How To Be Rich in Faith.
Part 1 chapters 1-10
Copyright © 2014 Author Tony Egar
All rights reserved.
I have just come across your book Tony,
and found it an inspirational read.
You write clearly, and your message is easily understood.
May God bless you and your wife.
Sue from the U.K
I found your story when I was searching for something to inspire me.
It has inspired me to get back into His Word,
and reminded me not to be impatient with God.
I have never doubted there is a living God,
but sometimes, I have doubted that he really has time for me.
Your story really has blessed me and given me the inspiration I so needed.
Lucy. New Zealand
Once I started to read your story I could not stop,
it so inspired me.
It makes me want to read the Bible more.
Thank you for your beautiful prayer.
How To Be Rich in Faith.
by Tony Egar
Dedicated to my loving wife Lorna.
The first thing I noticed; I was waking up happy rather than sad. My experiment had been going for a month.
At the beginning of February 2011, I decided I wanted to change; to be different in three years’ time. I wanted to change my life.
Fifty five years old and still failing in the area of believing – that was true motivation. All around me people were changing their circumstances by changing themselves and they were doing this by committing themselves to something they believed in.
They would start a university course, get the proper books, attend the lectures, do tutorials, pass exams, receive guidance and somewhere along that journey they would be transformed into a teacher, dentist, or accountant.
And the whole basis for their transformation was immersing themselves in a university course that would take at least three years to complete.
They could turn their believing switch on and keep it on long enough for a significant change to manifest.
Their cocoon was university; their butterfly experience was their degree.
All I’ve ever wanted to be in life is a successful Christian and I have spent thirty years hearing and reading the Bible but I have not been transformed. I’m still basically the person I was ten or twenty years ago. Sure, I have slowly changed over the years but so have my non-Christian friends. I’ve grown older and wiser but I haven’t been transformed.
So, I’ve decided to devote myself to prayer and the Word [Bible] for three years and keep a journal of my journey.
The New Testament contains 27 books.
I am going to read these books out loud every week.
That is my goal. I know it will not be easy and some weeks will be harder than others.
I am going to the University of Believing.
I am immersing myself in prayer and the Word of God and keeping a record of the results.
Here’s the good news, my lovely wife Lorna is joining me on my experiment. We are going on a journey. It will be an interesting three years.
Would you like to know what happened to Lorna?
Her non-Christian neighbour rang and asked if Lorna would take her to church this Sunday, which she did. This is a very unusual event for us. Is it a sign of things to come?
We will let you know. See you at the end of March.
I have been a Christian for thirty-two years and very rarely have I seen anyone become a Christian through my influence or my wife Lorna’s influence.
But last Sunday we were privileged to see our neighbour put up her hand when the pastor gave the congregation an opportunity to dedicate their lives to Christ.
Lorna asked her why she wanted to go to church? Why the change? Our neighbour said something happened to her after having a coffee with Lorna. She went away with faith and hope coming into her heart and she also started praying.
It has been two months since we started reading the New Testament.
Is this a result of putting the words of Jesus into our hearts and lives or is it just a coincidence?
Time will tell.
We have told our newly married daughter what we are doing; she has seen us do similar things before.
I think she is mildly amused. When I mentioned that we are doing our readings out loud, she was happy to inform me that most people read the Bible silently and not out loud as we were doing.
I have always read the Bible out loud. It is something that I started thirty two years ago and I find it hard to do it any differently now.
One of my first experiences with reading the Bible happened about three weeks after I became a Christian at twenty three years old. Someone had bought me a Bible and told me to read it because this would strengthen me as a Christian. I was sitting in my flat in Melbourne reading the Bible and drinking a beer.
I had always been a drinker and no-one had told me I couldn’t drink because I was a Christian. So there I was drinking my beer and reading the Bible, when slowly I began to notice that I was getting more enjoyment out of the Bible than I was out of the can of beer.
Something happened to me that day because I put the beer down and just kept reading.
