Tori was very sick. Her cardiologist said that her heart was dangerously enlarged and that her stress level was so high that she could die suddenly and there was nothing he could do to stop it. We had been friends for over five years. She was the pianist and I was the choir director at church. Over the years we had formed a duet and sang at many of the surrounding churches. At night after our children were asleep and under the care of their fathers, we would walk. Many times we walked to church so we could rehearse for the next music program, but tonight it was different. We were going to church to pray for God to heal Tori’s heart. When evening came I picked up Tori in my car and we headed for church. The church was dark except for a street light. I used my key to open the door. We walked into the sanctuary and we sat in a pew close to the front. I got out my Bible and read!
James 5:14&15: “Is there anyone who is sick? He should send for the church elders, who will pray for him and rub olive oil on him in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick person; the Lord will restore him to health, and the sins he has committed will be forgiven.” (The Good News Study Bible)
First we prayed for forgiveness for our sins. Then we began to pray earnestly for healing. Suddenly a supernatural warmth, I had never experienced before, came over both of us. I placed my hands over Tori’s heart and asked for God’s healing power. My hands turned hot and a steady loving vibration filled my soul answering my prayers with a resounding, “Yes! I will heal her heart!”
When Tori went back to see her cardiologist, he announced with surprise that her heart was no longer enlarged. She was fine and could resume living a normal life. Both of us rejoiced at the news because we knew that Jesus Christ had healed her.
From the moment of the healing I felt a change inside of me I had never felt before. I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. I was given special gifts. The music I loved improved. Tori’s and my relationship became stronger and our hearts filled with love for each other. My hands grew hot assuring me that God was on my side. God gave me a desire to read my bible and understand His will for my life.
I shared everything about Tori’s healing to my friends at church. They listened eagerly to the extraordinary details of what happened. I thought they would rejoice with me, but instead they began to judge me for the love Tori and I shared.
I was shocked! My church took my church keys away. They striped me of my Church positions. I was jailed and denied justice in the court and they helped my ex-husband gain custody of my kids. They attacked me and persecuted me for not following the doctrine of the church. They proclaimed I had changed and they would no longer accept me as their friend. I had not changed! I was the same person! I was shocked over their behavior and their ignorance to the freedom you gain when the Holy Spirit is directing your life. I wanted to be free from my former churches rules and I gained this by surrendering to Jesus’ will for my life.
I turned to my Bible looking for answers to why everyone was against Tori and I. And the Holy Spirit took what I read and opened my mind so I could understand scriptures like I never had before. I wrote about what I learned and put them in my new book, I Want to know my Future. I read versus that were filled with stories about how Jesus was rejected by His church. They persecuted Him because He came to set them free from the Laws that condemned them for sin.
John 8: 31-47: “So Jesus said to those who believed in him, ‘If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’
‘We are the descendants of Abraham,’ they answered, ‘and we have never been anybody’s slaves. What do you mean, then, by saying, ‘You will be free?’
Jesus said to them, ‘I am telling you the truth: everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave does not belong to a family permanently, but a son belongs there forever. If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are trying to kill me, because you will not accept my teaching. I talk about what my Father has shown me, but you do what your father has told you.’
They answered him, ‘Our father is Abraham.’
‘If you really were Abraham’s children,’ Jesus replied, ‘you would do the same things that he did. All I have ever done is to tell you the truth I heard from God, yet you are trying to kill me. Abraham did nothing like this! You are doing what your father did.’
‘God himself is the only Father we have,’ they answered, ‘and we are his true sons.’
Jesus said to them, ‘If God really were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own authority but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to listen to my message. You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father’s desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies. But I tell the truth, and that is why you do not believe me. Which one of you can prove that I am guilty of sin? If I tell the truth, then why do you not believe me? He who comes from God listens to God’s words. You, however, are not from God, and that is why you will not listen.’” (The Good News Study Bible)
The Pharisees had the best houses in Israel. They were the people’s leaders and they used the teachings of Abraham to condemn the people and force them to follow them. They made their money from the offerings the people brought to them for sin. The freedom Jesus preached would destroy the church in its present form. They could never allow this and they wanted Jesus dead.
If you are not for Jesus and love, then you are on the side of the Devil and hate. Satan forces people into becoming his slave. He does this by infiltrating the churches and demanding they obey a set of rules. Satan wants long lists of rules because he knows the people will fail. When they fail they will lose their faith in God.
The love that flowed from the Holy Spirit freed me from the prejudice of homosexuality. But my church was not free. If they accepted our love then they would have to let go of the rules that governed the church. These rules gave people the power to judge one another. It put people in charge of the church and not Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:18 & 19: “For the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God’s power. The scripture says, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and set aside the understanding of the scholars.’” (The Good News Study Bible)
We are in a teaching world. We must find out the difference between right and wrong in order to allow Jesus to direct our lives. This way we will discover the truth. When we receive Jesus’ truth then we will be set free from the controlling powers that take away our freedom. The Holy Spirit came to set us free from the rules that men made up to control us. That is the reason why many churches persecute people for love. Prejudice puts people in charge. Love puts God in charge and sets us free. I want to be free!
Linda C Dipman author of I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE http://outskirtspress.com/iwanttoknowmyfuture presents I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE It will put you on the edge of your seat as you read each vivid detail. You will feel terror and experience love like nothing you have ever read before. Find out what happens when God fights for you! http://lovinghandsministry.com 5.0 out of 5 stars a powerful and very much recommended read. Midwest Book Review: I Want to Know My Future With nothing left, not even family, God may be the only thing left. “I Want to Know My Future” is a Christian memoir from Linda Dipman who ponders her rough journey when she was thrown in jail and forgotten by her church and family. When all seemed lost she relates how God was still there for her and she hopes her story will help other readers remember this important fact. “I Want to Know My Future” is a powerful and very much recommended read.