Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Freedom’

Baptism and Breakthrough – God is Good!

You may recall a story I wrote up  story about a friend of mine receiving peace after seeking prayer when she was advised that her husband, whom had been imprisoned for a serious crime against her, had been let out of jail early.  See link here for story. Well I felt it high time to update the story.

My friend “H” has plugged into our new local church.  She comes, sits, receives from God, receives prayer, at times cries and all the while she is being healed by a good God.  She has also become involved with a community who love and encourage her and she loves and encourages them back. She has brought a friend who has occasionally visited, and she has consistently pursued God, as He has pursued her.

H has two teenage girls.  While resistant to coming to church themselves, they have seen the difference and have supported their mum in attending church.  The eldest, a dancer, has received prayer, and has recently suggested that a prayer request be sent out for her little sister who has recently been quite ill.

The eldest was in a vocational ballet training school, but with the release of her father from jail and the associated trauma, she started to suffer from increasing panic attacks and anxiety. The church community prayed for H and her girls, and their various challenges.  Little by little we have seen break through after breakthrough come about in all their lives.

H’s ballet daughter found a brilliant local ballet teacher who loved and encouraged her and although the panic attacks continued around attending the vocational training school, she found someone who would encourage her and who was kind and understanding to her challenges.

The opportunity for baptisms came around, and I encouraged H to learn about baptisms and be baptised.  She committed to the weekly classes with our pastor and she went from strength to strength, looking forward to the day of her “dunking” knowing that much would wash away in the shear act of obedience to God’s word.

H’s day of baptism came, and her entire family came to celebrate the day.  A large number of us headed down to the beach (a short walk from church) and celebrated as she committed her life to Jesus in public.  Her daughters were intrigued and were happy for her.

Now recently, as a church, we have just come out of three weeks of prayer and fasting.  On a Sunday morning,  just prior to the service H told me that her ballet daughter had frozen that morning with another panic attack and had been incapable of getting up and going to a concert rehearsal at her new ballet teacher’s school.  Her daughter was exhausted and asleep at home.

The service began with the usual worship, and then an elder got up with a huge thick piece of chain in his hands, and he proceeded to talk about how Jesus had set us free.  We had all been given a little piece of chain as we had walked in, and he encouraged us to come forward and cast our chains down at the foot of the cross.  As H went forward, tears streaming,  she cast hers down and myself and another church friend gently laid our hands on her back as she cried.  We knelt, and prayed with her, for freedom from the past, the pain etc for both her and her girls, knowing that as we prayed we were standing before God in the gap for her girls.

The moment was over, and we retuned to our seats, and within minutes H turned to me, smiled and whispered that she had to go and take her daughter to the rehearsal!  Her daughter had texted that she had just got up and she wanted to go to the rehearsal – the panic and fear was gone … the chains had been cast down … FREEDOM!

H later said the timing was amazing, that it would have been as she cast the chain and we had prayed that her daughter had decided to go to the rehearsal.  H shone with the excitement knowing that she had just witnessed another miracle, that as she had cast that chain down at the foot of the cross, and she had prayed for freedom for her daughters, her eldest had received it in the form of relief from anxiety and a desire to get on with the practise session.  Apparently the day went without a hitch and her girl came home shining.  I don’t believe that she has had an anxiety attack about ballet since …

The back story to all this is that the elder is a very quiet, gentle man, not prone to prophetic acts but he had a strong sense twice that week that he needed to lead the way he did that morning with the chains.  And so, loving God more than his own comfort, he had gone and bought the chains, and done what he felt God was asking of him, and through that act of obedience, and the prayer and the holy moment that followed (for there was a real tangible sense of holiness in the air), a young girl had been set free of anxiety for the day, and she could dance once again, all because …

God is Good!

 

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Finding the Father’s heart…finding freedom, finding treasure…God is Good! praise report

There is something happening across our church at the moment … lost things, things that have been searched for, things missed and thought lost … are being found … in very bizarre places and in very bizarre ways!

