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Training your heart to see

Mike Connell

He went over and He put His hand on the body, stopped the whole show and His crowd and the other crowd stopped all with a standoff kind of thing. What is He going to do? He spoke to the boy, He raised him from the dead and then He brought him and presented him to his mother - so that's the story. You can read the story. You need to read the story two or three times until you've got the story inside you, and then when you've got the story inside you put your Bible down so you don't have to look at it. Now in your imagination enter into the story. Now you see you have to understand the word of God, the Bible says the word of God is living, so most people who read a Bible it's just words. They can't even remember what the words are. We're not approaching it right. You've got to approach it Holy Ghost, You wrote these words. You wrote the story. I want to get in the story and find out what's there. I want You to speak to me and help me engage with Jesus, because this story is a revelation of Jesus.

So how do you do it? Well you have to allow your imagination, so read the story, you're not a reader. Listen to it on a tape - Janice is not a good reader but she listens to things over and over and over on tape until she knows the story better than anyone. It's just repetition, gets the story. When you've got the story and as you begin pray, now you can begin to start to put yourself in it. So what would you do? Well you can position yourself anywhere in the story you like and every time you do it you can position yourself differently. You can position yourself alongside Jesus. You walk with Him as an observer, one of His disciples, to see what He's going to do and how He's going to respond - or you can position yourself over here and you're alongside the woman and you're feeling the grief and the pain and seeing what's happening there. You can position yourself anywhere in the story you like, and wherever you position yourself you get a different view of it.

You become aware of different things, but you have to allow your imagination to take you into the story. You've got to start off by priming the pump, by getting the story in and then starting to begin to think about it and stay there and not get distracted by lunch. [Laughter] And it's as you stay there you start off using your imagination to picture it, and what are you looking for? You're looking into the story to draw out every detail that you may not have seen before. So you're entering in with an enquiring mind like you're looking around the story, and as you look around the story try to engage what you feel; what do I feel as I am watching this? And so if you know a few of the key things in the story, then they'll come to mind. So you begin to - there it is, you're with a huge crowd. Supposing you just close your eyes for a moment so you're not looking at me.

Just allow yourself to just for a few minutes - we'll do this. It'll take about four to five minutes. It'll help you. So Holy Ghost, lead us into the story to engage with Jesus. This is what I do is just begin to quietly pray in tongues and begin to see the story and we're in the story now, and it's a great crowd of people, a huge crowd of Jesus' followers. Some of them are committed people, some of them are His apostles that are with Him, and some of them are just a rabbly crowd. They've just come along to see what will happen. They're all there. There's a huge noise of this crowd and we're following Jesus and I don't know what will come up, because when we're following Him the unexpected comes. So I wonder what's about to happen as we walk with Him and start to come to the city, a place that's supposed to be very fruitful, very abundant, a place that's a very happy place. That's what it means.

And as we look we see there's someone coming to us and they're not at all happy. There is a whole crowd of people, lots and lots of people. What's going on? There at the front of it, four men carrying a young man who's obviously dead, and there's his mother. I think a lot of people knew that woman and a lot of people knew that young man. They were well known in that village; that's why the whole village turned out, because the whole village was impacted by this. As they come closer you see there's a tremendous spirit of grief over them. They're weeping. I wonder why they're weeping? What does it mean? She's a widow. How sad. Lost her husband. This isn't the first funeral we've been to. I wonder what it meant to her to lose her only source of income, to lean on this young man growing up, expecting that one day he would provide for her. And now he's been stuck down by some disease, some sickness.