Category Archives: Personal / Personlig

Here I you will find some updates regarding my life, if I think something may be of interest for whoever reads this blog.
Her finner du noen oppdateringer om livet mitt, om det er noe jeg tror kan være av interesse for de som leser denne bloggen.

Wrongly attributed powers

Something that happened earlier this week have made me think a lot about how many people in this world believes in “forces” outside the purely physical realm. It can be the “power of pyramids”, power from idols or different sorts of “spiritual powers”.
And I won’t deny that there are such powers. The power of God is clearly a power that by far exceeds the physical realm.

The problem is that except from the power of God, there is no powers that will do us anything good in the perspective of eternity. Another problem is the fact that most things we humans may say have these kinds of power only has this kind of power because people GIVE them that kind of power.

The idols of old are a good example of this. A carpenter may go into the forest, find a tree and axe it down. Then taking the wood back to his home, he put some of it into the stove to make food for himself, and put of the trunk he carves out an idol. Then he polishes it and puts it up to worship it. As he worships it, he believes it to have powers; otherwise he would not have any reason to worship it. He may be praying for a good harvest, for a drought to end, or for good luck for himself and his family.

But the piece of wood that he carved out does not really have any real powers. Still, because he believes the piece of wood have this power, he is essentially giving it a power. The power does not live in the item, but in the fact that he puts trust in an item outside himself that got no powers of itself. This have the consequence that spiritual influences that does not shy away from lying can seek to confirm this kind of belief in the different ways these spiritual influences can. These influences have a good motif to do so; they want to ensure that this man won’t seek the real power. The power of God.

So what the man is essentially doing, is giving power to evil spirits to influence him. Some of his prayers may indeed be answered, although most won’t. But the evil spirits will do what they can do to strengthen tendency to worship his own creation, or for that case any item of this world he may be directing his worship to.

This also applies to items that are said to “strengthen” or “focus” the powers of God. Powers some people believe pyramids, crystals or for example amulets have. These are essentially a subclass of idolatry where our focus is actually brought away from God rather than towards God. This doesn’t mean that some items may be useful to use while for example meditating over the bible, but this is not due to any powers in the items themselves. They are merely tools similar to a saw. The saw does not have any power in itself which it can saw a piece of wood into two. It must be used by a human in order to work.

Thinking of “powers” and how things really does not have any power over us unless we give them to them, I realized that the same can be said about the things we Christians say prevents us from doing what we know we should do… or even those things we really want to do.

For example: I want to spend much more time praying and reading the bible. Still, even when I think at work that “When I have eaten my dinner, I’ll try to pray for an hour”, I usually get distracted somehow and end up never doing it.

Afterwards I may say that I was distracted by that phone that called, or that mail I got. The problem is really that I let these distractions have the power to distract me. Often the initial distraction that starts off our chain of distractions could easily be done away quickly and then we could’ve easily got started on what we wanted to do. Our problem is that we let our distractions feed the sinner part in ourselves, the power we have given away to our distractions can be used as entry points for negative spiritual influence. This is an influence that definitively does not want us to spend time with God. And the chain of distractions that we often encounter may very well be explained by negative influences ganging up against our plans in a small but effective way. We end up never spending that time with God that we intended to.

One kind of power that can work either way is our habits. If we get into a habit of reading the bible or praying at certain times of the day, or always immediately before or after something we do every day, like eating dinner or sleeping, can help us do ignore our distractions. But bad habits can provide for far too many kinds of distractions as well: “I just need to check my mail before I do anything.” Not necessarily a bad habit, but it can be a really bad habit to do if you always or often do it before a planned prayer time.
Worse is the bad habits that are of a more sinful nature, for example pornography, overeating, smoking, drugs or alcohol. Many Christians may have problem with something related to these, or other things we really shouldn’t do. We think to ourselves that our sinful habit got a power over us, and yes it does have a power over us. But WE are ourselves the one that gave this habit its power over ourselves.

Some of these habits can even have a real physical power over us, like drugs or alcohol, while other are often more psychical or even spiritual. Since they are habits, they can be hard to get out of in varying degrees, especially those that are connected to hard addictions or those that have become almost a part of your personality and/or character. Habitual swearing for example can be a very tricky habit to overcome, since it is something you may do so often and easily that it is hard to see it coming. It is simply second nature.

