Long after the attack at Pearl Harbor, reports continued regarding
an incident involving a Chaplain who uttered the now infamous
phrase, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."
The actual Chaplain was Lieutenant Howell Forgy, aboard
the U.S.S. New Orleans. He was on duty that Sunday morning,
December, 7, 1941.
Another Lieutenant who had been in charge of an ammunition
line on the USS New Orleans during the attack remembered,
"I heard a voice behind me saying, Praise the Lord and pass the
ammunition. I turned and saw Chaplain Forgy walking toward
me along the line of men." He reported that the Chaplain was
patting men on the back and encouraging them.
AS IT IS SPIRITUALLY, SO IT IS IN THE NATURAL
I don't often talk politics, but something strange is going on in
Americas' political scene for which we have a direct spiritual
correlation. Essentially, our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi,
and others in our anti-war, Democrat-dominated House, want to
starve the "troop surge" escalation ordered by President Bush,
and thus force him to begin to withdraw them, a move increasingly
favored by a majority of Americans, if you credit the polls.
They want to do this in the name of "supporting the troops," they say.
I say we do NOT want that war "over here" and it's only our brave
men and women "over there" that are keeping us from another 9-11.
But I digress.
As you'd expect, Republicans, including the President, see the Dem's
proposal as an attack on the very troops they profess to support,
despite whatever "spin" they try to put on this, their favorite pitch.
Let's call it what it is: Denying funds to the military during
wartime (insanity!) may force the Military and Republicans to shift
tactics, but in the meantime, it would make the already difficult jobs
of our troops that much harder.
Imagine being in the heat of battle - in the heat of Iraq - running low
on ammo, body armor, fuel, medical supplies, not to mention the
falling morale of a warrior who perceives that his country has
Now, imagine a soldier in the Lord's Army whose superiors are
failing to sufficiently arm and train him to do his job. It's happening
everywhere as we have become, far and wide, a Church with a
"form of godliness, denying the power thereof," (2 Tim 3:5).
YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW
Most Christians have heard, or have sung the song, "I'm in the
Lord's army." Sung to the tune of "The Ol' Gray Mare," it goes
"I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the Cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's army!
The Body of Christ is often referred to as "the Army of God."
God Himself is referred to as a Man O' War (Ex 15:3). Ephesians 6
is a chapter that is all about warfare. Second Corinthians 10:3-5
reminds us that we are engaged in a spiritual war and if we
"submit ourselves to God" we can resist the devil and he will
flee from us (James 4:7).
Now, I have to get something off my chest before I explode like an
al-Qaeda martyr. It's an aspect of Christianity with which I am
intimately acquainted. It's something that, I've found, too many
Christians know too little about. It's something that, if we will grab
hold of its biblical truth, it will not only change our lives but will
allow us to change the world as well.
This is, in my opinion, the "ammo" every soldier in the Lord's Army
needs in order to maximize his effectiveness as a warrior.
I'm talking about the manifestations of spiritual gifts. Once
you've renewed your mind to what you're about to ingest -
and acted upon it - your spiritual life will never be the same.
LET'S GET LOGICAL
We must think logically about a few things for a moment...
In Luke 4:18-19 (AMP), Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord [is]
upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One,
the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor;
He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery
of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are
oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken
down by calamity], to proclaim the accepted and acceptable year
of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of
God profusely abound."
Next, we read in Romans, 8:11 (AMP), "And if the Spirit
of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
[then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will
also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable)
bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you."
After reading these verses, do you see the picture that has been
developed? God doesn't live in any church building and Jesus is
not merely an historical figure in an ancient book. In truth,
the Anointed One dwells within US! Therefore, He wants to
use US to minister to others. Though we, ourselves, may know
nothing about healing or casting out a demon, for example, it
doesn't matter so long as we KNOW the One who DOES the
healing THROUGH those who will make themselves
You may step out on the water, so to speak, and give what you
believe is a prophetic utterance or Word of Knowledge. If it
blesses somebody, great. If you miss God by a mile, that's Ok,
too, for you are, at the VERY least (A) trying to obey God and
(B) exercising a gift; developing it through use as you fall down
and get back up like a teetering toddler.
We've got to walk before we can run, amen?
Far too many of us are never taught about these truths. Many
who ARE taught these things never embrace them for ourselves.
Multitudes never see or experience miracles so we can't bring
ourselves to believe in them. Merely hearing about them often
registers as being something strange to us.
In those groups where people DO witness prayer for healing,
and even see miracles taking place, generally, the only ones
doing the praying, laying on of hands and anointing with oil
are pastors and elders and Christian celebrities, all within
the friendly confines of a church building.
Question: What if the pastor or elder praying for you has no
faith for divine healing?
Another question: What if the one who needs healing is
in a restaurant or workplace conference room and there's not
a minister in sight?
CONSIDERING THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST
Jesus said in case after case, "Your faith has healed you."
He also said "Be it unto you according to YOUR faith."
