Last weekend, Betty and I joined Beth Moore to teach a seminar on the Kingdom of God. It was wonderfully blessed by the manifest presence of the Lord and truly one of the great moments in our lives. Beth was thrilled, along with the men and women in attendance. Their response was most gratifying. (These programs will air on television in a few weeks.)
Prior to the seminar, I needed to buy a notebook that would lay flat on the table so it would not interfere with the camera shots on television. While shopping at an office supply store, I witnessed an odd sight. A man was pushing a pink baby carriage down the center aisle of the store. It was smaller than a normal carriage – similar to one a child would push a doll in. I looked into the carriage and there was a beautiful little dog. He weighed probably 15 to 18 pounds and had a mane that looked like a lion’s. I’ve never seen one like it.
The dog captivated me, so I leaned into the carriage and said, “You sure are cute. You really are pretty.” The man heard my voice, called the dog’s name and said, “That’s the man who needs to pray for you!”
It caught me quite off guard. He said, “I know you.”
I immediately asked, “Why do you want me to pray for your dog?”
“My dog is blind,” he said. “He is five years old and has a retinal disease that is afflicting many dogs throughout the country. They are losing their sight in a very short time. We’ve actually taken him to a doctor in Boston to have a procedure, but the dog is still blind.”
“I will pray for your dog,” I said and dropped down on my knees in the middle of the office supply store. I laid my hands on the little dog’s face, turning him straight toward me. I noticed that he didn’t follow me and didn’t seem to respond as quickly as a dog normally would when he hears a voice or sees someone reaching out. His eyes appeared perfectly normal. As I had my hands on his face and gently over his eyes, I prayed, “God, bless this little dog. He’s such a sweet pet and his family loves him very much. Please make this little dog well. You can heal this dog’s eyes. Jesus, would you heal this little dog’s eyes.”
I cupped his face in my hands, putting my cheek against his cheek with tender affection. When I stood up the man said, “Thank you.” I smiled, turned to walk away, but stopped after a few steps to look back and said, “You evidently know me and can get a message to me. I would like to know if your dog begins to see. My prayers go with you.”
I finished shopping and left the store. Later as I reflected on the moment, God revealed, “My kingdom was manifest in that store right in broad daylight. You did exactly what believers should do when they recognize the importance of living with an awareness of kingdom power.”
Prayerfully I asked God about the experience. “Why did that man say of me, ‘That’s the man who needs to pray for you’?”
God impressed upon my heart, “Because he was actually saying to his dog, ‘That’s a man who believes in a God who can do anything for anyone – anywhere – anytime. That’s My kingdom!”
Considering that thought, I wondered why he came to such a conclusion. Had he simply seen me on television or had he heard me speak somewhere? Perhaps, but wouldn’t it be best if he had, over a period of time, simply observed my life? You see that can and should be the case with every believer, not just preachers and teachers, but everyone reading this article.
If you are sick and fighting a disease in your family or among your friends and are under the load of some seemingly unbearable weight, I want you to agree with this fact: The King is here! His presence and power are all around you as surely as the air you breathe. Ask Him to release His healing power to lift the load and accomplish His Kingdom purpose in and through your life. Trust Him! Kingdom results are in His hands. We receive the seed in receptive soil and the light of His life and the water of His Word brings forth beautiful fruit in His garden. No plant strains to yield its fruit; no flower, its blossom. It simply remains rooted and grounded, trusting God for the light and the water necessary for fruit to come. If we yield to the King to bring forth kingdom life, He will not fail. It’s our responsibility to yield. His grace working in us makes remarkable changes. We should live amazed by the power of His presence.
Now you may ask, “What if I’m not healed physically?” Keep trusting Him and thanking Him for a great work of healing and wholeness His Kingdom power can accomplish by shaping your character. This is the greatest healing of all. God provides healing for our souls and for our lives, even when we don’t always see it in our physical bodies. Jesus healed the blind and many cripples.
Many people have been healed physically but not spiritually, and as a result they still can’t clearly see God’s kingdom purpose for their lives. Jesus can heal a withered hand, but His greater emphasis is on the need for withered lives to be healed by the power of His abiding presence and kingdom reality. Many people can physically walk straight but never live straight. They are continually downtrodden.
Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes on more than one occasion. But when they kept coming, asking for another food miracle, He made it clear He wasn’t going to be the original “fast food opportunity.” He wanted them to have meat to eat they knew nothing about. They needed nourishment that comes from above—food with eternal promise and present-day effect.
He really did come to heal the brokenhearted and those who may also have a broken body. All disease and sickness will be absent in the eternal kingdom that is to come. Absent from that kingdom will also be any potential for disease, temptation or sin, and there will be no more death. The former things shall be passed away. The real problem facing the church today and one of the reasons we have not impacted the culture is because we have not received fully and freely the reality of the kingdom and the power of almighty God in our lives released in its transforming power in the here and now.
It’s no challenge in heaven to overcome an enemy because there’s none to overcome. In this life God desires to make us more than conquerors—priests and kings, mighty warriors, ambassadors with the shield of faith that can quench every fiery suggestion of the enemy and all of the lies in this present world.
God’s kingdom power really did show up in that office supply store. It wasn’t simply an expression of love from a lover of pets, but it was an expression from the lover of our souls and our lives. It was the heart of One who cares about every concern we have. He is the answer to every challenge we face in this life. The victory is not necessarily removing the mountain, but enduring with peace and determination that can only come from God.
Awareness of kingdom presence in the spiritual realm is like the knowledge of oxygen in the physical realm. You know it’s there, so you access it. By faith, we must recognize that kingdom presence and atmosphere is here. We are receiving into the visible realm the power found in that which is in the unseen realm. We must breathe it in. When you live in this awareness, you will find yourself suddenly producing kingdom fruit because the recognition and acceptance of His life, as with the atmosphere, creates a climate, and that climate creates a culture. We need a transforming impact on our culture.
It’s very easy to see the atmosphere and climate impacting our present-day world. The kingdom of darkness, deception and destruction is clearly making an impact and putting its imprint on our culture. This flies in the face of everything Jesus said, because the gates of hell are not to prevail against the empowered church, revealing and releasing His kingdom affect. Christlike attitudes and lives will change the atmosphere, creating the climate making the necessary impact and leaving the imprint of Almighty God on this present world, literally transforming the culture. I thank God for a blind dog helping me see more clearly the importance of walking every moment in Kingdom light.
James I found this story encouraging. Jesus wants us to show Himself to the world. You & Betty are doing that. I have great respect for you as a preacher & man.
Today I woke up with one thing on my heart – Lord, please…I need some encouragement today. It’s been a hard year. Thank you for consistently being a word of encouragement from God to help us carry on.
But I have to know….have you heard from the dog’s owner?!?!?!