When I turned fifty years old I had a mid-life crisis and bought a kayak. I designed a sail for it and every Sunday morning I would get up at 4:30am and go out on Moreton Bay to enjoy God’s creation. It was peaceful. The sun came up and I put a fishing line over the side and quietly sailed or paddled my way up and down the bay area.
After about a year of this, I was out there one morning with nice weather and great scenery, no one else was around. Suddenly, something just left me. The enjoyment was gone and also the desire.
I thought this was very strange until I realised this was God telling me to get out of His creation and into His Church.
I hadn’t been going to church at all. I ignored this for about six more Sundays and then gave in and went back to church. This happened about five years ago and as time went by I decided to only go every second week.
I never went kayaking again, the desire never returned.
This week I got convicted again and have started to go every week not every second week.
My wrestle with church attendance began as a youngster. I was raised as a Catholic and my family always attended church. I was bored and when my parents gave me a choice, I took the opportunity – freedom at last.
I played football as a teenager and my team drove up to Crystal Brook, a small town north of Adelaide for a weekend competition. On the drive back to Adelaide, my friend’s father offered to give me a lift. He had been drinking all day and veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit a semi-trailer. I was asleep and next thing I know the side of the car had been smashed in. We nearly died that night.
A sense of foreboding came over me; I felt that if I had died that night I would have gone to hell. This was a very real experience and affected me so much that I promised God I would go to church every Sunday, but it didn’t last.
About eight years later at the ripe old age of twenty three years I really did dedicate my life to God and was immediately changed. I went to church regularly for the next twenty seven years. But I guess I just got burnt out and took a break for a while.
I have witnessed to a lot of people over the years but because they never seem to get saved, I have slowly given up telling people about Jesus and my Christian experience.
I have always had a heart for people to get saved. I was changed and helped when I asked Jesus to take over my life, so I think it is a good idea for others to do the same and there is eternity to think about. Heaven and hell are real to me and it makes me shudder.
Last year I was working at one of my customer’s homes, who is a very wealthy man. He’s so rich that he had a French artist painting gold leaf on the ceilings and cornices of his house.
One day I was working in the same room as the French artist and we began to talk about art and great artists.
I told him that I considered Jesus a great artist because every time he healed a person, I considered that a work of art. He said he hadn’t thought about it in that way.
Once a year I work at the rich man’s house for two days at a time.
The last time I was there it was a terrible atmosphere. He had been diagnosed with cancer and his children were fighting with him over their inheritance. Everyone was shouting and swearing. It was stirring me up.
On my second morning there everyone suddenly disappeared, except for myself and the rich man.
Next minute he calls me up to the kitchen to talk.
He was feeling sick and lonely. We both sat down around the kitchen table while he had a cigarette.
I turned to him and said that I should pray for him for some peace; this was brave of me because I had offered to pray for him before and he had angrily refused.
This time he said okay.
I warned him that sometimes when I pray, I shout.
So I shouted at the top of my voice a prayer for peace. After I finished, I slumped into my chair, we were both exhausted. In the silence that followed he turned to me and said, “It’s good to have faith!”
I am sure a transaction happened that day even though I have not seen him again.
A few weeks after that incident, my hairdresser was talking to me about Steve Irwin’s death.
He asked me what I believe happens after we die.
I told him that there is life after death.
He then starts to tell me a story about his upbringing in Cyprus. He said that if someone had something against you, they would get some of your hair and go into the forest to find a tree that was dying. They would nail your hair to the tree and they believed that when the tree died you would die. He used the term ‘nailed to the tree.’ I said I knew someone who was nailed to a tree.
This was exciting news for him.
“Who was that?” he said.
“Jesus was nailed to a tree,” I said.
“He died so we wouldn’t have to die for our sins.”
It was not the answer he was expecting to hear.
I have felt God again giving me a nudge about witnessing. This is okay. I can rise up and start believing again. That is the easy part; I also felt a clear impression that I should start praying for the sick.
In the last two weeks I have prayed for two of my customers, one had an ulcer from an operation and the other customer had pain from arthritis.
