4 Mindsets to Grow your Faith for Healing

What if we emptied out hospitals? What if there were simply no more deaf people in America, because the church was seeing 100% of people we prayed for healed? Thank God for hospitals and deaf ministries, but what if the tide of faith for supernatural healing just kept growing in the church? How can the tide of faith for healing grow in you? Here are my baseline recommendations . . .

  • Give Jesus what He paid for. Jesus took infirmities and carried diseases, get close enough to Him and His thoughts to realize how true that is. He already paid the price, it’s done. When you grow in relationship with Him, you will come into more awareness of what He’s done, and alignment with the fact that He wants to do it again.
  • Be opportunistic. Anyone you see or hear about who needs healing no matter how big or small, take a moment and pray with them. You may not be feeling especially spiritual that moment, or outgoing, or like you have the words, however, when you step out to give God opportunity to get glory He might just take it. Take risks, and those simple consistent steps will build your faith.
  • Pray like Jesus. Command the sickness to move in Jesus name. Don’t command Jesus – that’s disrespectful. Don’t beg/ask Jesus – that assumes you have more compassion for the person than He does. Jesus commanded healing into people’s bodies, then he asked them to test it. Pray like Jesus.
  • Rehearse what God did. If God has ever moved in you or someone around you supernaturally, remember it. Rehearse it in your mind often. Build a monument to what God has done in your heart. That rehearsal of testimony will be the dress rehearsal for your next miracles.

So go ahead – dare to believe God right now. Holy Spirit is in you and He wants out, not to leave, but to fill your world with His goodness.

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I Just Want a Hug

There are very few things more fulfilling than a hug from my tiny princess Jolena. She came to visit me at the office today (thanks Jessica, you’re the best!) and my appeal, “I just want a hug,” was met by scampering little feet and a full body lunge into my open arms. There are few things that reset your mood like your baby responding to your call for affection.

But what happens when your baby walks away, or folds her arms and stomps off, or worse yet ignores you completely? You go after her, right? Of course, but for how long? How many rejections before you back off? I tend to back off quickly and then wait for another opportune moment to reestablish relationship. She’ll never be far from my love, and the moment she’s ready to come back and respond to my call for affection I’ll welcome her.

God has overtured to you in your heart, through the people around you, through His creation, in circumstances over and over again. You have responded. But what happens when you ignore Him once and then again. He won’t badger you, but He’s still waiting for that OPPORTUNE MOMENT to reconnect with you, reestablish His hope in your life, and His voice in your spirit. That opportune moment is right now! Respond to God’s call. Turn your attention and affection toward Him. His hug is waiting and so is life fulfilled and in wonderful relationship with Him.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev. 3:20 NIV)

How God Can Help You Sleep Better

Confession – I’m not sleeping very well – The last four days have been rough. Foggy-minded is no way to go through life, so I decided to see what God has to say about our sleep. The average person sleeps for 25 YEARS OF THEIR LIFE! Even if you’re sleeping great, what if God has ways to maximize that time for you??? We’re going to grow together. Here’s what God can do during your sleep (raise your level of faith for growth in this area, as you visit these Scriptures) . . .

  • God can bring supernatural blessing/companionship/rearrange your whole world for better in your sleep! God put Adam to sleep and HE WOKE UP NEXT EVE – WOAH! (Gen. 2:21-23)
  • God’s promises can come in your sleep. God put Abram into a deep sleep and told him great promises (Gen. 15:12-21).
  • God’s presence can come in your sleep. Jacob saw angels and encountered God in his sleep (Gen. 28:11-22).
  • God cares about your warmth in sleep! Israelites were instructed to give back a cloak that was pledged so that their poor neighbor could sleep in warmth (Deut 24:11-12). So go ahead, put on that second blanket.
  • God protects and gives peace in sleep. (1 Sam. 26:12, Psalm 3:5, 4:8, 127:2, Jer. 31:26), God doesn’t sleep so you can (Psalm 121:3-4)
  • Do not love sleep (Prov. 20:13, 19:15, 24:33-34) Ouch! This is a good one. Sleep is not the goal here!
  • God gives prophetic dreams in supernatural sleep. (Dan. 8:18, 10:9) How about tonight!?!
  • Storms don’t have to mess with your sleep. (Matt. 8:24) Boom – drop the mic, Jesus!

