Power in Earthen Vessels

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I was at Robinsons Mall, Fairview on Sunday on my way to Victory Churches of Asia (VCA) at the second floor when I passed by a commotion near the entrance of the mall annex.

My first thought was—was it a bomb? An ongoing robbery? I looked beyond the crowd gathered at the scene and saw a woman lying on the floor, shouting at the top of her lungs in what looked like a demonic attack. I stepped closer and asked the guards what happened. They shook their heads saying they don’t know.

As I went closer, I saw two angels ministering to the woman. One of the angels was in a red Chinese costume and she was cradling the woman’s head, gently trying to get the woman on her feet. The woman was still shouting out a lot of nonsense. Her mother was standing over her looking helpless. I came in closer and saw that the angels turned out to be my churchmates Jenny and Osang. We were in a building occupied by many churches, and this being a Sunday, who would come out of the crowd to help this woman but three of us from VCA! How cool is that?

As the security guards helped the woman get on a wheelchair, we told her we would like to pray for her. Still speaking in a loud voice, she said she is a Christian, too. We learned she used to have epileptic attacks in the past, but I sensed clearly that she had been bound by lies coming from the devil. I felt she had to break free from this deception, and the only thing that could free her from the lies is the truth.

Jenny, Osang, and I began to pray for her, but before we did, a lot of weird thoughts went through my head. What if the demon fights back? What if we fail at this in front of all these people? What if she physically hurt us?

I threw away all those doubts and jumped in in prayer. I felt the Holy Spirit embracing the woman while we prayed, and I felt the lies that bound her slowly being exposed to the light.

The woman could not move on emotionally from the shame, humiliation, and embarrassment of her “condition” and not just in this instance, but from several other instances in the past. She had lost the assurance of God’s love, she felt unacceptable and unlovable and had given in to the devil’s deceiving influence towards hopelessness and helplessness.

After we prayed, she suddenly turned quiet, then was transformed into a normal, friendly, and sensible person. Amazing.

So I mentioned I was on my way to the 4:00pm service at VCA, and would they like to go with me? Surprisingly, she and her mother instantly said yes.

A female security guard was kind enough to push her wheelchair through the elevator and we went up to the second floor.

Pastor Al Purvis, apostolic leader of Victory Churches in Asia who heads an awesome ministry in Thailand delivered God’s message that afternoon. And surprisingly, (though I think I’m no longer surprised at how God often gives surprises), he taught on Mark chapter 7, about a woman from Syria who asked Jesus for help because her daughter was demon-possessed.

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(Photo by Jason Marinas)

“The Word of God is more powerful than your circumstances…”

I was seated next to the woman—let’s call her Mabel (not her real name)—who gasped and said, “That’s me!”. Then she turned to her mother and said, “That’s us!”

I felt that the entire message by Pastor Al was meant for Mabel and her mother, and also meant for me. In fact, when the words were not meant for Mabel, they were meant for me.

Here are just some portions of the message that I remember…

Mark 7:24 – 29–

24Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre.i He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. 25Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evilj spirit, 26and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter.

Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, 27Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews.k It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

28She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”

29“Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Because of the words she said, the woman received her miracle. She spoke the right words to Jesus, words of faith that opened the door to a miracle.

A pure, unoffended heart will enable you to receive your miracle

Like the Syrian woman, are we speaking the right words? Or do we say, “Jesus, why am I not being healed?” or “Why is this happening to me?” Lord, help me speak the right words that will work the miracle in my life!

The Syrian woman was not at all offended when Jesus referred to the Jews as the children, and to her as a “dog”, because she was a pagan. Having a clean, pure, unoffended heart, she was able to speak the words that brought a miracle in her life.

Being without offence in one’s heart made the difference. Self-disappointment and things that happened in the past often create a blockage in the heart, making it difficult to believe.

When Jesus told the disciples “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” they couldn’t understand what He meant. They thought it was because they forgot to bring bread. And Jesus’ reaction was, “How is it that you don’t understand?” They missed the point. They couldn’t move on because they were disappointed with themselves at the mistake they made.

Sometimes, making a mistake and being disappointed with ourselves could harden our hearts. But God’s lovingkindness is able to set us free from disappointments.

II Corinthians 4:7

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

God has put a treasure, His Word, in this earthly vessel, and we have the excellency of His power working in us. God keeps His Word. God keeps His mercy. Don’t let your past hinder your future. It’s time to move on. The Word of God is more powerful than your circumstances. We must learn to see beyond the offense, beyond our circumstances, to be able to see the excellency of the power He has placed in us.

A pure, unoffended heart will enable you to see your calling

How many times have you lain in your bed at night thinking, “If only I could…”. Whatever is that thing you wished you could do, that’s the dream that God has placed in your heart. It is in your heart for a purpose.

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