I told them to ring me up if something happened.
When the lady with arthritic pain rang back, I was really excited, until she told me she wasn’t very happy with my work. It’s not easy praying for the sick!
But it is easy for my lovely wife Lorna.
Just a few days after I wrote the previous words, Lorna was at a ladies meeting on Tuesday morning. A woman came up to Lorna and asked her for prayer. A week later the lady came bounding up to Lorna and exclaimed that all her pain had gone. She said she never thought the Lord would do that for her! She broke down in tears; she was overwhelmed by the love and kindness of God.
In April 1983 my wife Lorna and I arrived in the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory. We had been married for 6 weeks. I had become a sales agent for a large insurance company.
I was sent to Katherine to sell life insurance to the 3,000 lucky residents of that very small isolated community. The job was really tough and I wasn’t doing that well.
About 6 months later my boss and I went down to Adelaide to a life insurance conference, one of the speakers at the conference was an American from Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He got us motivated with his larger than life stories. He said he didn’t worry about knocking on people’s doors.
He used to arrive to sign up his clients in a helicopter.
I went back to Katherine highly motivated, I believed. Next month I topped the sales results.
However, it didn’t last. So, my boss suggested we get the tapes from the conference and listen to them to get our motivation and believing going again.
We organised a special night to do this and after about half an hour, I heard him snoring!
I have always been fascinated by the effect believing has on our lives. After years of reading books, hearing speakers and going to conferences I have always found that the effect was temporary.
My personal belief is that we have a believing switch somewhere within us and if we can get it turned on everything works, but when it is turned off nothing works.
I know this is a generalization and there are always exceptions.
My great hope is that as I read God’s word and pray, my ability to believe will be strengthened.
I also hope to remove doubt in all its forms.
Doubt is death and believing is life.
We have just been smashed! It’s nearly five months since Lorna and I started our journey. Our routine fell over and our personal circumstances took a turn for the worse. Nothing serious, but enough to blow us off course. A financial, emotional and relational storm has just belted us. That’s life!
It happens to everyone and I bet it happens to everyone who sets out on any sort of self-improvement course.
We left Katherine in 1984 and went to live in Adelaide.
I worked as a sales representative selling commercial chemicals. It was a good job but the pay wasn’t great.
I looked around for another job in the same industry and was rewarded for my efforts. My new job was high paying with a brand new company car. My wife thought I was clever; she was going to find out just how clever I was. We were still short of money every week.
The funny thing was we were short of the same amount of money that we tithed to our local church. I thought the Lord wouldn’t mind if I stopped tithing so we could balance our budget.
It was the day before Christmas, I had been in my new job for three months, and my sales weren’t as high as we had planned.
Thank goodness my employment agreement was for a six month trial so I had another three months to turn things around.
Just an hour before I was to leave the office for my Christmas holidays in my brand new company car, my boss said he would like to chat.
“Tony, you are fired, please hand over the keys to the car,” he said.
I couldn’t believe it; my contract had three months to go before they could legally do that.
Eventually I took them to the Industrial Relations Court and they were charged with unfair dismissal. My court case was successful for one reason. It was written in my contract that I had a six month trial period. They couldn’t fire me after three months. The boss of the company had to write me a cheque for damages.
I learnt two lessons; one is to always tithe, the second lesson was about written agreements, these matter in court and they matter in life.
The biggest change that has happened to me as I read the Bible is the understanding that in amongst all the stories, and all the miracles, and all the personalities, there is one outstanding factor.
The central issue about the words I am reading is that the Bible contains a legal document called the New Agreement.
Luke 22: 20
At the last supper Jesus took the cup, saying “this cup is the new agreement in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Suddenly I was seeing legal agreements wherever I looked. Agreements to buy a house, marriage agreements, insurance agreements – they were everywhere.
This was a very topical subject because we had just been through a large flood in Brisbane and the most important document people had was their insurance policy.
In Romans 7, Paul is uncertain, blown about, and indecisive; he wants to be released from his situation and circumstances.
