Being a minister, I have had conversations with people who have told me some pretty outrageous stories. Go into a room full of drug addicts and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I could write a book filled with some of the wildest tales you have ever heard from my jail ministry alone.
But, I’m amazed that there are so many other individuals who will tell complete lies thinking you have no discernment whatsoever. You can’t blame non-believers who have no understanding about Spiritual discernment. But, what about those who should know better?
Of course in this day and age I have found there is a great lack of discernment not only in the world, but also in our churches. This is why so many people are deceived. The book I’m currently writing deals with deception in the last days. There is absolutely no question as to why Jesus warns us repeatedly in the New Testament about deception.
We hate to think that our Christian friends, or leaders would ever tell us anything that is untrue, but it happens. It only takes one person to be led astray, and they can spread untruth faster than a wildfire. This is why we must read and know the Truth of the Holy Bible, and pray for discernment—so we are not led astray.
There are also those who like to embellish things—a lot. They see no harm in over exaggerating a move of God, or telling people a great miracle has happened when none has really happened. They think they are doing no harm. In fact they may even think they are doing God a favor by exaggerating His great power.
But, God doesn’t need our help. We serve a God who is still in the miracle working business. We do more harm than good when we speak falsely about what He has done. First we damage our own testimony. Other Christians often have the Spiritual discernment to know if we are being honest or not.
Secondly, if the miracle is disproven—and if it’s false it will be—there’s a world of skeptics out there just waiting to discredit anything God does. When we embellish, exaggerate or speak untruth we just fuel the non-believers fire, feeding their doubt and disbelief.
We must use discernment. There are some people who will chase so-called signs and wonders all over the globe. I was reading a post earlier today in a group for Credentialed ministers where someone was asking about the legitimacy of the Bible in Georgia that is supposedly leaking oil. I’m not saying God can’t make a Bible gush oil, but I don’t see a reason for it.
I say this with the utmost love and respect, but I’m not going to go chasing gold dust, feathers, or random gems. However, I do hope to always be found chasing Jesus! He is the Only One worth chasing. And, He’s not running from us. He’s waiting for us to wake up and experience the real miracles He has called us to do.
I have seen Him do miracles right before my eyes. I’m talking about real life, doctor proven healings. I know what God is capable of doing. I’m convinced that when we experience a real and proven miracle, we cannot be satisfied with anything less.
On the other hand when we become deceived by unimportant distractions posing as miracles, we cripple ourselves from experiencing REAL miracles! I don’t know about you, but I only want the real thing! I want to see the sick healed, the leper cleansed, the dead raised, and demons cast out. Let’s stop chasing distractions, and chase Jesus. He will provide the real miracles, and we will never be the same.
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Matthew 10:7,8 NIV
I recently spoke for a women’s retreat in Alabama. I had been looking forward to the event for a long time. One of the reasons I was so excited about it was because of how God orchestrated the whole thing.
I was in Rising Fawn, Georgia at my favorite little writing hideaway working on my second book, No Limits. During my time there I was also doing a book-signing for my first book Beauty From Ashes at a local shop. It was a great weekend, and I loved visiting with the friends God had strategically placed in my life from prior writing trips in Rising Fawn.
The next weekend while at home, Sheila—the owner of the cabin—texted me and told me about a group of church ladies who were currently staying at the cabin. She said she had told them that I stayed at the cabin the previous weekend, and a few of the ladies recognized my name. She said, “You really need to call the cabin. They would be tickled to death if you did.” I thought she was nuts!
There was no way I was going to call and disturb these ladies during their getaway. Sheila insisted that I call and sent me the phone number. I went to bed that night with no intention of calling them. But, as soon as my feet hit the floor the next morning the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that I should call them.
Reluctantly, I went downstairs to my office and called the cabin. The first time I got no answer, so I assumed I was off the hook. Nope! The Holy Spirit insisted I try again. This time I got an answer. I shared a short greeting with them, a bit of my testimony, and then I prayed for them. Little did I know that God was doing something miraculous behind the scenes!
Two weeks later Jeannie—the group leader from the cabin—called and asked me to speak for their women’s retreat. She didn’t know when, or where, or how, but God had planted it in her heart and she knew I was supposed to be a keynote speaker. I said, “Ok, sounds good.” I didn’t know if they even had a clue what all this was going to entail, but I went with it.
As we were talking about what the retreat would be called, she asked if I had a suggestion? I said, “How about No Limits? That is the name of the book that I was writing while I was at the cabin.” She loved it. And, from that moment on, it was called the No Limits Retreat!
A host of other speakers were invited, worship leaders, musicians, panelists, a production crew and finally the gorgeous venue was picked—Shocco Springs in Talladega, AL. The No Limits Retreat was coming together.
Living three hundred miles away I wasn’t privy to all the things going on behind the scenes, but these ladies were working! I still had no idea what to expect when I arrived, but I was about to have my socks blown off! When I arrived at the resort I immediately felt the presence of God. This event had been bathed in prayer, and the Holy Spirit was definitely preparing the atmosphere.
Jeannie came to me before I took the platform and asked me if I was nervous. I replied, “Not one bit!” I knew without a doubt this day, this event, this moment had been 100% ordained, and orchestrated by the Creator of the Universe. He was here FOR US. I wasn’t worried about what to say, because I was only the mouthpiece. His was the voice that would be heard.
Over the weekend, I was tremendously blessed by each and every speaker. Only the Holy Spirit can arrange an event where each story miraculously and seamlessly dove tails into the next. It was absolutely beautiful. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick it was almost tangible.
As we stood in awe at the end of the last service, where Dawn Mason had just spoken, I felt as if the presence of God physically pushed me to my knees in adoration of Him. I knelt at the altar with tears running down my cheeks breathing in the goodness of all HE accomplished over the weekend. Only God can breathe life into an event of this magnitude.
Many women are comparing it to a Women of Faith™ Conference. But, I don’t. There was something very special about this retreat. Something sets it completely apart from any event I have attended or spoken for. There is a longing in my heart for next year.
There was a sweet camaraderie between ladies of all denominations whose hearts came together and experienced Jesus together as one sisterhood. This must be what Heaven will be like! Just reflecting on the event gives me a sense of homesickness. I am so glad that God knit my heart together with each and every lady involved in the No Limits Retreat. I love my sisters! We are the No Limits Tribe! Make plans to join us for No Limits 2020.
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.