#GodsGreatestAssignment #consecration #MiracleMissions #MiracleMissionFelds #Revolution #MiracleAgent #Key #MiracleKey #PeopleKey #People #SpiritKey #RiskKey #Signals #nudge #cue #bump #prompt #alert #GlobalPrayer #LGBTQ #90DaysGlobalMatthew610Prayers #person #heart #Trump #Biden #Buhari #Nigeria #USAElection #Vote #EndSARS #need #credit #miracle #Republicans #Democrates #Obama #Russia #France #UnitedKingdom #Atheist #Persecution #Comfort #Change #Message #BrideofChrist #Money #Dream #Forgiveness #Key
Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Otakada Content Count 2,220,180
90 Days Global Matthew 6:10 prayer and fasting – Day 43 – Shine with Impact where it matters + A Word for the Bride of Christ + God’s Greatest Assignment for You and Me IS? How to Deliver a Miracle – The 3 Types of Miracle Keys – Money, Dream and Forgiveness Keys 12,13 and 14
Friends, I welcome you to today’s message for the body of Christ. Today marks the 43rd day of our global prayer and fasting using Matthew 6:10 as our anchor verse. I broke down within the last week and in the midst of that brokenness, the Lord has been speaking both loud and clear to me and His bride – The Church.
This will be my last post as we end the 90 days fast on December 29th, 2020. Except something comes up and I need to inform you about it in the course of the fast. We have 47 more days to go.
In this last series, I have combined the last 3 series of the Miracle Delivery Agent. Don’t read in one flash! It needs to be digested and applied.
Before I proceed, I would like again to provide you summary of these 90 days Matthew 6:10
10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven prayer and fasting which started on October 1, 2020 where the Lord prompted us to bring to you which are hinged on these supporting scripture:
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
27 And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
2 Chronicles 16:8-9
8 Were not the Ethiopians and Lubim a huge army with a great number of chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He placed them in your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you will have wars.”
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
29 The people of the land have used oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; yes, they have wronged and vexed the poor and needy; yes, they have oppressed the stranger and temporary resident wrongfully.
30 And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
We were instructed to pray His kingdom and His will at the first hour of the day – Between 12 am-1 am. Just a window. It could be 10 minutes, or twenty minutes or one hour or more as you are led by the Spirit to pray over self, family members, the body of Christ, Your nation, and the nations of the world. This does not preclude day times.
On the fasting aspect, if you can forgo one meal, then forgo one meal. If you can forgo two meals, then forgo two meals. If you can reduce your food intake, reduce your food intake. If you are sick and you can’t fast, just pray the prayers and let it come from the depth of your being.
The idea is to get you tuned to God’s heart because fasting increases your spiritual sensitivity so that your spiritual discernment and attention to His prompting goes way up, and you will be more than willing to obey. In response to prayer and fasting, God speaks by speaking to what is out of line, what you are doing right, and steps to take to correct the wrong. It also comes with affirmation on your stand with Him. Who you are in Him, what you are doing for Him – If there is a need to continue as is or change course.
I can assure you that from a spiritual standpoint, you always win when you make time for God and what delights His heart concerning His greatest Asset – His people – Good, Bad, and Ugly.
One of my Encounter during the fast:
For instance, on the 36th day of the fast, I found myself among foreign nationals, and for the first time, I saw Jesus face to face. In my earlier encounters, I never saw His face. He put His hand on my shoulder. He said to me, “Son, this is your time of SABBATH, get ready because more work is coming for you ahead.” And He walked away. More insight came which I am beginning to unbundle in my spirit. Some answers are coming from unlikely sources on questions that i have been asking Him. Sometimes, He tells me directly and other times He sends others. These encourage fellowship with the brethren and also help reinforce the message received earlier.
Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity is not a dead religion. Christianity is a relationship with the creator of the universe where you talk to Him and He talks back to you. If you are not experiencing this as a professing Christian, you are giving too much away and it is learnable just like Samuel and Eli and countless others who dialogued with God. We have enough resources on Otakada.org to help you in this area.
When you begin to enforce God’s kingdom amongst family members, He will tell you what the issues are so that you can pray more on that specific area. This also applies to when praying for nations. Suddenly, you begin to feel how God feels, see, hear and discern His heart and then you pray His heart.
Now, The LORDS word for His bride – The Church:
The Lord says, “My people are settling for C and not C because of P.”
I will provide details as we go along
Last Sunday, we brought you this title: Breaking News! – War in Heavenlies! – 90 Days Global Matthew 6:10 prayer and fasting – Day 39 + God’s Greatest Assignment for You and Me IS? How to Deliver a Miracle – The Five (5) Steps that Leads to a Miracle Delivery – Deliver the Miracle and transfer the Credit 10, 11 of 14
You can find the full text by following this link https://www.otakada.org/breaking-news-war-in-heavenlies/
In that last series, I said “As we look at events unfolding around the world, and as I bring this section to a close, I present to you for analysis two nations who had the blessing of Abraham upon them. Both were not perfect like all of us who are still work in progress. BUT one of the nations stood for righteousness and the other stood for systemic wickedness. I am talking about Jacob and Esau. I am talking about the people of the nation of Israel and the people of the nation of Amalek – Esau’s descendants
And after reading Exodus 17:8-16, I also partly concluded with this “You can see here that the result of the war on the ground was not dependent upon Joshua’s war abilities, although that is important. The result was because of a spiritual exercise up on the mountain. Go and do likewise until victory is assured concerning the events on the ground as the Lord has shown LONG before the storm began.”
I bring you today the concluding part with particular reference to events in our world. When we pray, we also watch, and as we watch we also pray.
I will start with America because what happens in America has global ramifications.
From the Christian purview, our standard is OBJECTIVE. The word of God is OBJECTIVE. His kingdom and His righteousness are Objective. The events on the planet are SUBJECTIVE.
They are subjective because we humans change our stands all the time. These changes are based on our emotions, external influences, internal battles, and many more.
How then do we make a decision on any party our candidate as we make choices? Remember, we are voting either spiritually in enforcing God’s kingdom and some are going directly to the booth to exercise the Joshua battle strategy.
One way is to start with the party. What do they stand for? What are their precedents? We know, time and again that the Republicans are anti-abortion and anti LGBTQ and anti-globalization. For the Democrats, whatever is popular flies – pro-God or anti-God – It does not matter. We know this because, for eight years, one of the democratic presidents pushed the agenda of the LGBTQ movement to a new high that nations started adopting them in their constitution. Some African countries were not given the needed funding because they would not adopt the gay agenda.
Today, they have infiltrated the United Nation to allow the adoption of this lifestyle all across the world. This is already under deliberation in the 2030 agenda of the UN.
If we look at the current president’s precedents, He has forth globalization, abortion, and LGBQ head-on.
With this information in hand, as we begin enforcing God’s kingdom, knowing that He chooses whomever He wills to rule – Popular vote and electoral vote can be thrown to the wind when God decides to intervene. When we invite Him in, He can pull the plug on anything and anyone, but we must insist His kingdom come and His will be done in Washington as in Nigeria.
For Nigeria, we enforce His kingdom, and anyone who has brought up an agenda that is against God’s, we ask Him to make their seat uncomfortable. Or create a disruption that will enthrone His will and His kingdom.
Will our prayers always turn out to become God’s will on the ground? Not necessarily. That is why you need to look at Exodus 17:8-16 again. When intercessors slow down, the kingdom of darkness prevails and we see the results on the field. When we all rise up, UNITED. I mean UNITED prayer, the result is sure to come out on the field. Because of this realm, the Lord has given to the sons of men and He only intervenes through heartfelt invitation.
The explanation of the Word of the Lord to His Bride:
Now the Lords word to His bride. He says “My people have settle for Comfort where Change is required for fear of Persecution. He says to you bride of Christ, “Matthew 5:10How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted[a] for doing what is right![b] For that is when you experience the realm of heaven’s kingdom.””
Now, let’s look at today’s title – Shine with Impact where it matters as a focus in our 90 days global prayer and fasting – day 43
Jesus said Matthew 5:13-14
The Passion Translation
13 “Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your ‘saltiness’ be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing[a] and will be thrown out and trampled on by others.
