Ephesians, sort of

Okay, so Oprah didn’t call. You can’t say I didn’t try! I’m still open to discourse.

I don’t think this entry will be entirely about the book of Ephesians, which I just finished. Instead, it will be about the stirring that is happening in my soul, of late.

A week ago, I went to Redding California with a friend. Kerrie has been struggling with a long dark winter of chemotherapy for b-cell lymphoma. We went for prayer. She needs a perfect PET scan, (which was taken last Thursday) or the dreaded treatment may have to start over. She swears that she won’t ever do it again. Given her determination, prayer seemed a much easier solution than beating my friend into treatment submission.

So, off we went.

And that was the beginning of my stirring.

Bethel Church, in Redding, is making a deliberate and concentrated effort to meet the needs of people coming for prayer. They had prayer volunteers after the Friday night service. And again in a healing room on Saturday morning. And again after both Sunday morning services. It wasn’t just one or two for prayer, but hundreds. And hundreds of dedicated, prayerful, prophetic volunteers, interceding for whomever asked. It was amazing.

And guess what? These people don’t pray like I’m used to. They are loud, demonstrative, and quiet and humble, and gentle and bold — all of these strange things, all at the same time. Sometimes they shake. Sometimes they make strange noises. Some tremble. Others make no unusual noise at all. But here is the amazing thing. They seem to move the hand of God. In amazing ways. One example: Kerrie drove into town with a very infected big toe. On Monday morning, the toe was completely healed.

It wasn’t like I was used to. But no one could miss the genuine humility and servanthood with which these brothers and sisters in Christ cared for us. We were deeply touched by their ministry. By the end of this week, we should know more about the results of her scan.

And since that experience, I’m feeling so many things. So many questions:

Why Redding?
Why not Puyallup?
Who does God listen to?
And what about Prophetic ministry?
How do we learn to listen to the voice of God? Can I hear his voice?

So,then two nights ago, I had a fight with my husband. Nothing bloody. Just the usual marital stuff. I was tired. He was stressed. And I’m reading Ephesians.

Ephesians, the book of the impossible.

Be humble.
Be patient with each other.
Make room for one another’s faults.
Throw off you old evil nature.
You must display a new nature, because you are a new person created in Christ Jesus.
Follow God’s example.
Live a life full of love.

Sometimes, I feel like tossing my Bible across the room. You see, I can’t live a Godly life. I can’t do it. I’m impatient, selfish, easy to anger, quick to retort. I haven’t the power on my own to live this kind of life.

But then I went back to the beginning of the book.

God’s secret plan is a plan centered on Christ.
God has given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that he will give us everything he has promised.
I pray that you will UNDERSTAND the INCREDIBLE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER toward us who believe.
He raised us from the dead along with Christ.
Because of Christ and our faith in him we can come fearlessly into God’s presence and be sure of his glad welcome.

And as a result of these, Paul prays:

that God will be more and more at home in our hearts.
that we will know his glorious unlimited resources, and mighty inner strength available through his Holy Spirit.

And this, By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more that we would ever dare to ask or hope.

And that I guess is the secret of Ephesians. I can’t do it. Can’t.

But God in me can.

Just like God in those Redding prayer warriors can.

For some reason, he has chosen to live in those who love him. To accomplish amazing things THROUGH us. It’s more than I can understand. That he would give us the power to change the world. To make a difference.

To BE different.

But that is the plan. And the mystery of it all is stirring something new in me. How about you? Are you feeling a breeze?
Bette

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