As we were experiencing an awesome move of God in our church during the time of the Toronto and Brownsville revivals, we would be encouraged by the Lord in so many unique ways through prophetic revelation. My wife Linda and I would both have bizarre experiences, dreams and trances that would leave us scratching our head sometimes. Since they were so weird and, at the time, we didn’t have much of a grid for understanding prophetic ministry, we had to seek out the scriptures for wisdom and understanding about what we were experiencing. We learned from a lot by asking advice and wisdom of more seasoned prophetic people. But going through these experiences then seeking out what they meant in the Word was one of the ways we were able to develop teaching about the prophetic as well.
We were going to many conferences and meetings, hearing from those who had heard from God in this move of God. We also got exposed to many different streams in the body of Christ and it was wonderful, though many times overwhelming. My wife Linda was having some vivid experiences during this season, even times where she would go into her walk-in closet to get dressed and be “hit” by the Holy Spirit and end up in a trance for an hour, oblivious to time. We were learning that as our spiritual senses were trained, we could “see’ and “hear” things that were there in the spirit realm as the veil between this world and the Kingdom was obviously so thin.
1) Heart Faith- Real faith comes out of our heart (Rom 10:10),not our head or imagination.We also can’t live on another person’s faith. Faith is immensely personal (like your underwear)and we must each get and have our own.This is not like socialism. Everyone stands on their own.Our faith is as personal as our conscience and works in concert and conjunction with it. Faith is also a gift of Spirit that can be exercised all the time once received. But for it to grow and increase it must be regularly exercised!
2) Head Faith- This is in our heads not our hearts,a mental assent or agreement, coming out of knowledge. John Wesley once said that the devil has given the Church a substitute for faith; one that looks and sounds so much like faith that few people can tell the difference. He called this substitute “mental assent”. Many people will agree that the Bible is true, but they are agreeing only with their minds. That is mental assent and it is not what gets the job done. It takes heart faith to receive from God. How can a person know whether he has heart faith or whether he is just mentally agreeing with God’s Word? Mental assent says, “I know God’s Word is true. I know God has provided healing (or some other blessing), but for some reason I can’t get it; I can’t understand it.” However, real faith says, “If God’s Word says it’s true, then it’s true. It is mine, and I have it now. I have it now even though I can’t see it because God cannot lie.”
We all have experienced times where things we had zealously hoped for, things we really wanted to happen, even imagining what it would look like…. ended up with a totally different, even a bad outcome. We might have been idealistic or even completely unrealistic about something but still hoped for the best! Sadly, these kind of defeats can end up defining and even shipwrecking us if we let them.
Failure does not have to be fatal, but our response to it can determine if we get back up and learn to overcome or just throw in the towel. What’s important is for us to learn from it and not allow our faith to be undermined or our ability to press on be thwarted.
Pastor Marc Lawson
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