14 “Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?[b]
The Passion Translation
The Cost of Following Jesus
25 As massive crowds followed Jesus, he turned to them and said, 26 “When you follow me as my disciple, you must put aside[a] your father, your mother, your wife, your sisters, your brothers—yes, you will even seem as though you hate your own life. This is the price you’ll pay to be considered one of my followers. 27 And anyone who comes to me must be willing to share my cross and experience it as his own, or he cannot be considered to be my disciple. 28 So don’t follow me without considering what it will cost you. For who would construct a house[b] before first sitting down to estimate the cost to complete it? 29 Otherwise he may lay the foundation and not be able to finish. The neighbors will ridicule him, saying, 30 ‘Look at him! He started to build but couldn’t complete it!’
31 “Have you ever heard of a commander[c] who goes out to war without first sitting down with strategic planning to determine the strength of his army to win the war[d] against a stronger opponent? 32 If he knows he doesn’t stand a chance of winning the war, the wise commander will send out delegates to ask for the terms of peace. 33 Likewise, unless you surrender all to me, giving up all your possess, you cannot be one of my disciples.
34 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if salt were to lose its flavor,[e] how could it ever be restored? 35 It will never be useful again, not even fit for the soil or the manure pile![f] If you have ears opened by the Spirit, then hear the meaning of what I have said and apply it to yourselves.”
Never a time like now does the world need Christians to become light outside the four walls of the Church. The church of today has fallen into easy, convenient Christianity – Christianity that is loaded and overloaded with an activity that amounts to zero impact in the immediate neighborhood around us to dispel darkness. We are even afraid of our own skin. We protect and shield the wicked, we keep quiet when the devil is running riot with corrupt leaders in the places of authority.
We encourage the youth to fight for themselves and when the authority comes after them, we hide in our shelters waiting for the few strong and bravest to speak out against the powers that exploit the freedom of the people. I like to bring a story of 3 Christian nations that fell for this same trap.
A Story of 3 Christian Nations:
I will tell you a story of 3 Christian nation. Fasten your seatbelt.
Nation 1: Russia, I mean Russia that atheist nation that you know today was a deeply Christian nation with deep Christian roots. Prior to the revolution, the Church protected the exploiters of the people, the church kept quiet and sided with the rich. When people were pushed to the wall, they went after the rich, the church, killed so many Church leaders, destroyed so many Churches. At the end of the revolution, the Church lost its relevance. That is what happens when we preach very beautiful sermons and have zero relevance to the events on the street and amongst authority. Read Matthew 5:13-15 and Luke 14: 25-35 again.
Nation 2: France had a very deep Christian root. Again, before the bloody revolution in France, the Church sided with the rich and protected them. Just like in Russia, the people went for the Church and the exploiters and so many died. Today, France is one of the most atheistic nations in the world because the Church never recovered. Muslims have come in to fill in the gap. Read Matthew 5:13-15 and Luke 14: 25-35 again.
Nation 3: United Kingdom – Unlike the other two, in the United Kingdom, not all the Churches sided with the exploiters and they were able to quell the uprising and avoided bloodshed and destruction. So many in the Church spoke up.. Some were murdered for their stand. But the UK of today has quickly deserted their Christian roots. They have gone underground and the UK is becoming more and more an atheist nation with over 70% of the population not having any belief system. The Islamic nations have come in to fill in the gap. Read Matthew 5:13-15 and Luke 14: 25-35 again.
How does that relate to Nigeria and Africa as a whole? The fact of the matter is that if people have learned nothing is the fact that they learn nothing from past history. Beyond the pigment of the skin, all humans are the same. We all crave acceptance, appreciation, and courtesy. We all need Significance, Self-worth, and Security. There is going to come a time where bullet and nuclear weapons cannot stop such people that are driven to the wall. #EndSARS I believe is a warning shot and I pray that the Church especially and the elders will speak up and rise up to challenge the wanton corruption in our clime in Jesus name, Amen
We can learn from other Christians that have allowed their light to shine where it mattered most:
Merry Slessor – Scottish Woman The Scotswoman who stopped babies from being killed
Killing new-born twins were common practice in the 19th century among the Ibibio people of Nigeria, but one Scotswoman went to great lengths to put an end to this.
Aberdeen-born Mary Slessor was one of the few missionaries in Africa who learned the local language, adapted to the native customs and environment and gained the trust of the locals in order to make a truly positive impact.
Mary was born in 1848 in Aberdeen to working-class parents Mary and Robert, and the family relocated to Dundee in 1857 to find work.
Her father, a shoe-maker from Buchan, became incapacitated by alcoholism and Mary more or less became the breadwinner for the family. From the age of 11, she worked as a ‘half-timer’ mill girl in the Baxter Brothers and Co Ltd, spending half the day at a school provided by the mill owners and the other half working for the company.
By the age of 14, she had become a skilled jute worker, but Mary had bigger plans for her future.
Inspired by her mother’s issues of the Missionary Record, Mary began to teach voluntarily at the new Dundee mission. When David Livingstone died in 1873, resulting in a nationwide call for more missionaries, Mary decided to follow in his footsteps. She set sail in the SS Ethiopia on 5 August 1876, arriving in West Africa just over a month later, aged 28. Mary was first assigned to Calabar in southern Nigeria where her duties included teaching children and working in the dispensary.
Along with learning the local language, Efik, she adapted to eating the local food to save money so that she could send a large chunk of her wages back home to support her sister and mother.
While her broad Dundonian accent was hard to disguise, Mary tried to blend in by cutting her bright red hair short and discarding her Victorian clothes.
She became known for her interest in women and children’s rights and wellbeing, which were often at risk in Calabar. When twins were born, it was thought that one of them was the child of the devil and since it wasn’t known which one, both would be left for dead in a bush and the mother banished from the community – often a death sentence itself.
Mary soon took it upon herself to rescue and protect these vulnerable women and children and made it her priority to change cultural beliefs about twins. Although it was discouraged by the mission society to adopt any of the abandoned children, Mary was one of the few who ignored the rules.
She sent out twins’ missioners to find and care for abandoned twins at the mission house, and adopted every child she found. Once, she took in a baby girl as her own daughter, calling her Janie and eventually taking her back to Scotland.
Over her lifetime, Mary saved hundreds of twins from the bush. She also helped heal the sick and put an end to the practise of making suspects drink poison to determine whether they were guilty. As a missionary, she travelled to other tribes, spreading the word of Jesus Christ.
In 1888 she travelled north to Okoyong and lived a simple life there for 15 years among the Okoyong and Efik people and became known as the ‘white queen of Okoyong’.
She continued her focus on settling disputes, encouraging trade, establishing social change, introducing western education and evangelism. In 1892 she became vice-consul in Okoyong, presiding over the native court and in 1905, she was named vice-president of Ikot Obong native court before being awarded the order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1913.
Because she always placed the needs of others before her own, Mary was often challenged by ill health and battled bouts of malaria and other tropical diseases. These sometimes got so severe she had to go home to Dundee to recover but always made sure to return to her mission. She passed away in 1915 at the age of 66 in Calabar. Mary was given a state funeral and buried in Duke Town in Nigeria with a large granite cross from Scotland across her grave.
More than 100 years since her death, Mary’s legacy lives on both in Africa and closer to home. Several memorials testify to the value placed on her work, with a road, a roundabout, a church and various statues commemorating her in Calabar.
In Scotland, a bust of Mary was erected in the Hall of Heroes of the national Wallace Monument in Stirling and in 2015, a memorial was unveiled in Dundee marking the 100th anniversary of her death.
Mary also appeared in 1997 on Clydesdale Bank’s £10 notes, earning her a place in history as the first female to be commemorated on a Scottish bank note – a fitting honour for such a remarkable individual.
The Mary Slessor Foundation was established in 2002 with the aim of continuing the social, economic and medical work of Mary. The foundation has set up a clinic, a skills centre and an agricultural processing unit and trains young Nigerians in practical skills to help them prosper.
I bypass Martin Luther the Catholic priest who said no to lies and began a movement.
I bypass William Wilberforce who fought to stop slavery in the British Empire and succeeded
I bypass the Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr who stood fearlessly against racial inequality and brought the nation to a standstill and was persecuted for it – murdered.
