don’t hear anything, I know He’s there, hanging out with me, enjoying that I am enjoying Him.
Prayer is the most fun.
It was refreshing to hear the news today about the formal collaboration of the prayer movement with the missions movement. I know that one day I will be going to the nations and that it is my obligation… and well my job as not only as a believer in Jesus but especially because I am an Intercessory Missionary to make sure that I’m lifting up the lives of the missionaries in foreign countries. To pray for the salvation of souls that are under their care and to ask for the hand of the Lord to move with might on the lost. So I have thought a great deal today about the specific things that Mike has asked us to pray for.
The first thing he asked us to identify is a specific missions program to pray for and my choice is Antioch Community Church in Waco Texas. Yes, this is more of an actual church than what I would call an “organization” but that is one of the things that makes it so great. They have planted hundreds of churches all over the world, including many in dangerous areas of the Middle East. In fact, a close friend of mine, Karissa is now in the Middle East under their leadership. They are not only committed to spreading the gospel but they have some of the best leadership I have ever experienced and are a very solid community. Leadership at Antioch is committed to pouring into their missionaries. They are a family that supports each other greatly and looks after each other. They are also very committed to the prayer movement and identifying themselves as missionaries through a basis of intimacy with Jesus. In 2004 I attended their World Mandate conference and it rocked me. In fact it was a beginning stepping stone in the Lord speaking to me about my destiny to the nations. I remember during one of the worship sessions the Lord specifically telling me I should go to the break-out session on missions in Europe. I was really just at the conference to hang out with Karissa and wanted to go with her to the class on the Middle East but I felt something so strongly pointing me in the other direction that I couldn’t ignore it. It was there that a woman came up to me and prophesied something over me that began to really alter the paradigms I had about my future.
The three missionaries I have chosen are the following:
1. Karissa who serves the Kurds in the Middle East. I’ve mentioned Karissa plenty of times. She has been a great influence in my life and never hesitates to “tell me how it is” if she thinks I’m getting off track. She has also been someone that has loved and accepted me despite my numerous failings in life. It is only natural that I would pick her first ;).
2. Paul and Shirley Farnham in Cornwall England. They are in the IHOP family and are in need of prayer for the next steps they are to take in forwarding the prayer movement in this country. I was able to spend lots of time with their family when I was in England and it was exciting to hear about their vision for Cornwall.
3. Tony Fundaro is the pastor of my home church in Dallas, Deep Ellum Church. I know that Tony has been set divinely in downtown Dallas and there have been some very supernatural prophetic visions about what is in store for this church. He has been blasted with some serious spiritual warfare but I know this is only the intimidation of the enemy that knows what is in store for this community.
Lastly, we are to pick a geographic region of the world we are to pray for on a consistent basis. I picked Brighton England. I picked Brighton over London for a couple of reasons. London is always the place one picks to pray for when they think of England. I absolutely love London and believe I might be there one day but lately God has been giving me a burden for Brighton. Why? A friend of mine, Aaron Kennedy, who is likely enjoying reading this blog at the moment, goes to school in Brighton. It is has been named the San Francisco of England and is known for it’s very high percentage of homosexuals. It also has the only completely atheistic university in England (which Aaron attends). Aaron and some friends recently started a house church for University students in Brighton. It has actually made me quite jealous hearing from him about it because this is exactly the kind of community I know the Lord has called me to minister to. I’m hoping that one of these years, Jesus will send me there to be a part of it.
As I am conisidering stepping out to have hot cocoa at my friend Lisa’s (though this week has just about knocked the wind out of me), I thought I might write one of those New Year’s blogs. A sort of… New Years letter detailing my many activities from 2007.
January. Spent the first week in Little Rock with my family and the second week with friends in Dallas before moving to Kansas City. Somehow I made it to KC after a 12 hour drive in an ice storm with no heater and a Volkswagon that was barely staying alive. I spent the next few weeks working at IHOP’s apartment complex, Herrnhut but this didn’t last long as the Lord clearly showed me that I was here to be an Intercessory Missionary… not an apartment complex secretary.
February, I became an official staff member at the International House of Prayer. Very exciting indeed. But as the month came to a close I felt the Lord begin sharpening me in some areas. I knew that I needed to get my act together and that something exciting was about to take place. As I began changing my schedule around, prioritizing some important areas of my life, God began to speak to me very clearly about my destiny, not just as an Intercessory Missionary but as a messenger. One afternoon, walking home from the prayer room I heard a very clear voice tell me I was going to the nations. The voice became more specific and I’m pretty sure I trembled the rest of the way home. That night I had one of the most powerful encounters with God that I have ever experienced. The next night followed with a surprise prophetic encounter with some people from Toronto that confirmed everything the Lord had told me the day before. Seven months later, in September, I found myself in England getting a vision, speaking to Houses of Prayer about my favorite thing in the world (talking to Jesus), sharing my journey… asking God a lot of questions and getting only one answer.
