The following is an edited transcript of Pastor Leo telling the marriage class about the cancer he has and what God has said and done in this process. As, of course, Pastor Leo would, he takes this opportunity to reveal a profound truth and shares the details, as remarkable as they are, in the context of God’s Word. Pastor Leo speaking on Sunday, July 18:
This morning I want to speak to you about what I believe will reveal to you some of the things the Apostle Paul shares in one of the most complex yet simple passages of scripture in the entire bible, and how it personally relates to a challenge in my life.
I am just going to teach and testify a little bit because in the end I am going to make an important announcement.
Romans 8:18-24 NKJV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but of him who subjected it in hope, 21Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pains together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24For we were saved in this hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees, but if we hope for what we do not see then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
This is a fascinating passage of scripture; I am going to break down a few more verses in just a minute about this whole concept of eagerly waiting. Paul constantly reminded people to think on things eternal and not temporal.
If we just look at the influences of our culture around us—the news, the movies, the stories—everything is diminishing hope. But not so for us!
We have the God of all hope. That’s what the bible says, “the God of all hope.” And what is our Hope? Our Blessed Hope is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that’s what he’s talking about here, with glory!
Even the things that we suffer right now—the things that we’re going—through pale by comparison to the glory which shall be revealed. It’s all about glory and one cannot have an “eagerly awaiting”, an anticipation of glory, without hope.
Paul goes on to say, if you see it, it’s not hope. Hope is in that which is not seen. A lot of people today want to hope in what they see. “Oh give me a glimmer of hope.” They want a 10 percent sign so they can have the 90 percent hope. But Paul teaches that that’s not even real hope, that you haven’t matured in Christ and you don’t have an eternal perspective (a heaven mentality) until you hope when you can’t see any hope.
Then you get a glimpse of the glory so you eagerly await. Three times in this passage Paul says, “eagerly awaits.” Those words in the Greek “eagerly awaits” are actually a verbal metaphor; it’s several words meaning “to stretch the neck in anticipation.”
Overseas, in third world countries, there are people who are waiting at the airports for long lost relatives, for people that they have never met.
Crowds of people gather around the fences as you come through customs, holding signs and craning their necks.
“Is that my uncle?” “Is that my long lost father?” They’re stretching their neck with eager anticipation. That’s what Paul was saying, that you raise your eyes above the crowd to stretch your neck in anticipation of the glory that shall be revealed.
If in heaven the seraphim and the cherubim are covering their faces with their wings because of the intense glory of the Lord, crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty”, do you think you are going to be walking around looking for friends and relatives? No, I think not.
We will be overwhelmed with the glory of the Lord. We will be at the footstool of His throne in worship. We are going to be in the presence of our King!
“Not worthy to be compared…” Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed. If you are going a be a born-again believer who will not be shaken in the last days, you must develop a heaven mind-set, an eternal mentality.
You have heard the phrase “so heavenly-minded, no earthly good. We have, however, too many believers who are so earthly-minded that they are no heavenly good.
They are not bringing a piece of heaven to earth. Your marriage is supposed to be a piece of heaven on earth. If it’s not a piece of heaven on earth than the chances are that it will be hell on earth.
The ancient Hebrew word picture for marriage is made up of three glyphs, or three characters. The way they spelled marriage in the ancient Hebrew was a character for man, a character for woman and a character for fire in the middle—that was how marriage was spelled.
The beauty is you get to choose which fire. Either it will be the fire of the Holy Ghost—the fire of Him who groans within you, the fire of Him who intercedes for you, the fire of Him who teaches you all things and guides you and represents the love of God in your life or, it will be the fire of hell.
You get to choose which fire is between you and your spouse.
So if you’re going to be passionate about the fire of the Holy Spirit then you need a heavenly mindset. As Paul said you have to eagerly await, crane your neck, and stretch your neck in anticipation of the glory. Lord, what glory are you going to show me today? What glory are you going to reveal to me through my spouse to me today? What glory are you going to show us? Where is your glory?