This is wonderful and marvelous, and the stories are awe-inspiring … but I believe God is doing something deeper than just “getting our stuff back” for us because he loves us … I believe He is revealing His heart … His heart for the lost … His heart for lost treasures and I sense that as He calls us to go deep in Him, and as we find our freedom in Him to be all we are created to be, as we discover our identity, He is also asking us to feel His heart beat, to feel His heart and to step out into a lost and dark world and bring light … to help bring the treasures home …

About eight months ago I bought my seven-year-old daughter a small necklace from Swarovski.  It was a necklace with a little crystal pink heart on it, with a little butterfly to the side. She declared it was God’s heart for her … God’s heart of healing … and the butterfly was her freedom in Him. It was a precious gift that she held dear.

Not long after, she lost the necklace – she had worn it only a few times, and to lose something this precious to her was not in character at all … it had just “vanished”

We searched everywhere for it. We checked her luggage, where it was meant to be, we checked her room and eventually, after searching for it and praying for its return, we decided it was well and truly lost. She wept, realising something precious was gone …

On the final day of summer holidays, I resolved to replace this pendent … I don’t know why, but I just felt it was ok for her to have another and so we popped into the store from where it had been bought and found they still had stock …

I stood at the counter with the box in my hand and hesitated, checking with God about the purchase.  As I did I “saw” the boxes that my daughter has from the store – she has bought many little crystal trinkets  from there, and I felt he wanted us to return home first, to look in all the Swarovski boxes she had.  I asked the pendant to be held for 24 hours so we could go home and do as God had prompted … feeling a bit foolish, but figuring we had nothing to lose in being obedient.

We left the store and I explained all this to my daughter … She had no objections, having seen God return many of her most precious items time and time (see her blog God is Good for Kids for a few stories).

We went to the movies that afternoon, after which we returned home and I encouraged her to go and do the search. She went to her bedroom and took out all her Swarovski boxes and bags. I gave her some time to complete the task and then looked in to see how she had got on – no necklace.

I still felt the urge to check, the job was not finished … it was such a strong feeling by this stage that I sat on the bed with her and systematically went through each and every box, large and small, emptying each of its foam contents to check completely.

I then checked each box’s label, to see if we had found the pendant’s box … and I noted that it was not in the pile … this was strange since she is such an organised little poppet and keeps all of the boxes and warranties in one place.

I looked and said “we need to find the pendant’s box to be sure.”

She looked at me and said that she had found everything.

I insisted we look for the box feeling certain I had to check everywhere before giving in to defeat … each and every little blue box I could find needed to be opened and checked …

I opened the cupboard door and put my hand behind a wooden box on a shelf and found one more box behind some bits and pieces.

I showed her and quickly checked the label – it was the pendant’s box. 

Now I must admit … I have experienced lost items being found (see the missing plate story which saved us $400) but I still had my doubts …

I opened the box, and lifted the velvet flap … barely daring to believe, and, as I lifted the insert, sure enough there, shining in the sunlight drifting through the window was a little pink heart and butterfly, perfectly placed into the box like new … the chain laced through the foam insert perfectly, as if it were freshly bought and carefully placed …

She gasped and laughed and said “I can hardly believe it” … we thanked Jesus and over and over she said “that is amazing, that is so amazing … it was lost and now it is found…” (Yes …  from the mouths of babes!).

This is not an isolated story – similar stories are happening right across our church … and it is no coincidence that these “finds” are occurring …

In this instance, we had lost God’s heart and His gift of freedom … but with a search, with seeking … it was found …

Jesus says … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10 NKJV).

What is precious was lost, but now is found … returned to its rightful owner, returned to its rightful place … see Luke 15

I believe this is just one of the many such stories that are indicating to us that it is time for:

What was lost being found …

The Lord says: I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. (Isaiah 45:3 NIV)

What was lost is now found … what was lost will be found …

It’s time to hear the heartbeat of God … the heartbeat of freedom …

The lost will be found … the harvest is plentiful …

It is time for those precious and lost to be found for it is time for the harvest..

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37 NIV)

He is calling us to a search … he wants to give us His treasures, people hidden in darkness … He is calling them home to Himself, home to His heart of love … home to their freedom for… what is lost will be found because …

God is Good!

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