Still it is often easy for us to think that “God, I can’t do anything about this bad habit of mine… YOU must do it for me!” and then think nothing more of it and maybe not even attempting to do your own share of the job of getting rid of the habit or habits in question.
But the purpose of this little piece of writing is to tell you that you CAN do your part of this. You may not be able to get all the way all by yourself, but since YOU were the one to give your habit the power it have over you, you can also remove its power over you. It is quite possible that the devil will try to keep the hold your bad habits have on you, and it is quite possible he will whisper into your mind that you won’t be able to get rid of this habit. “What use is it to even try?” But know then that not only do you have the power to break your bad habits; you have also the power to stand against the devil. And if you do, he will fly! James wrote in James 4;4-8:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

I tell you: Resist the devil! God have indeed given you the power to do so! In 1 Peter 4;4 Peter says:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Greater is God in each and one reborn Christian, than the devil’s power over us. Fear not what the devil can do against us, because as long as we stay close to God, he cannot touch our soul, only our physical body. His rage against us will then only serve to purify our faith and to strengthen our dependence on God.

There is a LOT more to say about this topic, and I myself haven’t finished thinking through this for this time yet. I really wish I could sit down with someone with quite a few more years bible reading than me to talk through this topic. But that will have to wait until God puts that on my schedule.

God bless you all!

Who am I? Johnny Michael Danielsen

Dette er noen tanker om navnet mitt og hva det betyr for meg, og hvem jeg tror Gud kaller meg til å være. Den er også tilgjengelig på engelsk om du scroller ned til den engelske tittelen.
These are some thoughts about my name and what it means to me and who I believe God is calling me to be. It is also available in English if you scroll down to the English title.