As Moses, after 40 days on the mountain in the presence of God came down and the people were afraid of him because of the glory of the Lord on him, our heart cry ought to echo Moses’ heart cry of “Lord, show me Your glory.”
He had so much glory on him that the people were afraid of him. They were convicted by his very presence and yet his heart cry was “Lord, show me your glory.” It’s about the glory—someone today is going to be enthused enough to desire to see God’s glory in all things.
Paul says for the creation, meaning mankind, was subjected to futility, not willingly but because of him who subjected it in hope. We don’t choose futility; futility is a human condition. That’s why Solomon looked around and said, “this too is meaningless, this too is vanity, this is empty.” He indicated I have had wine, women and song—it’s all empty. I have had riches untold; I have been the richest man in the earth. I have had all this stuff and it’s all empty. I have tried to philosophize and figure things out in my head and it’s meaningless, it’s empty too. These were Solomon’s conclusions.
And Paul explains here that the human condition is that we are in futility; not because of our choosing, but because of Him. The Lord chose us and willed us into futility not in our willingness but in His will.
God, because mans sin, created a sinful condition in man so man feels empty; and he feels empty so that he can reveal the glory of His hope so that we don’t see things just on a temporal level but we see things on an eternal level.
The man who’s born of the flesh only sees things of the flesh. When you are born again you are born of the Spirit, you are suppose to see things in the spirit. You are supposed to desire that glory of God. You are supposed to live above the plane, above the crowd, you should crane your neck above the others to see the coming glory, eagerly awaiting the coming anticipation of that glory.
The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. That is what the birth pangs mean; we can’t wait for the full revelation of the sons of God. We can’t wait any longer to leave this bodily corruption.
There is a law of thermal dynamics; everything that is in the earth is in a season of decay. Once it’s created then it decays. A Giant Sequoia tree only becomes a giant once they start dying; then the tops of them look like broccoli instead of budding trees but when they start dying they start growing thicker and stronger at the bottom, adding an average of 60 feet of wood a year. That is the law of thermal dynamics—your body begins to die, your body is decaying.
Nobody escapes decay—that’s part of the thermal dynamics of life. Oxygen and air, nitrogen all these things cause decay. It is part of the human condition. Paul was very aware of this, indicating that we are looking for that day when we will be delivered from the bondage of this corruption. We look to the day when we will be set free from this present trap of decaying bodies, of decaying stuff. That is why the man who lives in the Spirit realizes that he is only a steward of stuff (not an owner of stuff) because it is all going to rust, rot and go away. That is why Jesus said don’t store up things that rust and moths can destroy but instead go for the real deal; the invisible stuff, the stuff that will stay on in glory forever.
In your marriage how much are you talking in anticipation about the coming of the Lord? How much are you talking, with anticipation, about what the Lord is revealing on a day to day basis? The majority of us will always speak about the temporal things and that is necessary; we have to talk about the details of life, our budgets, our children, our supply, our nourishment, all those things. Those are parts of life but don’t do that at the risk of altogether neglecting that “eagerly awaiting”, that craning of the neck, the anticipation of “What is God going to do today?” God show me your glory, what are you going to do today?
I woke up this morning with an eager anticipation that somebody today is going to believe bigger today and say, “What I am going through doesn’t matter much.” This temporal suffering, this little bit of pain is not even worthy to be compared with the coming glory that shall be revealed. Somebody is going to believe that and not just hear it today.
22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pains together until now. 23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit.
Who is that? The Spirit-filled people, people who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. The Spirit-filled people, which translates to the Spirit-led people. If you have the firstfruits of the spirit (the firstfruits are at the first of your being) you view things through spiritual eyes not just through earthly eyes.
You may realize that you are not submitting your spirit under the Spirit of God, that you are not being led of the Spirit, you’re just walking around in the flesh. This is a decision, a choice that one makes. It’s very simple, to be led of the spirit you say “Holy Spirit lead me afresh, guide me, in Jesus’ name.”
It is that simple, it is turning over your spirit and commanding and reminding your spirit to submit to the Spirit of God. We who have the firstfruits of the Spirit; even we ourselves groan within ourselves eagerly awaiting our complete redemption.
