*Naturally Supernatural

Faith

Yesterday Andy began a new series called Naturally Supernatural in which he asserted: ‘being a part of what God is doing supernaturally should be a natural part of our lives.’ He particularly emphasized asking for supernatural healing through prayer, as we serve a divine God who indeed is able to perform divine healing. I thought this notion was particularly poignant, yet remarkably understated in my own history as a follower of Christ. It’s amazing how sometimes we simply forget to grab hold of our faith and lean on it fully in the times where it feels like we are drowning in a sea of physical and spiritual ailments when our Lord desires true wholeness for our lives.
The entire sermon can be listened to here.
Here are my notes!
-Of course, we don’t hold any special powers, it is God himself who desires to work through us.
There can be instantaneous healing and progressive healing.
-Does God want to heal us?
The short answer is yes.
But aside from healing, God always wants to make us whole.
And this healing can be different than a physical healing.
God wants to bring us into whole-ness
The single Greek word ‘Sozo‘ means: ‘Save, healed, and made well’
(Luke uses this term in his gospel writings) *The word can also mean cured or delivered.
God really is concerned about our wholeness. Wholeness is greater than healing.
– God is interested in our soul, our spirit, and our body.
– God wants to take us from ‘so so’ into ‘sozo’
– God is the author of all healing
– Medical science and Gods healing are not enemies. Science and faith are not at odds here; science can heal, but it is God who brings us into wholeness…
(God is concerned about Wholeness more than whether your knee is healed)
God always wants to free us from fear
– Often, we don’t pray for ourselves or for others simply out of the fear at they will not be healed.
– Can you see how the logic of this is simply flawed??
-If we are responding in fear, we are not responding in faith —Satan is the author of fear. Lets exercise prayer and try prayer; all of these fears prevent us from exercising our faith!
He is able
I am the God who heals you
Exodus 15:26
He is willing
And there cometh to him a leper, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And being moved with compassion, he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou made clean. (Mark 1:40, 41 ASV)
Does faith matter in healing?
-He did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:58
We place our faith in that he is willing and able!
It doesn’t matter what you have to offer, it simply matters that you lay hold of your faith. God is willing and able.

*Why does God not always answer my prayer?

Faith

Another awesome message from Pastor Andy on his Why series *part two*: (listen here, via Glad Tidings church, Victoria, BC.)

Why does God not always answer prayer?

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.
John 14:13-14

    Is it because we have a broken relationship?

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:24-25

**You cannot love God and hate your brother! We would want to disconnect those two things (our relationship with others vs. our relationship with God). However, our relationships with others directly affect out relationship with God.

What happens between us definitely affects what happens between us and God.
Consider an analogy: A father is driving his children around and they are bickering and fighting. Then they ask their father for ice cream. The father says, ‘I really don’t feel like giving you guys ice-cream given that you won’t stop fighting eachother’. We must be mindful of how we interact with one another!

Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:7

Indeed, your conflicts with your neighbors and loved ones can hinder your prayers. This is heavy!

    We may be dealing with a motive issue.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures.
James 4:3

All a mans ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
proverbs 16:2

Your motive must not be selfish!

    Maybe you don’t believe God will do it.

Sometimes it’s not a lack of need, or motivation, but a lack of belief that God can do it.

But if you can do anything, take pity on us. “If you can?” said Jesus, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Mark 9:22-23

Let’s move beyond our concern about being wrong. Some people think its safer not to believe because then you won’t be let down if it doesn’t happen..

But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed in the wind, that man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.
James 1-6:7

    Maybe God has something different:

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, be gives to us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask we know that we have that we asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15

Do not ask God to violate his own nature to satisfy your will. We mustn’t remove the sovereignty of God.

Remember:
His strength is made perfect in my weakness!
Perhaps what God has done is different, but good.

What is it that we do believe about prayer?
Prayer is not as much about my wants as it is about God’s will.

There are many reasons why prayers go unanswered, but that is not a good reason to not believe in a good God!

*Why is it that God allows bad things to happen to good people?

Faith

Andy has embarked on an exciting new series discussing some heavy ‘why’ questions regarding God, our circumstances, and prayer. Click here to listen! (My notes don’t do justice to this important message.)

Why is it that God allows bad things to happen to good people?
Abraham said “Should not the judge of the world judge fairly?”
Moses said “God why don’t you treat people as they deserve?”
Jeremiah said “Why do the wicked prosper?”

People who face these questions with frustration often lean to the following conclusions:
-God, I cannot trust you.
Or
-God, you cannot exist.

Why are these injustices happening to me?

    It could be that you are a victim of a broken world.

-Jesus promised you that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

    The world has truly gone wrong, but, maybe you did in fact bring it on yourself

“Can a man take fire into his lap and not be burned?”

    Sometimes it is a result of our sinful behavior

-“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A Man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to the spirit from the spirit will reap eternal life.”
Galations 6:7-8

    Maybe God has a big plan. It’s part a grand design despite how singular it is at this moment

-“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned?, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
John 9:1-3
*This happened not because of sin! It was a part of God’s plan!
-It is possible that there is purpose in your pain
-“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face your trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
James 1:2-3
*Your lowest point can lead you to your greatest point; the path is often through brokenness.
-God is definitely doing something through your own pain. God doesn’t forget, he knows every tear you have cried.
-The change that brokenness brings will change you and you’ll never be the same; God wouldn’t take you through your brokenness for nothing.

Why do bad things happen to good people? This is a flawed question (because).. There are no good people. People have good in them, but the bible says that all have sinned in the presence of a Holy God.
-The whole point of the gospel is that the spotless lamb died for our sin. And that is proof that good things happen to bad people!
-God is not fair because if he were, we would get what we deserve and Jesus would get what he deserved. And where would we be is Jesus received what he deserved? Jesus never deserved death on a cross.

He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:10-12

*a worthy walk

Faith

Tonight at Adore was focused simply on Walking with God.
And in its simplicity, this message is profound.
*audio available here!

    Walking with God is:

-walking before God
-walking in fellowship with him
-A call to effort, a purposeful activity
-An unspectacular activity, steadiness is of the essence
-Asking for the presence of God before asking for his gifts, it is such a privilege to know that God cares for you!
-It is a realization of a covenant relationship with Him and choosing repentance daily
-Walking with God is also relaxation, choosing to give God your burdens and trust him with them

    Things that ruin your life with God:

-Sexual immorality
-Worldly mindedness, set your affection of God
-A critical spirit, there is a type of cynicism that keeps people from enthusiasm, cool detachments squelch the presence of God. Savor and cling to your joyful enthusiasm.

    Things that help your walk with God:

-Practicing praise, God delivers new mercies every morning.
-Being accountable to somebody in your faith community
Practicing joy. Joy is the evidence of faith, if you don’t know joy, practice it!

We don’t have to invoke the presence of God; He knows who you are and you know whose you are, so now walk according to His grace! His desire is that His blessing be upon you.