He could do no miracles in His home town due to the people's
lack of faith.
He cleared the faithless from the room so that He could raise
Jairus's daughter from death.
When it came to healing the sick, His methods varied from one
occasion to another; Blind Bartimaeus was healed instantly.
For another bind man, He had to put saliva on his eyes and pray.
The ten lepers were healed, Scripture says, "as they went."
The woman with the issue of blood was healed on the spot.
Some demons that He commanded to leave did so immediately.
In another instance, he told a Greek woman - a gentile - that her
demonized daughter was healed when the girl was nowhere in sight.
She went home and found the child on the couch, healed.
So much for understanding the Lord's healing and deliverance
So much for putting Jesus in a box.
What I gather from these biblical examples is that there IS no
formula and that their ONLY common denominators were somebody's
FAITH and JESUS. It's all about what God Himself chooses to do
through His willing vessels for reasons of which only He may be aware.
Are YOU one of those willing vessels?
We know that Jesus was a willing vessel. He did NOTHING
until the Father gave the order. He declared in John 5:19-20 (NKJV),
"...the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father
do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner..."
In John 5:30 (NKJV), He said, "I can of Myself do nothing...I do
not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."
Likewise, we can - and should - do nothing without the Sprit
of Christ. Everything we do should be in obedience to His
directives. Sadly, far too many Christians - ministers included -
refer to the Holy Spirit as a "force" and as "it." This isn't Star
Wars, folks. He's a person with characteristics and responsibilities
geared toward advancing the Kingdom.
And we're powerless - and can have no effect - without Him.
Jesus said, John 14:9 (NKJV), "...He who has seen Me
has seen the Father..."
The question we must ask ourselves is this: When they see us,
have they seen Jesus? They will see Jesus - the things that Jesus
did and empowered His army to do - ONLY if we DECREASE
and allow Him to INCREASE through our lives, (John 3:30). To
accomplish this, we must step out in faith.
THE KEYS: OBEDIENCE AND AVAILABILITY
Now, I'm just a guy, ordinary as they come. I've fallen in love
with our King and the cause of Christ and have learned firsthand,
by receiving a healing in my own supposedly incurably diseased
body, that Jesus sill heals. Matter of fact, while standing with
a cane, I prayed for people who received healing. The mind
boggles! In a previous message (Jesus: Still Healing after all
These Years), I listed a number of miracles that have
taken place while I was praying for an individual either
alone or with others. I am well aware that I know NOTHING
about healing and that I can't heal anybody. But if I'm willing
and obedient, if I dare to pray when I say I will, dare to lay
a hand on another person who needs prayer, Jesus just MIGHT
show up and heal somebody (request my message "Seven
Hindrances to Healing Prayer"). You see, afflicted people don't
want Jesus to appear in the clouds some day; they want Him
to appear on the scene RIGHT NOW, everywhere they are,
anywhere in the world, all at the same instant and on their
very worst day.
Of this I am certain: if we do nothing, NOTHING will happen.
Several weeks ago, I prayed for a 92-year old woman in a
wheel chair who hadn't walked in 10 years. After I taught on
healing, I felt led to pray for her. She took 10 steps, crying
and praising God as she went.
Recently, after teaching on healing, an 83-year old woman
who was the victim of a stroke, said she believed she could
walk. She hadn't walked in two years. After getting to her feet,
she walked around the end of the table and returned to her wheel
chair. I asked why she was crying and she answered, "It feels
so good...I haven't done this in so long!" She, too thanked Jesus
with each step. Afterward, as I was speaking, she interrupted,
smiled and asked, "Can I do it some more?" Again, she got up
and walked around the table's end and back. What joy we were
all feeling! I reminded those in attendance of their responsibility
to tell others about this, after all, we overcome Satan by the Blood
of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony (Rom 12:11). In retrospect,
maybe I should have prohibited tem from telling anyone what they
saw, in the fashion of Jesus, so that they WOULD run off and tell
others. Hmmm. Now, there's a thought.
Anyway, after I told the head nurse (a Christian) what had happened,
she was amazed and praised God, too, confirming that the woman had
not walked for as long as she had known her.
Funny, but nobody cared what church everybody else attended
in those moments.
As I said, I'm just Mike. As those who know me will attest,
I'm an EXTRA ordinary person (extremely ordinary, in other words).
But this one thing I know: Jesus drew a crowd through healing.
He created quite a stir. Faith grew and people ran off and told
others. I can only imagine how it terrifies the devil to think of
millions of mini-Christ's (literally, the meaning of "Christian")
running around imitating the original.
Aren't we are admonished to "Be imitators of God," (Eph 5:1)?
"Megashift" is a book written by Jim Rutz - a book loaded with
faith-building miracles that are taking place in developing nations
worldwide. My faith grew as I read about illiterate, impoverished
people who were willing to be used by God to heal to the sick and
raise the dead.
These people are my new heroes, along with the persecuted Church.