I have heard the groaning of people it is not a good thing. People groaning out of pain; I remember when I visited an aids hospice in Uganda in 1992. It wasn’t really a hospice—it was a hut where people were left to die and right outside the hut was a pile of dead bodies. Everyday they would light on fire and burn bodies. You smelled death and in that place you heard the groaning of people who were dying, the people who were groaning within themselves.
Only a couple of times in my life were there times when I groaned within myself—where I literally groaned out of what was happening in me. I use to play soccer, and the injury that stopped me from playing professional soccer was such a time. I was playing an indoor tournament and my father came there to watch me play. I was a goalkeeper. I loved my father, a hard working man, working two jobs most of his life so he had never seen me play.
This was a Saturday tournament and because my dad was there to see me play for the first time I wanted to impress him. I wanted him to be proud of me. I was playing like a man out of my mind. It was a round robin tournament and in the first 3 games I had 3 shut outs. A shut out in indoor soccer is rare, never mind three in row and now we were coming to the final game.
We were in between games and as I was warming up, I did a deep knee bend and heard a POP, and all of a sudden my knee exploded. In just seconds my knee became the size of a softball, seconds later swelling larger to the size of a melon. I was taken to the hospital and while I was in the ambulance, the pain was so great that they were concerned about my heart from the blood pressure. My blood pressure was so elevated they were giving me Demerol, a strong pain-killer, in the ambulance.
I remember trying to be the tough guy but I couldn’t. I was groaning from within myself. I no longer had control; I was groaning from within myself. I couldn’t help but groan. No matter how I tried to suppress the expression of pain I couldn’t suppress the groaning from the pain. I was groaning within myself.
Paul knew this type of pain, Paul had been flogged, he had been scourged, Paul had received pain, he had been shipwrecked, but he understood what he comes to at the end of this passage, in verse 28: 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Paul had a perspective on pain and trials that was deeper than most people because he understood that “all things”—even as he was a murderer of Christians and that was “not good” but he understood that all things work together for the good. Now, Paul could have compassion on the Pharisees and deal with those with the law because he was such. He was one of them; Paul used the law as a justification to get away from God even though he thought he was with God. That is what religion does. Paul could speak with conviction and power to religious people because, all things work together for the good.
Paul had a revelation on all things. He had a revelation on suffering—that’s why he said these sufferings we go through pale by comparison with the glory that will be revealed. Paul had a glimpse of heaven.
How does that “all things” work? How could somebody like the great Stephen the apostle, full of the faith in the early church,—how could his being stoned to death be good? His getting stoned to death was not good, but God worked it together for the good. Stephen had a lot of followers but when he was stoned to death in the public square his followers became afraid and fled Jerusalem and they brought the gospel to other parts of the earth as part of the result. Perhaps if he had not been stoned to death they would have hoarded the Gospel in Jerusalem and not been forced to carry it to utter ends of the earth. God worked it together for the good.
This is what we have to realize is that eager awaiting, that anticipation, that craning of the neck for the glory of God is what we need. Where we’re looking, if we are eagerly awaiting, ought to be up, for our redemption draws nigh.
Everybody in their life goes though some form of suffering at some time and at the moment it seems as though the suffering doesn’t have any value. Later on they look back on their life, and see the glory of it.
This is why David could say “I thank God for broken bones.” That’s why David was a valley walker—the low places in life made him see the high places and desire the high places again.
We have to understand this: verse 24 says, For we were saved in this hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees, but if we hope for what we do not see then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Paul says it again, that eagerly waiting, that craning of the neck, that anticipation, but he says this time even if you don’t see it, persevere right there in hope.
It is the crowd at the airport again—maybe it’s a short lady whose husband’s been overseas for a couple of months and there are people in front of her and she is trying to jump up and see “is that my husband, is that my husband?” Paul says don’t just jump up and look, eagerly await for it with perseverance. Keep looking, keep craning, maybe what you’re going through right now does not seem hopeful.