Allow God to work in your sleep tonight. Invite Him in. Right now pray, “Holy Spirit, I invite you to transform my mind and my world during my sleep tonight.”

 

Why would Anyone get Their Doctorate?

Just so no one misses – I have ATTACHED my Doctoral Project “Making the Supernatural Normal: Mobilizing the Local Church to Move in the Power of God Outside its Doors” – Instructions for reading this are at the end.

I’m glad you asked – haha. I don’t know why ANYONE would get their doctorate, I’m sure there are lots of nerdy motivations. I do know WHY I DID, and I think it might help you sift through your own motivations.

I did NOT pursue this because . . .

  • I need to be called Doctor
  • My dad did
  • There’s a pay raise involved (there’s not in ministry, plus doctorates are expensive, so no, not a factor)
  • I want to run for political office (yeah, no)
  • I need more letters behind my name – the letters for my degree are Dmin (Doctor of Ministry) – say the phrase “Pastor Jared has a Dmin” out loud you’ll get why this isn’t a factor – haha.

I chose to get my Doctorate BECAUSE . . .

  • God led me to
  • I knew I had gaps in my knowledge
  • I love to learn, I’m a lifelong learner, even though this is a “terminal” degree (sounds morbid), this is not the end for me.
  • I knew our church would benefit from this
  • Being called “Dr. J” sometimes is a perk – haha.

Now, here’s a little bit of the HOW of getting a Doctorate . . .

  • Full support from my amazing wife Jessica!
  • I’m a nerd – consuming and giving knowledge of God energizes me
  • Support/understanding from my kids, and also extended family
  • Support from Journey Life Church staff, board & church family
  • Perseverance – LOTS of perseverance
  • God’s help

Finally, attached is my Doctoral Project “Making the Supernatural Normal: Mobilizing the Local Church to Move in the Power of God Outside its Doors”. Let me set expectations for reading this (if you’d like to) . . .

  1. It’s academic – after 52 stages of editing (no joke), my voice is not clearly in the text. It’s ok. The content is great, it’s all there, but it has an academic voice. This also means it’s not meant to grab you or necessarily be an interesting read. It’s an informative read, with lots of research and documentation.
  2. Some people you may know are in it. Names are named, testimonies are cited – it’s fun! Find the Easter Eggs!
  3. Chapter 2 (tracing redemptive supernatural events through the Bible) is partially in my appendix (apparently 90 pages is too long for a chapter – haha). So to trace the entire thought there are times where the appendix is referenced and you might want to jump there, then jump back.
  4. Pay attention to the bibliography. It’s a veritable who’s who of people who are writing on the supernatural right now.
  5. I’m writing this in an interesting book form also. I’m UNDER CONTRACT through Supernatural Truth Publishing to write the book of the same name that will be story based, gripping, inspiring and practical (with discussion/refection questions and supernatural exercises after each chapter). My goal with this book is to write something my wife would WANT to read – haha! This book will have my voice thoroughly throughout.

Making_the_Supernatural_Normal_Jared_Stepp_Doctoral_Project

3 Kinds of People You’ll See This Easter (and How to Pray For Them)

Every Easter there are a handful of people who come, give their life to Jesus, and then . . . we can’t find them. Yikes! If that doesn’t scare you, it should. This is the kind of thing that bothers me, keeps me up at night, produces holy discontent in me that demands a response. So how should you and I respond? Well, Jesus describes these people in the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:3-9) let’s start with His categories . . .

