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Stunned by Love

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

We finished a special gathering this weekend to learn about how God speaks to us today and how we can hear well. He sent us a very gracious and loving man from Kansas City, a man with 3 daughters and 10 grandchildren. After spending 23 years selling pencils to schools, God called him to minister full time as an intercessory missionary at the IHOPKC.

We were reminded that the heavenly Father is calling us his friends and inviting us to join him in the work of saving the world. We learned that prophecy today is simply the testimony of Jesus. It's what He would like to say to us in order to strengthen, encourage and comfort us. The key is that we don’t focus on the gift but on the Father who wants an intimate relationship with us and delights in gushing His love on us. God so wants to speak to us tender words of affection and encourage us in our heaven-ward journey. He doesn’t look for performance from us, just love.

As part of building confidence that we can all hear from God, we were led in a practicum on prophesying to ourselves. I have been hearing God for myself for years and practice using journaling as a means to capture those words. Nevertheless I so enjoyed the experience of looking into the eyes of Jesus and asking Him what He thinks of me and what He likes about me. Throughout the gathering Papa would deliver love letters to his children. Some received letters in private and others, read aloud in the gathering. Imagine yourself picked out from the crowd to get a hand delivered message from God. It’s such a blessing to experience God who sees us and knows us and would use a total stranger to deliver a word of encouragement.

Sunday message was about the power of our words and blessing as a form of prophesy. The tongue has the power of life and death (Prov 18:21); Speak what is helpful for building others up according to their needs (Eph 4:29). Admittedly Chinese families are not very good about praise and affirmation. It’s not unusual to meet middle age people who have never heard a positive word spoken to them from parents. The speaker asked the congregation to prophesy or bless the pastor and his wife.

Unbeknownst to all of us is the fact that the pastor’s wife has been feeling isolated and depressed and was asking God for a sign this very weekend to not leave the church. Because the pastor loves his wife and wants to support her, he was going to resign and leave with her should she decide so. What Papa orchestrated that day was a divine intervention that no counselor or one’s effort could accomplish. People that have hurt them came forward to seek forgiveness, kind words were spoken to appreciate their labor and care. Walls came down, and the enemy’s scheme exposed and frustrated. It was as if the entire weekend was Papa’s elaborate and mischievous plan to demonstrate His love for the pastor’s wife. No, not if -- definitely! Papa opened heaven and poured out such love on this little church. I was stunned. I fell to my knees and wept as we sang the response song, Open the Gates. In that moment time and space became sacred. Sobs came from all over the room. The words of the song was so appropriate for the moment though it was selected days earlier.

After the service our speaker spent two more hours praying over each of the church leaders. Everyone was treated with respect and loved. Whether it was a word of encouragement or a gentle rebuke, we felt every person received a timely word, a gift from Papa. I was so moved by the demonstration of the Love of God embodied in a person. Wow, I have a lot to learn.

Along with the pastor and his wife, we took the speaker to lunch. We were all a bit spent emotionally but so grateful, so encouraged. As we were reporting how the church was blessed, we suddenly all became quiet and became deeply aware that the Spirit of God was resting upon us so sweetly.

It was Papa’s kiss.

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