There are already two people that I have talked to today that are in crises points in their marriage right now and it does not look hopeful but hope is not found in what you see, it’s in what is not seen. Take your eye level above the crowd, crane your neck and say, “Lord you show me. I want to anticipate your glory; somehow you are going to work this together for my good.”
Maybe the crisis that you are going through in your marriage right now will reveal to you what you need to do to become more Christ-like so that more of His glory will be evident in you.
Verse 26: Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought. The Spirit himself makes intercession with groaning which cannot be uttered.
There have been times in my life when I don’t know what to pray and as I just say God, the Holy Spirit fills me and I begin to pray in tongues. That is the intercession of the Holy Spirit! Those are precious moments with God. Just when I was groaning in pain when my knee blew up, now the spirit of God was groaning in me because of His burden of intercession for me. He was groaning in me to see the glory of God appear through me.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. You see, sometimes when you don’t even have hope, Jesus is interceding for you, He knows the will of God. The Holy Spirit fills you, and groans through you the purposes of God when you can’t see them. That is part of the blessed hope.
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. This passage has taken on a special meaning for me in the last few weeks. Eight weeks ago we were at a church in Merrillville Indiana, just outside of Chicago doing a Marriage Conference. We preached a Friday night service and had a glorious time. It was a small group, about 30 couples and we were staying in the Pastor’s home. Emily was with us, Molly, Emily and I were in the Pastor’s home and they had a big dog (about 120 pounds) and I like big dogs. He is a large white Lab and huge Alaskan Husky mix with steel blue eyes named Azar which is the Hebrew name for treasure.
I offered to take the dog for a walk the next morning as I like to get up and pray early in the morning. So I took Azar out for a walk in the morning. It was that Pastor’s 38th wedding anniversary so while I was out walking the dog and in prayer the Lord said, “give them an anniversary present, I know you can’t afford it but I will help you. Fly them out to the International Marriage Conference, get them a hotel room and pay for their airfare and give that as an anniversary present.”
I came back and told Molly and Molly was in immediate agreement. Thank God for a wife who loves to hear obedience to the Lord, I am blessed. Amen. Molly knows when I have heard from God—she is with me. So I preached that morning and I brought the pastor and his wife up and said, “We want to bless you and have you come to Phoenix and attend the International Marriage Conference.” They were thrilled and the Pastor began to prophesy—he uttered in tongues and gave an interpretation and prophesied and we were thinking, “Okay, this is interesting.”
We didn’t really understand what the word meant. His son, the associate pastor lifted his I-Phone and recorded it. We thought that was nice so we would have it.
Later on in the day we were together and my daughter Emily was loving up on her dad and had her hands around my shoulders and said “Dad, what is that lump on your neck?”
What lump? Emily brought Molly over and said, “Check out this lump.”
So Molly made a doctor’s appointment. The doctor suggested an ultrasound; the ultrasound tech was not thrilled when he saw it so we knew that that was not good news. They ordered a CT scan. Being a counselor who trains counselors, when I came out of the CT machine I read the face and the body language of the CT tech and I knew it was not good news.
The next day I flew to Missouri to speak at a Marriage Conference that Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then I was to meet Molly in Atlanta to go onto Europe. On the way from Phoenix to Missouri, on a 45 minute lay-over in Memphis my doctor calls me and says, “ Yes, It’s cancer, not good news and I need you to make an appointment with the surgeon just as soon as possible.”
Now when they know you’re leaving the country and they call you to make an appointment with the surgeon, that’s not good news. Then I had about 25 minutes to call and break the news to Molly and tell her to get with the insurance company and get a surgeon on a Friday afternoon.
I am thinking, “Oh my, then I have to hang up with her, get on a plane and proceed to the meeting that night” and a thousand thoughts race through my head. So I tell her—she is strong as a rock for us.
She was prepared because we had already had the ultrasound and the CT scan but we didn’t want to tell our children until we knew definitively. So I boarded the plane knowing the pastor and his wife were going to pick me up when I landed to go directly to preach the meeting. I would be unavailable to Molly for four or five hours so I encouraged her to call our dear friends Gwen and Arnold Tackett because I wanted her to have somebody to talk to. Molly just got this bomb dropped on her; I didn’t want her to be without anybody to talk to.