But if they can do it, we can do it. God is no respecter of persons,
My advice: Jettison any faith-diluting input and whatever mind-
numbing, powerless flavor of Christianity to which you may be
and begin to renew your mind to the truth.
Read the book "Megashift."
Study the New Testament stories where Jesus healed.
Marvel at the miracles of Acts.
Talk to people who've been there and done that.
Let's be DOERS and not hearers only. Let's lead Purpose-Driven
lives, purposing to stop participating in spectator religion. Jesus
didn't come to establish a religion or a denomination, after all.
He came to raise an army.
GROWING IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE
Second Peter 3:18 admonishes us to "...grow in the grace
and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The
Greek word for "knowledge" is gnosis, the same expression
of intimacy used in Genesis for Adam "knowing" his wife.
It's a term of intimacy. Into-me-see, one might say.
The prophetic ministry of Graham Cooke opened my eyes
to the fact that the prophetic gifting could be DEVELOPED
and that, subsequently, ALL spiritual gifts could be
developed. There was a "school of the prophets" mentioned
in 1 Sam. 10:5, I had read; if one can be "schooled" in prophecy,
I reasoned, we can be schooled in other aspects of the spiritual
gifts, if one is so led.
Like all education, it starts between our ears. I already believed
what Graham was teaching was true; Graham's teachings
confirmed what I already believed but had never heard taught.
All the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), like any fruit hanging from
a tree branch, do not appear in an instantly mature state. No, they
The spiritual gifts must do likewise.
What do we have to lose by laying hands on a sick person? He
might be healed and he might not. It's not my problem; it's God's.
What do I have to lose by praying against a tornado (hear this,
you folks living in Tornado Alley)? Nothing, but homes and property
and lives may be saved if I do. After all, Elijah was a man just like
us (James 5:17) and he prayed for the rain to stop and it did so for
three and a half years. I have found that, because we in the West are
so lacking when it comes to our faith levels, due mainly to poor teaching
on the subject - and poor learning - we must have our minds renewed.
Proper instruction will lay the groundwork which most people require
before they can become receptive to the concept of Divine
Healing. Once the muddy waters have been cleared away - once
the detoxification process is completed - the stage is set for
miracles to take place in any Christian's life, NOT just the one
"anointed for healing."
Anointed? We hear that word thrown around quite a bit in
the Church world. We say things like, "He has a strong anointing!"
Though we know what we mean, the truth is that the ONLY one
who is anointed is Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One.
Only a King is anointed, friends. The anointing oil, according
to Psalm 133, was poured upon Aaron's head, flowed down his
beard and onto his garments.
Likewise, Jesus is the Head of The Church; we are referred to as the
Body of Christ. The Anointed King dwells within His subjects. That's us!
The Anointed High Priest lives within the Temple in the Holy Of Holies,
our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19 (AMP) reminds us of this truth: "...your
body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives
within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God..."
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Bearing these truths in mind, doesn't it stand to reason that when Jesus
said "I have given you authority and power...over all the power of the
enemy," (Luke 10:19) that He meant it?
Don't you think that when Jesus said "Jn 14:12) "...anyone who has faith
in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things
than these, because I am going to the Father"? He also said. "Everything
is possible for him who believes," (Mark 9:23).
Do you believe? I believe we can do nothing without the Spirit of Christ
in us. But because He lives in us, nothing that He directs us to do will be
impossible. We can exercise the authority He gives us; the results are
up to Him.
Log on at http://www.elca.org/evangelism/assessments/spiritgifts.html
by cutting and pasting this link to find a Spiritual Gift Assessment Test.
It may not be the best test of this type, but it was fun and results
When Paul runs down his list of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11),
the inclination of many is to try and determine which gift they possess.
The test I referred to might help you with this. But if I had taken such
a test ten years ago, I assure you that my answers would have been
much different. The inclination of the Institutional Church has been to
read Paul's list (by the way, it's not exhaustive as there are other
gifts mentioned in Scripture besides these), and to select which gift,
or gift clusters one might have been given.
I disagree with this school of thought. It's too limiting. My contention is,
if you ask me what spiritual gift I have been given my response would be,
"The Holy Spirit Himself." You see, not only have certain gifts developed
over time, but whatever gift I need that is required in whatever situation I
may find that He has placed me, the proper gift WILL be made available.
It's not unlike a carpenter digging through his tool box for that perfect tool
to complete the task at hand. If someone needs healing on their death bed,
what sense would it make to say, "Hang on, brother! Let me fetch someone
with the gift of healing!"
Where God guides, He provides. Though someone may have been blessed
with the gift of administration or hospitality, for example, I encourage you
NOT to allow yourself, or anyone else, to pigeon-hole you. Ask for more
and He will GIVE you more. James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect
gift is from above..."
Be warned! If you entertain this line of thinking long enough -
and I ENCOURAGE you to do so - you may actually act upon it and truly
become an Armed & Dangerous Christian.
You will become Satan's worst nightmare.
You already ARE...only you may not know it yet.
A servant of God