I bypass the Scottish who sent so many missionaries around the world and spearheaded the inventions that brought about modern exploits in inventions because they saw themselves as the light and the salt of the earth.. And many more people space and time will not permit who became the light in a decaying and dying world.
What am I saying? What I am saying is, Christianity is not bread and butter. Christianity is hard work, requiring God’s grace. There is a cost or there are daily costs and we must count the cost daily as we seek to be the light and the salt of the world and not the church. We do something or we do nothing, we are still endangered species. We can return to our master under the kidnapper’s guns and set no one free or we die and set a nation or the world free. The cost is the same – our lives. Why don’t we make it count by getting out of our paneled auditorium and bury our fears and become the light and the salt in our neighborhoods? As we pray and fast, if we ask Jesus, He will lead us and show us what it is He brought us here to be and to do for His kingdom. I very much doubt if it is to spend twenty, thirty years in a Church building, enjoying fellowship while the world around us is looking for a spokesman or woman to align with. The world is looking for the voice of God..Be the voice in Jesus name, amen
Now let us look at : God’s Greatest Assignment for You and Me IS? How to Deliver a Miracle – The 3 Types of Miracle Keys – Money, Dream and Forgiveness Keys
In the last series we looked at the steps required in delivering a miracle. Today, we take about the miracle itself there are 3 miracle types or keys which will end this session for this year
The Money Key unlocks biblical insights that prepare you to deliver a miracle of financial provision to a person in need. The miracle happens because God sends you and His financial resources to connect with a person who has a specific financial need.
The Dream Key unlocks biblical insights that prepare you to deliver a breakthrough miracle to those who need to embrace and achieve their God-given life dream. When people who have misunderstood or discarded their life dream suddenly seize upon the truth and commit to pursuing it, their lives improve in dramatic ways.
The Forgiveness Key unlocks biblical insights that empower you to partner with the Spirit for miracle breakthroughs in the areas connected to wounds of the heart. When you identify the wrong beliefs that keep a person suffering from unforgiveness and also the right beliefs necessary to bring healing, God works through you to deliver a wonderful miracle of forgiveness and freedom.
The three needs we address not only are universal but also represent the kinds of personal miracles that seem to be needed the most.”
Of course, these aren’t the only areas where God wants to meet needs. But you’ll find, as I have, that hardly a day passes when you don’t meet people who are burdened by a financial need, confused about their purpose in life, or stuck in bitterness and resentment.
One of the best things about these miracles is that we don’t have to wonder what God wants to happen. When He directs us to someone with one of these needs, we approach the person with confidence. We know that God wants the need met, we know the truth that brings life change, and we know how to partner with Him to deliver the miracle. That’s why we call these the keys to special delivery miracles.
How you and I think about and manage our money matters greatly to God. Jesus spoke of money often, and He spent most of His time with those who didn’t have much. He fed the hungry, helped his friends deal with taxes, honored those who gave out of their poverty. Clearly, God wants us to be both thoughtful and generous with our resources.
God intends for us to use our money to display His goodness and faithfulness in miraculous ways.
But if we stop there, we miss a much bigger idea—that God intends for us to use our money to display His goodness and faithfulness in miraculous ways.
The first special delivery miracle I want to talk about has to do with this area of universal interest and need: financial provision. Can you think of a greater concern for people all over the world today? How would your life change if God worked through you on a regular basis to miraculously meet the money-related needs of others?
The Money Key unlocks a miracle of financial provision for another person. The miracle happens because God sends you with His resources to a person who has a need. Your miracle delivery is based on powerful Bible truths about how God works supernaturally through people on earth to meet a financial need.
Like the two other miracles we’ll explore in this section, the money miracle is unusually predictable. By that I mean, from the beginning of your miracle appointment, you know exactly why Heaven has brought you together, and you know that God and causes someone to exclaim, “Wow! God sent you to meet my financial need!”
The Money Key miracle is rooted in a faith-filled application of Paul’s advice in 1 Timothy 6, where he writes:
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.1
Notice especially the phrases “ready to give, willing to share.” These words lay the foundation for miracle missions to meet the financial needs of others. We prepare ourselves to partner with God in a money miracle by applying these twin directives—willingness and readiness—to the way we approach our financial priorities. Our precommitment alerts Heaven that we are fully prepared to act when God brings a miracle opportunity our way.
How God transfers money
How, exactly, does God move money around to meet needs on earth? Specifically, how would He do that for you?
Could Heaven somehow transfer cash into your account?
Could Heaven print some currency and drop it out of the sky onto your doorstep?
Could God, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, as Psalm 50 puts it, take out a loan on His earthly assets to meet your need?
Could an angel deliver the money from the vaults of Heaven?
When it comes to prayers for a financial miracle, Heaven depends on people for answers.
The answer may shock you. While He could do all those things, every indication is that He doesn’t. God only gets funds to a person in need when another human being releases some of his or her funds for that purpose. When it comes to prayers for a financial miracle, Heaven depends on people for answers. A verse in the Bible succinctly describes God’s transfer process:
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD.
Surprising, isn’t it? And the verse doesn’t say it is like a loan—it is a loan. The moment a generous person gives in response to a God nudge, a second, invisible transfer takes place in Heaven. With those same funds, the generous person “lends to the LORD.” And now God has funds to answer the person’s prayer with a financial miracle.
Now look at the universal principle revealed in the second part of the verse:
And He [God] will pay back what he has given.
Do you see it? Yet another surprise is linked to the first: a loan to God for His work will be paid back by Heaven. Jesus confirmed this principle of divine repayment many times. In fact, He said that even a cup of water will be credited to the giver.
After understanding how this process occurs, you can understand why God loves to initiate miracles with money. Let’s revisit the sequence of a financial miracle from human need to supernatural provision:
A person has a real financial need.
Heaven either hears his prayers for help or recognizes his unstated needs.
Heaven decides to answer the financial need with a specific amount and identifies an optimum situation and time for delivery.
Heaven nudges a person who has the funds and opportunity to meet those needs.
The delivery person gives the money to the one in need, preparing the way for the Lord to receive full credit and appreciation.
When you consider how many people need a financial miracle and how few people respond to a God nudge that’s related to finances, you begin to see why so many opportunities await anyone who wants to partner with God for a financial miracle.
If that’s you, where could you start today? Let me show you.
I want to introduce you to one of my favorite practical tools for inviting financial miracles. One thing that makes it so powerful—and enjoyable—is that you’re giving money that isn’t yours.
I call it the God Pocket.
What is a God Pocket?
The God Pocket is a specific location in your wallet or purse where you keep money you have devoted to God so you can give it to someone in need as soon as He nudges you to do so. In the same way
What would happen if we were “ready to give” in advance so we could respond tangibly and without hesitation to a nudge from God? The simple tool of the God Pocket became our answer.
To devote something, in the biblical sense, means you are dedicating it in advance to God.
To prepare for a God Pocket miracle, take these five helpful steps: First, decide how much money you are going to put into your God Pocket. These funds aren’t the ones you give to your church or other organizations but are additional and are specifically for God to use in delivering a financial miracle to others. If you’re confused about how much to start with, ask God to help. He blesses most when you joyfully give a sum that is meaningful to you.5
Second, devote that amount of money directly to God. To devote something, in the biblical sense, means you are dedicating it in advance to another person—in this case, to God. When you devote, say, your twenty dollars to God, you are expressing to Him, “From this point forward, this twenty dollars is Yours. I will carry it in Your name until You show me meet a need He knows about and specifically reveals to you.
Fifth, consciously depend upon the Lord to nudge you when, where, and to whom He wants His funds delivered. He will! You don’t have to fret about who He has in mind or when He’ll make His move. He might nudge you today or this week or next month. Meantime, you are free to go about your business as a sent person—“ready to give, willing to share.”
What makes such simple preparations for a financial miracle so effective? Think about how many times you have been nudged by God, but in your confusion about what it meant or what to do, you talked yourself out of doing anything. The God Pocket changes that. If you’re carrying money that is no longer yours—money that you’ve emotionally detached from—you’re free to act when God nudges. And when you do, you’ll do so with freedom, joy, and expectation.