Later that night in the hotel as I returned from preaching, there is a text for me and it’s from Gwen and she says. “I felt like the Lord was saying that there is an assignment from the enemy to silence your voice to the nations.”
I thought it made sense especially since the CT tech said the tumor is wrapping itself around the muscle of your neck. I called Molly, and then I remembered that Pastor Raftery had the word over us and his son emailed it to Molly.
I listened to it. I looked at it as a form of encouragement.
I met Molly on that Sunday as we were flying off to Austria. We were going to a little Marriage Conference in Itter, Austria where “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” We weren’t even speaking at it but our dear friends who come to IMC (www.marriageconferences.com) every year, Lasse and Marie Nylen from Sweden were co-hosting the event with Dan and Nori Chesney.
They encouraged us several months earlier to come out and see what they do at this meeting in Austria and get some rest and relaxation. We booked a marriage weekend in Norwich, England at the end of it. The week prior we were thinking,
“We are so busy. Why did we agree to this trip at all in Austria?”
Now all of a sudden we had anticipation (eagerly waiting) to go to Austria. Molly and I would have several days alone together after we just got this news. And we know all things work together for the good, All things.
The first morning at the meeting there were 11 pastors and their wives there from several different countries. The Holy Spirit impressed me to ask for prayer. All of these 11 pastors and their wives (they were from Sweden, Austria, England, Italy, and America) all gathered around me and it was a glorious sound: some praying in Swedish, in German, some praying in Italian, some praying in tongues, some praying in English—it was glorious!
I was taking it all in, trying to listen to it all. One voice though that crowd was the voice of a woman from Italy. Her name is Elissa Danna from Bologna Italy. And it was just like the Spirit connected my spirit with hers. It was precious. Afterwards we talked to her; she didn’t speak very much English but her husband Pastor Mike Danna was an interpreter in English. He is an ex-mafia guy who has been pastoring now for many years. He interpreted and he said that while they were praying she saw two fingers like appendages come out of a tumor but as we were praying they shrunk back in!
The image the Lord gave me was kind of like that of the Wizard of Oz movie, when the wicked witch’s feet rolled up and went back under the house.
In my heart, I agreed to receive that as my healing. They said, “Thank God for your healing. No longer pray for your healing but thank God for your healing.”
And we have been standing on that believing this is why the Lord brought us to the Austria meeting. Afterward, we went on to Norwich England to preach a conference at a wonderful church that is launching a NAME Center. We didn’t say anything to our gracious UK hosts as the verse had indicated we keep “sound wisdom and discretion” before us.
We came home, concerned about breaking the news to our children. We told the news to our children and they’re just awesome, full of faith and confident in God. All things work together for the good.
I will undergo surgery August 20th . They will make about a 5 inch diagonal cut across my neck and remove the tumor and the surgeon expects to probably remove my Thyroid as well because it’s kind of a different type of Thyroid Cancer called Follicular Cancer (Papillary is the far more common form). At that time, they will check it to see whether it may have spread elsewhere as follicular can spread to the liver, lungs or brain but I don’t receive that all. Because I am healed!
It’s just exciting and I wanted to share this with you because I am anticipating the glory of the Lord and I want to read to you the prophetic word that Pastor Larry Raftery had for me now because it will make more sense than if I had read it at the beginning. This will show you that all things work together for the good. During this recording the first sentence or two was missed so the first word transcribed is “change.” Here it is:
Change… you are going to take it by its very neck and bring it to the ground, says the Lord. This thing that has withstood marriages, this thing that has withstood my authority, this very thing that has stood and mocked, says the Lord.
For you it will be like a wrestling match, but as you wrap your arms around its neck—as you begin to bring it down, says the Lord, there will be an increase of strength and anointing.
At first there will be those who will say “Who do you think you are? Why are you doing this? Do you realize what you’re causing?” People will hate you because of this; and every one of those things will be seen to be a lie. As you wrestle this to the ground and as you stand up you will hear the voice of adulation—but it won’t be for you, it will be for me, says the Lord, for the great work that has been done in my name.
