A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the word ‘If’ – and how easy it is to fall into the trap of not fully understanding what Scripture really means, even though we know exactly what we want it to mean!
In the early days of the charismatic renewal, along with many other people, I would sing the song “I am the Lord that healeth thee!” I passionately believed those words and would sing them with as much understanding as I could muster! For we were, of course, singing a great truth. But no matter how much truth there was in the statement, when I carefully read Exodus 15:26, I discovered that the phrase ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee’ was, in fact, only the last seven words of a 61 word sentence! The other 54 words were all about the conditions God’s people needed to fulfil, in order to experience His healing.
Another classic phrase is the glorious message that “the truth will set you free” – but only, said Jesus in John 8:31-32, if we hold on to His teaching and discover what it means to be a disciple! Then, said Jesus, we would know the truth and the truth would set us free – as He promised. Our carnal nature may want the freedom – but God says there are conditions to be fulfilled!
I have been ministering to people and teaching about healing for well over twenty years. In my journey I discovered that many, many people were crying out to God to transform their lives, but weren’t actually wanting to take responsibility for their choices and the way they lived. So I began to write a series of teachings, as part of the online training programme, Ellel 365 (www.em365.org), that would help people see the importance of not just believing the truth, but applying it as well. Many people write in with their testimonies, but last week there was one which deeply impacted my spirit and made me leap with joy!
I was on my way back from teaching at a healing and deliverance conference in the USA, and when I read the testimony I almost danced round Orlando airport, I was so excited by what I was reading! For this lady had truly grasped the message I was trying to get across – that if we unconditionally apply the teaching of Scripture into our lives, then we really can expect God to transform our lives from the inside out. This is some of what she said:
“I don’t even want to think of where I would be if I hadn’t ‘done’ Ellel 365!! Wow, God is so gracious, so full of mercy, so patient, so loving, so, so God!
I would have to write a book to explain how God reached into my very being and began to speak into my heart and slowly change me from the inside out. He’s renewed my mind, healed my body, gently convicted me of sin and brought me to repentance and loved me through it all. I was convicted of unforgiveness and I could go through a childhood of pain and truly forgive with love. The peace He has brought to my heart, is beyond all understanding.
Before, I experienced overwhelming worry and fear, that robbed me of sleep, I now have a trust in my Father God that everything is in His hands. An overwhelming sense of wanting to ‘let go’ and forgive has replaced feelings of vengeance, pay back and desire to hold on to every little hurt, so I can go over it again and again. Before, I couldn’t put anything down and it wore me out – but now I am refreshed!
Ellel 365 has radically changed my understanding of God, who He is and who I am in Christ. I have learned that I can have a relationship with God and He is interested in every detail of my life. What an incredible privilege it is to be walking in Christ. I feel so sad that I have been attending ‘Church’ all my life, and that in my adult life my husband and four children were so involved in ‘church’, but we did not know our Lord and Saviour. I can’t help but cry when I see that in writing. When I look at the wasted years, I praise the Lord for His mercy and Grace – I am free and the “Son has set me free, so I am free indeed!!” Hallelujah praise the Lord!“
I was tired after a very exhausting ministry trip when I read those words – but now, as I climbed on to the plane in Orlando, I had such a spring in my step, that people might have wondered what I’d had to drink!
But as I tried to get some sleep on the overnight flight, my joy was tinged with sadness as I thought of the thousands of people around the world who ‘do church’ but who have never experienced the blessing of what can happen when the Lord of the Church becomes Lord of their lives. At times like this I sometimes feel the grief of God, knowing that He longs to answer our prayers, but perhaps has to shake his head and say, “If only . . . .!”