Be careful to treat your God Pocket money with utmost respect. For example, just because you’re carrying it around doesn’t mean it’s a slush fund you can borrow from when a need arises or when you’re looking at a sale item you just can’t pass up. It’s not even money you’ll put in the offering plate at church. Remember? The money in your God Pocket already belongs to God. So until He nudges you toward a particular person, don’t touch it. Sometimes the need God wants to meet is not only monetary but also deeply emotional. Through my God Pocket experiences, He has memorably demonstrated what He meant when He described Himself as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness.
Taking God’s gifts to extremes
While you and I are understandably cautious about giving away our resources when we see no apparent benefit or payback to us, Jesus isn’t. Have you ever noticed? Consider His advice on how to serve up dinner:
When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid.8
Jesus is telling us something breathtaking—and utterly life changing—about Heaven’s view of giving. I would paraphrase it like this: now that you’ve signed up for a miracle life, don’t play it safe. Give to those most overlooked
By all means, risk getting nothing back, because now you know the truth: God repays those who lend to Him.
or rejected by others. Give them a feast they’ll never forget. By all means, risk getting nothing back, because now you know the truth: God repays those who lend to Him.9
Sounds extreme, doesn’t it? But by now you should understand the powerful why of going to extremes—it’s exactly this kind of giving that invites God Himself to become visible, to blaze in glory for an unforgettable moment in a person’s life.
How could you throw a feast for someone in need today? Where would you start?
You could start by preparing in advance to give with a God Pocket. He has so many miracles waiting to be delivered through you. And you were born to reveal His extravagant goodness and generosity.
The dream key
A big dream is the bull’s-eye
What do I mean when I say big dream? Obviously, we all have numerous dreams over the course of our lives—dreams for our marriage, our children, our finances, and more. But when I say big dream, I’m referring to the driving desire to do something special, something that God put in your heart when He created you. He put it there for a very important reason. Follow your big dream, and you will pursue with passion the very thing He created you to do over the course of your whole life!
Let me ask, what percentage of the people you know would you say are actually living their big dream? Ten percent? Fifty percent? Ninety percent? Most groups I talk to, professional counselors included, place the number at the very low end of the scale.
If that’s true—and I believe it is—then the cost in personal and cultural suffering would have to be staggering. Wouldn’t it help explain why so many people today feel trapped in unhappiness, depression, addiction, anger, or apathy?
A person who is pursuing his dream is energized by hope and purpose. His path may not be smooth, but he has direction. Even the challenges reveal a larger meaning to him. Why? The big picture of his life—his reason for being here—is clear.
Compare that to the person who thinks his life has no higher purpose, no big idea or goal. Over time his enthusiasm will fade. He’ll lose his way. Without knowing quite why, he’ll feel forgotten by God. To fill the emptiness inside, he’ll tend to give in to excuses, passivity or choices that harm himself or others.
Do you recognize yourself or anyone you know in these patterns?
Ultimately, we are happiest when we are doing what God created us to do. And He created us to do His work by His power.
Ultimately, we are happiest when we are doing what God created us to do. And He created us to do His work by His power. Living our big dream is the bull’s-eye, the very center, of how we experience joy and purpose and how we contribute most to our world. The incredible promise of pursuing our big “dream, along with the very real cost of not pursuing it, brings us to the Dream Key.
The Dream Key unlocks a miracle of life purpose for others. God divinely connects you—a dream champion—with someone who is stuck or needs to know and fully embrace his God-created life dream. You deliver a miracle when God works through you supernaturally to help him take a crucial next step in his dream journey.
Sent ones (the Master Key) who have God’s heart for others (the People Key), who know how to partner with God’s Spirit for a miracle (the Spirit Key), and who exercise their faith (the Risk Key) can champion the big dream in another person’s heart. And because a person’s big dream is so important to God, we can rely on Him to intervene in miraculous ways as we help others discover and pursue their dream.
Like the other two keys described in this section—the Money and Forgiveness keys—the Dream Key leads to a special delivery miracle. By that I mean we follow a special set of delivery instructions. For example:
We apply a set of biblical truths and practical steps that we know must be embraced for a miracle to occur.
We follow the five steps of the delivery process.
We guide the conversation toward a predictable outcome.
The opportunity for us as delivery agents is truly motivating. We know beyond a doubt what outcome God wants! That means, once we understand our part in the miracle, we can proceed with confidence and focused purpose to lead the other person to the miracle breakthrough he needs.
Whereas a money miracle is a provision miracle, I describe the dream miracle as a breakthrough miracle. When people who have misunderstood or discarded their dream suddenly seize upon the truth, their lives change in fundamental ways. Instead of confusion, they have clarity. Instead of apathy, motivation. Instead of being stuck, their lives show strong forward motion.
Invariably, they’ll look back on their aha! moment with you as an unforgettable gift straight from God.
Helping others find or reignite their life dream might be something you already do with family or friends. You notice someone is struggling in this area, so you step in to guide and encourage. But as you’ll soon discover, the Dream Key provides the understanding and the skills to be intentional with anyone you meet. It helps you be proactive about inviting God’s Spirit to step in so that a breakthrough miracle occurs.
As you read this chapter, you may find yourself thinking about your own dream a lot—and that’s what you should do! After all, you can’t give away something you don’t possess. Fully embracing your own life dream will bring you the fulfillment and sense of purpose God intends for you and “God intends for you and, at the same time, will empower and motivate you to champion the big life dreams of others.
The gap in God’s big dream
Maybe you noticed that with the People Key I didn’t have to convince you that people need help. Or with the Money Key, that so many face financial shortfalls. But with this key, I want to show you a cluster of related truths about our purpose in life that get overlooked by millions. When that happens, they don’t just miss out on the big dream they were born to pursue; they stop believing they ever had one.
Look with me now behind the veil of Heaven to discover two of those truths: why everyone has a big dream, and where everyone’s dream comes from. As we’ve seen in previous chapters, the more we understand and embrace how Heaven works, the better we become at delivering miracles for God.
In Jeremiah 1 we can listen in as God explains to His servant how he was created to be a prophet:
The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Notice the sequence of events in this intriguing sentence: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” What happened first? First, God knew whom He wanted Jeremiah to be—in his case, “a prophet to the nations.” Then God formed him in his mother’s womb, giving him a unique set of strengths and weaknesses to match the significant calling of his life. In other words, before Jeremiah was formed in his mother’s womb, God imagined and designed him for a special purpose. First came the purpose, then the person.
That’s how two doctoral students created a new way to get information. Larry Page and Sergey Brin started with a purpose: find a better way to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful. From there they came up with a new method for finding and ranking search results on the Web.
Only then did they create Google, now the world’s best-known search engine.
God reveals to Jeremiah that He created him in a similar way. God had something He needed to get done. (You could say He had the job description before He had the job candidate.) At a particular point in history, God knew He would need a prophet exactly like Jeremiah. Why? A prophet exactly like Jeremiah would be custom-made to accomplish an important part of God’s agenda for that exact time and place in human history.
Imagine a line from one side of this page to the other, with a tiny section missing in the middle. Like this:
The line represents time from eternity past to eternity future; the tiny gap represents Jeremiah’s life. Suppose the whole line represents God’s story. God needed Jeremiah to be a prophet to be a prophet at a particular time and place so His larger story would be complete.
Did God do the same thing when He invented you and me? Yes, He did. For each of us, God starts with one thing He needs done and then creates us with both the desire and the potential to accomplish it.”
How many people does God make to accomplish that one thing? Only one. You and I have been created and put on earth now to complete our part of God’s big Dream. That means, by the way, that everything about us is a gift from God—our unique strengths and our glaring weaknesses. Who He made us to be fits what we’re meant to do with our lives… perfectly!
The psalmist beautifully describes God’s purpose-directed creative process for each of us:
When I was made in secret
And skillfully wrought…
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:15–16”
These aren’t just inspiring thoughts; they are life-changing truths. They declare something vital and opposite from what our culture declares. Consider:
“The world says you were born without a special purpose designed into your being. Therefore, you have to invent your dream if you want your life to have meaning.