For people will be released with thanksgiving in their heart; the freedom, the liberty, that so many people desire to walk in that I have provided for them will be theirs. They will wear it as a robe of righteousness and the bride of Christ will be even more prepared, says the Lord.
Father I just thank you for that now. I thank you, Father God, for what you’re doing in him and doing, Father God, in Leo’s life in the name of Jesus. Father God that all the things that have been hidden will be brought to light Father; I thank you, Father God, for garnering around him, Father God, every bit of resource, Father God, every bit, Father God, of materials, everything that He needs, Father God. I thank you for that, Father in Jesus name!
(Speaks in tongues) There is nothing to fear, nothing, nothing to fear. Nothing to fear for your life, nothing to fear for your marriage, nothing to fear for your reputation, nothing to fear for your family, nothing to fear, says the Lord. For as you’re standing in the revealed light of my Spirit, there will be a resistance—a resistance that will emanate from your very lives. I have said submit yourselves to me, resist the devil and he will flee. You will see a running off but it will be a running off of what needs to run off and you will be seeing a garnering, a gathering together of what should be joined together until there’s a force, a mighty force, not just you standing there all by yourself, but those standing with you in full agreement and helping with everything that needs to be done, says the Lord. Father, I just thank you for it, Father, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Somebody give glory to God for that word, Yesterday morning Molly and I were talking and we were saying “We just have a supernatural peace about this whole thing”.
After they cut my throat open I will have a drainage tube in my neck for 4 or 5 days. The doctor said on Wednesday, “There is some side effect risks to this surgery. There is risk of damage to the nerves to the vocal chords and it could change or loose you voice.” I said “I don’t receive that,” and I said “Your hands are going to be guided and you will do your very best. I am a man of faith and I have been prayed over. Is it possible that the primary tumor that is causing this cancer has disappeared?”
The doctor said, “It is interesting because you’ve got this tumor up here in the Lymph Nodes that usually will come from a Thyroid tumor but there is nothing on the Thyroid.” Earlier when I had an ultrasound and biopsy, the nurse said, “There is this thing on the Thyroid” but they refused to ultrasound that; they just biopsied the tumor.
I believe that when Elissa Danna, the pastor’s wife from Italy prayed and saw that tumor shrink back, that it was the primary tumor and it was stopped in the name of Jesus. I believe that we are going to have a glorious result. I know that because God said “a stronger and greater anointing is going to come on you” and so I am going to declare to you right now by faith that within two weeks after my surgery I will be preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ again.
I know that because there is a whole conference of people in Bogota Columbia and in Lima Peru in the early part of September that are “eagerly waiting” for me to get there. No weapon formed against me shall prosper, I know in whom I have believed and I know whose report I will believe.
I will believe the report of the Lord. I say that because somebody here today is going through something who needs to press the believing button and say “All things!”
Paul said “for we know…” He didn’t just suggest all things work to the good, he said, “For we know all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose.”
Sometimes people don’t see how the good, is coming out when they are going through something. But, all things work together for the good. A woman who was raped—police said they wanted to do a DNC to scrape her uterus to make sure nothing could be birthed out of that—resisted that and gave birth to a son. Her son’s name is James Robinson who has probably fed more starving people around the earth than anybody else in the name of Jesus. All things work together for the good. At the time of her rape she couldn’t see that working together for the good. I heard of a family that gave birth some years ago to a child with severe cerebral palsy , after the doctors encouraged them to abort. The doctors wanted to abort that child and she said, “NO! Every life has a purpose. All things work together for the good” and they gave birth to that child.
That boy is 19 now; just a little while back the father had a heart attack and was in the hospital. The mother came with their son who is a severely mentally retarded young man. They were in the waiting room and there were only so many seats there. They sat down next to this homeless man who was kind of smelly, stinky and dirty, and she was so uncomfortable sitting next to him. Just then the nurse called her in to the room to see her husband.
When she came back out, the mentally retarded young man had changed seats and was sitting next to the homeless man, kind of leaning over him. The homeless man was sobbing.
