Originally published by ChurchWithoutWallsInternational.org.
What a busy month of April it has been! A lot is happening so I have a few short announcements to start with:
Zodiac series handout available. I recently concluded a Weekly Thoughts series on how the signs of the Zodiac describe the gospel story, and some have asked for pictures and/or the series outline in a step by step handout. I have such a handout available and if you would like it, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org I will send it in PDF.
Meetings in the USA:
Bozeman, Montana meeting almost full. I know it is only April, but we only have 10 seats remaining for our Bozeman, Montana meeting the end of July. Registration is free, but you must register if you want a seat. Emailing us saying you are coming does not register you, and once we reach capacity we will close registration.
We just got back from our Phoenix, Arizona meetings which were I think a blessing to all. We certainly covered about every subject under the sun in our question and answer times! Thank you once again, Scott and Nadine in particular!
June 26-27 is our next gathering in the US is Denton, Texas. See information above. It is filling fast – again, it is free, but we have to know how many are coming so you must register.
October 8-10 in Manchester, New Hampshire is our New England Conference. We just recently put the registration link in the headers above my Weekly Thoughts and e-newsletter, and people are already registering. It’s a beautiful time of year in New England during Columbus Day weekend and always an even richer time in the Lord!
We hope international flights to Europe will be opened back up so that we may hold our planned meetings in the Netherlands and Latvia and will keep you posted as things develop.
Pig project in Uganda and other news in Africa
One of the blessings this year is that cwowi leaders in several African nations are visiting one another and investing in those relationships. Kenya visiting Uganda, Ivory Coast visiting Liberia, The Gambia visiting Liberia (new affiliate), and the result is the hoped for a cwowi West Africa conference sometime next year. What a blessing!
We have seen the pattern described in Acts happen in cwowi over the years – people in various house churches going on short term trips to visit their brethren in other house churches, often in other nations. We’ve seen and continue to see people making these trips in the US and EU, and we are thrilled we are starting to see the same in Africa.
Technology also plays a role in this pattern, something Paul never had. Today we have several groups spanning states and nations using Zoom, Skype, and other social media platforms to meet together for prayer, study, worship, discussion. Amazing grace. People are forever, so invest in relationships in the Lord.
The pig project I mentioned above is our effort to help our Ugandan brethren in some 150 house churches now, better their lives through entrepreneurial projects. The government provides training for people wanting to learn the care of pigs which leads to improving their lives economically.
CWOWI is partnering with our affiliate churches there and coordinating training to provide our first 20 pigs to 20 families. The families have received training, built the needed pens, and received the first shipment of pigs. These female pigs will be bred and within a few months will have a litter. Once weaned 2 of each litter will then be invested in another church family to start their own pig farm. We will be sending money for another 20 pigs later this next week, and we hope to be able to send money for another 20 after that, helping our family in Christ in that part of Uganda become self-sufficient. The cost per pig/training/material is $125 USD each, and we send enough for 20 pigs at a time which is manageable and needed to gather a class in what they term, ‘piggery’. If you want to help just write a note with your donation ‘Uganda’.
We also need to put a fence around the well we had drilled for a village in Kenya – the well has been up and running for some time, but a fence around it ($2500) will help protect the solar panels, motor and sanitation of the well area.
The pattern in scripture is that each house church is responsible to take care of its own, but when a need is larger than they can handle, they appeal to the network. This is how CWOWI has functioned these nearly 20 years, seen in examples such as Acts 11 when the church at Antioch (Syria) sent money to Judea to help with famine relief, among other examples. I rarely say anything about how cwowi follows this pattern, but once in a while, like these projects, it just seems right to share with the larger cwowi family.
Preparing for a miracle
I recently shared in my Facebook Live and YouTube videos about the pattern Jesus set in the gospels before He did a miracle. He never changes so we must realize He does the same things today in our lives. Jesus often required a person or people do something in the natural to prepare, before He did a miracle.
In each case the pattern is the same: Revelation from the Lord that He wanted to do something. This revelation wasn’t always something apparent because it was so common sense and normal.
In John 6 Jesus wants to feed the 5,000 men plus women and children who have gathered, and He said to Philip in v5-6, “Where shall we buy bread that they may eat?” The text states in v6: “This He said to test him, for He knew what He was going to do.”
The Lord does not test anyone with evil (James 1:13), but He does test us – He tests our motives, our intentions, our fears or our faith. He does this by allowing circumstances in our lives which reveal what is in us. In this case, though Philip had seen water turned into wine and numerous other miracles, he was still thinking in natural terms not even considering the power of the Lord with whom he was talking. “Two hundred pennyworth is not enough.” Some commentaries state this is about half a year’s wages – Philip was not considering the miracle working power of the Lord!
