Our God is a God of miracles. He is not selfish. He does not like to see us suffer or do without. The enemy would like to make you believe God is not a good God, but the book of Hebrews states what is tried and true: "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). I have found no truth more liberating than this, and I have seen people who lack this understanding suffer lifetimes of frustration, wondering about the character of God.
If someone ever embraces the idea that God's character is somehow flawed, then all sorts of troubling questions follow. If God is good, then how can there be suffering in the world? If God is unfair, then why should anyone trust Him? Such questions illustrate how the enemy infiltrates the minds of humankind. Even the insurance industry refers to a horrible natural disaster as an "act of God."
Have you ever wondered why no one asks the converse of the question? If God is a bad God, then why is there so much good in the world? How do you explain the good, the order of the universe and other miracles?
The goodness of God is the foundation of our faith and our expectation. When we begin with the idea of a God who always does good and who loves us, then our expectation meets our experience. That simple shift in thinking is remarkably powerful because it realigns us with God's eternal kingdom. We begin to operate from a perspective of abundance and favor instead of a perspective of poverty and struggle.
Some people embrace a theology that God inflicts evil on people to teach them a lesson or to make them holy. This view usually fails to take into account the consequences of our own bad choices and places undeserved blame on a sovereign and loving God.
We live every day with a sense of expectation, and God has not disappointed us. We have seen countless miracles happening on a regular basis. We choose to share only the medically verified miracles. This allows us to overcome the reluctance of the skeptic. Here are just a few of the miracles that God has done at Influence.
Skye, a 26-year-old mother of three children, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the circumference of a grapefruit. I felt, as did all who gathered around Skye to pray, that this was not how life should be. This was not a cleverly designed plot of the Father to strengthen her faith or to punish His children. Sickness was contrary to the way the kingdom was supposed to work. It was our job to release all the promises of God on earth. Only then would the world understand that God is good.
It was during this time that I began to truly understand the goodness of the Father and the power of hope. I will let Skye tell her own story:
I asked God, "Please make me a miracle. Lord, I have three babies and one with special needs; they need me." The next Sunday at Influence, I met with Pastor Phil, Tammy and many other amazing people who prayed over me. I felt something supernatural happen that day. The next week I met with the neurosurgeon to discuss the results of my latest MRI. The doctor walked in and said very nonchalantly, "Well, the tumor is barely visible." He had no explanation why the tumor had shrunk to being "barely visible." But I do. God can do anything through faith.
Faith was just 3 1/2 years old when she was diagnosed with a malignant skin cancer on her scalp. Her parents recalled,
Our first response was to have Pastor Phil and Tammy and the Influence prayer team pray for her complete healing. We received a call from the doctor saying all signs of the cancer were gone! This is yet another testimony that Jesus still heals people.
Katie was a young woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer weeks before her wedding. Her cancer was a physical threat to her life, of course, but it also took a toll on her emotional state because of her desire to have children. Three biopsies had confirmed the presence of cancer, so the doctor scheduled an operation to try to remove the tumor.
Before her surgery, we gathered around her for prayer. Her name was placed on the prayer wall, and we believed God for a miracle. That miracle took place before her surgery: After two and a half hours in the operating room, the surgeon emerged, her eyes swelling with tears and a huge smile on her face.
"I don't know how, but the cancer is gone. Katie is going to be just fine." Not long afterward, Katie was in the hospital again—this time to deliver Mila, a beautiful daughter, demonstrating further proof of God's healing and mercy. Katie and Carlos have recently had a second child, and Katie enjoys good health and continued joy from the Lord. And we are continually reminded that God did not tell us to pray for the sick but rather to "heal the sick" (Matt. 10:8).
When a visitor enters our lobby, the first thing he or she notices is the large wall of stones that fills the west side of the space. This is our prayer wall, which is filled with thousands of prayer requests wedged between the stones. Dozens of people each day enter our doors expecting to find the post office. Instead, they are greeted by a trained prayer warrior who invites them to add their prayers to the wall.
On one occasion two Muslim women came in. When they were invited to add a prayer request to the wall, one of them began to cry, explaining that her 16-year-old son had a brain tumor, and his prognosis was not good. She placed her request in the wall and then returned with her friend in a few days to add another request. Two weeks after that, they came back and gave our prayer team member a report of praise and thanksgiving. A visit to the doctor and additional tests revealed that her son's tumor was gone. They gave praise to Jesus and the miracle of the prayer wall. They explained that, as Muslims, they could not attend our services, but we assured them that they were always welcome to pray here and experience the miracle power of Jesus.
We firmly believe that the works of God reveal the heart of God and will draw people to true faith in God. We believe that, in some way, the presence of God has settled on our prayer wall. It is a touch point of faith and a symbol of the miraculous. The moment people enter our building, they sense that God is in our midst.
We have witnessed an acceleration of miracles at Influence as we gain a better understanding of the language of faith. Miracles seem to beget miracles. Miracles are waiting to be released as God makes His presence known on earth as it is in heaven.
Phil Hotsenpiller is a pastor and expert in the field of end-time prophecy. His new book, One Nation without Law, is now available nationwide.