Tag Archives: Ed Hackett

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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True Humility Glorifies The Artist!

ImageKris Vallotton tells this story: ” Some time ago I was teaching on the purpose of prophetic ministry. Beginning with a few opening comments, I said, “Prophecy calls out the greatness in people.”

Just then a pastor walked through the back door and said, “I have a question.” ”

What is it?”

“I believe that God is great,” he said.

“Yes. Did I say something that made you feel that God wasn’t great?”

“You said we are to call out the greatness in people. I believe that you are creating pride in people by doing that,” he said.

I fired back, “I believe for years the church has emasculated and castrated people in the name of humility.” I pointed to a beautiful painting on the wall and said, “Let’s pretend you painted that picture.”

“OK,” he said, looking confused.

“That’s a stupid painting! Look at those ugly colors!” I yelled. “Now,” I asked him, “Did demeaning the painting glorify the artists?”

“No” he said.

“Isn’t it true that the beauty of the painting actually brings honor to the artist?”

“Yes, that’s true,” he said

“You didn’t paint yourself–God painted you,” I told him. “Not only that but Jesus is the one who sat in the chair and modeled for the portrait. We are created in His image and in His likeness. Every time we demean ourselves we are taking badly about the Artist and the Model. The truth is that the beauty of creation actually gives glory to the Creator.”

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Desire To Prophesy

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Have you ever desired to prophesy but weren’t confident that you could? Or, have you ever thought that prophecy was only for those weird ‘prophetic-type’ people, who always claim they heard from God? Or, have you been taught that prophecy is not even available today, so why bother pursuing something that is ‘spiritually-illegal’? Well, I want to encourage you, that not only is prophecy available today, but more importantly, that prophecy is part of your spiritual inheritance and something that YOU CAN DO!

 

When thinking about prophecy, you may imagine one of the prophets from the Old Testament—you know the scary looking dude that came to Israel with a gut-wrenching, negative assault on the way people were living at the time and with predictions of doom and destruction. Or, you may think of a contemporary prophetic person, like some high-profile conference speaker that talks about ‘seeing’ angels and things like that, and stuns audiences by calling individuals out by name and giving detailed information about their lives. While both of these examples can be accurate descriptions of prophecy or prophetic ministry, the truth is that there is a far more common expression of prophecy that has been made available to every believer in Jesus that neither uses the Old Testament prophets nor the super-gifted modern day prophet as the normal, day-to-day example of prophecy in a believer’s life.

 

When considering prophecy, what we’re really speaking of is ‘hearing’ from God—and by that I don’t mean some ‘audible voice’, but rather the small sensing within. But how can you prophesy if you haven’t heard what to say? This is critical for us to understand, so we can have healthy, biblical perspective concerning God’s desire to talk to us. Years ago, I used to imagine prophecy like the example above, with the super-gifted prophet as my standard for what ‘real’ prophecy looked like. In one way, I was greatly encouraged by the supernatural display of power, but in another way, I would get discouraged because when I looked at my history with God, I assumed because I didn’t have such awesome experiences that I wasn’t really ‘prophetic’—just someone hungry for things I probably wouldn’t receive. For me the issue that affected me the most was my lack of confidence, which caused me to play down much of what I was receiving from the Lord, believing that it probably wasn’t Him, so I would just forget it. Over time, however, I began to discern and value the way the Lord would speak to me and was surprised how often I was ‘hearing’ from Him.


We have to be careful when comparing our experiences with others, because this can end up causing more discouragement than good, especially when it comes to the issue of ‘hearing’ from God. This can quickly turn into the ‘have and have not’ divide among believers. This kind of tension creates unnecessary pain resulting in division and inflexible opinions justifying one’s experience—or lack of one.


Once again, God absolutely desires to speak to you, this is at the heart of being able to prophesy. When we become convinced that God not only speaks today, but that He will actually speak to us, this awakens hope and excites our faith to pursue prophecy confidently. In the book of Joel, God had given an amazing prophecy, concerning a future time when He would pour out His Spirit in such a way that those receiving the Holy Spirit would have ‘prophetic’ encounters with God, “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29 “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28–29).

 

I can imagine the prophet Joel being completely stunned to hear that the Spirit would be poured upon all flesh and that they would prophesy and have dreams and visions. Joel understood that prophecy was only given to those specially called to that function, yet the Lord said those filled with the Spirit would prophesy. This gives us a new understanding of God’s heart as it expresses His desire to intimately relate to us by graciously providing a way for us to supernaturally encounter Him.

 

The promise of Joel had its initial fulfillment on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 in a supernatural way that caused awe and wonder in those present. Peter said in Acts 2:16 that “this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel,” and quoted Joel 2:28–32. So, we see the outpouring of the Spirit connected to the event on Pentecost. This means that anyone who believes in Jesus has as an inheritance of prophecy, dreams, and visions. God made a way for all to know Him through His Son and to be filled with the Spirit.

 

The Spirit now living inside us communicates God’s heart to us. God wants all His children to know Him directly and be able to discern His voice—the ‘prophetic’ Spirit is in every believer, which is unrelated to a ministry calling. Paul spoke about this inclusiveness of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14, “Now I wish that … You would prophesy… For you can all prophesy… (1 Corinthians 14:5, 31). Paul further encouraged us to earnestly desire prophecy because of its benefits to strengthen and encourage others (see 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3).

I want to encourage you to not only believe that God will speak to you, but for you to specifically pursue prophecy. The Holy Spirit lives in you and will speak to you! Be looking for part two of “You Can Prophesy” to see more practical tips on how to prophesy.

Ed Boasso, 4/4/2007

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