A middle school teacher rants to her students that the white man is responsible for everything that is wrong. She even singles out white students in the class, telling them they’re responsible for what their ancestors did.
In New Orleans, a drive through restaurant adds a “white surcharge” because “there’s no way to fix white privilege except by charging white folk extra.”
What does it do to minority children when they are told they are victims? How can anyone think it gives them motivation to try harder? When you tell them all white people are evil, aren’t you teaching your child to be racist?
They end up feeling they only have two choices: A life of crime or dependency on government handouts. Some will accuse me of taking complex problems of urban areas and giving simplistic solutions. Need I remind you I was a Latino minority in the inner city? I grew up in the violence, the poverty and the racism.
Some will challenge me to prove Brother Hagin’s word of faith is a key. I will prove my point by asking one question—WHO IS YOUR SOURCE?
It was a central fact of Brother Hagin’s preaching…God is your source. For the urban young person that means it’s not the government, not a drug, not crime—God is your source.
Some will say that kind of preaching is inappropriate for the inner city. So I will tell you a story. I was having dinner with a famous evangelist. He had just returned from the Philippines. “I couldn’t preach prosperity to them because they were so poor,” he told me. I looked at him and asked, “Did you also not preach healing because they were too sick?”
We who are blessed, secretly think God’s promise to prosper starts at the middle class level. When you think about it—that’s silly.
If a child, any child, meets Jesus in power, they are a new creation. Who are you or I to say they are not entitled to all of the same blessings we enjoy just because they are starting from a much lower circumstance? “Whosoever will” does not stop at salvation. It applies to every level of our walk with God.
Again, Brother Hagin taught that God is your source. But what does that do about racism? We have already seen that racism will never end by getting back at the racist. All that does is create a new racism. The anger in urban areas is rooted in poverty and lack of opportunity.
So how does the word of faith kill racism at the root? Because when you say that God is the source of your provision, you are also saying that Satan is the source of your lack. That is when you stop blaming man—any man—for your lack.
The next thing that Brother Hagin taught was the authority of the Word of God over inner feelings and outward circumstances. Today, too many Christians go by how they feel or by how things are going for them. In the inner city that is even more intense.
Self-pity is the most potent drug in the inner city. When the revelation that you are a redeemed child of God hits you—not matter what is happening or how you feel—you can conquer your surroundings.
Just because we don’t know how God will lead someone out of unspeakable addiction into victory—just because we don’t know how the jobs, education and opportunity will unfold—is not an excuse to hold back the entire Gospel!
I know there are those who have abused Kenneth Hagin’s teachings, (the fact is, everyone’s teaching has been abused) but that does not justify rejection of truth—truth that has the power to transform racism into love and poverty into prosperity.
A question to every man who ever failed: Why did Jesus put the man’s severed ear back on? We know Peter took a sword and cut it off. We know why. We can also guess that Jesus healed Malchus’ ear out of compassion. But there is something way deeper going on here. What does that have to do with every man who ever failed? Everything.
Peter failed in spectacular fashion. He bragged he would stand with Jesus even if everyone else fled. He fell asleep in the Garden. He assaulted the priest’s servant. Though he was warned about it in advance, he went ahead and denied Christ 3 times.
Saturday, the day after Jesus died, wouldn’t hurt so much if Peter didn’t love Jesus. That he abandoned Christ began to torment him. It could for the rest of his life. But right now, he doesn’t believe there is a rest of his life.
Saturday: his day to hide like a hunted animal. A day to let it sink in that there is nothing left to live for. He was a hair’s breadth away from the fate of Judas Iscariot. Worst of all, he lost his destiny.
Destiny is a mysterious thing. The same force that can inspire a man to greatness can—in his failure—torture him. The pain level depends on the size of the destiny. In his case, it was massive.
Peter was minding his own business when Jesus interrupted his whole life. Fishing all night, Peter caught nothing. His hands are red and sore from handling the heavy nets. Every muscle aches. He has nothing to show for a brutal night at sea.
The strange teacher says, “Let your nets down again for a catch.” Peter halfheartedly does as he is asked. The enormous catch terrified him. He begs Jesus to keep his distance, “I am a sinful man.”
That’s when he heard the words about his destiny. “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” On Saturday, he’s just a fisherman again. It sticks in his throat to say it.
They say that regret is the cancer of life—if so, this Saturday, Peter is terminal. He could have prayed Psalm 69: 1 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me…”
“I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing” simply means that in the quicksand of despair, nothing that used to help you snap out of it works now. All of your comfort is gone. There is nothing to grab to save you. You will sink until you vanish.
Now it’s dawn on Sunday. Peter can’t know that at that moment, an angel is talking about him. Mark 16: 7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” The angel added the words “and Peter.” Why? Because God knew Peter would have disqualified himself if the invitation was “for disciples only.” Wouldn’t you love to have seen Peter’s face when they told him the angel’s message?