  • People that are in the wrong place (seed along the path v. 4). The birds eat this up. For these individuals, they happen into the Easter Gathering, or get dragged there, guilted there, coerced there; and they have too many commitments to the demonic forces and ideas in their life that the seed of the kingdom of God gets snatched right away.
  • People who make a shallow commitment (seed on rocky soil v. 5). These people will raise their hand for salvation this Easter, they might even start coming to church for a period of time. But their commitment to Jesus runs up against a hardness of heart, and a stronger commitment to themselves (rocks). They get out of the habit of church, and their commitment to Jesus is shown not to be real. The kingdom of God is not growing in them.
  • People who have loud influences (seed on thorny soil v. 7). These people receive Jesus, but then listen to the louder influences in their life – worries, wealth. They can’t hear Jesus anymore and get choked out.

So how to pray? Pray for good soil! (v. 8) Good soil is tilled (God, bring those whose life is turned upside down, humble), the rocks are removed (God, soften their heart), the thorns are pulled (God, uproot all the loud influences in their life, so that your voice is the constant). Take a minute to pray right now that God is bringing and tilling good soil in people’s hearts, and that WE ARE GOING TO SEE the miracle of the kingdom of God growing in their lives!

The Secret to Training Yourself (and Your Kids) to Make Right Choices

Have you ever had one of those days? For us, every so often there’s a day when we feel like our kid’s bodies have been taken over by other very bad kids. Simple things – listening, obeying, not being a jerk to your sibling can be so hard. Somehow it’s a HUGE SURPRISE that we have to get up in the morning and put clothes on. Anyway, teaching your kids not to be jerks is a big task, filled with daily attention, discipline and prayer. The holy grail for every person is this, “How does obedience become something that is internally motivated and not externally enforced?” If laws and fear of jail are the only thing between criminals and their crimes, history proves that is not enough.

So if the answer is not more punishment (and believe me, you have to discipline and be disciplined, but there’s diminishing returns at some point), how do you train people to be great humans? Although there’s no shortcut to discipline, the Bible tells us the secret to making it stick – stay connected to the Spring of Living Water! A spring is underground, unseen life-giving flow. According to Scripture and soooo much evidence, there is only one truly life-giving spring and it’s having a personal ongoing connection with the living God.

This is why family devos (prayer, Bible reading) is an imperative for anyone wanting to raise kids who are internally motivated to make right choices. Personal devos is a necessity for everyone who wants to be consistently internally motivated for right living. Getting yourself and your kids into a community of believers (church, life group) constantly is essential for anyone needing to be internally motivated. These are tangible connections to the spring of living water that is unseen, then your motivations will be unseen and strong for a lifetime. So stop raising your kids to be jerks (he says with a knowing smile), and connect to the unseen Spring of Living Water every day.

Here are some Scriptures for further study on the Spring of Living Water – Num 21:17; Prov 25:26,;Isa 58:11; Jer 2:13, 15:18, 17:13; John 4:14; James 3:11-13; Rev 21:6.

Why didn’t YOU invite me?

“Why didn’t YOU invite me to your church???” She quips to her friend, with a smile and a laugh – slightly awkward, but still fun. One day earlier … one of our staff members had met a lady, had decent rapport with her and decided to give her the “Upside Down: Easter Sunday” invite card. “Hey I know someone at your church!!! Why hasn’t SHE ever invited me???” (To protect the innocent the names are anonymous – haha).

So here’s my challenge to you – avoid the awkward and get in on the fun – INVITE someone you know to church right away! Use that Easter invite card. 82% of unchurched people in America said they would be likely to attend church if invited by a friend, coworker, neighbor or family member (Lifeway). This may sound astonishing, but I’ve found it to be true. Your invite is the only thing standing between someone and their encounter with Jesus!

The Art of Simple

“You are so complicated!” frustration had boiled over into a discussion-ending outburst. As a high-schooler, I had never seen myself complicated, everything was quite simple in my head – haha! All complicated thinkers see themselves as simple until the mirror gets turned on them. Over the course of the next few years I realized – I am a pretty complicated thinker. If I’m ever going to communicate effectively I will have to learn the art of simple.

The truth is that all of us are more complicated than we think to an outside observer (Prov 25:3). They might see a tangle of incoherent thoughts and actions, while we are frustrated with their lack of understanding. One of the least simple individuals in Scripture was King Solomon (just try understanding Ecclesiastes 7). It didn’t work for Solomon–bottom line: all of us need to simplify sometimes.

