I could go into a lot of detail about why, over the years, the supernatural things of God had become far from me. But that is truly a story for another day.
Of course, we all “believe” in the supernatural things, because they are in the Bible. Prophets, for instance, are listed in the Bible, and we know they are/were real. Do we really believe they are in today’s world?
Well, that’s a good question. I guess a lot of us would answer yes, but would never consider that answer as all-encompassing enough to actually be relatable.
For me, prophets were those people in third world countries still proclaiming God’s Word to all who hadn’t yet heard of Him. Or something along those lines. That was, until this past Sunday.
Sunday Morning Service
I knew in advance that there would be a special speaker visiting, though I couldn’t remember if he’d actually ever been named. What I didn’t know was that he was a prophet.
I didn’t “suddenly” come to the conclusion that he was a prophet, but the fact sort of laid itself out as he preached. A dim realization that got brighter the more he spoke Somewhere in the midst of the Word, he began calling people out and speaking directly into their lives.
At first, I figured it was the fact that he and his wife had spent time with our Pastor and his wife. Perhaps, I figured, as I grasped to figure out how he could possibly know what he knew, perhaps they had shared a bit about the families in their congregation? Maybe that was it.
But then I realized that they had actually only just met quite recently. And besides, even if they succumbed to gossip (which, after thinking about it, I realized that was an absolutely ludicrous idea), Brother Phillips couldn’t have possibly known exactly who they were talking about and remembered it once he arrived… these faces he’d never seen before.
Unity in the Body
The message he preached, he entitled “Unity” and he spoke about things like moving forward. Like getting off the milk of the Word and onto the meat. He talked about how unity within the Body of Christ builds confidence. And how we cannot accept God on OUR terms… we can only accept Him on HIS terms.
He asked if we did or did not believe He could still do what He’s always done? Since, after all, he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. My God, are these not things I’ve had burning in my own heart for SO LONG NOW? Things I’ve told my kids? Jimmy? Mom?
It’s like he “knew” me, and wasn’t even preaching AT me, though I sure felt like God was! And I was trying to take notes on everything I considered important and worth remembering for conversations that might come up in the future.
A Word for Me?
I was actually still feverishly taking down notes when Brother Phillips called me out and asked me to stand to my feet. (Which was gut-wrenching for a severe social introvert such as myself!!)
As I stood up, he pointed at me and said, “I see two young people, a boy and girl, that you’ve been praying for. They might not even be related to you, I don’t know, but DON’T STOP PRAYING FOR THEM. God is hearing you, so keep praying. The girl is going to come around first. She has, as it were, a hook in her jaw even now and God is hearing your prayers. And I also sense he’s going to heal… there’s something about your stomach, I sense a circling, and God is healing that right now.”
I admit I can’t remember what he said verbatim. I gave in to tears at even the thought that God was speaking to me about Abby and Nathan! However, as I sat down after his prophecy, I was pretty confused. I mean, my stomach was fine. What was he talking about?
But then I remembered that not long ago, my stomach had been hurting in much the same way that it had several years ago when I had extensive bleeding ulcers. But when the pain had come, I started taking oatmeal broth that I had made and the pain had gone away pretty quickly. So I didn’t understand exactly what he meant.
Letting Doubt In
Once home, I sat at my computer and began to doubt the whole thing. Prophets? In today’s world? What good would it do? I started thinking about how many crafty magicians there are in the world who can easily speak out random facts and make it seem like they know exactly what you’re going through or have gone through. In fact, I sat there and reasoned away everything he’d said.
It’s not that I intended to do that. In fact, I was pretty joyful about the idea that God would speak to me about my kids. He knows my heart for them. But you see, it is my very nature to overthink everything. And when I say overthink, I don’t just mean the kind of overthinking that most people do. I mean, the enemy has a field day of putting things in my head that have absolutely no basis and absolutely no proof, and I’ll worry myself into physical sickness.
In fact, that’s what I thought had happened when I felt that old familiar ulcer-pain start back up again and there was that tinge in the back of my mind that said, “Okay, well what kind of magic did he do to know about THAT? Because you didn’t tell a SOUL, not even your husband, about that pain.”
Trying to Make Sense of It
And it’s true. But still, there’s a certain part of me that, when something has to do with ME and MY FAMILY, I’ll stiffen like a board, from my spirit all the way out, to keep it AWAY FROM US. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. We mind our own, and let others mind theirs. At least when it comes down to the wire. At least when the rubber meets the road.
And it certainly met it there that day!
So, by now, I’m at home and the emotion has worn off and I’m left to my thoughts, which will always betray me. I finally struggled with it enough to believe that even though I wasn’t SURE about this man and his abilities, at least I would suffice it to say it “could have” been God speaking to me. And I prayed about that.
By the time the evening service rolled around, I was okay. But when I stepped up and through the doors, I heard God say to me, “There’s going to be a prayer line tonight. BE IN IT.”
Well, to start with, prayer lines aren’t something that’s commonly done at our church. I think there’s been a single one in the three years we’ve been attending. Secondly, there aren’t enough ministers there to constitute a prayer line. But, I said in my spirit, Okay, Lord, if there IS a prayer line, I will surely be in it!”
