Changing a Life through Miracles:
How many of you have ever heard of Phil Halverson?
Phil Halverson[i]was a man used of God greatly in the ministry of intercession. At one point in his ministry he found himself in Louisiana at a Vickie Jamison Peterson meeting. At the start of the service, Vickie asked Phil to pray. He starts praying – mentions the name of the city – and then prays with tongues – then he does it again – mentions the name of the city and prays with tongues – mentions the name of the city and prays with tongues – this repeats somewhere between 8 and 10 times. After the service was over, a rather short but large woman came angrily up the aisle with the pastor and assistant pastor in tow. She points to Phil who was helping with the sound system and says – “he did it” – Phil said ‘what did I do?” She said “tell me what is happening to me” – Phil said, ‘Well what is happening to you?” She said, you spoke the name of the city and then I heard a language in one ear and I heard perfect English in the other ear saying ‘this city needs to repent’. Phil didn’t know what to say other than “I never saw God do it that way”. You normally hear everything with both ears – she heard one language in one ear and the other language in the other ear!!! .
The woman stormed out of the church. Turns out the woman was a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher (my counterpart) who had spoken against miracles and spoken against this Pastor and this church – saying ‘do not go that church – it is of the devil’. The woman called two days later and said, “I was a smoker and I smoked 2 packs a day and I am scared to smoke – will you please tell me what’s happened to me?”
I will tell you what happened to her – she got filled with the Holy Ghost – and God turned that cigarette smoking women miracle denier into a flaming tongue talking evangelist. How did God do it? – He did it with miracles.
Acts 9:1–6 (ESV)
1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.
4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
· Religious fanatics are the worst kind – it seems that they are the hardest to reach.
o They are already devoted – they are more devoted than some of us
o They already pray – they pray more than some of us!
o And that is what Paul was – a raving lunatic for the Old Testament order of things.
o How did God take a raving religious fanatic, someone with blood of innocent Christians on his hands, and turn him into one of the most powerful anointed apostles that ever lived?
§ How did God do it?
· He did it with miracles!
· If God did it for anyone, He can do it yet again.
· He can do it for that wayward child that you think is such a tough. It is no tough case for Him.
· Never give up anyone because miracles happen every day!
· The God of miracles yet sits on the Throne.
· We all can attest to a God of the miraculous – we believe in miracles but the question remains, “Is there anything we can do to help it along?”
o The first thing is to recognize that…
Miracles Are In Your DNA
· Jesus entire life was miraculous – every aspect of it – from his birth to his resurrection and ascension.
· Jesus testified:
John 14:10 (ESV)
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
· And you are His seed – You are his offspring – you are a chip off the old block – you are your Father’s child.
· You are the offspring of the miracle worker
· Your life can be, should be, and ought to be, a continual series of miraculous happenings.
· It is part of who you are. It is in your DNA.
· Here is another Bill Johnson quote:
o “It is unnatural for a Christian to not have an appetite for the impossible”.[ii]
o Later on in the book he adds. “It is completely abnormal (to not have an appetite for the impossible); it is a deformity that comes through disappointment and bad teaching.”
- Mark it down, the desire to see God do great and marvelous things which you see with your eyes is set deep in the heart of man.
- Do ever dream about it?
- There are some of you that are even dreaming of it.
- You dream of the day that you lay hands on a person in a wheel chair and watch God pop them right out of it.
- You may have a dream of laying hands on blind eyes and watching them open. Don’t give up your dream.
- I can see this little girl – walking in on crutches – with braces on her legs – I know Jesus is going to minister to that little girl and give her a second chance at life.
- I can see her and I can tell you it is not weird or spooky – it’s normal! It’s in your DNA.
- Do not let go of your dreams.
- The question we are asking, is there anything we can do to help it along.
- And now we get over into the area of mind renewal.
- And we are going to look at it this way… understanding the difference between…
Illumination and Information
Ephesians 1:15–20 (ESV)
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,
16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
- The effect of revelation – the effect of the Spirit of wisdom is to produce a heart that is enlightened.
- How are you going to know the greatness of His power?
- When your heart has been enlightened.
- Because this prayer exists, the way it exists, in the place it exists – take note of the following:
- Paul prayed it for the saints.
- If it was good enough for Paul and the saints at Ephesus, it is good enough for you.
- You need this prayer
- You need to pray it for others and you need to pray it for yourself.
- You should not allow any criticism to come out of your mouth for another believer who does not see Bible truth as you do unless you have prayed this prayer for them!
- Paul prayed it for the saints AFTER the giving out one of the greatest sentences ever in the history of spiritual things.
- What are you saying?
- Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have enlightened AFTER, he gave us information about our redemption.