People caught in the Brisbane floods whose insurance policy was unclear about whether they were covered for flood had the same stress.
Romans 8 says; the law of the spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death.
There were two groups in the Brisbane floods, one with insurance policies in which they were completely covered and those with policies that didn’t cover them at all. One group was going to have their house fully restored as new. The second group with faulty policies would only get their houses rebuilt by their own effort and their own funds.
The group with good flood policies had access to the wealth and resources of their insurance companies.
The faulty policies brought bad news and were dead words to those who read and heard and understood what they meant.
The message was that you were on your own, your house is destroyed, and it is not going to be rebuilt or renewed or restored by the insurance companies.
When you drive through the suburbs where the floods hit you can tell who had a good policy and who didn’t.
Where you find the good insurance policies, you find activity and hope and houses being rebuilt. You see tradesmen, builders, painters; you see lots of people and it looks like a building revival.
But drive down the street where there are property owners with faulty insurance policies, you will find inactivity, despair, anger, frustration, no builders and no progress. It looks depressing and it is.
Romans 8 tells us, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead lives in you and will give life to your mortal body.
The reason for this is because you have a policy document with God himself that we call the New Agreement.
The price has been paid which is the blood of Jesus; the agreement was initiated at the last supper and then carried out on the cross before the courts of heaven. This makes it a heavenly legal document written down for us in the Bible.
The Holy Spirit raised, rebuilt and restored Jesus and gave Him a brand new glorified body. If the Holy Spirit can do that for Jesus, can’t He also do a similar thing for us?
And if it is written that He will give life to our mortal body doesn’t that mean that as a Christians, as sons and daughters of the living God, we have a policy document that covers more than flood; doesn’t it cover us for every sickness and disease that tries to ravage our house, our body, the temple of the Holy Spirit?
We have a policy that brings good news; it has words that give us life, we have the same builder that rebuilt Jesus after he was ravaged by the flood of judgment that washed across him on the cross and left him dead in a tomb. Raising Jesus from the dead was accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
Well if He lives in us, won’t He repair, restore and rebuild us physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually?
Paul’s complaint in Romans 7 is that the agreement Moses initiated so many years before was not helping but hindering him.
It was designed to help him live a better life but instead it was adding to his failings.
It wasn’t bringing life it was bringing death.
People in Brisbane found that their insurance policies were intended to help them but in the end they were not designed to help in their particular set of circumstances.
They were protected from fire, storm, theft and accidents but not flooding caused by a rising river.
A few simple words changed people’s lives and either lifted them up or threw them down.
Some will financially never recover.
The lucky ones get a second chance in life.
We are just coming out of the storm.
Being in prayer and the word of God really is changing us, I don’t know whether people around us would notice, but Lorna and I do notice a change.
We believe in a different way now, we are standing up in authority in prayer and really taking a stand against all opposition in the spirit realm.
We have been praying for our children and expecting new opportunities to open up for them.
In London, the News of the World newspaper has just been shut down because of the phone hacking scandal. How the tables have turned for this newspaper.
Over the years it has exposed people in all walks of life. It has accused many people and probably destroyed many lives and reputations.
It reminds me of the scripture in Revelation 12:10.
“For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down.”
One of the great struggles we have as Christians is dealing with accusing thoughts.
In John 8:1-11, Jesus had to deal with a situation which called for the death of a woman caught in adultery. Jesus could not defend or deny her actions.
He knew the Law of Moses demanded her punishment and he had a crowd of men demanding action.
His answer was to raise the standard for the accusers so high that all of them were disqualified.
“If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
No-one was qualified except Jesus.
And he said “Neither do I condemn you.”
Those men represented the Law.
Those men were in charge to lead this woman to Jesus. When they had done this; their job was finished. Jesus took over from them and refused to condemn her.
We can reject all accusation from the devil, from people, and from ourselves because none of us qualifies.
When your thoughts or people’s words or circumstances organised by the enemy accuse you, don’t worry about defending yourself, just use the strategy that Jesus did.