She came out to the man and said, “Oh I am sorry, I am sorry if my son has offended you. I am sorry!”
The homeless man looked up and said “Offended me, Offended me”? This is the first person who has hugged me in 20 years.” She realized that in her mentally retarded son was more of the unconditional love of Christ than she was showing. All things work together for the good to those that love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose.
I am standing here, and I feel so privileged. How many get to get a word of the Lord several hours beforehand, on the very day that we discover the lump?
The Lord, with His infinite mercy towards me, to me who is called according to His purpose, gives a prophetic word about this thing that has withstood marriages—this thing that has withstood the authority of God concerning marriage. And that I am going to take it by its very neck and wrestle it to the ground with a stronger and greater anointing because it has tried to stop my neck. How many people have the privilege of a pastor’s wife declaring Proverbs 3:22, that says, “keep wisdom and sound discretion before you that it would be life to your soul and grace to your neck”? Now I read Proverbs a lot but I have to tell you I never saw that “grace to your neck”. Now it’s personal, it’s awesome. All things!
Today I am going to pray for you that you’re going to believe that all things, whatever suffering, whatever your going through, all things, whatever little weight it does not even compare, it’s not even worthy to be compared to the coming glory of the Lord in your life—to the revealed glory of the Lord’s light, to what He wants to do, to how He wants to show off His lovingkindness, His mercy, His tender heartedness, His grace towards you. Oh, you just have to believe, you have to believe that all things—even when you don’t see it. That’s when it’s hope, because there is one who is interceding for you with groaning and uttering things that you know not of. There is one who is going to groan deep within you, when you can’t understand it, when you can’t handle it. The Spirit of God is going to be in you and come out and speak the will of God concerning you. And the will of God is this “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are for good and not for evil, for a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
All things work together for the good to those who love the Lord. I expect incredible things, supernatural things, for this year’s International Marriage Conference. (www.marriageconferences.com) God is going to have that Pastor fly out, we3’ll play the recording of that testimony, faith will arise and supernatural things will happen.
I want you to make plans now to be there. Get brochures; get everybody together and get registered. We are going to have more pastors here than ever before because the word of the Lord is the greater and stronger anointing will come on me then. I can’t wait to preach in South America. The first place I will lift God’s voice concerning marriage again. There is going to be a new authority after that because that thing that tried to get me by the neck.
Oh, by the way when we got back from Europe, James webb posted on our Facebook wall: “Thank you, for doing the Together Forever marriage conference in Aurora, Missouri, may your hand be upon the neck of the enemy as you bless marriages all over the world as it is evident God is with you.” God is in this thing! Even though we didn’t see it, we have hope, and now we see it and the glory of the Lord is revealed. This temporary suffering is not even worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed.
Father I pray you groan over those under the sound of my voice, I pray God that today somebody would rise up and say “I am going to believe that God has my best in mind. I believe that He who intercedes, who prays the will of the Father and the Spirit as a result groans within me with uttering’s I know not of—I pray God that there will be no hindrances to the free flow of the Holy Spirit in the people’s lives. I pray that there will people to rise up and be faithful to believe for things eternal and not just be bound by today; that they indeed would have the blessed hope of the coming of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. That they would be like Moses who even though they have glory or glimpses of glory that they would cry out even more “show me your glory Lord”. I pray my Father that there are people today that would say “I want all of you Lord, I want all of you and come what may, I will praise the Lord. Though they slay me yet will I serve Him. I pray God that people would recognize, Lord God that as they love you with all their heart, mind, soul and strength that all things work together for the good. Show us your glory Lord, in each one of our lives, in the lives of our families, in the lives of our children; help us to live, to stretch our neck in anticipation. Help us to look above the crowd and see the blessed hope, Lord God. Fill your people with hope, Lord God, let us be a distinction, let us be joyful, ever flowing. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength because we know in whom we have believed and we are not as they who in the last days will walk around with no hope. We have that blessed hope. I pray that everyone in this room would live lives of hope and be eagerly awaiting with anticipation and perseveringly for the great things that you have prepared for your people. Bless these people I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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