I remember reading the story of Jeannie Raborg in the book When God shows up. Jeannie was raised in a Presbyterian home. When she was eight years old, she was sent to a summer camp for girls. One night as the girls were gathered around a campfire, the counselor told the girls to throw a pinecone into the fire and make a wish. Jeannie did, and her wish was simple. “God,” she said, “if You are really there, I’d like to know You.” That was it. No bells. No whistles.
Since that time, many years had passed and Jeannie became a teacher. Everything was going well until one day, as a student came to her desk, something happened. Jeannie woke up in the hospital. She had suffered a complete nervous breakdown. Within a few weeks, they placed her in a secure mental hospital. After a year her prognosis wasn’t good. The doctors told the family she would probably spend the rest of her life in a psychiatric facility.
Four years later, an evangelist came to the town where her mother lived. At the end of one of the services, the mother went up for prayer. She told him about her daughter. The evangelist felt the Lord leading him to go and pray for her. The trip was 500 miles away. He told her to go and tell her family that she would not only be healed, but that she would be home in 3 days.
The family didn’t believe it. Jeannie was simply too far gone for anything to be done for her.
When the evangelist found Jeannie, she was licking envelopes. That was the only thing she could do in her drug-induced state. He told her why he was there. But her reply was, “There is no hope for me.” His response was, “Isaiah 41:10 says, ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ ”
Jeannie perked up and told him that was the one verse she had leaned on for years. Then he told her, “I really don’t understand this, but the Lord wants me to tell you that He has never forgotten the 8-year-old girl who threw the pinecone into the fire and said she wanted to know Him personally.” He prayed.
The next day the psychiatrist came in and Jeannie told him, “I’m healed, and I want to go home.” He started a series of tests and, three days after the preacher prayed, she went home.
That was over 20 years ago, and she has been well ever since. We serve a mighty God! Never limit God.
We can never give up. Nothing is impossible with God.
- A man can be sick for 38 years, but that doesn’t mean he cannot be healed.
- A woman can be bound by Satan for 18 years, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be set free.
- A man can be so demonically empowered that the strongest chains cannot hold him, but that doesn’t mean he is too far gone for God.
- A woman may have spent her last dime on doctors, but that doesn’t mean the great physician cannot show up and take over the case.
- Your marriage may seem too far gone, but the great Counselor is still able.
- Your financial condition may seem unsalvageable, but the great provider is still around.
- Your disease may be untreatable by man, but there is still a God who can touch you.
Isn’t it time that we take God out of our box and allow Him to move however He wants? Why do we think someone must have the exact experience as we did? We think that in order for someone to get saved, they must cry a river of tears—because we did. Or that to get their prayer answered, they must quote this verse ten times a day—because that is the way God answered our prayer.
Let me tell you, God is not limited in the least! God does not need our type of music in order to move. He can move with fast music or slow, with new music or old, or even with no music at all. He can move where there is great music like He did when Elisha called for the musicians, or He can move without any music like He did when Elijah prayed fire down from heaven.
He can use a great preacher like Peter in the house of Cornelius, or He can use a laymen like Philip to take the gospel message to Samaria. Sometimes he shows up when a bunch of people are praising Him, as on the day of Pentecost, or He shows up to a bunch of sinners, as He did with Saul on the road to Damascus. Sometimes He is in the earthquake, as with Paul and Silas, or He can come by and open the eyes of a dying saint so they can see Jesus, as he did with Stephen.
Sometimes He shows up through the laying on of hands, spitting and making clay, or pouring of oil. Other times He is a gentle dove or a roaring hurricane, a refining fire or a gentle voice. He comes like a mighty river or a healing stream.
Who are we to tell God how to do His business? I don’t care if He comes in a river or a stream. I don’t care if He comes in an earthquake or a gentle voice. I don’t care how he shows up, as long as He shows up, as long as I feel His touch.
Maybe you are wondering how we can take the limits off God. Let me give you a few suggestions.
First, see God for who He is. He is a BIG God. He cannot be contained (1Kings 8:27). He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere. David’s brothers would not go out and fight Goliath because they were afraid, yet David wasn’t. Why? The difference was that David’s brothers compared Goliath to themselves, and he was too big. David compared Goliath’s size to God, and Goliath was so small. You and I serve a great big God! And He has your back!
Second, change the way you think. Your actions are predicated by your beliefs, and your beliefs are predicated on your thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says, “as a person thinks in their heart, so are they.” What are you thinking about your circumstances in life? What are you thinking about yourself? What are you thinking about God?
Is what you are thinking lining up with the world, yourself, or God’s Word? As a child of God, my thinking should line up to the Word of God. He says you are more than a conqueror, that Christ has forgiven you and blessed you, that through Christ you can do all things. God’s Word goes on to say He is great, loving, able, and willing. There is nothing impossible for Him! These are the things I should be thinking about (Philippians 4:8).
Lastly, change what you say. Never underestimate the power of the words you speak. It touches us and those around us. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” What you say determines the course of your life, just like a rudder on a ship determines the direction of a ship. Where you are in life today is a product of the words you’ve spoken. Where you will be tomorrow will be determined by the words you speak today (James 3:3-4). Our words should reflect what God’s Word has declared.