But the Bible reveals that your dream precedes you. God starts with His dream for you, and then He uniquely and lovingly forms you to desire the dream and to accomplish it for His glory.
Talk about a radical difference! That’s why I can tell you that if a person sets out to pursue a life dream with doubts about its true origin, he’s likely to end up cynical, sidetracked, and stuck. If he thinks that he (not God) invented his dream, why wouldn’t he treat it as one goal that’s no more important than some other goal? Under stress he’ll be tempted to trade it away for something more convenient but much less fulfilling.
Our dream is why God formed us. It explains who we are and why we’re here.
From one dreamer to another, I urge you to lay hold of these simple but amazing truths about the origin and importance of everyone’s life dream:
From one dreamer to another, I urge you to lay hold of these simple but amazing truths about the origin and importance of everyone’s life dream:
Our dream is invented by God, not us.
Our dream is why God formed us. It explains who we are (and who we’re not) and why we’re here.
Our dream was never meant to be optional. It is an indispensable part of God’s Dream for this time and place.
Our dream was never meant to be just a remote possibility for us but a completed achievement. God plans for each of us to accomplish our dream.
With these new paradigms in mind, we can become intentional about inviting a dream miracle with the people we meet, knowing that we are sent by God with this incredibly liberating and motivating message: You were born to pursue and fulfill God’s big dream for your life!
We can ask God to lead us to people who don’t know that or who have lost faith in God’s dream for them. We can invite His Spirit to open eyes, make connections, and renew hidden hopes as we deliver a miracle breakthrough in life purpose.
“All I ever wanted”
Now you’re ready to look again at a foundational scripture we cited earlier:
We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We saw then that partnering intentionally with God on His miracle agenda for us is an important part of the good works we were created to do. As you might suspect, there is a direct relationship between the specific miracles God wants us to deliver and the big dream God has placed in our hearts.
Our dream—and all the passion, energy, and skills that go with it—is the powerful force or engine that propels us toward the good works that God has prepared ahead of time for us to do.
What happens if we never unleash that powerful force? never even realize it’s there? Well, not only do we lose out in terms of personal fulfillment and significance, but critical tasks are left undone. A piece of God’s big dream remains blank. Individuals, families, and communities can suffer tragic consequences.
When we set out each day as sent ones who know how important every person’s big dream is and how many people are stuck or remain uncertain in this area, we place ourselves in very promising territory for miracles. It’s a part of the Everyday Miracle Territory that our Creator cares passionately about, and we can expect Him to show up with power.
We are stepping out as volunteers with exceptionally good news. “You are not an accident. You are one of a kind. Your big dream is from God, and it’s irreplaceable. And you were meant to seize it and celebrate it every day of your life!”
Let me show you what that might look like in your life.
Profile of a dream deliverer
Once a person claims the truth of the God-invented dream in every heart and learns a few simple skills, he takes on great influence with others. I’ve seen it many times, and perhaps you have too. With a little practice, you’ll be able to recognize a need in this area and speak to it with authority and insight.
Don’t worry—being a dream delivery person for God is not the same thing as being a career counselor. We need those too. But what we’re aiming for here is to prepare you to deliver miracles of life direction and purpose in many lives through God-directed conversations. That miracle dimension-where God shows up through us for the benefit of others and for His glory-makes all the difference.
When we align ourselves with what God wants done, He will help us. He will bring us divinely arranged encounters, and He will show up to deliver a miracle through us.
How to deliver a dream.
Let’s look at how the five-step delivery process applies to this new miracle key. As you would expect, you’ll be able to apply much of what you’ve learned in the Money Key to this one too.
Step 1: Identify the person. You might be nudged by God or alerted by circumstances (as when Abigail realized that David was about to compromise his dream). But more than likely, you’ll need to rely on cues and bumps to find the person God wants you to help.
If it’s a cue, someone will say or do something that alerts you to the fact that he’s struggling. You might pick up feelings of discontent, frustration, anger, or depression associated with how his life is going. You might notice an attitude of apathy or cynicism. These cues might be expressed in sentences you would have overlooked before:
“My life is going nowhere. This isn’t what I imagined for myself.”
“What I always wanted to do was…”
“This job is the pits. I can’t believe I’m stuck here.”
Since people don’t usually attribute their negative feelings to not living their big dream, you’ll need to help them make the connection. My favorite clarifying bump in a dream context is this: “Are you living your dream, or are you stuck a little bit?”
It’s informal, friendly, and positive, and it gets right to a big issue: most people think their big dream is out there somewhere, and they’re just hoping it will come to them. That’s where you come in. You know that their dream is closer to them than their own skin.
Did it strike you as odd in the Abigail and David story that a stranger could have so much influence on another person’s dream? What I’ve learned is that people we don’t know often have more influence in this area than those we do know. One reason is that those who are closest to us often can’t see beyond the limits of our present experience any better than we can. I say this to encourage you to be willing to help anyone at any time to experience a dream breakthrough.
Step 2: Isolate the need. In my experience the vast majority of those you meet fall into one of two categories. Either they don’t think they have a dream, or they are hindered from pursuing it in some way, usually by fear. And you can help both of these types of people.
For the one who doesn’t think he has a dream, you now have a lot of truth to help you shape your questions. Do so conversationally. Keep your voice low, your statements personal and from the heart. You might start by saying, “You know, we all had a big dream when we were young. What was yours?” Or bring the conversation into the present: “If you had all the money and freedom you needed to pursue your big dream, what would your dream look like?
You might learn that the other person stuffed his dream into a closet a long time ago. Or that he has never understood how important it is to pursue a God-given dream. With help from you and God’s Spirit, he can have a breakthrough about what God wants—and what he wants too.
Ask those who know their dream, but feel stuck, to describe the dream. You’ll find that many are afraid of what others might think or even of the dream itself. Some have never shared their heart on this matter with anyone. That’s why revealing a dream to a receptive, nonjudgmental person can be such a powerful step forward. As they talk, ask God to show you what’s holding them back.
The truth is, every dream from God is too big and too hard. That’s why He gives us a lifetime to pursue it with His help. So the very fact that the person you’re talking to feels afraid confirms that you are right on track. After all, we don’t struggle with such fears when we stay in the same old rut or when we decide to do what everyone expects.
The fears each of us faces in pursuing a life dream tend to fall into two easy-to-remember categories:
Fears about failure. The dream seems too big, or we feel disqualified to pursue it.
Fears about rejection. The dream is opposed by others whose opinions we greatly value.
But the most important thing to do when you’re isolating the need is to help others name their fears in their own words. You might ask, “If you were to describe the one biggest hindrance to your dream, what would you say?” You’re going to find that simply helping a person put his finger on his fear is often enough to begin turning on the lights in his understanding.
Let God guide your conversation. Now that you know the truth about big dreams, you’re in the right place to invite a breakthrough for him by God’s power and wisdom.
Once the fears are expressed, you’re ready for the next step. Remember, isolating a need is different from solving a problem. You aren’t a problem solver or life counselor. You are a planter of seeds of truth. You are a Heaven-sent dream champion.
Step 3: Open the heart. By this time you’ll know if the person is open to thinking about his dream in a fresh way. When I think of opening a heart in the context of delivering a dream miracle, I imagine a single burning ember in a fire grate or campfire. My job is to find that ember, then get on my hands and knees and gently, persistently blow on it until it bursts into flame. The ember is the person’s big dream; your task is to reignite his desire for it. Here are some suggestions from my experience on how to do this with the people you meet.
Affirm that God does have a dream for them: “If you ask God to help you know your dream and discover your big purpose in life, He will help you find it.”
Ask them to describe their dream and to describe what their life will be like when they are living it. Then ask them to describe what they are doing now. The comparison will increase their desire for the dream. You might say, “I’ve discovered that if I’m not pursuing my dream, my life just doesn’t make much sense.”
Help them see how important their dream is to God, and affirm its value for them. (That’s what Abigail did for David.) They may feel embarrassed by it. More than likely, people close to them have dismissed it as impractical or impossible. So you might say, “I can see you doing that and really enjoying it. You’d be successful too.
Affirm their ability to live out their dream: “God wouldn’t create you for a dream that isn’t doable. It’s impossible to do all of it at once, but if you keep moving in the right direction, you will see it happen. You just need to take the next step.”
