Tag Archives: Chris Ferguson

Surprised by the Love of God

Surprised by the Love of God

by Adam Wittenberg

9/10/15 Training and Events

He had never felt God’s love before, until the Lord broke in at Onething!

After nearly ten years of trying to pursue God and feeling like he “wasn’t really getting anywhere,” Jeff L. came to Onething.

At the invitation of his son, Tyler, Jeff drove from Rockford, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri, for the Onething conference in 2014. What the 62-year-old investment advisor didn’t know is that it would change his life and walk with God forever.

Tyler, who was working in the Partners department at the International House of Prayer, scheduled a prophecy appointment for his father with Ed Hackett and Chris Ferguson, two leaders at IHOPKC.

But instead of simply speaking encouragement over him, Chris and Ed sensed the need to get to know Jeff a bit first. When they asked, Jeff said he was feeling “stalled out” in his walk with God.

This prompted Ed to share a dream he’d had. In the dream, Ed was a defensive football player who picked up a fumble, but was immediately attacked by four large linemen as he started to run toward the goal line.

surprisedbyloveIn Ed’s dream, the coach (representing God) shouted from the sideline, “Keep your legs moving and fix your eyes on the goal!” By doing this, Ed broke free and eventually reached the end zone.

As he crossed the line, the Lord highlighted Hebrews 12:1–2: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

What Chris and Ed didn’t know was that Jeff coached defense for a high school football team in Rockford.

The men connected, and Ed shared his own journey of how he felt like he had to work his way to God until he had a radical encounter with Him.

“When you don’t know if you’re walking with the Lord or not, there can be a heaviness, and of course sin comes in there and tries to take us out,” Ed said, recalling the dialogue.

He then asked Jeff, “‘Is this the day you want to drive a stake in the ground for Christ?’” Jeff replied, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

When the men finished praying, the shift was evident.

“It seemed like his countenance was just bright,” Ed said. “You know the change when someone knows that they know—it’s not about your words, it’s what Christ has done.”

Jeff knew that things were different, too.

“Before that, I’d never had a deep feeling of God’s love for me,” he said. “At that particular moment, it started. I could feel something, and it’s only gotten better and better since!”

From there, Jeff went immediately into the prayer room, which is held at the Kansas City Convention Center during Onething, to spend time with Jesus.

“Usually my dad’s always like ‘go-go-go,’ but he was in there for hours, just sitting there. He didn’t want to come out,” says Tyler.

Jeff then attended Onething sessions with Tyler and Tyler’s wife, Katie Jo. This blessed Tyler, who had been praying for his father “for a really long time.”

“I had my dad on my right hand and my wife on my left hand, and we were just worshiping the Lord,” he recalls. “Just to be in the presence of the Lord with both of them like that was really special.”

Since the conference, Jeff’s experience of God’s love has only grown. It carried him through an emergency heart bypass surgery in February (“He got a new heart spiritually, and then physically,” Tyler says. “We both had peace before the surgery”),  and now he wants to transition from his career and football coaching in order to pursue God more.

Jeff also wants to come back to Onething and bring his friends, most of whom “aren’t big believers and wouldn’t understand unless I brought them there. I tell them, ‘You have to be in that environment and you’ll feel it.’”

And to anyone who has never been to Onething, or is thinking about coming, Jeff’s invitation is just as encouraging.

“You’ve got to come to this because it’s life-changing, for you and your family,” he says. “You’ve got to get there. You’ve got to see it for yourself.”

Prophetic ministry is offered to Onething 2015 attendees. Registration opens December 28 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Adam Wittenberg

 A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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God Remembers You

AWAYFORYOU

“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.”

“Interesting to note God used natural process to get Noah & the Ark. Supernatural protection & direction yet natural process. No instantaneous dry land. God has not forgotten you, He remembers and carries you through the storm!

A way will be made for you.” Chris Ferguson

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Learning To Pray

mbimportantcalling

ABOUT THE BOOK

Prayer is a high calling and an amazing privilege, and being a person of prayer is one of the most important callings in your life. Just think about this for a moment: We can talk with the God of the universe! And we can know that not only does He listen attentively and with great affection, but also He responds—by revealing His heart, giving us direction, blessing our circumstances, releasing justice, and much more.

Growing in Prayer is the most practical book on prayer I have read. It will go down as a classic and will stand alongside the greatest books on prayer in church history.”