King Solomon spent his whole life running after the complicated, only to boil life down with such focused simplicity: “… here’s the final word: Fear God and keep His commands for this is the whole duty of mankind.” (Eccl 12:13 JST) Jesus took complicated Martha and simplified, “You are troubled about many things. But one thing is needed [sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing His Word].” (Luke 10:39, 41-42) “But Pastor, I have this spiral of thought I always go down, this person at work, these tasks, these family obligations – life is complicated.” True. All the more reason to simplify. What if you focused on one thing: sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing His Word? What if that space is available in your imagination?

Imagine you’re at Jesus’ feet right now, hearing His Word. What is He saying? What are His expressions toward you? What is He stirring in your spirit? The art of simple starts right now – Be with Jesus.

What is spiritual meat?

That was the best steak of my entire life! It wasn’t a filet, to be honest it was probably was just a chunk of flank, but this old Montana cowboy had made me a believer! I was travelling doing music with then evangelist Sam Rijfkogel when we were invited after a service to the Montana Youth Director’s house, round about midnight he says, “Hey, you want some steak?” The answer’s always yes to that question – haha. Within minutes, he had pulled out a huge chunk of meat for each of us, and dropped an entire stick of butter on each steak. I’m thinking, “I’m going to see Jesus tonight, with this crazy unhealthy midnight steak.” And I did, but not that way, that steak was heavenly, and it became the standard for every other steak I’ve had before or since.

So what is SPIRITUAL steak? How does spiritual food become heavenly? Most people look at the teachings about spiritual food (1 Cor 3:2, Heb. 5:12-6:1, 1 Pet 2:2) and conclude that milk is elementary teaching, and meat (solid food) is deeper teaching. But that’s not how Jesus defines food, in John 4:34 Jesus said, “My food is to DO the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His WORK.” Not satisfied yet, check out what else Jesus says, “Do not WORK for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27) In other words the meat, the solid food that Jesus, Paul and Peter are referring to is not just teaching, but rather doing the works of Jesus! Doing the works of Jesus is next level apprenticeship in the kingdom, where the Holy Spirit will teach you how to go deeper in Him. Some things in the kingdom that can only be learned through doing. When you graduate to meat that doesn’t mean you never need milk again, au contraire, you might need even more milk as your spiritual muscles grow. However, the growth will never happen with ONLY teaching, it’s only possible when you’re also doing the works of Jesus. What did Jesus do? He taught, prophesied about the kingdom of God, and healed people (Matt 4:23); He lifted up oppressed people, and challenged EVERYONE that God’s way is better. Ooh that sounds fun, let’s do that.

Take a moment and ask God, “Who can I lift up, challenge, prophesy to, declare God’s healing over right now?”

Love isn’t Romantic

“I’m not in love with Jesus,” Pastor Jeff Lucas stated in his charming British accent at the pastor’s conference I went to. He went on to explain – I love Jesus, but Biblical love isn’t primarily romantic. I personally don’t have a problem with the phrase, “in love with Jesus,” because it’s simply expressing in imperfect terms the state of a person’s devotion to God. However, he’s right in that, love from Father God, flowing through us to our world isn’t primarily romantic.

Love isn’t romantic . . . primarily. I mean it can be romantic, but romantic love is a very small part of Biblical love. In fact, the Bible rarely uses words for love when talking about romance. The words we translate “love” are used almost exclusively for sacrificial love, brotherly love, familial love, friendship love and love between believers. Love from our Heavenly Father, sending Jesus to the cross so that we don’t have to die eternally is beautiful, because it’s sacrificial.

Romantic love, although it can be wonderful, doesn’t ascend to that level of impact that sacrificial love ascends to. In fact, in a romantic relationship, the best and purest parts are sacrificial. So it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and instead of longing for romance, why don’t you extend authentic sacrificial love to someone in your world (A huge tip, an offer to help, a world-changing prayer, an encouraging word/note). John said, Dearly loved, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11) He made the first move, calls you loved; so receive His love now, and give Him away.