- Eph. 1:3-14, is one long sentence in the Greek of 202 words– your English Bibles break it up – but in the Greek it is one sentence.
- Listen to yourself read it – it’s L-O-N-G
Ephesians 1:3–14 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
- That is a lot of words in one sentence.
- That is a lot of information in one sentence!
- What kind of information does it contain?
- blessed with all spiritual blessings
- chosen before the foundation of the world
- holy and blameless
- adopted as sons (the idea of adoption in the 1st century is not the same as in the 21st century America)
- blessed in the beloved
- redemption through His blood
- the forgiveness of sins
- making known to us the mystery of His will as part of great plan to unite everything in Jesus
- obtained an inheritance
- sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
- Isn’t this a bunch of stuff?
- So, do you get what is happening here?
- Here you have a list of all of this ‘stuff’ that God gave us and right after that you have Paul praying that the church would get a revelation of the ‘stuff’.
- So then, ‘information’ is not enough.
- It is not enough for you to read God’s Word with ‘your ability to read and understand words’ derived from your days in 2nd grade.
· Information and revelation are two different things. Information and illuminate are not the same.
· Do not confuse the two. Bible seminaries are turning out students left and right with information but no revelation.
o These students are in the Word.
o They are breaking down the Word. (better than me – better than you)
o Yet in some cases, they are coming up with wrong conclusions because of the lack of illumination.
John 16:13 (ESV)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
- So apparently, even though I have a Bible sitting right here that I can read! I need guidance.
- Why do you need a guide if you have the ability to read?
- But how many of us just depend on our ability to read.
- Then, we complicate the matter further by reading commentaries that other men wrote who also were depending on their ability to read and analyze instead of the Holy Spirits ability to guide them.
- So the fact that this Ephesians prayer exists (especially in its setting) should strongly indicate that you need help from the Helper.
- The difference between information and illumination is the action of the Holy Spirit.
- He takes these words in the Bible and makes them real to your heart!
- Here is the psalmist David giving us a perfect picture of this whole concept. This is this whole matter in one verse.
Psalm 119:130 (KJV 1900)
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.
Psalm 119:130 (ESV)
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
- DEFINITION: ‘entrance’ – the Hebrew defined as entrance – means doorway or unfolding – that is you walk through an entrance and a new view unfolds.
- So you have the Word and you have the entrance of it. You have the Word (physical) and you have the unfolding of the Word. It is two different things.
- Now here is the next the question. The entrance or unfolding of the Word gives light – where does the light dawn?
- ANSWER: In your spirit!
- So then one of the differences between illumination and information is location.
- Illumination is in the heart, information is in the cranial cavity!
- Here is a side note: renewing the mind is not information getting put into your head. Renewing the mind is not a mental process it is a spiritual process. Memorizing the Bible is not mind renewal. Mind renewal in your heart – when the light of God dawns on your spirit – you automatically think different!
- Put these two verses in proximity of one another.
Romans 10:17 (ESV)
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Psalm 119:130 (ESV)
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
- What do we have in these two verses?
- Faith comes from hearing
- The unfolding of that Word you heard gives light
- These are all actions that take place in the heart.
- When the light dawns, when you see it, (you had revelation – you know what that is) when you have an ‘ah haw moment’, when the Spirit unfolds or guides you into the Word and revelation dawns on your heart faith is there right at that moment!!!
- Not only those your mind get renewed but faith is also present.
- Faith cometh when the light dawneth on your heart and not when it resideth in your head!
- There is no power in your head!
- With heart man believeth… Rom. 10:17
- When that Word enters your heart, when the Spirit of God unfolds it to you, the light dawns, enlightenment takes place, the eyes of your understanding are open, faith is there and now you are ready to pray.
- Now, hear Jesus on this…
John 15:7 (ESV)
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
- My words abide in you…
- Did you hear what He said?
- In you!…
- It has to enter in you!
- It has to be unfolded in you!
- The light has to be turned on in you!
- Faith has to be there in you
- Ask whatever you wish and it will done for you.
- Now, listen to this very carefully.
- What do you wish for?
- Whatever unfolded in you!!!!
- Now, people have taken this verse and just messed it all up.
- The have translated this as “Okay, I have a Bible and God said I can wish for anything and get it so I wish for 10 million dollars”.
- And they fail and so the Word is no good to them.
- So ask yourself, ‘What do you wish for?’
- In this case, we are meditating on miracles, we are wishing for miracles, we are dreaming about miracles.
- We want miracles.
- We want God to fulfill our dreams.
- We want God to show up big and fulfill our expectations.
- Mark it down
- Whatever you meditate on long enough eventually dawns on your spirit and when it does faith is there and you get what has unfolded in you.