–R. T. Kendall
PhD Oxford; Minister, Westminster Chapel,
London (1977–2002)

“I have read all the great classic books on prayer, but this is the best I have ever read.”

–Rick Joyner

“God has given Mike such powerful revelation on prayer. This book can ignite your passion for true communion with God.”

–Joyce Meyer

“This is one of the most inspiring, helpful, informative, and practical books on prayer I have ever read.”

–Ken Gott
Sunderland Revival

Growing in Prayer, like the books written by great men of God such as E. M. Bounds, will be read for generations to come.”

–Cindy Jacobs

“For forty years Mike Bickle has relentlessly pursued this pleasure, rejecting the status quo lifestyle accepted by so many. The insights in this book will elevate you to new heights. It is an outstanding work!”

–Dutch Sheets
Author of best-selling Intercessory Prayer

“God has used Mike Bickle to spark the end-time prayer movement. We in Hong Kong, China, and Asia are so happy to see this book published. It crystallizes the principles of equipping end-time praying churches for this momentous season in church history.”

–Eddie Ma
Hong Kong

“I have been looking for this book my whole life.”

–David Pytches
Bishop, Church of England,
London

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The William Branham Moment

The William Branham Moment

By Mario Murillo

 

William Branham shocked the world by ripping the thin veil between science and the supernatural.  His ministry did not just bless…in many instances, it terrified.

In Los Angeles, a man with cancer stood in the healing line for hours.  While waiting, he witnessed every kind of healing imaginable.  However, when it was his turn for prayer the evangelist refused.  Indignant, the man demanded to know why.   Branham said, “You don’t want me to tell you.”  The man was now furious and refused to leave without an answer.   “You are sleeping with your secretary,” said the evangelist.  With that, the man dropped his head and rushed out of the meeting.

William Branham was an answer to desperate prayer and an act of love by God the Father.   The Pentecostal movement was dying because of infighting and immorality.

Divine healing had fallen into disrepute.  Meetings were often fraught with emotionalism.  Charlatans whipped audiences into frenzies.  Most healing testimonies were sketchy at best.

Things were also bad outside the church.  America was in the grip of fear of nuclear war.  Psychiatry was replacing faith.  A whole generation was racing away from God.   Preachers were at a loss about what to do about it.

Bran 1

Today, the Spirit-filled movement finds itself in the same predicament.  Once again, we are mired by division and emotionalism.   Only this time it is much, much worse…I’ll tell you more about that later.

1946: Enter William Branham.  The atmosphere is low key.  There is no attempt to manipulate the people.  Branham tells the audience when the angel of the Lord is present—a statement that should sound preposterous, except that astounding things start happening.

Oral Roberts once told me, “There were no hard cases for Branham while he was enveloped by the anointing.”  Growths vanished, lifeless limbs awakened, blind eyes opened.

American historian, David Edwin Harrell Jr. described Branham as:

An unlikely leader….his preaching was halting and simple beyond belief. But William Branham became a prophet to a generation. A small, meek, middle-aged man with piercing eyes, he held audiences spellbound with tales of constant communication with God and angels. Night after night, before thousands of awed believers he discerned the diseases of the sick and pronounced them healed.

Like few men have ever been endowed with the raw supernatural power of William Branham.  There, for the entire world to see–for medical science to test, were signs and wonders that were incontrovertible.

Bran 4 copy

Branham’s innocence and simplicity would have been his demise had it not been for Gordon Lindsay.  Harrell said of Gordon Lindsay, “. . . more than any other man, [he] brought system and unity . . . contributing an orderly mind, keen business sense, boundless energy, badly needed literary skills and an ecumenical spirit.”

Together, Branham and Lindsay were used of God to birth an era.   A young Oral Roberts went to Kansas City to hear Branham.  The experience led him to resign his church in Enid, Oklahoma and obey God’s mandate to “take my healing power to your generation.”

In Portland, Oregon, T.L. Osborn sat transfixed by the word of the Lord from Branham.  This simple sentence from the lips of Branham launched Osborn: “God the Father heals the sick to prove that He raised His Son Jesus from the dead.

Just being used by God to launch Roberts and Osborn made him a vessel that touched millions.   But more than that…signs and wonders became a standard part of Spirit-filled soul-winning.

