This past week was a whirlwind. Jeremiah and I set off for England last Monday for his sister, Tiffany’s wedding that was on Saturday. God had already laid out the schedule of what the week would look like prior to us going. We knew that we would be traveling to England, and then on the following Tuesday, I would head home alone while Jeremiah would journey on to Spain to join his father in exploratory missions there and then come home at the start of August. I must say that it is strange not having him by my side, being this is the first time we have been apart since we got married almost 1 year ago…or shall I say since our relationship began. Seeing as we started our courtship the day he left for missions in England and I did not see him for almost 3 months, and afterward was able to be with him some portion of time every day for 10 months until we married. Almost 2 years of being with my Husband every day if not all day. I suppose some would say I’m a little spoiled. However, I look at it as a blessing of the Lord.
Our time in England was full of joy, emotions, excitement, ministry and God appointments. We were able to share with and encourage many different people on the Harpenden YWAM base of the adventures God took us on this past year, as well as praying for a new friend, James. Despite wedding preparations and other things that were taking place, God made it refreshing. The wedding of Tiffany and Bryson, our new brother, was absolutely beautiful and so full of Holy Spirit, even from the rehearsals.
We were blessed to have our good friend, Carl, from Newcastle drive down and join us at the wedding and then take us up to Newcastle to see old friends. On the way to Newcastle, we stopped by Gateway Christian Centre in Birmingham to see our 17 year old close friend, Stephen, who was missioning there. Pastor Jon Colyer had come twice in the past to the church we attended back home and brought a revival atmosphere to the church. It was great to encourage and pray for Stephen and get to see what God is doing in the church there!
That evening we attended St. Luke’s, the church we had partnered with last time in Newcastle. True to Pastor Robert’s nature, he asked us to come up impromptu to share about our travels since our last time there. I had felt the Lord prompting me to pray for Robert’s ears and He spoke to me that Jesus did not not turn away anyone that came to Him, but healed them all; so with that I was to do an invitation for healing. Jeremiah shared about our travels and then I shared about the healing that took place in India (found in our blogs, Believing Is Seeing!!! and Faith That Brings Healing.) I shared God’s word with Robert and the people, prayed for his ears and gave the invitation. About 10 people came forward for healing and we prayed for them. Each one was receiving their healing and one man, Lenny, said that he felt a healing balm running through his body as I prayed for him for strength in his body as he got older.
In Acts 11:24, Barnabas is referred to as a “good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith.” The Amplified Bible says he was “full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit”. The Message says that he was “enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master.” How confident are you in Holy Spirit? Are you allowing Holy Spirit to lead and guide you fully? Had I not shared what I felt Him speaking and acted in bold faith, the people at St. Luke’s would not have received their healing that night. Let this be an encouragement to you to always speak and act boldly what God is leading you to do, even if it seems crazy. God blesses us for our obedience and He also blesses others through us!!! May we always be known by Father as those who are full of Holy Spirit, bold in faith, and confident in His ways!!!
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!
What a year 2013 was!!! In short it was (Fire by Night and new friends, the Proposal, long months of waiting, Encounter God’s Presence youth camp, confirmation of our calling, marriage, honeymoon in Mexico, beginning of Gibson’s Go Global, flying to NYC on Sept 11, Circuit Riders in Norway, YWAM and Fire Starters in Scotland, Christmas and New Year in Newcastle) not that short. I know for many of us, this was a busy year and we should be able to look back and see how we have changed. If there has been no change between this year and last year, it is seriously time to examine if we are walking in God’s will. I am not talking about a physical location, although in our case it obviously was. I am talking about how you have changed in your relationship with The Lord. I encourage you to review your year with Holy Spirit and see what you find out.
This morning, God has given me an encouragement that I want to pass on to you:
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
I can see as I look back over my life, even in the last year, how much that God has brought me into greater and greater freedom. He has strengthened us and empowered us to walk in this new freedom. Even when we are tempted to fall back into old things, we have the strength to stand fast!!! We must stand in the freedom that Christ has bought with so great a price and not go back to having bent and broken backs under the weight and oppression of sin that the enemy deceives us into thinking is better somehow. Do not be entangled again, but walk in the glorious freedom that has been given to us!!!
What kind of freedom is this? Unrestrained selfish freedom? Of course not!!! We know that is not freedom but only bondage to ourselves. A few verses later, we see the freedom that is called for:
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
This is not a selfish fleshly freedom, but a freedom in Holy Spirit that encourages us to love others in greater and greater ways. We like to explain the freedom of The Lord as we can say, do, watch, listen to whatever we want because we are free in Christ. Through this verse, we see that our freedom is not to be one that satisfies our flesh, but we are spiritually free to love and serve others with our actions. It is such a tragedy in my mind when Christians talk down the standards of other Christians or try to get them to compromise their convictions. There was one instance I know of that everyone was watching a movie with some coarse language. They knew that there was a girl who did not watch or listen to anything with language as much as she could control. Knowing this, the girls apologized to her, but were unwilling to turn off the movie. This was neither loving or serving this girl or the standards Holy Spirit had set up for her. Was this godly freedom? I think not!!! This was the selfish freedom that leads into bondage but no one saw the deception of the enemy.
I am so glad for those who call us to higher standards with their freedom of loving and serving. One quick story, while in YWAM my leader Sage was constantly challenging me in a healthy way. The week before we went to Outreach in Cambodia, we had a team fast. Getting through that was okay, but then he tells me that he is going to do a Daniel fast for the first 40 days of the trip. My thought is “Good luck pal!!!” Then, thinking of all that we wanted God to accomplish and why we were really there, I decided that I would join him. He did not pressure me or even ask me to join him. I was just encouraged to walk with Him in freedom as we loved and served each other. You know I look back now and do not regret one moment of that fast. Yes, it was extremely hard, but I believe that God is worth it!!!
I encourage you as this New Year begins 2014, stand fast in the freedom God has given you and walk in it in such a way that the people around you are affected by the freedom, love, and service you have for them. I pray that those around you who are the closest and those who barely know you will be called to the deeper and greater things of The Lord because of the consecrated life of freedom you are walking in!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!