Ask them to go to the end of their life in their imagination, then look back: “What would make you really happy to have done with your life?” Or, “What do you think God would say to you if you’ve spent a lifetime really getting after the dream He gave you?” Or, “How would you feel if you came to the end of your life and discovered you hadn’t done what you were created to do?”
To encourage them, ask them to tell about a time in the past when God was faithful and good to them. What does that suggest they can expect from Him in the future?
Challenge them with the truth: “Would you say, then, that God expects you to pursue your dream?” If they say yes, then ask, “What could be a next step to getting you back on track?”
Remember that we never speak into another person’s heart from our head. Rather, we connect from our heart to theirs. People have many longings attached to their dreams, and if they’re not pursuing them, they have much pain and regret. As an ambassador of Heaven, you can help them see God’s passion for their dream.
If you want to see God’s heart on display on this issue of a life dream, read Paul’s second letter to the young pastor Timothy. Paul is writing about Timothy’s calling to be a minister, but the sentiments and values apply directly to any life dream. You’ll find emotionally charged, dream-reigniting words like “Stir up the gift of God which is in you,” and “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
When a person is feeling stuck, his dream will seem small while his fear will seem overwhelming.
Paul knew that since you can’t make someone’s fear go away, the best thing to do is to build up his desire for the dream until it becomes stronger than his fear. When a person is feeling stuck, his dream will seem small while his fear will seem overwhelming. Our job is to set the forest on fire with his desire for his dream. And while we’re doing our part, God will be at work on the inside, doing what only He can do.
Step 4: Deliver the miracle. Your precommitment to actively partner with the Spirit and to proactively exercise your faith in dependence on God are what prepare you for success in this step. Your part in a miracle is to prepare the person for the work of God; it is God’s part to do the miracle. And remember how much God cares about the dream He put in each person’s heart! While you encourage and inform, His Spirit will be at work in the person in numerous ways. ”
He will take the seeds of truth you share and work in the person to bring about change. Without a change in belief, behavior cannot change. God stepping in here is the difference between your saying something helpful and a breakthrough that is miraculous.
Think of God’s motivation to show up in that moment—to take a seed of encouragement and hover over it with His Spirit so that it flames up in their hearts and motivates them for years.
That’s what we do. And that’s what God does. Trust Him to do what you cannot do.
What does a dream miracle look like? You can always trace it to a change of belief—a paradigm shift—that results in the person’s reaffirming his dream and acting on it in a way he couldn’t before. For example:
A person believes for the very first time that God does have a special and big purpose for his life and that he is precious and priceless.
A person understands for the first time what his dream might look like.
A person has a revelation about what is holding him back from beginning his dream.
A person understands for the first time why he has felt stuck on the journey to his dream, and he resolves to step over or through the hindrance.
A person who has abandoned his dream or hidden it away pulls it out of the closet, brushes it off, and moves forward in living his dream.
A miracle takes place by the Spirit moving in a heart. This doesn’t mean our thoughts aren’t involved; it just means that the miracle ultimately occurs in our heart and shows itself in our behavior. You’ll know when it happens. The person’s face will change. He may very well become emotional— dreams overflow with emotion and desire. He will seem lost in thought. By what he says next, you’ll know that God has made His move.
Don’t leave the conversation without leading the person to recommit to God to finish his dream. Perhaps you could say “God loves you so much, and I believe He brought us together. His dream for you may look impossible right now, but if you walk toward it, God is going to help you. He created you so you could finish your dream. Will you commit right now to do that, whatever it takes?”
Step 5: Transfer the credit. Here’s where you make sure the attention goes to the right person. The outcome you’re looking for is David’s exclamation to Abigail: “Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!” To direct the person heavenward, say something like this:
“Do you sense that God was involved in our talk today?
“I think God is up to something wonderful with you and your dream!”
“There’s no doubt about it—God is really behind the dream. He planted it in your heart. He will be with you as you achieve it with His power.”
More miracles for the road
My hope for you is that, with each step along your life journey you will treasure and fulfill your dream more and more, and you will ask God to use you in miraculous ways to lead others to do the same. May you be like Paul, who even in his later years was still pursuing God’s dream for him with all his might. In his last letter he wrote:
I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.…One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
This is the liberating news we deliver to other dreamers God brings our way: Your dream matters—to you and to God.
This is the liberating news we deliver to other dreamers God brings our way: “Your dream matters—to you and to God. If you find yourself sidetracked, start again. It’s never too late to fulfill your destiny. God still wants your dream to come true!”
Be ready every day to invite a miracle into the life of a fellow traveler. Now that you know how to be a dream champion in other people’s lives, I’m confident God will bring a dreamer in need of a miracle your way soon.
The Forgiveness key
What if each morning you walked out the door knowing you were carrying a miracle key that could release someone from prison?
As dramatic as that might sound, it is the promise of this key. I can’t think of any area of the Everyday Miracle Territory with more promise for immediate personal change than what we’re going to talk about in this section. One reason the potential is so great is that you and I are surrounded by sincere, law-abiding people who are those prisoners and don’t even know it.”
The Forgiveness Key unlocks a miracle of freedom for those who suffer as a result of unforgiveness. When God connects you with a person in need, you draw on powerful Bible insights and universal principles to lead that person to healing. As you partner with the Spirit, God works through you to bring about a miracle of forgiveness.
I often hear that, next to the miracle of eternal life, the miracle of forgiveness is the most powerful and precious experience a person can have.
Why forgiveness can save a life
If we lived in a perfect world, no one would need to forgive. No one would injure another person. No one would be abused or treated unfairly. No one would sin.
But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where, despite our best efforts, we hurt even those we love. We injure others accidentally and sometimes intentionally. And others do the same to us. It happens between individuals, races, countries. Watch the news; the hurts have been piling up for centuries.
That’s why forgiveness is such an important experience for all of us. Without it, we could drown in an ocean of regret, pain, anger, and bitterness.
But there’s a catch: forgiveness is one of the most unnatural responses in all of human nature. Think about it. Selfless giving is hard enough, but forgiving? That’s like lavishing the best gift ever on the person who just robbed you!
Why should a mother forgive the drunk driver who killed her son? Or a husband forgive his wife for having an affair with his best friend? Or a teenager forgive the father who left when she was a baby and has never made an effort to see her since? Or a businessman forgive the partner who asked for his all, then betrayed his trust? At those times everything in us cries out for justice, retribution, fairness—not forgiveness.
We have to ask, though, what happens when we don’t forgive? What happens to the hurt?
When we don’t forgive, it’s as if we have chosen to leave dirt in a gash. Healing can’t happen.
Picture it like this: You’re walking along the seashore when you step on a piece of broken glass. Ouch! You limp back to your towel and try not to think about it. Later you limp around chasing a soccer ball. The next day you’re out walking around your vegetable garden in your bare feet. The gash hurts, that’s for sure. But won’t it heal in time? You decide to ignore the pain.
You continue ignoring it. The wound becomes infected, and your foot swells. Walking is difficult, but you still try not to think about it. Infection spreads. You break out in a fever…
You get the picture. If you treat the wound with care—wash out the dirt, protect it from germs—your foot will heal. However the wound happened, God made your body to heal itself. But if you leave the wound unclean and untreated, infection sets in. The healing process is blocked.
God made our heart the same way. When we forgive after we’ve been hurt, the wound gets cleaned out, and the healing process can start. When we don’t forgive, it’s as if we have chosen to leave dirt in the gash. Healing can’t happen, no matter how much we try not to think about it, no matter how much time passes. In fact, the more time that goes by, the more the destructive consequences spread.
I call it the Spiral of Unforgiveness—the descent into greater and greater misery that occurs when a person’s heart wound is left untreated. The first level of pain is bitterness, which inevitably leads to resentment. Unaddressed resentment spirals into anger. Anger deepens into malice and then hatred.
Eventually a person is consumed by vengeance. Vengeful people live with the overwhelming desire, not simply to see justice, but to injure those who injured them.
Once you learn to recognize the cues, you’ll realize that the symptoms of unforgiveness are everywhere in our world. Often the signs of it are right on the surface. A man who was unjustly fired months ago walks back into his old workplace carrying a rifle. Or a family like Mary Ann’s suffers for years from anger and harmful choices.