Hvem er jeg? Johnny Michael Danielsen

Hvem er jeg? Jeg VIL være den navnet mitt sier at jeg er. Jeg heter altså Johnny Michael Danielsen. Et noenlunde normalt navn, uten noen helt spesielle særtrekk. Det eneste måtte i så fall være at det består av tre bibelske navn.
Navnet jeg har fått er naturligvis en del av min identitet som navn. Men det har også fått en betydning for meg i form av hva hvert enkelt navn faktisk betyr. Johnny kommer fra gresk ”Johannes”, som igjen kommer fra hebraisk ”Johanan”. Navnet betyr ”Gud er nådig”. Michael betyr ”Hvem er som Herren?” Daniel som navnet Danielsen kommer av, betyr ”Herren er min dommer!”
Navnet er for meg mer enn bare ett navn. Jeg ser det også som den første profetien som ble sagt over meg. Hvem Gud ønsker jeg skal være. Gud vil jeg skal se og ta i mot hans nåde, og jeg skal se at ingen nåde er større en Hans enorme nåde, og sist men ikke minst: Han vil at jeg skal se og forstå at HAN er min dommer. Ikke andre mennesker, ikke andre kristne, ikke en gang meg selv. Navnet mitt forteller meg også hvordan jeg bør se andre mennesker. Jeg skal ikke sette meg som dommer over dem heller. Det samme gjelder dem som for meg. GUD er min dommer. GUD er de andres dommer.
Litt fritt oversatt kan jeg si at navnet mitt sier ”Gud er nådig! Hvem er som han? Og HAN er det som er MIN dommer!” Navnet mitt er i praksis det Paulus sier til korinterne i 1 Korinterbrev 4,3. ”Men for meg betyr det ingenting om jeg blir dømt av dere eller av noen menneskelig domstol. Jeg er heller ikke min egen dommer.” Det betyr ikke at jeg ER den navnet mitt sier at jeg skal være i dag, men snarere at det er dette jeg skal strekke meg etter. ”For jeg vet ikke om noe galt jeg har gjort. Men jeg er ikke dermed frikjent, for Herren er den som dømmer meg. Døm derfor ikke før tiden, før Herren kommer. Han skal få fram i lyset det som er skjult i mørket, og avsløre hjertets tanker. Da skal Gud gi enhver den ros han har fortjent.” (1 Kor 4,4-5).
Om jeg skulle oppsummere navnet mitt i ett ord, er det ”frimodighet”. Jeg tror at Gud gjennom navnet forteller meg at jeg har all grunn til å være frimodig. At om jeg forsøker å leve opp til det navnet jeg har fått, frykten for andre mennesker aldri få tatt overtaket i meg. Men jeg er ikke der i dag, det vet jeg så alt for godt. Likevel stoler jeg på at Gud vil få meg nærmere og nærmere til det punktet at navnet mitt vil være sant.
Allerede før jeg var frelst ble jeg var på at det ligger en skjult frimodighet inne i meg, som i mange år har blitt holdt nede av det at jeg har vært sjenert og kanskje litt sky eller asosial. Men i tiden som har gått siden jeg ble frelst, har jeg sett at jeg i større grad våger å gå på det jeg har av frimodighet. At jeg oftere og oftere bare sier til meg selv ”Jeg gir blaffen i hva andre måtte tenke. Jeg gjør det for Gud!” Et eksempel er det at jeg noen ganger er redd for at andre kan tro at jeg gjør noen av de tingene jeg gjør for å tekkes mennesker. Eksempelvis rydding i storsalen på Betel, eller andre ting som er synlige for andre at jeg gjør. Mer enn en gang har jeg vurdert å ikke gjøre disse tingene av nettopp den grunnen. Men det er da jeg bare sier til meg selv ”Jeg gir blaffen hva andre tenker og tror om årsakene til at jeg gjør dette. Jeg vet jeg gjør det for Gud!”