Say “Who is without sin can cast the first stone.”
In the book of Ezra 1:1, God moved the heart of Cyrus King of Persia to release the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.
In Ezra 4:4-6, we see that the Jews have started to build, but their opponents have hired counsellors to work against them. At the beginning of the reign of a new king of Persia these opponents lodged an accusation against the Jews.
In Ezra 4:11-16 they accused the Jews of being a rebellious and wicked city. All these things were true and so the king of Persia wrote back and stopped the Jews from building the temple.
Accusation has the power to stop you doing what you should be doing.
So, for many years the Jews were delayed until the Lord raised up two prophets in Ezra 5:1-2. These prophets encouraged the people to get back to work and they started to build the temple.
This time when they were opposed, they refused to stop. Once again, their enemies sent a report back to the King of Persia.
But this time things were different, not only was there a new king in Persia, there was also a different search made. [Ezra 5:17]
Instead of focusing on their history, bad behaviour and mistakes of the past, this time they searched the royal archives of Babylon to see if King Cyrus the original King did in fact, issue a decree to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem.
In Ezra 6:1-5 they did find the original decree that did officially authorise the building of the temple.
Our enemies will accuse us all day long to try and delay God’s work of restoration that is going on in our lives but we are not subject to our past history, we are subject to God’s gifts and His calling.
Romans 11:29 For God’s gifts and His call are unchangeable.
It’s funny that I am writing about God’s gifts and his calling because I have been out of ministry for over 15 years. Will God restore me to ministry of some sort? I would be happy to continue on as I am.
The story in Ezra can be summed up like this.
It is a story of two reports, a bad report and a good report.
This reminds us of the problem Moses had when he sent spies into the land and they brought back a bad report in Numbers 13:32.
Meanwhile Joshua and Caleb brought a good report.
Where there is a good report, there is often a bad report. It is incredibly important to ignore the bad report.
In Mark 5: 35-43 Jesus is going with Jairus to heal his daughter.
As they were on the way some men came and told Jairus that his daughter had died. Jesus ignored what they said and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
At this point Jairus had a good report and a bad report and had to choose which one to believe and which one to ignore. Jairus made the right choice and believed the good report and his daughter was raised from the dead.
It’s been seven months since I started this experiment and now, I have kicked up to a new level.
I don’t know why I have increased my effort, it is one of the changes that has happened since I started my course. My church attendance has increased from every fortnight to every week. I have started again giving offerings on a regular basis.
My business has increased. My relationships inside the family were always very good. My relationships outside my own family have been tested and shaken; I think there is more sincerity and truth.
I would like to give you an overview of my church life.
I got saved when I was 23 years old in Melbourne and went to a church called Life Ministry Centre. I stayed there for about three years in which time I spent two years full-time in their bible college.
I met my wife Lorna at that college. We got married and left Melbourne for a small town called Katherine in the Northern Territory.
In Katherine we went to the Anglican Church for 12 months, after this we returned to my home town Adelaide and joined the Assemblies of God Church in the suburb of O’Halloran Hill.
We stayed at this church for about ten years, we served as home group leaders, elders and as pastors, none of these positions were full-time.
Then the local church sent us out to plant a church in Mildura, Victoria. We stayed in Mildura for about three years, but the church plant did not work and we left for Brisbane in Queensland. My family and I have spent most of the last fifteen years at a church called Northside Christian Family Church, which is an Assemblies of God Church.
The Assemblies of God have since changed their name to Australian Christian Churches and the church itself has changed its name to Nexus Church.
These fifteen years at Nexus Church have been very good for my family. My daughter Jessica met and married her husband there, my wife Lorna has found great expression in the ladies ministry, in worship and also in the School of the Supernatural, a course on signs and wonders and praying for the sick.
My son has found expression through the church worship as a drummer and now as a guitarist. And what a contrast, I have done absolutely nothing for fifteen years and have not been moved or motivated internally or externally, by myself or by God.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church when it was announced that they were not going to have an early morning service through summer. So, when I got home that morning, I looked up the service times of the churches in our area and found a church that had an 8am Sunday service. I asked my wife if she would mind if I visited a different church next Sunday and she said that was fine!