So why did Jesus put the ear back on? He knew Peter’s destiny, and Peter couldn’t be in prison on the day of Pentecost. Jesus knew his destiny…like He knows yours.
Are you experiencing the greatest attack of Satan in your body, emotions, or your family? Don’t just lay there and take it. Now is the time for decisive action.
Even though I am fighting my way back from the most grueling health issue of my life…I have learned how to turn this attack from Satan into an attack on Satan.
Anyone who knows me can’t imagine me lying in bed for weeks. Being bedridden is the perfect torment for me. In the dark of night, Satan tried to torture me with thoughts of paralysis and even death.
Then the Holy Spirit instructed me to boomerang the attack onto Satan. How do I do that, I wondered? What I heard next was extremely difficult to accept in my condition—then the presence of God overshadowed me. Here are the truths God worked into me through this test:
Fact: Satan attacks you because he is mentally deranged. His attacks are impulsive and not well thought out. He risks more than we can imagine when he touches a child of God. His life story is nothing but a string of attacks that backfire.
That is not a comfort when you are facing the cruelest attack ever. I am certainly not going to trivialize suffering and loss. Believe me, I have a deep respect for the havoc he can raise, and the pain he can cause.
Fact: By following the Holy Spirit’s instructions we can make the devil’s attack on us an attack on him. The message Bible has a good rendering of Philippians 1: 12 “I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered.”
Look again at this phrase: “the opposite of its intended effect.” How can that mean anything but the attack on Paul turned into an attack on Satan.
When that prison door slammed behind Paul, it was a dark moment. He had no idea how long he would suffer. He didn’t know if he’d ever get out alive. Knowing Paul’s heart, his greatest agony was watching this ordeal shut down the ministry.
You can well imagine what images ran through my mind having to stop about our tent meetings and so many other things we are doing.
Here is what the Holy Spirit taught me to do:
1. I gathered up all of my strength, pointed at Satan and rebuked Him. I said, “this attack is now an attack on you!” I confessed that God now owned the situation. I declared that I was being healed no matter what my circumstances said.
2. Next, I confessed to God that my season of being healed—no matter how long it took—would be a tool of the Holy Spirit for growth, strength, and a greater fighting spirit.
3. But it was the last lesson I learned that was the most significant. I learned to seek my Father for no other reason other than He is my Father. I had no idea how much of my past praying was dominated by requests for greater power, or more provision, or for revival. Noble requests all, but now, in the presence that flooded my room, they seemed so secondary. Being near to Him meant everything.
Now, in the midst of all of this, I live in a level of trust, power and clarity I never would have gained except through this great test. The devil will pay, for the rest of my life, with the lessons I will have learned in this difficult season. That is why I say with Paul…” I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18
We face a new kind of evil. We have never faced a threat like this before. That is why God is creating special kinds of people to be used in special kinds of ways. What do these people look like?
We picture bold, assertive, natural born leaders taking the stage. We assume the Holy Spirit would instill great confidence and audacity in those He has selected for special service.
In fact, the opposite is true. He inflicts those He chooses with deep frustrations. They are restless, they are weakened by confusing emotions. Often, they don’t feel very spiritual at all. The greatest gift He gives them is a desperate hunger.
Yes, desperate hunger is a great gift. Although, when you first get it, you will be convinced you are being punished not blessed.
Jesus said “blessed are those who hunger and thirst…” It seems a contradictory statement but a closer look reveals eternal wisdom.
God is carving out your soul to create a greater capacity for His power. You are getting desperate for something—your appetite for that one thing is increasing. It seems cruel but it makes perfect sense: God wants you to want something you can’t have. It is in the not having it, that your desire intensifies.
The Bible says, “But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.” -1 Samuel 1:5,6
Look at that! God is creating unbearable frustration. But, by depriving her of children, it increased two things in her soul: Her willingness to sacrifice and her appreciation for the blessings when they come. In other words, she will be an amazing example of willingness and appreciation.
God didn’t want Hannah to get over wanting Children. He wanted her to yearn for them even more. The end result is one of the most powerful women in history—the mother of Samuel the prophet. In Jewish tradition, Samuel is second only to Moses as a prophet.
Hannah’s total reward often goes unnoticed. True, she surrendered her first born to God but it says in 1 Samuel 2: 21 And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.”
It was Elisha’s insatiable hunger for the anointing that made him ask for a double portion from Elijah. Many, of today’s leaders ask for just enough to get by. They will never destroy the strongholds of Satan. They fold at the first sign of resistance. Not so, the vessel born of desperate hunger. When they finally get their chance, they will never stop, and they will never corrupt their God-given stewardship. Your frustration and desperate hunger is qualifying you for something astounding.
All of this is well and good but it is not a great comfort when you are in the depths of frustration. Desperate hunger from God can test us to the maximum. We look for signs that our hunger will be fulfilled. We yearn for proof that we will not die from disappointment. Well beloved, the proof is right under our nose. In fact, the hunger itself is the proof of the fulfillment.
Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.”-Matthew 5:5 In other words, if you hunger, you are blessed because that is the proof you shall be filled.
Alexander MacLaren the great Bible Commentator said this, “that hunger is the sure precursor and infallible prophet of the coming satisfaction.”
You heard I received a miracle. Now there are some important things I need to say. Please take a moment. These are things that are really heavy on my heart to say to you. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.
You would think that after how much I suffered I would be overjoyed with my healing. Instead it broke me. Even in the depths of my agony I prayed and said “Jesus, there are so many in greater need of miracles than I am. Please touch them Lord Jesus.”
When He chose to heal me, the goodness and mercy I experienced shook me to my core. I actually felt the fear of the Lord. I felt an urgency to make certain things very clear to whoever knew about my miracle.
Healings are not trophies, they are testimonies. When God gives you a miracle you come under an obligation to give God all the glory and to share it with others to encourage their faith to receive also.
2 Chronicles 32: 25 says, “But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem.” Hezekiah received a great miracle. But he treated his healing like it was a trophy.
I was not healed because thousands were praying for me but because people prayed in faith. You may feel discouraged thinking, “I don’t have that many people praying for me.”
If you need a miracle, the promise of Matthew 18:19 is yours! “If any two of you shall agree as touching anything it will be done.” Right now I want everyone who wrote me with their prayer requests to be healed. I want you to know that Jesus wants to heal you and that releasing your faith will never go unrewarded.
I am grateful for my healing but I am aware of so many who are suffering far worse health challenges than I did. It truly breaks my heart and it is important to me to encourage them.
After God heals you the enemy will try to steal your miracle. Luke 8:11 tells us, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts…”
He comes to steal as soon as you are healed.
John 5:14 says, “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Satan will tell you, you weren’t really healed. Old symptoms will try to come back. The miracle is not the end of your fight…it is the beginning. Think about it: when a tumor leaves, when pain vanishes and strength returns we have the proof of our healing. To let Satan rob you after such a clear miracle is sin.
You must take your stand and confess your healing against the thief of miracles. Symptoms will subside and you will feel the glow of your miracle once again.
Don’t forget the lessons of your affliction: God didn’t make you sick but He did use it to force you to grow. Look at 2 Corinthians 16: 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Here’s a great quote about this: “Every wise workman takes his tools away from the work from time to time that they may be ground and sharpened; so does the only-wise Jehovah take his ministers oftentimes away into darkness and loneliness and trouble, that he may sharpen and prepare them for harder work in his service.” -Robert Murray M’Cheyne
I made a list of new demands that the Holy Spirit put on me now that He had my undivided attention. I shall obey them with unswerving devotion. I don’t want to take this class again.
Please pray about all I have said and may God give you wisdom.
You take the victories God gives you. My primary care physician thought I had bursitis of the hip. “I am referring you to a sports medicine doctor to get a cortisone shot and you will feel better fast.”
So I went. Something bothered the next doctor. Why wasn’t I feeling pain when he pushed on the hip joint. But went he bent the leg outward I screamed. “This feels more like a stress fracture.” That meant 6 weeks of lying immobile and then rehab. So much for our World Convention.
He takes X-rays. X-rays can’t see many stress fractures. This one didn’t. “You need a cat-scan.”
Two more days of night and day pain. My wife and assistant take me in the car with seat almost flat. Wheelchairs and crutches increase my pain. I must walk slowly with my arm on somebody.
Mechelle goes in the hospital while we wait in the car. She explains to the front desk that I cannot stand or sit. I can only lie down. The front desk manager assures her I can walk directly to the cat-scan table. However, some devil got on her. When I finally made it inside seconds away from collapsing with pain. She insisted rudely that more signatures are required.
I dove to the floor in front of everybody. Somehow, doing that speeds things up. The two nicest nurses came to my rescue. I am on the hard table gritting my teeth during the scan and finally it is over. We go home with still no relief.
Someone suggested in a Facebook comment that I repent. Believe me, lying there in the dead of night with no position that relieves the agony—you repent of everything. I even repented for my ancestors—whoever they are.
Back to the sports medicine doctor with the cat-scan results. He looks and looks and says there is no fracture. That was yesterday. Where did it go? Was it there and the prayers of so many were answered? That would not surprise me. You take the victories God gives you and build on that.
He kept telling me this is good news. I can get a cortisone shot now. So give it to me! He can’t, he doesn’t have an ultra-sound machine. I am thinking, that’s why I was sent here in the first place!
“I am referring you to a doctor who is a specialist in these things.” Code for “we don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Back to square one.
I can walk better. There are even times now where the pain subsides to a dull ache. There you have it. You take the victories God gives you. You worship Him. You thank Him.
Mechelle and I want to thank the host of people who took time to tell us they are praying. As I said before…there is no version of this where the enemy wins.