Det betyr ikke at jeg aldri gjør ting for å tekkes mennesker, jeg er på ingen måte perfekt på det området. Jeg er heller ikke alltid like flink til å trosse tankene på hva jeg tror andre måtte tenke. Kanskje alt for ofte kan det være at jeg velger å ikke ta kontakt med folk eller snakke med dem fordi jeg tenker noe sånt som: ”Jeg vil ikke forstyrre dem.” eller ”Jeg vil ikke oppfattes som påtrengende.” Dette er kanskje en hovedårsak til at jeg kanskje har problemer med å opprette virkelige nære vennskapsforhold. Jeg er rett og slett for redd for at jeg skal virke for påtrengende på vennene mine. Såpass sterkt at det forhindrer meg alt for ofte å ta initiativ til å møtes. Så om du er en av mine venner og har lurt på hvorfor jeg ikke tar kontakt, så vet du årsaken nå. Kanskje er dette også noe av grunnen til at jeg aldri har hatt noen kjæreste.
Uansett tror jeg Gud vil ta tak i disse utfordringene jeg har, og hjelpe meg til å komme meg forbi disse hindringene jeg har til å kunne få gode og tette vennskapsbånd. Noe av det han har gjort er at har gitt meg venner som jeg har kunnet åpne meg mer og mer for. Mennesker jeg bryr meg om og ønsker å bruke mer tid med, og som det i alle fall virker som at de ønsker å bruke mer tid med meg. Steg for steg virker det som om at Gud bygger meg opp til å ta nye steg i forbindelse med å etablere og utvikle relasjoner med andre mennesker.
Det er virkelig et eventyr for meg å se hva Gud gjør med meg. Før jeg ble kristen opplevde jeg livet mitt som kjedelig. Selv om at jeg viste at jeg kom til å bli frelst en dag, hadde jeg ikke på langt nær forventet at han skulle gjøre livet mitt så spennende som han har gjort så lang. For andre ser det kanskje minst like kjedelig som før, men så langt har mye av eventyret Gud har lagd for meg foregått i hodet mitt. Det har vært en tid for forberedelser, undervisning og oppbygging av Guds tankebygninger i meg. Men framover tror jeg det blir mye mer spenning. Sikkert til tider nesten litt for mye. Jeg er ganske sikker på at det vil være ting Gud vil jeg skal gjøre, som jeg tror at dersom jeg hadde vist det i dag, så hadde jeg gjemt meg under sengen eller rømt slik Jona gjorde fra sitt kall. Hadde noen sagt til meg for tre år siden at jeg kom til å gjøre spørreundersøkelser i Brussel slik jeg gjorde under Connect’09, hadde jeg ganske sikkert ikke trodd dem. Sannsynligvis hadde jeg til og med blitt skremt og hold meg langt unna de som hadde sagt dette, av redsel for at det skulle ha blitt en sannhet gjennom dem. Likevel, det var hva jeg gjorde denne sommeren, og jeg vet at enda har jeg nesten ikke en gang begynt på den reisen Gud har planlagt for meg.
Så jeg ser framover med en blanding av nysgjerrighet, spenning, uro og en ganske stor bit nervøsitet for hva Gud har på timeplanen for meg. Likevel stoler jeg på Ham. Jeg vet at Han er den perfekte læremester. Han vet hva jeg takler, og hva jeg ikke takler, til enhver tid. Han vet også hvordan han skal utfordre meg akkurat nok til at jeg skal kunne ta et steg videre på reisen, og han vet hvordan han skal gi næring til det i meg som får meg til å søke den veien han har for meg, og han vet hvordan han skal så de drømmene og visjonene jeg trenger for å ville fortsette til tross for min egen frykt.
Takk Herre for at du er min læremester. At du kjenner meg bedre enn meg selv. At du vet til enhver tid hva jeg trenger for å fortsette på den veien du vil jeg skal gå. Takk Herre! Takk for at du har sådd drømmer, tanker og visjoner om livet med og for deg. Jeg ber deg bare om å sørge for at jeg ikke løper raskere enn det du vil jeg skal, og at jeg aldri blir stående der jeg er når du kaller meg videre. Takk Herre! Takk for at du er min Far. Takk for all hjelp. Takk for din enorme nåde. Takk for at ingen andre er som deg. Takk Gud. Takk for at DU er min dommer. Takk for at jeg aldri skal trenge å være redd for hvordan mennesker dømmer meg. Ikke en gang hvordan jeg dømmer meg selv. Jeg ber deg Far, la meg alltid huske, vite, se og kjenne at DU er min dommer, og ingen andre. Takk nådige Gud. Jeg elsker deg, Gud! Amen!