Now we have come to this terrible moment for the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement in America.  Compromise has hit us from the most unlikely sources.   A pandemic moral/political cowardice paralyzes our pulpits.  The wholesale removal of freedom of speech and freedom of religion has met only token resistance from “Spirit-filled” pastors.

Today we have widespread reports of “revivals” that are hugely disappointing.  In our heart of hearts we know they are total hype.  Healings are claimed but not confirmed.

We have witnessed the rise of an entire “revival” industry that hawks imaginary authority. People are reveling in spiritual fantasy worlds, blending astral projection and UFOs with Christianity.

Travelling ministries today sell high-pitch ecstasies that promise towering results over the enemy, but deliver zero impact on the culture.

branham-and-roberts copy

I have my suspicions.  I wonder if the voices that scream revival the loudest are simply trying to drown out their own unbelief, or if the abuse of GRACE –that has pastors drinking hard liquor after church–is merely defeatism that says, “What’s the use in trying?”

The times are dark, so dark in fact, that they carry a strange hope.  Maybe we are finally, finally willing to shed the stubborn sins that have imprisoned us in religious irrelevancy and deception.

Perhaps we are witnessing the creation of a positive vacuum in Pentecostals and in society.  This is our best chance to save America.  This vacuum is making Charismatic/Pentecostals replace things. These replacements are the key to power.

A real hunger for truth is replacing political correctness.   Donald Trump is a symptom of widespread anger with political correctness.   We are a fed up culture now.  People agree with Trump about America and that is why all of the criticism the media is throwing at him does not stick.

Many believers are angry with politically correct preaching.  The cry now is, “Quit feeding us junk food!”  We want experience power, not a feel good message.  Look around you… the hunger for truth is rising.

A true desperation is replacing our attitude of entitlement.  Americans know that they are losing their future to our government.  They no longer harbor the fantasy that tells us we’re going to pull out of this just because we are America.

Bran 3

Many Christians realize that they have never known true desperation until now.  They don’t want church to make them feel good anymore, they want church to put them right and make them strong.  They want something real so badly that they will take it straight—not sugar-coated or diluted.

A true spirit of prayer is replacing artificial prayer.   Believers are waking up to the fact that they prayed wrong.  They had agendas in prayer.  Pastors prayed as if prayer was a booster rocket for their pet program.   Prayer is returning to the raw, unconditional surrender that it was supposed to be all along.

The real message here is not the arrival of a man but of an era of explosive miracles.  That is what I am sensing and expecting.   What we have been waiting for will come in an unexpected package—Branham did!

Maybe we have finally reached total desperation.   Maybe now we will trade the unreliable for the undeniable.   Let it be, Oh, God.

*This article reposted from Mario Murillo’s blog HERE Soulpants takes no credit for this article. 

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How Does One Love God?

lovinggod“Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, to which he replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…” As a young believer I was always perplexed whenever I heard someone say “I love the LORD!” How do you love someone you can’t see or touch? I was saved and had a theological understanding of God and scripture. Yet, I just couldn’t grasp the thought of loving God. What was the key to “loving God?” Oh how I longed to know. I know how to love a person but how does one love God?

 While I found myself perplexed and asking questions God had already sent the answer. Two thousand years before I even asked. Jesus came to earth as fully God and fully man. He was and is the answer. We get to know and love Him the same way the Disciples did. How do we love people? We talk to them. We spend time with them. We learn the things they love and the things they dislike. We discover their plans, goals, dreams, and gifts. It really is the same with Jesus.

I Love God

We simply need to talk with Him. Not just a 10 minute devotional  followed by an obligatory prayer. Simple conversation through out the day. Tell Him you love Him. Do it now…”Jesus, I love You! I love the way You love me. I love You!” Whisper it softly under your breath. Repeat it over and over through out your day. Get crazy and sing your love to Him.

When a young couple first falls in love they want to know all about the other, the want to spend all of their time together, all of their money and time is invested in each other. Growing in love with God is similar. Now when you read the Bible don’t do it out of “duty.”romantichands Do it with thrill and excitement of young love, read it with an adventurous spirit seeking to discover all the details of your Beloved. What is Jesus passionate about, what are His goals, what moves His heart. Talk to Him while you read the Bible. Linger don’t rush this process. Before love is measured in days, months, or years, it is measured in moments. Enjoy those moments through out the day, cherish those longer times with Him.

