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What was weird is now normal

  How do we change? Mostly we do it by degrees – incrementally over time. Not many overnight sensations in the real world.   So where do the radicals who set the world ablaze with spiritual fire come from? How do we go from admiring Christ from the safety of a pew to being a passiona…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
How do we change? Mostly we do it by degrees – incrementally over time. Not many overnight sensations in the real world.
So where do the radicals who set the world ablaze with spiritual fire come from? How do we go from admiring Christ from the safety of a pew to being a passionate follower of his willing to die for his cause?
It can happen to you and me if we’ll let it – if we’ll seek God and ask him dangerous questions. Ruth Wilson started out 2011 as a normal American 20-something. And here she is closing out her year around the world with a bang – a different person. Something changed. Now she’s happy to call herself a “psycho radical.” Here’s her report from Malaysia:
The woman who asked us to pray was this man’s wife.
She explained he had a stroke 2 years before and hadn’t walked since.
My teammate Phil starts praying over this man. With confident prayers.
I am in the corner whispering prayers… “God take his pain away”
and “I pray you will financially bless this family so he can get to a doctor and get crutches.”
We say amen after a few minutes and I am ready to go.
No one moves.
There is now a crowd in the door….
I soon felt the atmosphere of the room change.
I got chills that something big was about to happen,
Although I didn’t believe.

I am still in the corner and felt overwhelmed that maybe it’s my disbelief that 
is keeping this man from being healed.
My prayer changed to a hushed whisper
“Lord forgive my unbelief”
The atmosphere changed again…
I got louder “God I am sorry! Forgive my unbelief!!” 
We are all praying loud now:
Begging him to move.
We finish praying and no one moves again.
Nance nudges me and says…
“Well, should he get up and walk?”
We all kinda shrugged our shoulders saying I guess?
Phil says “In Jesus name get up and walk.”
He was healed in Jesus name!!!!!
The family rejoices and those in the door stood there with wide eyes.

We met up with the others at the van having no idea what just happened…
unable to even comprehend much less explain to the others.

The atmosphere of our hearts and our team changed after that night.
After we witnessed the Lord’s power and favor once we were willing….
He didn’t stop using us the rest of the week we were there. Ever for that matter.
I could go on and on with vivid stories… 
The woman possessed by a demon that received Christ after it was cast out through us.
The man who had back issues for years because one leg was shorter than the other…
His legs seriously grew in front of us.
The boy who had been mute since birth that heard the name of Jesus for the first time.
The old lady who couldn’t walk without a cane… dropping the cane and running off. 
The woman who was blind in one eye that received it back.
The new heart of faith the Lord gave our team… a passion for his power. 
It sounds so dramatic typing it out, but being there just seemed like normal life!
There weren’t screams and yells and tears… 
Well, besides the demon lady. 
It was normal…
it’s what we are called to.
The Lord does these things to flex his muscles… to show how powerful He is. 
He wants to do these things, but we as a church think it’s weird. 
It is weird. But who says weird is bad?
If you’re reading this and saying, “I can’t relate. I’ve never experienced anything like that,” you’re in good company. Ruth couldn’t relate and she struggled to pray bold prayers. She’s still just getting there. Heck, I’m still just getting there. 
But here’s the thing, we need to be willing to go there, or at least to follow God if he wants to take us there. If we’re building his kingdom, his upside down kingdom, we’re going to look weird to people. God tells us, “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
God continually leads me to repent of my cozy-making ways. Every day there are temptations to indulge my ego at the expense of my soul.
How about you, friend? This is your one life to live. How is it going for you?

Comments (6)

  • Mighty Jesus, may your name be praised for ever!!! Amen. Oh! that you will help the Church’s unbelief that we may step out in faith for you to flex your muscles with our lives.

    Thank you Ruth for daring to be weird for HIM. It is indeed absolutely NORMAL.

  • I sit here shaking my head…it is so true…and I pray Lord, help my unbelief more frequently than I care to admit…I am posting the link to this post in my forum response for the class I am taking at GFU. Just watched the second part of Andy Stanley’s Go Fish sermon series for the class, and it dovetails perfectly with the theme, which was, “Why Fish?” and his point is you can’t argue with what you have seen, and the history of Christ walking the earth and what that meant for us. And it continues today. Amen.

  • I love this piece!!
    Everything about it- its challenge and [w/out sounding cliche’] your bare bones candidness!
    I LOVE how God does a thing and whence you retell of His awesome works you sound ALL crazy and weird!! {laughs}
    So yes I agree- for the glory of God- weird is the is the new norm!

  • Seinfeld fans may remember the episode where Elaine describes her new friends to Jerry. They are all exact opposites of Jerry, Kramer, & George. Jerry, a big Superman fan, relates that it sounds like “Bizarro World” a planet where everything is the opposite of things on Earth. He described his opposite counterpart as “Bizarro Jerry.” Being a big Justice League fan as a kid, that comparison resonates with me.

    The Kingdom of God is Bizarro World compared to the world. When the children of the King start looking like the offspring of the world, we need to worry. Jesus said that when we’re doing things right, we will be considered wrong. That the first will be last. The wise counted as foolish. The supernatural considered weird. If you aren’t considered weird, maybe you need transformation?

    “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom 12:2)

    Link to Seinfeld Bizarro clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcjSDZNbOs0

  • ~~~LOVE,LOVE,LOVE,…… Praise God for BOLDNESS! Praise God for young adults that are sick and tired of the imitation and want the real deal!
    I love Phil, Ruth and Seth! =)

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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