But sometimes the evidence is overlooked or misinterpreted.
I remember a confused young man who came to me for advice. He said he just couldn’t seem to finish anything. “I’ve started and dropped out of so many colleges I’ve lost count. No matter what I do, I can’t get my life together.” He described his various attempts to find direction. “I thought maybe you could help me
Actually, I thought I could. I asked, “So, how has your dad hurt you?”
“My dad?” He assumed I was changing the subject, but soon a painful story came spilling out. “I can never live up to my dad’s expectations—he is a perfectionist!” he said. “I know he wants the best for me, but I’ve never once felt his approval. Anything I tried, he told me to try harder. Anything I did wasn’t good enough. Since I left home, it’s easier just to avoid him.”
I helped him see that avoiding the problem wasn’t going to make things better. I described the picture of the untreated wound. “Would you say your father has wounded you?” I asked.
“Yes. A lot,” he said. His face and posture were changing. I could tell he was feeling the years of disappointment and rejection deeply.
“Are those wounds still there, still infected?”
We talked about how much a boy needs his father’s affirmation as he’s growing up. For a young man who’s been injured by a rejecting, judgmental dad, decisions become difficult. Motivation dries up. He can’t see who he is anymore or where he wants to go.
“You can begin to undo the damage right now,” I told him. “But to do that, you have to forgive your dad. There’s no other way. Are you ready to do that?”
He was tearful but ready. Taking the injuries one by one, I helped him to forgive. By the time we were done, he could say to me, “Before God, I have forgiven my dad of everything.” He was a free man.
“Now will you help me with my future?” he asked with a smile.
“I just did,” I said. I gave him my address. “If you want, in a few months send me a note. Tell me how you’re doing.
A few months later he wrote: “All my old insecurity and indecision are gone. It’s like something came into my head and blew out all that bad stuff” He had reconciled with his dad and was excited about his future.
I hope you’re seeing the far-reaching power of forgiveness to reclaim our lives from the injuries of the past.
With the need for forgiveness being so great in our world, how important would you suppose forgiveness is to God? To help you discover that, I want to pull back the veil of Heaven again and show you God’s perspective on the matter.
I think you will be amazed.
How important is forgiveness to God?
The Lord’s Prayer models how we should approach the heavenly Father. In His prayer Jesus reveals several things we can ask God to do—grant us provision, protection, and deliverance, for example. But you’ll find just one thing that we are to do.
Forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.1
Jesus is telling His followers, when you pray—amid all your praises and petitions—be sure to affirm to the Father this one thing: that you are doing what He does. You are forgiving those who are your debtors and don’t deserve your pardon.
In case His listeners miss the point, Jesus follows the prayer with only one commentary, and it’s also about forgiveness:
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Now, Jesus can’t be referring here to what theologians call “salvation forgiveness.” (That happens in Heaven and can’t be earned—it is the gift of God to all who believe in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross as full payment for their sins.) He’s referring instead to the flow of God’s pardon in our lives on earth.
But clearly the stakes are high, or Jesus wouldn’t have included these words about forgiveness. If I forgive, God will forgive me. If I don’t, Jesus says, “Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Jesus leaves no room for confusion.
So I understand why Peter tried later to get Jesus to narrow it down to something a little more practical. He asked:
Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?3
Peter must have thought he was being generous. My brother steals from me, and steals from me again, and again and again. How about up to seven times, Jesus? Wouldn’t that be enough? Wouldn’t forgiveness beyond that turn into a terrible mistake?
But Jesus said, in effect, “No, Peter. Forgive him without limit.”
I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
How can any of us forgive somebody seventy times seven—or really, an unlimited number of times? Jesus’ answer reveals the single most powerful motivation to forgive that you’ll find as you deliver miracles to those locked behind prison bars of unforgiveness. That’s why Jesus shares it—to give Peter the understanding necessary to actually forgive another person seventy times seven!
It’s a story about a servant who gets deeply, hopelessly into debt to his king. To recoup his losses, the king decides he must sell the servant, along with his wife and children, into slavery. When the servant learns what’s about to happen, he rushes to the king and falls on the floor, begging for more time.
Something about his servant pleading facedown on the floor melts the king’s heart. Jesus says he is “moved with compassion.”5 On the spot the king makes a decision. He doesn’t just give him more time. He forgives the servant of every debt, and the servant walks away a free man.
Can you imagine how that servant must have felt? One minute he’s in disgrace, in crippling debt, and facing an awful fate. The next he’s debt free.
But the servant doesn’t take his king’s compassion to heart. No sooner has he left the king’s presence than he corners a friend who owes him lunch money. When the friend can’t pay up, the servant has him thrown in jail until he pays back the entire debt.
Then the king gets wind of it. Burning with anger, he calls the servant into his presence and tells him:
You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
Another stunning turnaround! From a blessed, free man one minute to a tortured prisoner the next. And only one thing will stop the torment-when he pays back everything he owes.
Don’t miss who the king (also called master) is in the story. He is God the Father. We know that because Jesus is telling the story in answer to Peter’s question about how often Christ’s followers should forgive. Listen to what Jesus says next as He drives home the most shocking reason to forgive in the entire Bible:
So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
You want to know God’s views on forgiveness? Jesus told us. God doesn’t think of forgiveness as simply a nice idea or a mere suggestion. In fact, just like the king in Jesus’ story, God gets angry when those He has forgiven everything refuse to forgive each other of comparative trifles.
And we now know that when we don’t forgive, He will act. Jesus clearly revealed that when He said: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you.”
What exactly will the Father do? He will deliver us “to the torturers.” God the Father doesn’t torment anyone Himself, but Jesus shows that He does turn people over to the painful consequences of their own unforgiveness.
You want to know God’s views on forgiveness? Jesus told us. God doesn’t think of forgiveness as simply a nice idea or a mere suggestion.
For how long? Just as Jesus said—until from their heart they forgive others their trespasses.
Now you know why I asked Mary Ann that unusual question: “Would you say you have been in torment?” That simple question validates for you and me and everyone a deep need for a forgiveness miracle.
Over many years of delivering this miracle, I’ve never had people with unforgiveness in their heart reply no when asked if they are experiencing torment. In your miracle appointment, God the Father wants the person to be released from the prison of torment. Not only has He sent you to deliver the miracle for Him, but His Spirit has been actively at work in the person’s heart ever since the moment the wound occurred.
And what does God want most from your encounter with another person locked up by unforgiveness? Not more suffering, that’s for sure. He grieves with every wounded person that the injuries occurred in the first place. What God has always deeply desired for the wounded person is a supernatural deliverance from the prison of unforgiveness.
Freedom from the past starts when we grasp how strongly God feels about unforgiveness and when we initiate conversations knowing how strongly He desires to set people free of its misery.
Five steps to the delivery of a forgiveness miracle
The delivery steps described here will train you to lead a person to break through to emotional freedom. The more you deliver this miracle, the more skilled you’ll become.
Fortunately, you already know a lot. For example, you’ve already seen how Heaven partners with us to deliver miracles of many different kinds. And the five-step delivery process we encountered applies directly and in sequence here.
Step 1: Identify the person. Sometimes a person will acknowledge right away that a grudge or broken relationship exists: “I don’t speak to my mother anymore.” Or you might notice that when a certain topic comes up, a person withdraws or becomes overly sensitive. You might notice displays of chronic anger. Or you might see more generalized attitudes that often cover up old wounds—attitudes like cynicism, defeatism, bitterness, judgmentalism, and distrust of relationships.
Any emotional wound that happened a long time ago but still comes up in conversation or stirs out-of-context or inappropriate emotion is usually a giveaway. That’s what happened with Mary Ann. She was experiencing an eighteen-year-old injury as if it were part of her life in the present. Whenever I see patterns of self-destructive behavior, I start with the assumption that unforgiveness could be an underlying cause. Whenever I see a difficulty in forming close relationships or confusion about life direction, I take these as important cues as well.