God didn’t make it complicated. Love the Lord  with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…you can do this. Get started now: sing, speak, and  tell God of your love. Linger in His Word, whisper it back soon your heart, thoughts and strength will follow.  You’re gonna get good at this!

francischan

 

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Steps to Biblical Meditation: Read it!

bible_lightRead it – Read the verse several times and note how the construction of the verse may effect what is read.

This is far more than simply reading the text and checking it off of your “Task List”. You are a disciple not a student. What do I mean? In Jesus’ day a Rabbi wanted disciples not students. A student wanted to know what the teacher knows. The want to get the grade and in order to get the grade. That isn’t bad it just a student and not a disciple. That’s what the philosopher wanted…somebody who wanted to know what the philosopher knew. Most believers spend their time at “Jesus’ feet” wanting to know what He knew. This is simply an intellectual exercise. A disciple is someone who wants to BE what the Rabbi IS! Becoming like Jesus is a consuming fire for a disciple. They want to be like the Rabbi more than anything else. Yes they want to know what He knows. Yes, they want to see what He does…not to pass a test but to become like Him.

In fact the Bible says Jesus chose the twelve in Mark 3:14-15 not in order to teach them. Not in order for them to learn or to listen. The Bible says Jesus chose the twelve that they might be with HIM. Why? Because to be with Him meant they had the opportunity to become like HIM.

If becoming like Jesus is not a burning all consuming fire in us…then we are merely students and not disciples of Jesus the Messiah.

A life in God and consequently a life of mediation can not be rushed. This is that slow thoughtful chewing on the word over and over again. It is becoming content to not “finish” the text; but to rest on the text. To encounter the God-Man Jesus in the Word.

I read the scripture and let it read me, not to pass the test but to become like Jesus. Reading it over and over. This may take days, weeks, or even longer. Take a small portion of scripture and “soak in it.” Corey Russell, “Father, I Desire”

Free notes and mp3 of this teaching click on the photos to download. You are gonna get good at this!

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 1.42.07 PMFree Teaching Notes

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Contending For Your Destiny Pt. 4 of 4

You will have to feed your God-given dream! Many dreams die on the vine from neglect, they Imagerequire nurture and care. It isn’t complex but is so easy to give up on your dream, because of other attractions and distractions.

24Take heed what you hear (believe about what God will give you). With the same measure you use (apply to your life), it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. (Mark 4:24)

“Be careful little ears what you hear.” Take heed in what you hear or in what you believe is God’s measure of blessing for your life.  In other words, be careful in determining what you will contend for in your experience in God.  Most are easily satisfied with too small of an expectation in God.

  • Feed your spirit on examples of scriptural promises that agree with your calling/dream/destiny.
  • Remember what God has already done. Joseph recalled the dream. David remembered the day the prophet anointed him.
  • Remind yourself of what God is doing. Document your own prophetic history and be immersed in it!

ImageDavid learns to strengthen himself in the LORD. He returns home to Ziklag and finds the city on fire, his possessions stolen, and his family taken captive.  Not only his but that of all his mighty men. God comes into the Garden of Eden and finds His creation on fire, His world stolen, and His sons and daughters taken captive.  He is not standing aloof from the experience of human sorrow and loss.  His participation in our suffering is not an exercise in empathy; He is participating in the process to bring us to a place of full recovery.

The story was tragic David and his 600 men had lost their wives and children.  All that a man fights for! The first thing Davey did was strengthen or encourage himself in the Lord.  He then sought the word of the Lord and got an answer.

“I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3)

The incident that inspired David to write Psalm 34 had to do with his escape from Gath and King Akish.  It happened about two years earlier in David’s life.  In this chapter he speaks about “magnifying the Lord.” Magnifying doesn’t actually make something bigger.  It doesn’t enlarge it in reality, only in perspective.  The key is what we focus on (talk about or pray about) is the thing that will become larger in our minds.  And if we will begin to praise and worship God, especially when we don’t feel like it, it has a way of connecting us with the power, potential, and reality of God in such a way that it really does strengthen and encourage us.

7Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.” (1 Sam. 30:7-8)

We must steward the gift, vision, or dream!Paul instructed Timothy regarding stewarding his gifts:

14Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. (1 Tim. 4:14)6I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands. (2 Tim. 1:6)

God won’t do our part and we can’t do His part! Live like the dream depends upon you and pray like you have no other possibility.  Exercise your faith!

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