Month: February 2014

The Jesus I know

As I grow in Christ, I began to ask God for deeper questions to be answered about who we are as sons and daughters and what it means to fully surrender, no matter how the world may identify you.

In Exodus 4:8-17, God asks Moses to perform a miracle, but he struggled with his voice. God didn’t waste time idling over his voice, but gave him a pep talk but stating how God designed him for a specific purpose for a specific time. Through this, Moses understood his identity as he learned of God’s goodness and faithfulness in his weakness. This also shows that Moses wasn’t afraid to address his struggles to God.

What does this mean in terms of identity? This pep talk with Moses soothes my idea of deafness. But also soothes my thoughts of being able to speak. Almost everyone I’ve met can’t tell I’m deaf because of my voice, I’ve even had doctors accuse me of faking being deaf. In other words, my voice is a blessing in disguise. God will use my voice in timely situations, but also use my ability to relate to the deaf. But it’s not a 100 percent on either side of the deaf/hearing world, no matter how hard I try. 

If you read the Gospel, Jesus repeatedly told people who witnessed miracles he performed to not tell people of all he’s done. Jesus was often stressed because he had many people flocking after him, often bringing unwanted and unnecessary attention. And often times, it’s during his time he needed to be alone with God. The other reason is because Jesus knew the Pharisees were after him and knew unwanted attention would bring more trouble. Especially since he knew what would happen to him shortly after. 

The only time the healing of a deaf and mute man in the Bible, is in the Book of Mark. Why only in Mark? Because it was to demonstrate how Jesus took the man aside for healing, not for privacy for than man but for safety of Jesus. Jesus knew he didn’t need to the attention. 

It’s commonly interpreted as Jesus wanted to respect the deaf and mute man by pulling him aside and giving him privacy to pray for his healing. This is the only healing story mentioned of being pulled aside. However, many healing stories are by faith alone or engaging in prayer with God. The Roman Soldier is a perfect example of healing by faith. 

Why don’t some people believe healing is possible? Most likely because of what Exodus 4:11 specifically says of how God made us. But other passages also mention how God has the power to also make hearts hard and stubborn as a way of testing. Not because he wanted people to remain this way. Jeremiah 17:14 says if you are healed, you are healed. If you are saved, you are saved. There is no room for doubt but abundance of faith.  

We need to recognize how Jesus was compassionate not pitiful which is common in the hearing world. Even in times he wanted to be alone or on Sabbath, he often felt a great burden to heal and care for the people following him. He felt the suffering in those who were healed and took it upon themselves. He didn’t want them to live a life of oppression and a world of apathy.

One of the most random things that came up in my study this past week; why did Jesus use saliva for the tongue and ears of the Deaf and mute man? From the Hebrew culture, it’s an indication of the first-born son and his father and the healing powers he received. In which Jesus inherited. Jesus at the time, needed to find a way to indicate his sonship and often used saliva. Notice the disciples did many healings as well, but never used saliva? It was also an indication of anointing or baptism.

I have much to learn about God’s identity, characteristic and promises.

Sources used:
http://www.godward.org/hebrew%20roots/men_as_trees_walking.htm
http://www.jewisheyes.org/newsletters/Healing_with_Spit.pdf

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The responsibility of prayer

This isn’t going to be a post about how we need to pray daily. While we should, how about the discussion of how we pray corporately as a church or community and what it means to be unified in spirit?

This past week, a few things got heated up in our team. Touching some very sensitive spots in some of our lives as God goes to the core. Because of that, it disrupted the ability to have unity. You must understand, our community is doing a corporate fast for 45 days. One of my friends said, there are times when people can greatly impact  the presence of the Holy Spirit based on what’s happening in the room, including the lack of unity. His response gave me a revelation of how big of a responsibility unity has in the spirit. 

One testimony he shared was about how in his former school, when they prayed corporately, it was always very alive. But one night, people wanted to simply let the spirit work in them quietly. He had a difficult time with this and decided to pace back and forth and just speaking in the spirit. He attempted to go to the microphone and tell everyone they should get up and do the same. His brother came to the front and pretty much whispered and said, “no, leave it be.”

It was a revelation for him of how he wanted to do his own things, and disobeyed God. He humiliated himself as a result but it gave him a greater understanding of unity.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own mind. It’s easy to distance ourselves from what we think isn’t real and want to soak up God the way we want. But in reality, when there is a lack of unity when praying corporately, you begin to experience slumber in the spirit. That’s a huge responsibility but we are at greater risk of disobeying God.

When we come into unity together, we come to know the presence of the Holy Spirit and then intercession can run deep. 

Little taste of heaven

Have you ever tasted heaven? No matter how many times I sat down for hours and just prayed, I’ve never experienced God the way I have in the past couple of days in the midst of Breakthrough 45. (Want to know more, go to http://www.asldts.com). One Corinthians 13:1-7 is the word God spoke to me:

1If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
 
A few days ago, I began to ask God deep and difficult questions about my deafness. I’ve been deaf since birth and often wondered what it would like to be hearing. I also honestly and painfully struggle with my identity because of labels and pressure in the Deaf community as well as the hearing. I asked God, “What language do YOU speak?” Not what the world speaks, even though I know all languages spoken including all forms of sign language and English (both native speaking languages) were created by God. Which was because the fall of Babel. But what does God speak?
 
While the above passage is a reference to mostly speaking in tongues, I realized it was more than speaking in tongues. It’s about love. The greatest and most misunderstood language of all time. God wants us to be a representative of heaven, but that means we must fully surrender every part of ourselves.
 
I got down on my knees and began to humble myself. I want to speak God’s language so desperately. I want to be a better stewart of His Kingdom. As I’m praying, my left ear began to sound weird. I began to hear a deep voice of someone singing. I decided to test it and took out my cochlear implant in my right ear. Suddenly, it began to sound clearer but it was only the voice I could hear. I didn’t look to see who was singing. Then it stopped and went back to being normal.
 
At the end of our prayer meeting, we gathered together as a community and began to pray/sing in tongues. I couldn’t relate because we were asked to match up with the piano playing. So, once again, I got down and asked God for a revelation to speak in tongues. Instead, my ear began to open up once again, instead to the sound of the piano playing. It was the only thing I could hear, no other sound was heard.
 
After a day of just processing, I’m still amazed and in awe of the kind of God we have. Maybe He didn’t fully heal me, and that’s ok. I’m not expecting to be healed, but being able to taste some of heaven simply humbled me. It was enough for me to say God is a healer and my deliverer.