Sucess consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasim~Winston Churchill [a man who would know!]
On Friday half of this Rhema class graduated. One of the things we get asked to do is to ask God for our *mission*, listen for the answer & then begin to implement it. The graduating students got to share with the rest of us ~ & WOW! I mean truly, WOW! There were some amazing stories that came out. The most extraordinary thing is that everyone is a completely ordinary Christian. They just happened to start listening to God & He began to do amazing things through them.
Yes, I already have mine. I had it before I began classes actually but I have a 3 pronged mission, a lot of which requires time & other people but I do have the next step, one that always required a 12 month wait & Rhema is part of my preparation for that next step.
One of the things that I knew I had to be careful of coming into Rhema was to keep a teachable spirit because we have been on the island a long time & without Anointed spiritual authority for much of that time ~ & just because someone is ordained does not automatically give them spiritual authority! You read here; you know we are pretty independent thinkers on all sorts of matters & so it really was an act of faith because, to put it incredibly bluntly, I did not want to be here. I would never have chosen this sort of a course. I still have moments when I cringe inside & go, Oh, Lord! What are you doing?!
I'm not sure what changes the Lord is trying to work in me but right at the beginning I read the student book & it stated something along the lines of: Try not to interrupt the lectures with questions. If you ask of the Holy Spirit you will find your questions will be answered over the duration of the course. It may sound like a cop~out to some but for someone of Quakerish persuasions it actually made perfect sense & so I have listened & waited & I have found that statement to be true. I will give you an example.
I have whinged, none to subtly, about the street witness. It makes me supremely uncomfortable & I could never get all my theological ducks to line up in a neat row & go, Quack~ quack. Sorry, but if my duckies don't line up nicely & go Quack~quack I tend to get stymied. Also evangelism is not in my gift mix so I was never going to be a woop~de~woop~woop at this. Just the same I do know it is every believers ordained command direct from heaven to share the gospel. And I do appreciate the good Lord's sense of humour because some of my answer came in a class I have particularly struggled with.
The Lord is dealing with my biases because I have found Kenneth Hagin to be a really difficult lecturer. The accent does me in. It is bible belt twang & I have trouble ~ apart from me wanting to correct things left right & centre because they have been pronounced *incorrectly*! OK, I could live with the twang but for the life of me I have never been able to figure out the point he is trying to make on any given subject. He is a raconteur & his entire lecture tends to consist of story after story out of his own experience & all that does is leave me completely bewildered. Then there are the side~swipes at *intellectuals.* I do get that brains are not going to get anyone into heaven but is there anything intrinsically wrong with being an intelligent & well informed Christian? Thus I tend to find it extremely difficult to stay focused in his lectures & the doodles in my notepad grow into a veritable forest of trees & lakes & billowing clouds as a backdrop for birds flying in classic black & white.
This particular day he was discussing healing & I had only been vaguely listening when he said something that did catch my attention because, What when God doesn't heal? And what he said, my paraphrase, was: Don't pray for his healing. He's going to die. Huh? Pretty much Hagin's response too ~ only he also began lobbing all the scriptures back at God & this is what God said back: I've been waiting 30 years for him to stop his sinning & begin living right. Now I have handed his flesh over to Satan for destruction that his soul may be saved....[1 Cor5:5] And I had a lightbulb moment! Based on that the street witness begins to make perfect sense. Carnal Christians begin to make perfect sense. How the Corinthian Church ended up in the mess it did makes perfect sense. The spirit is renewed, yes, but unless we give the Spirit permission to renew our minds & control our flesh nothing on the outside changes!!!! Duh!
Just the same I am far more comfortable when I see fruit because that is the evidence of the inward change; one that non~believers can see. The evidence of tongues, which is what Rhema teaches, I see as evidence for believers ~ & no, you do not need tongues to be saved! It serves a completely different purpose, one I don't have time to go into here & now. I need to get over myself. If only it were that easy!