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Quick question

Aug 2, 2017
You ask some great questions. : ) My answer is not quick, but long winded so please bear with me.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is saying about how the people before they were Christian were involved in worship of idols and he warns that as Christians filled with the Spirit of God, they can not do those old things. Then he goes on to talk about how many different manifestations of gifts happen when the Holy Spirit is active. In verse 31 he encourages Christians to eagerly desire the greater gifts. And in the next chapter, 13, he describes how critically important love is, so do not forget about that as I continue to address your question. My point is that there is a powerful demonic spiritual realm Paul warns against. And there is the even more powerful spiritual realm that Paul encourages Christians to be involved in, God's Kingdom.

Paul had an out of body experience and some interpret Acts 8:38-40 as Philip being physically translocated. Strange experiences and both given by God. Never really had an out of body experience but I do want to draw a bigger picture of the sorts of things God can do. My wife and I spent time in the backwoods of some Pacific Islands. The locals used to be cannibals. I was shown a huge pile of human bones. Before going on raids to other islands to get people to eat, they made sacrifices to their gods, and brave ones invited spirits to go inside them. When possessed, they had the power of ten men and so they got many people for the cannibal sacrifice. Christianity came to the islands and many missionaries were not prepared for the powerful demons and spiritual warfare. However, God is powerful and in the end practically all the villages became Christian. People got set free.

After some years, at some point, local Christians, many of whom rarely saw a trained missionary, started spending huge amounts of time in prayer to the Lord. Outbreaks of miracles started to happen and villages of nominal or backslidden Christians started repenting and getting serious with God. When missionaries found out what was happening, some of them tried to stop the manifestations as it disturbed them. However, other missionaries, even though they had never encountered miracles like that before in their home country church, tested the spirit of what was happening and said they should not go against what God was doing.

One of the many things happening was this: The villages have a central big building with thatch roof, wooden posts, dirt floor, mostly open sides, and used for village to have toktok (talks). Usually there would be a blackboard up the front as the hut would be used for some type of schooling for the children. With the power of God moving, the village would gather to pray and worship. Sooner or later someone in the crowd would dance to the front, pick up chalk and write a Scripture reference on the blackboard. Someone else would go out, open the village Bible and preach that reference. The miracle, so the locals told me, was often those who wrote the Scripture reference and those who read the Bible passage were old people who could not read nor write. But they could when the Spirit moved. And there is more.

A local who was an on-fire believer who did trips up into the mountains to the hidden villages where Christianity had not taken hold well and old ways were often followed, told me of an old guy with crippled foot. He wanted to go on the outreach trips but could not walk far. The on-fire guy and his team would set out on the days of walking and when they got to the mountain village, the crippled-foot guy would meet them. They told me it was translocation but they did not use that word. Certainly mysterious.

So, strange things do happen. I confess, at one time I did earnestly pray to see if God would translocate me. Nothing happened. But then when I was young I prayed heaps for a motorbike but have never ever had one. Just as well because I was an idiot driver until I woke up to myself so a motor bike probably would have killed me. God knows better than me what I need and I guess I have asked him for plenty of things that he was glad I asked but was not going to give me anyway as not good for me.

You asked about praying to go out of the body like Paul. I would say you can pray to the Lord about it. Talk to him about it, don't see the praying as trying to twist his arm or anything. He does enjoy his people talking to him. He may even do it. But understand that God is no vending machine for entertaining experiences. He loves you and wants to lovingly be with you so you grow to a maturity where you are enjoying life and are a blessing to other people. He has things he wants to give you that are like the best present ever only better.

I never got my motorbike but various times in prayer God touched me with his love for me and I was overwhelmed. Sometimes for weeks afterwards when I tried to explain to others what had happened as soon as I tried to talk and remember, I would start weeping. And there has been times when I was praying for other people or places when God's love for them touched me and I wept even though it was not his love for me. Truly he is an awesome God. And I am confident that over time as you seek him and desire to follow Jesus and pray that you will encounter him in times which simply astound him.

Watching Thomas

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