So the first step is to consider what the Lord wants to do. Let’s say you have a bill past due and fear is keeping you from calling them to make arrangements, sometimes because you don’t know what commitment you might be able to make. Fear keeps a person in torment, like that needed phone call is hanging over their head with all the imagination of dread it can produce.
Maybe it is a conversation with someone you offended or they offended you and you hope they will respond. Maybe it is going to a doctor and you just want God to heal the symptoms, and you are afraid either of spending the money you don’t have or are afraid what they may find.
Do what Philip did not:
Consider the miracle working power of the Lord, Christ now in you, the hope of glory. So we must set ourselves with the firm conviction we will find His provision during that phone call, during that visit with the offended friend, during the doctor’s appointment….we set ourself knowing He always provides our needs, and these are needs. So we continue forward with confidence.
The second step: Organize
In Mark 6:40 and Luke 9:14 it states Jesus had the 5,000 men (plus others) sit down in groups of 50’s and 100’s. He was about to multiply a boy’s lunch of bread and broiled fish, and for the miracle to be contained, the people had to be organized.
Jesus is the same today, so once you set yourself with the confidence He wants to do a miracle provision in your life, you need to organize. He promises not to give us more than we can handle (I Corinthians 10: 13), so you better get ready to handle what He wants to do!
Jesus had to communicate to the disciples to make what would have been 100-200 groups of 50 and 100 among the thousands. He specifically stated ‘make the men sit down’ in those groups, which means He did so knowing each family head would organize his family to sit down until all were seated.
THEN and only then did Jesus multiply the bread and fish, distribute to the disciples (He may have had the 70 other disciples at that time, but certainly others would have helped distribute to the up to 150+/- groups). And then each family in the groups. Jesus even had them organize the gathering of leftovers. He did this pattern twice, with the feeding of 4,000 and with the 5,000 – not including women and children.
Are you organized before you make that call, before you make that appointment, before you talk to that person? Get organized. What would be required for you to contain and organize the miracle the Lord wants to do in your life?
Consider – At the wedding in Cana in John 2 Jesus had them fill 6 stone water pots with water before He turned that water into wine. When He first met Peter in Luke 5 He told Peter to launch the boats into the deep for a big catch of fish, even after they had fished all night and caught nothing. Organize. Prepare.
And that leads me to the last point: There is often an objection to God’s plan.
We can consider Philip’s limited thinking as an objection. When Jesus told Peter to launch into the deep for a catch, Peter resisted, explained why it would not work – “We worked all night and caught nothing!” In John 11 When Jesus told Mary to roll away the stone from Lazarus’ tomb, in preparation for him being raised from the dead, she objected: “Lord! He’s been dead four days, he stinks by now!”
What objection has your fleshly mind raised, which fights against thoughts of faith and expectation of God’s miracle?
But they’ll turn off my power just that much faster! But what if they find something seriously wrong with me? What if they stay mad at me what will I do?
In I Corinthians 2: 14 Paul writes that the natural man cannot receive the spiritual things of the Lord, for they are foolishness to the natural mind. But he says, they must be spiritually discerned. That is the discipline: To control the thoughts, emotions, and bring them captive to Christ. To rise up and state over the objection: God will provide!
I have used for years II Peter 1: 3-4 which says in part: “His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life, and godliness…” Everyone pertaining to life – bills, people, provision. And godliness – overcoming temptation, growth in Christ, renewing the mind – has already been provided. So I act like it.
When something happens that catches me by surprise, I often state: “Reveal your provision Lord, for all things that pertain to life and godliness has been provided!” And He does.
Conclusion: Get rid of natural thinking and look for what the Lord wants to do. Consider what is needed to be able to handle the meeting of that need. Overcome objections and faith in failure by exchanging those thoughts with the certainty proven by His track record in your life, His faithfulness, HIs provision in times past. Do what is right in the natural, and be confident in His provision!
Thank you so much for being in our lives, for those of you who donate to us, thank you so very much. For those who pray for us, thank you for making mention of us in your prayers.
You are prayed for, when each donation comes in I pray for each person, and if there are prayer requests I keep them active in a 30 day cycle unless I hear otherwise. We are pretty much what you see is what you get just like you – just trying to walk with the Lord and eagerly looking for His return.
Thank you for being in our lives!
John & Barb
email me at email@example.com if you want that handout or other questions
Author: John Fenn
John Fenn is the founder of The Church Without Walls International and author of “Pursuing the Seasons of God” and ‘Return of the First Church’. John graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in 1980. Known for teaching with anointing and by revelation and flowing with the gifts of the Spirit, his heart’s desire is to make known the ways of the Father God.