I had a great time at the Bill Johnson conference. Tonbridge is such a nice place, especially on a blazing hot day like Tuesday was. The worship was great with a really good band leading us in a mix of worship songs including lots of Jesus culture stuff. Bill Johnson threw out lots of gems which I will pass on in a moment and in one session he laid hands on everyone individually (over 600 people) after which we went into a fire tunnel. I love those! (for those that don’t know – it’s a tunnel of people praying for you and prophesying over you) You really experience the power of God on you as you walk or stagger through.
I had some more prophetic encouragement to step out in faith for healing too which was good. I might even have got a bit healed myself as my stomach didn’t play up at all while we were there which is unusual. Lots of other people got healed from back problems, pain, damage from accidences, knee injuries, etc. We prayed for a chap with hearing problems and he said he got 70% better which was really exciting.
Got a few books, including culture of Honour and a children’s version of heaven touches hearth called “Here comes Heaven “. Also some CD’s on creating a Kingdom culture and a culture of honour.
Before I share with you the first part of my notes form the conference I should say they are very raw and I do not necessarily agree or even understand them all. They are defiantly thought provoking though and I think there is a massive amount of wisdom an insight here if I can make the effort to process it all. Anyway, here are some Bill J’s gems:
· We must be careful about developing and relying on formulas rather than hearing God and walking by the spirit. Faith comes from hearing present tense not having heard.
· We can be “biblical” and still be wrong! That probably needs a lot of unpacking, but basically means that just because we can quote chapter and verse on something doesn’t mean we have got quite the right emphasis or understanding on it. I suppose its like a documentary that uses real footage of a person or event but puts their own slant on things.
· It is illegal to aim for anything less than Jesus’ 100% success rate in praying for the sick.
· Jesus healed each person differently so we must be careful about reducing things to principles.
· We must live from the presence of God, not just by principles from God.
· Don’t live in reaction to darkness but in response to God
· people want the authentic. They are hungry for a demonstration of the kingdom in genuine signs and wonders.
· Learn to become aware of God.
· A renewed mind is seeing from God’s perspective.
· Mark 4 : The miracles of the loaves and fishes were intended to teach kingdom principles. Miracles should lead to a transformation of mind. Even though the disciples had seemingly done everything right in obeying Jesus their hearts had remained hard. Some kingdom principles would be:
· i) You can do more with less. Less food to start with lead to more people fed and more leftovers.
· ii) They could do it. The food was multiplied in their hands.
· iii) The potential of the moment is defined by the size of the need.
· He made his humorous point that the disciples were looking forward to a bit of R&R when the crowd that they had left on one side of the lake appeared on the other. Jesus did his “compassion thing” and began ministering to them. As evening came the disciples may have seen a way to get rid of them and suggested (very compassionately!) to Jesus that they be sent off to get something to eat.
· The Lord’s prayer is the highest and clearest definition of the kingdom of heaven: ie “On Earth as it is in heaven”. Is there any sickness in heaven? Then there should be no sickness on Earth as God’s kingdom comes.
· Persistent pursuit of God changes us.
· The son that hardens the clay melts the ice. We determine what challenge and hardship does to our hearts.
Although the statement about being biblical and yet wrong seems heretical, I think I know something of what he means. For example, we can produce a theology of healing, or God’s sovereignty, that is supported by many good versus, yet when we step back and look at it in the light of the whole of God’s word, it’s whole tenor, or emphasis or application can be wrong. It is in part the danger of systematic theology. The comment is very relevant to the whole area of healing and God’s sovereignty that I am currently exploring. I can listen to John Piper’s very balanced theology of healing from Romans 8 (I will share my notes on that some time) and recognise it as very biblical, but not be provoked to pray for the sick. At the same time I can listen to Bill Johnson’s exhortations from the Gospels and Acts and be full of faith to see the sick healed but wonder what God is doing when someone gets healed of a sprained ankle while someone with cancer remains sick.
I thought the comments about principles and presents were very helpful too, as was the idea that miracles should change our minds.