For the last five weeks I have been going to a church called C3 church in Bridgeman Downs.
The strangest thing has happened, for the first time in fifteen years, I have felt God moving on me as I have been sitting in the church service.
Don’t get me wrong, I have felt God in my life, but not recently in my church life and now after fifteen years of lying dormant I am feeling God move on me as I sit in church.
My wife finds it interesting; some of my friends are slightly alarmed that I am going to a different church than my family. I just tell them that I am visiting and where my family is, my home church is. I have also told the people I have met at this church what my situation is; and so far, everyone has found this to be acceptable.
A few days ago, I was reading the book of Corinthians and this scripture sure had life on it.
2 Corinthians 4:13
“I believed therefore I have spoken.
With the same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.”
I really felt moved to speak out in authority in my prayer time. I started commanding mountains to move, such as the mountain of debt, the mountain of sickness etc. I also started commanding oppression to go, the powers of darkness to flee.
On top of that I began to declare blessing over my family. I became vocally active instead of being passive. I took up my authority in Jesus name.
I had become pretty relaxed over the years, and in fact I basically stopped believing in this activity of speaking to situations and commanding them to move.
Suddenly I woke up because the scripture says, “We also believe and therefore speak!”
If we believe, we speak, if we don’t believe we don’t speak.
Years ago, in the Assemblies of God church at O’Halloran Hill in Adelaide, I ran the new Christians class.
We were an interesting group. One person was an old soldier from the Malaysian insurgency, he had married a Malaysian woman and was living near our church.
I used to pick him up and take him to the new Christians class. I didn’t know whether he was saved. One of the lessons was based on Romans 10:9-10.
“That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I got everyone to pray together out loud.
“Jesus, I believe you are Lord and that you were raised from the dead.”
On the way home I was talking to this old soldier about the class.
He said “Tony when I prayed that prayer out loud something happened in my heart, I could feel God.”
This had never happened to him before and he had been unsure about his Christianity, but he believed and he spoke and something good happened.
When we got the opportunity to plant a new church in Mildura, we had to get ready quickly.
One problem I had was selling my business, I tried to sell it through a broker and that didn’t work.
Two business men thought about buying it but changed their minds. I advertised through the paper and had someone get really interested, but nothing happened.
After all this effort and with time running out, suddenly I got this scripture.
2 Kings 3:17 “You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water.”
What this said to me was “You can’t see a buyer but it will be sold.” I think a gift of faith dropped into my heart. I had a confidence that was not supported by facts.
Seven days before we were to leave Adelaide, I was doing some work in an office building and started a conversation with a man I had never met before.
I told him my story and he said he might be interested in buying part of the business. On Monday he spoke to his bank manager and came to my house to look at the books. On Tuesday he came back and wanted more information.
On Wednesday the bank manager suggested he buy the whole business. On Thursday we agreed on a price! At 5pm Friday afternoon he rang and said it was a deal. On Saturday morning we left for Mildura. Amen.
While we were in Mildura, one of the ministers in Adelaide said he would like to come for a weekend and preach a series of meetings.
I was a bit embarrassed because the numbers were down and it wasn’t easy to get everyone motivated, including me. I was thinking to myself, “When he comes what will he find?”
Leading up to this important weekend I was reading the book of Luke chapter 18:8 and this verse jumped out of the page.
“However, when the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?”
I applied this verse to my situation and asked, when the minister comes up from Adelaide, will he find faith?
Bang, another gift of faith dropped into my heart.
I told my wife Lorna, it doesn’t matter how many people we have. What matters is that we have faith! And we did have the faith that came through that verse.
We had a great weekend, the numbers were up and the power of God manifested. The minister enjoyed himself and loved the atmosphere of faith. One of his highlights was the Sunday night meeting.
A Salvation Army man came to the meeting in his uniform and when he was prayed for, he had a real encounter with the power of God.
