Thursday, August 29, 2013
Robby Dawkins – A Father who longs to show His love – and heal (part 2)
More in this series drawn from teaching delivered at New Wine Central South and West 2013
From John 11:41 – “Father, I thank You that you always hear me…” (continued from Wednesday, August 28)
“WHY NOT ME?”
Robby related an occasion when a woman asked him, “Why you and not me?” Her story was of unanswered prayers. What sort of prayers? She gave five commonplace examples. Robby gently reminded her that all these prayers were about her needs, teaching that we get consumed with praying prayers for ourselves, or families (did Jesus do this?). However Christ in us is the only way most others will ever know Him, and we need to be planting seeds outside. “Seek My kingdom and My righteousness…” Our needs are often met on the back of our obedience and our focus on the needs of others. Wimber characteristically only prayed one-on-one with unbelievers.
“Boat prayers”, where we are focusing on self-preservation, deplete His power in our lives. The apostle John, exiled in old age and hardship on the inhospitable island of Patmos, writes without any regard to his own difficulties: “It was the Lord’s day… I was in the Spirit…” and then continues to relate an amazing prophetic vision which we call the Book of Revelation.
So rather than look to Jesus for a way out of difficulties, look for Jesus IN the difficulties. In Acts we learn that the early church had difficulties and in those experiences encountered God, and Scripture was written about it for our edification.
DO WHAT JESUS DID
The only way you get rid of your doubts is by experience. Note that the disciples (not just Thomas) had doubts! Their leader was crucified. Then resurrected – which worked for them for a time until he was levitated at the Ascension. We read that “some doubted”, even as they were looking up at the bottom of His sandals!
The Bible does not teach us, when we have resolved all our doubts, to then go out and make disciples. Just do it! And see it happen. (He told a story about Bob, the vice-president or senior manager of the bank that he used – an involved story which related a lot of barriers where the man, an avowed atheist, would not allow prayer for healing for his shoulder injury. When, after a number of visits and invitations and refusals (and exhortations from a bank staff member who had been healed) Bob, with less than good grace, consented to being prayed with, there was a step by step improvement that led to complete healing evidenced by complete freedom of movement in a shoulder that had been damaged and painful for decades. Robby commented that there is something powerful in the ‘checking’ process.
Did Jesus have a greater advantage than we do? Philippians 2 depicts Jesus as making a deal whereby he left His superhero powers in heaven, to become empowered in the same way that we are, with the same Holy Spirit. The ministry of Jesus is fully transferable, and it is distinctive in His humility – always drawing people to the Father.
Do we set out to prove who we are, or to prove who Jesus is? Unlike our tendency, Jesus didn’t let everyone know about the signs and wonders. He proved who He was, as much by what he didn’t say as by what He did.
FEAR OF FAILURE?
Wimber’s testimony (he led his church in praying for the sick for many months before anyone was healed) was that he was willing to look foolish, if the king was therefore seen as glorious.
We have a desire for self-preservation, and want to avoid failure. But failure is where we become teachable. Robby, in childhood, used to complain about his “worst teacher” until one day she explained that she pushed him to a place of making mistakes, saying: “If you don’t get it wrong, I don’t know where I need to teach you.” God uses every so-called failure as a teaching experience, and so we should even make failure our goal – like weight training in the gym where the saying is “push to failure”. Taking risks is taking opportunity to experience some failure along the way. Being right (and risk-limited) is not the objective.
“So ‘go fish’ and try to make it work.”
In an earlier seminar, Robby did little teaching but much modelling. He asked for five people with back problems to consent to be prayed for publicly. After praying for the first (who reported an incremental improvement) he involved them in praying for the next, and so on, not praying himself but coaching the others in the simple but straightforward prayer approach explained above. The ‘improved’ person who was doing the poring for the next person later reported that the ‘improvement’ had given way to complete freedom from pain.
Robby’s teaching point was amply demonstrated – it is not about a person’s reputation or the anointing they bring, so much as what God purposes to do. God will do what he does, through any of us who step out with his love and compassion, and exercise faith in a way which brings the reality of what Jesus has done, and His authority to command sickness and pain to leave and wholeness to take its place.