Since returning from this beautiful country I have felt that wrestling with God that Jacob knew. I’ve never felt more warfare in life than I have in the last four months. Things have been rough. I find myself becoming increasingly sensitive and fighting anger much more than I am use to. I’m tired of pettiness and elitism and snobbery and controversy. I just want to sit in silence for once and put walls around myself and never let a single person in. I don’t want to deal with the things God wants me to deal with because they are just too hard to face.
But there have been “ups” in these last few months that I am grateful for. I’m surrounded by a great community in the evening section and at the bookstore. My PR team is like family to me and we have a lot of fun together. Also, a couple of months ago I was approved to sing for the house which I am grateful for because the more I sing to my God, the more my heart expands and tenderizes. Singing is my favorite form of prayer… it’s intimate and sweet and it makes me come alive.
I’m very unsure of what the next step in my life is. I feel a little like I am on a seesaw. Should I do this? Should I do that? But the Lord isn’t telling me anything. Why? He likes me to squirm a little. He likes me to fight for my time with Him. He likes wrestling with me. He likes to see the effects of the work He is doing on my heart.
It feels like I’ve been praying the same things over and over since childhood. These are the same prayers and requests I make to God on my bed each night, even still, as an Intercessory Missionary. Prayers for the salvation of my brother, for revival… personal requests. In almost 28 years I’ve never seen any of these requests answered. Not the big ones anyway. I guess I’ve been feeling like giving up. In my stubborness, I’ve had to force myself to remember that this isn’t about me and my list of wants. He wants me to know Him first. It’s been difficult lately trying to talk to Him when I don’t understand, when nothing seems rational… when I can’t even behave like a rational person myself.
Have you ever had those times when you just don’t want to talk to Him and you’re doing something totally random, not thinking about Him at all and He just shows up and won’t leave you alone? Lately, with me, I’ll be reading Anna Karenina or something and my heart will start burning and I will just sort of wish He would stop. Finally, tonight, with me being stuck in the house all day due to snow, He is showing Himself relentless as usual. He doesn’t give up, which amazes me every day. So I put my down my book and I just sat there. Not knowing what to do and I heard Him say I miss you.
I said to Him… I don’t understand. Won’t you please just answer one of these big requests… just one to keep me going? I just need to know that what I say to You each day is actually doing something out there. I feel powerless.
And then I heard Him say, Isaiah 62:6.
You would think I would know that reference by now but I didn’t. I flipped open and this is what I read… it’s definately a familiar one on the base:
6On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent
You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;
7And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
I knew this was an alarm being sounded. I’ve been giving myself a lot of “rest” but it’s not a time for retirement. It’s so easy to sit back when you don’t see a single prayer answered. It’s so easy to give up when you feel like you’re wasting your time.
God… why do you run your kingdom like this?
Because this is how I get to spend time with you.
1. I’m currently reading a biography of Joan of Arc, written by a secular author. I had no idea there were so many miraculous events that happened on the battlefield with her! She has now earned second place on my “hero list” (Jesus being first, of course). She was a truly humble, pure, courageous, strong woman of God who had a deeply profound relationship with the Lord. Even the author could not deny some of the historical records of miraculous events that took place. It makes me wonder what kinds of plans God has for France in the end of the age. As I see it now, France is not exactly the hot spot for the next big revival (seeing as how the birthing of overt Satanaism began here along with having a notorious reputation for Freemasonry and well… rudeness)… but I think it could be. I think I’m going to make France (along with England, of course) my next little intercession project.
2. I was talking to a friend last night and he informed me that he stopped drinking and that he would never drink again. Apparently, I scared the mashuga out of him a few weeks ago. I told him a story of a drinking experience I had about a year before I came to IHOP. I went to a party with my friend Erica on a Friday night and had a pina colada and I think maybe a beer. We then went to a little place in Mockingbird Station where I had a glass of white wine. I was a little woozy and went home afterward, half-walked, half-stumbled into my apartment where my roommate, Amber giggled at my wooziness. I threw myself on my bed and instantly fell into a deep sleep. In the middle of the night I woke up and lo and behold my bedroom wall opened up and I was looking straight into a demonic portal. Not kidding. I saw what I think was a strong man… basically a demon in human form and then I look up and there is a demon in my bed with it’s hand on my head cackling at me. Drinking, if it alters you emotionally or in any other way… is witchcraft. Did you know that the Greek word for witchcraft is Pharmacopia? It’s where we get our word “pharmacy” from. Alcohol is a drug and therefore can be used to open up some serious super-natural activity and usually it is not heavenly activity. Before that moment I didn’t think drinking was a big deal at all. Drugs were bad, for sure… but drinking… it was fun. Nothing wrong with a little fun. Well sexual immorality is fun for a season too. So is shoplifting. We can rationalize anything we want to. Now if you’re having one beer or a glass of wine and it doesn’t affect you like that, then I think it’s okay… but we have to ask ourselves… why are we drinking it in the first place?
3. It’s time to go have Indian food. Later taters.