These are moments of faith and when they happen it is great.
Having a lifestyle interspersed with moments of faith is wonderful. I know what it is like to have moments of faith. I need to experience what it would be like to be changed into a man of faith.
We have just come back from a week’s holiday at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. The month of November has been quite productive.
A few weeks ago, our neighbour Sue was standing next to Lorna at the Sunday evening service. Suddenly the pain in her jaw disappeared. Sue had been having a problem with her jaw and now the pain was gone.
Lorna was recently shopping at the local supermarket when she saw one of the staff members limping, she asked if she could pray for her and the lady said yes. So, Lorna laid hands on her ankle and all the pain left. What a thrill!
Yesterday Lorna was at another shopping centre. She noticed a young lady sitting on a chair with a pair of crutches and a leg brace.
Lorna introduced herself and asked if she could pray for the young lady. When Lorna laid her hands on the young lady’s ankle, all the pain disappeared.
The young lady was amazed. She was so relieved to not be in pain.
These experiences are fairly new for Lorna and myself. Over the last thirty years most of our prayers for healing have not been a success.
Recently Lorna was suffering from a virus. I had been praying for her with no relief, this had been going on for a few days.
On the third day I was reading Luke 7:6-10. I found a lot of life on verse 8.
“For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one to “go” and he goes and that one to “come” and he comes. I say to my servant, “do this,” and he does it.”
After reading this I said to Lorna, “If I asked you to make me a cup of tea would you do it?”
She said “yes”.
So I said, “ I am asking you to be healed of this virus.”
As soon as I said these words she was healed, the virus left! Pretty amazing!
Years ago when I was a young pastor in Adelaide, I was asked by the church leaders to start up a healing team so we could pray for the sick at the church meetings and also for sick people that we knew outside the church.
A lot of the people we prayed for died. Most of them had cancer and this was beyond our experience and faith. Lorna and I have always had a heart for the sick.
We would love to see a lot of healings. This is a common attitude for most Christians, so we are not alone.
I wonder if the healings we have seen in the last few weeks are the beginning of something new! Mark 4: 28 [NKJ] says, “First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.”
Another theme that is occurring in the month of November is the theme of sowing and reaping. Luke 8:11 says, “The seed is the word of God.”
I have heard a lot about this theme in sermons and books since I have been a Christian.
Years ago, a Christian magazine had a story about a man who had been cured of cancer by reading out loud a list of healing scriptures. I thought this was a great story. The list of scriptures was printed in the magazine.
I got these scriptures and spoke them out loud for a long time, but nothing happened. One of the lessons I learnt was, we can’t cause a miracle of healing to happen by using a formula.
Obviously God had told that man to read those scriptures, and he was healed because the instruction came from heaven.
The two sons of Abraham have a similar story. Ishmael was born because of a man’s idea and Isaac was born because the idea came from heaven.
Matthew 4:4 says, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
There is nothing better than to get a fresh word of faith from heaven. We may be surrounded by a thousand good ideas. And then light and insight breaks through from heaven.
Jesus kept on saying “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Does this mean that a word from God is never far away?
As I continue to read the Bible I am reading with a different attitude. I am reading with expectation in my heart.
In 1 Samuel chapter 3, the boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
This passage of scripture tells the story of a young boy who had not yet discerned the voice of heaven.
The older man who was his guardian had to teach him to expect to hear from God. It was a period of time when the word of the Lord was not heard very often.
But that was about to change.
Samuel became a great prophet and was known as a person who heard from God. As I read the New Testament it can be mechanical and repetitive.
So, I have to keep remembering that it is a living word.
Just as every day is the same but every sunset is different. I am being trained to keep my heart open towards heaven as I read the Bible. I have to repent and remember that the kingdom of heaven is near.
The two ladies Lorna prayed for had been going about their daily lives and along comes Lorna with a touch of heaven on her life. She laid her hands on these women and the pain left them. This is a great illustration of how near heaven can be.
To continue reading.