As I rounded the corner into the actual sanctuary, much to my surprise, there stood Brother Phillips again! I did not know that he would be preaching both services, but that was fine with me. I would enjoy nothing more than to hear him preach again!
But even more surprising was who he was talking to. It was our own Pastor’s mentor, an elder minister who I had only seen at our services a few times, as they lived quite a ways away, and he had just been diagnosed with cancer.
FURTHERMORE, that elder minister’s SON was also in attendance! I quickly thought that that meant we now had a total of five ministers in the church that night!
Brother Phillips preached on “Miracles” as his topic this time, talking about the fact that the purpose of miracles was for revelation and edification. And that a miracle IGNITES faith! He spoke about how the enemy will try to control your mind and emotions… Okay, was he sitting in my often after morning service, listening in on my thoughts? You laugh, but that’s actually what went through my mind. (I could then imagine God speaking to Job when Job thought he had all the answers!)
He spoke about the fact that there is such a thing as a spirit of DRAMA, and how there is a burning testimony inside every believer who receives a miracle. He said that Jesus, however, had always asked something from the people for whom he performed miracles and that, just as His mother Mary had suggested at the wedding feast in Cana, “WHATEVER he tells you to do… do it!”
Brother Phillips continued through the evening service with his message, intermingled with continuing words of prophecy that were – literally – jaw-dropping. There was a lady, for instance, who was in attendance that we, as a church family, had been praying for for a long time. I’m not sure exactly what her issue is, but I know that it has something to do with her blood.
As Brother Phillips was making his way down the aisle that night, he quickly turned to her, pointed, and told her God was healing her blood. She immediately began to lift her hands and weep and pray in the Spirit. He went on to say that her numbers would start to rise and keep rising until they were normal. Then he asked her if it was true that pain had kept her from walking, and she said yes. He told her then to get up and walk around the church twice. She obliged but continued walking around three more times as well.
Several others got words accompanied by amazing works of God. Things were being told that, from the sheer magnitude of the content, no one could possibly have known, save for Jesus.
But the interesting thing was that people started GETTING A HOLD OF THEIR MIRACLES! Those words were powerful. They were bold. They were proof that there is a LIVING GOD among us! And He cares!
It’s Not Over Until God Says It Is
As the service came to an end, everyone was asked to come to the altar area to pray, and Jimmy and I went. Just as service was coming to a close, Pastor took over and said that he could not let that service end without giving people one last opportunity to NOT leave like they had arrived.
And he called for a PRAYER LINE!
My jaw dropped and I spun around to tell Jimmy what God had told me as we walked in. That we HAD to be in it!
As I got in line, Pastor asked that everyone would decide what they wanted to ask God for, and then believe for it when they stepped forward. The thing was, I couldn’t think of a thing – at least at the time – to ask Him for! I mean, there was the salvation and sanctification of my children, but He knew that. And it had been pointed out to me already that morning. Should I dare to ask for something He’d already spoken about?
Finally, after racking my brain, I just said, “God, I don’t know of anything specifically to ask for, so I’m just going to ask You to give me whatever it is you WANT me to have in this thing”.
As I stepped into the prayer line, and as the ministers laid their hands on my head and shoulders, Brother Phillips shouted, “Heal that stomach!” and I thought, Well, here we go again! My stomach doesn’t need healing!
BUT THEN… As soon as those words came out of his mouth, my stomach literally turned to FIRE! My stomach burned like fire… not like heartburn… but like the warmth of a literal fire! And then the fire moved up through my chest and into my mouth and all I could do was cry and pray in the Holy Ghost, and NOT of my own accord. It was the only thing that would come out as I tried to praise Him!
What Does It Mean?
I stepped away from the line and moved to the side to worship and pray and there was suddenly… I don’t know if you’d call it a “thought” or a kind of “knowing”. But suddenly it was as if I simply understood that the stomach was linked directly to emotions, feelings, interactions with others… so many things that I have struggled with for SO LONG! And I knew they were gone!
I opened my eyes and suddenly every “disconnected” feeling I’d ever had was gone. My vision was completely clear. Colors were brighter. And for once in my life, I didn’t hang my head and stare at the floor as the service was going on around me. I could lift my head. I hadn’t even realized, or given thought to, the fact that I always stared at the floor, but it was completely clear now. It almost flashed before my eyes, as if I was supposed to see it.
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind in my mind. There are so many “new things” I want to study! Things that were lost in the fog of my former self, if that’s even a thing. Things I wouldn’t have actively thought about before this happened. It’s like a hunger and a thirst that I cannot quench!
BUT! John 4:14 says, “…But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Was that what “rose up” from my stomach to my mouth? Was the spirit that I received inside myself now turning into the well of water He promised it would?
I pray that’s exactly what it is!
ONE MORE THING
Now there’s ONE MORE THING… one sacrifice… one thing He’s asked of me. I know that when I do THAT… that something even more miraculous is going to happen!
LORD HAVE MERCY!!