In your conversation, use affirmations, observations, and leading questions. Remember, you don’t know yet if you’re talking with your miracle appointment. You’re simply using open-ended bumps to bring clarity:
“That issue doesn’t seem like it’s been resolved. Are you still feeling unhappiness or pain because of what happened?” (You’re observing an area of potential need, bumping for a sign of suffering or torment.)
“Tell me about your family growing up.” (A general question in an area where most of us experience hurts—more on this in the next step.)
“That’s a difficult subject for you, isn’t it?” (The unspoken invitation is for the other to confirm his need.)
Do you ever feel like some painful things that happened earlier in your life are still holding you back?” (You’re looking for signs of a pattern, confirming a need for forgiveness.)
Once you have begun to sense needs in this area, go to the most important bump for a forgiveness miracle—what I call the Unforgiveness Validator: “Would you say that you experience torment from time to time?” Then be quiet until the person has had time to think and respond.
You may feel uncomfortable the first few times you ask this validating question, but when you watch God working in person after person to immediately confess that to be true, you’ll relax.
Once you are confident that the person you’re talking to is your miracle appointment, you’re ready to transition your conversation to the next step.
Step 2: Isolate the need. Obviously, God wants all unforgiveness to be taken care of. But rarely can people cope with all their wounds at one time. Count on God to reveal where and with whom He wants the breakthrough to begin. To isolate the need or needs that God wants to address, aim to bring focus in three areas:
who hurt the person the most (the offender)
what the offender did (the wounds)
which injuries are the most emotionally distressing (the starting place)
Once you have your focus, don’t stray to additional incidents or people.
Your intention is for the person who needs the miracle to have a clear list of grievances to work from—if not on paper, then in his mind. A clear list is all-important for the miracle to be effectively delivered. That’s because unforgiveness is linked to the specific trespasses that caused the injury, not only to the person who inflicted them.
Keep in mind that a huge percentage of our hurts occur in our key relationships—a spouse, parent, child, sibling, close friend, relative, or an acquaintance at work or church. Bump with questions like “Think back over your life. Who hurt you most?” or “Would you share with me how you were hurt the most?”
You’re in this conversation for one reason: to serve the person as a heart-wound physician who can facilitate the miracle of forgiveness. Be careful to remain sensitive and nonjudgmental as you are representing the Lord to the person and dealing with hurtful and at times even shameful areas that the person may never have shared with anyone before.
I’ve found that when we’re partnering with God in this area, His Spirit is extremely active. He will bring specifics to the person’s mind. Listen for expressions like “I don’t know where this came from, but…” and “I had forgotten this…” That is the Spirit at work.
Now that you know who hurt the person most and have listed the specific, most distressing wounds, you’re ready for Step 3.
“Step 3: Open the heart. Jesus made it clear that release from torment can be granted only when a person forgives another “from the heart.” The purpose of the third step, then, is to prepare a person to be emotionally ready to forgive the offender—not from the mind, not from the will, but from the heart. For that to happen, we must put him emotionally in touch with his wounds.
People can say, “Yes, I know I should forgive.” But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to do it. A person can acknowledge compelling facts: “Uncle Robert hurt me badly. I have been devastated ever since. It continues to mess up my life today.” But we still need to help that person become emotionally ready to let go of the injury.
Let go of what, specifically? Well, of a deep desire for justice. Of the need to even the score or get revenge. Of all the other powerful, entangling emotions that go with unforgiveness. And those feelings, no matter how toxic, can seem to the injured party like a necessary part of his identity. Strangely, to let go of them may strike the person as a loss, not a gain.
At this point the most powerful way to serve those who are trying to forgive is to share the story of Matthew 18, including the shocking revelation that they will be in torment until they open their heart and forgive. You’ve seen some of the most important truths in this chapter: the personal cost of unforgiveness, God’s strong feelings and clear commands on the matter, and the very real promise of a complete end to torment—of escape from prison-once forgiveness is granted. Share these with the person who needs a miracle.
Try to identify the wrong belief that is keeping the person stuck, and help him see the right belief. You can remember three important ones with three J’s:
Jesus: “Jesus forgave you. You can choose to forgive others.”
Justice: “Vengeance belongs to God, not to you or me.”
Jailer: “You are your own jailer. Your torment won’t end until you forgive. Then it will end immediately. You will be free. And that is what God wants for you.”
Keep the conversation focused on the person who needs to forgive, not on the one who caused the injuries. Again, your aim is to bring him to a point of readiness to forgive. Look into his eyes as you talk. You’ll be able to tell when he opens his heart. The cues that his heart is open will be obvious-emotions, facial expressions, tone of voice, and often tears.
Now the person is ready to experience the miracle of forgiving.
Step 4: Deliver the miracle. At this point the person is ready to forgive, but with so many conflicting and swirling emotions, he doesn’t have a clear path forward. In fact, he may even honestly say, “I really want to, but I don’t know if I can.” You serve as the human bridge from his “want to forgive” to his “did forgive.” The Spirit of God will be leading you in this very personal process.
You can start by simply saying, “I’d like to help you do this. Would you be comfortable just repeating the words after me?” (Forgiveness between people is expressed not in a prayer toward God but as a statement of forgiveness toward the offender.)
If he agrees, gently lead him in a natural conversation, helping him to name and then forgive specific wounds that come to mind or that he has mentioned already: “I forgive my dad for telling me I’d never amount to anything… for walking out on my mom and me… for never being around…”
In certain instances you may need to help the person with a few open-ended questions:
“What else did your father do that hurt you?”
“Is there anything else that comes to mind?”
You are trying to get to the pain of his wound. Be patient and thorough, gently encouraging him to get it all out—every kind of injury and every occasion—and then forgive each instance.
Don’t hurry the person, and don’t become uncomfortable with periods of silence, as it gives the Lord time to work. Remember, this miracle is God’s to deliver. Don’t worry that the person may forget to name some wounds. The Holy Spirit will be leading his thoughts to deal with the real injuries.
Of course you will expect the real pain to trigger emotions—tears, anger, anguish. That’s good and natural. Your role is to be a patient, caring listener.
When the person seems to be finished, use the Forgiveness Test. Ask the person to repeat these words out loud:
Before God, I have completely forgiven…..of every wound.
Then be quiet for a minute and see if God agrees. During those few seconds of silence, the person usually remembers something else. After each new round of forgiveness, try the Forgiveness Test again until nothing else surfaces. Then you know the forgiveness part of the miracle has been successfully delivered.
The torment ends when forgiveness has been genuinely granted. Expect the miracle to bring with it a sense of peace. If you notice it, bring it to the person’s attention: “You look more peaceful already. Do you feel lighter inside?” Forgiveness is one of the most beautiful miracles you’ll ever witness.
Step 5: Transfer the credit. Your final step is to help the recipient of the miracle focus on the One he has offended by not forgiving. I like to remind the person that God has been present in the conversation and that He is the healer of hearts and the terminator of all torment.
Forgiveness can release healing in surprising ways. One breakthrough is often the beginning of restoration in other relationships.
But to complete the full miracle of forgiveness for himself, he needs to receive God’s full forgiveness. Remind him that God views unforgiveness as sin:
“How do you think God felt about your unforgiveness and bitterness for all those years?” At this point the person’s heart is so tender that he will easily admit God hasn’t been pleased with his anger and bitterness. Often I continue the process of leading the person in short phrases he can repeat after me:
“Dear God, I confess my sins of unforgiveness… I have held on to resentment, bitterness, hatred, and vengeance… I have offended You and broken Your heart… Please forgive me for not forgiving.”
And now you have delivered two gifts: the person who brought injury has been forgiven, and a person who offended God by not forgiving has also been forgiven.
In my experience, forgiveness can release healing in surprising ways. For example, one breakthrough in forgiveness is often the beginning of breakthroughs and restoration in other relationships, including a person’s relationship with God.
This bring us to the end of the 14 series on delivery a miracle. I hope you have develop yourself to the point where you can be a miracle agent and become a channel through which Gods blessing can flow. This end our series for this year as we will be taking the next 46 days in prayer and fasting for Matthew 6:10 in ourselves, in our families, in our churches, in our nation and in the world around us.
Remain blessed, remain Joyful, and remain in Peace which only Christ provides! Amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe
e-discipleship at Otakada.org