Hi, Matt Bennett here with Christian Union, Christian Union Day and Night. I, by God's grace, and by His strength founded Christian Union some years ago to minister among adults, through the Internet here, and also at university campuses. It's a privilege and joy to serve the Lord in these ways. We are, during these ten days of the Great Experiment, coming together, binding our hearts together to seek the Lord in a special way. We want Him to pour forth his spirit. We want to see conversions. We want to see new births in our Lord. We want people to have the strength to live holy lives. We want every sector of society to be blessed, to be changed because of the kingdom of God in all of its fullness. This is why we're doing this. This is why we're having these ten days, so that we can be the kind of people that God can use.
Always, you see in the scriptures, so many of the Lord's servants, they need to be taken away. They need to spend extra time with God to have the faith and the strength to be strong in the Lord, to be His agents out in the world. So that's why we're doing this. We're gathered together. We have these five commitments and we're seeking the Lord each day and praying and trusting Him to do some extraordinary things. I want to read a passage here today that I think you'll find very interesting because it's very real today, as it was with our Lord Jesus in the first century. It's from Luke 13:10. Now take note of this: as you see this, you may say to yourself you've never seen such a thing, but it happens.
Let me read it. It says in verse 10, "Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God."
Here you have an example of this woman who was kind of a hunchback for 18 years and in this case it says the root of it was an evil spirit. When people need healing, sometimes it's simply because of the curse of Adam and Eve that's come down and we all die. Still we all have afflictions, but sometimes there is a need. There's a spiritual root at it in some way. When you look in the gospels, like the book of Matthew for instance, of the 20 episodes of healing, half of them it just mentions healing, the other half it mentions healing and deliverance, that is of evil spirits.
So in some cases, deliverance is a factor, and in all cases we want to lay hands on people and pray that they would be healed. Now, this has fallen out of fashion in a lot of places in the Western church, but it shouldn't because God does heal. When we pray, I, by the Lord's grace, I've seen a lot of people healed over time and by His grace and strength, I've cast out a lot of demons from people, almost all Christians, and even some pastors. And this may be new information because you've never seen it. Some wonder whether Christians can be afflicted by demons, and that's a good question. In the New Testament, it's not explicitly clear one way or the other, but we know from experience that it happens all the time, that people are delivered.
I've seen it happen with people, and sometimes they come out mildly, but sometimes, like you see in the Bible, the demon speaks through their voices and sometimes through vomiting they end up coming out and even rolling on the floor and the whole histrionics that you see in the movies. That happens, but we don't have to be fearful. The Lord is with us. He gives us the strength and the faith to see this and these poor people like this woman here who has had this disabling spirit for 18 years is afflicted. I've seen a lot of people radically changed. A lot of people have blessings on their life - both physical healings as well as all sorts of emotional issues and addictions and problems.
It doesn't mean that everything that a person has is caused by these things. Who knows what's going on? Sometimes you don't always see success. The Lord seemed to always have success when he administered, but not when I do it and when others minister this way. But this is all real and this is important for us to know. For us to step out in faith and to obey the Lord, we need you to know His ways and grow in ways, even if they're new and uncomfortable for us.
So thank you for being part of this ten day Great Experiment. Thank you for going deeper, talking to the Lord. Ask the Lord whether He says these things are true, and see what he says to you as you believe Him and as you ask Him. Let me say a prayer. Lord, we love and praise and thank You, you are the great God, the blessed God. How awesome and beautiful you are. In Jesus' name.
And now I say to you, may the Lord bless you. May the Lord give you faith. May the Lord give you full understanding in His truth and in every aspect of your life as you walk with Him, as you go from strength to strength, the Lord bless you. Have a great day.
Here is your guide for the “Five Rs” of The Great Experiment, November 1-10, 2019.
1. Read and Pray
Spend 30 minutes every morning reading the Bible and praying, and also spend time in the evening doing the same. To intensify your devotional times, consider fasting for some of the days. We have created a daily 30-minute devotional that you can use.
What sins do I need to repent of today? What hindrances to my devotion to Christ can I remove today?
3. Respond to the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, what is the one thing you most want me to do today? (Write it down, and do it today).
4. Represent Christ.
How will I bear witness to Christ today? With whom shall I share the Gospel today?
5. Raise Your Faith.
Be bold and courageous in living out your faith. Choose from one of the following options for a “Joshua Faith Challenge”:
- Host an all-night prayer meeting. Set a date during November 1-10 and invite friends to come and pray with you for revival in America.
- Every day, pray for ten friends and family members to come to faith in Christ and look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- Share an evangelistic post on social media every day from November 1-10.
- Anything else the Lord burdens you to take on that will require courageous faith.