Who am I? Johnny Michael Danielsen

Who am I? I WANT to be who my name say I am. My name is Johnny Michael Danielsen. A somewhat common name, without any particular strangeness. If anything it would have to be that it is composed by three biblical names.
The name I have been given is of course a part of my identity as my name. But it have also got a meaning to me in what each name actually means. Johnny come from greek “Iohannes”, which again come from Hebrew “Johanan”. The name means “God is graceful”. Michael means “Who is like the Lord?”, and Daniel where the name Danielsen come from means “The Lord is my judge!”
The name is to me more than just a name. I also see it as the first prophecy that was said over me. Who God want me to be. God want that I should see and receive his grace, and that no grace and mercy is bigger than His, and last but not the least: He want me to see and understand that HE is my judge. Not other humans, not other Christians, not even me. My name also tell me who I should see other people. I am not supposed to be their judge either. The same is valid for them as for me. GOD is my judge. GOD is their judge.
My own free translation of my name says ”God is graceful! Who is like him? And HE is MY judge!”. My name is basically what Paul tell the chorintians in 1 Chorinthians 4;3 “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.” (NIV) That doesn’t mean that I AM who my name say I should be today, but rather that this is something I should seek to become. “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Chor 4;4-5 NIV)
If I were to sum up my name in only one word, I believe it would be ”boldness”. I believe God through my name is trying to tell me that I have all the reasons to be bold. That if I try to live up to the name I have been given the fear for other people will never win in me. But I know too well that I am not there today. Still I trust that God will help me closer and closer to the point where my name will be a truth.
Even before I was saved, I became aware that there was a hidden boldness within me that through many years was kept down because of my shyness and possibly a little asocial. But in the time that have passed since I was saved, I have seen that I in a larger degree dare to walk in what I got of boldness. That I more often just tell myself “I don’t care what others think. I’m doing this for God!” An example is that I sometimes am afraid that others may think I do some of the things I do to please men to get the praise from them. For example that I volunteer without being asked to tidy in the church room at Betel (my church), or doing other visible things. More than once I have considered just not doing those things for just that reason. But that’s when I tell myself “I don’t care what others think and believe about the reasons for what I am doing this. I know I do it for God!”
This doesn’t mean that I never do things to get the praise of people. I am absolutely not perfect in that area. Also I am not always quite as good at ignoring what I think other people may think. Maybe far too often I choose to not make contact with people or to talk with them because I think something like “I don’t want to disturb them.” Or “I don’t want to seem pushy.” This is possibly a main reason that I have a problem creating real close friendship relationships. I am simply too afraid I may seem too pushy or imposing myself too much onto my friends. This is so strong that it often prevents me from taking any initiative to meet up with friends. So if you are one of my friends and have been wondering why I don’t make contact with you, you now know the reason. Maybe this is a part of the reason I never have had a girlfriend too.
None the less, I believe God is going to challenge and help me come past these obstacles I have in creating good and close friendship relationships. He have already given me friends I have been able to open myself more and more for. People I care about and want to spend more time with, and that at least seem to want to spend more time with me. Step by step it seems like God is building me up to take new steps regarding establishing and developing my relationships with other people.
It is really an adventure for me to see what God is doing with me. Before I became a Christian I felt my live was boring and uninteresting. Even if I knew I would be saved some day, I had not expected that he would make my life as exciting as he have done so far. For others it may seem as if it is at least as boring as it was before, but so far most of the adventure has been in my head. It has been a time of preparations, education and building up Gods strongholds in me. But in the future I believe there will be a lot more thinks excitement. Probably at times it will be nearly too much of it. I am pretty sure there will be things God will want me to, that if I had known it today, I would either have hidden under my bed, or run away just like Jonah tried to run away from his calling. If someone had told me three years ago that I would be doing surveys in Brussels like I did during Connect’09, I am pretty sure I would not have believed them. Probably I even would have been so frightened that I would have kept far away from those who had told me this, fearing it would have become a truth through them. Still, this was what I did this summer, and I know that I have barely started on the journey God have planned for me.
So I look into the future with a mix of curiosity, excitement and nervousity for what God have on his schedule for me. Still I trust Him. I know he is the perfect teacher. He know what I can handle, and what I cannot at any moment of time. He also know how he can challenge me just enough that I can dare taking a new step on my journey, and he know how to nurture and sow the dreams and visions I need to want to go on, contrary to my own fears.
Thank you Lord that you are my teacher. That you know me better than I know myself. That you at any moment know what I need to continue on the road you want me to walk. Thank you Lord! Thanks for the dreams, thoughts and visions about the life with and for you that you have sown into me. I only pray that you will help me not to run faster than you want me to, and that I never stay where I am when you are calling me onwards. Thank you Lord! Thank you that you have become my Father. Thank you for all your help. Thanks for your great grace and mercy. Thank you that no one else is like you. Thanks God. Thank YOU for being my judge. Thank you that I never need to be afraid over how other people judge me. Not even how I judge myself. I pray Father, let me always remember, know, see and feel that YOU are my judge, and no one else. Thank you merciful God. I love you, God! Amen!

About my calling

Even before I was saved I wondered if God had a calling for me. One thing I wondered about was that maybe I would become part of a team working on a website made for people like me at that point of my life. One thing I did find out around then was that it was very hard to find any websites for those who were still seeking. Most websites were either made for Christians or even in some cases for atheists or similar; arguing about why Christians were wrong. None of these gave me what I felt I needed. I remember actively seeking for websites about testimonies, but found few websites dedicated for it. And even those websites that had testimonies had more often short, brief and few testimonies. I think that time was what seeded my dream about a website dedicated for testimonies of people’s meeting with Christ, and their life with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

But even with that dream starting to awake within me, I didn’t think about it too seriously. I didn’t really think I had a calling, or that God would start calling me even before I was
saved. (Although I WAS sure that I would be saved.) Anyway in July 2006 I was saved and any calling was not in my head, with other things being more in my focus. Like how I needed my “spiritual temperature” to increase so I would actually be daring to sing out loud during worship, or me having no church, and not daring to just simply start attending one where I could grow further in my faith.

It was in the end of September I was sitting in front of my computer, listening to a Christian TV-channel on the internet, while I was typing a prayer into notepad about these issues and other things that was on my heart. On the TV-channel, I hear this guy who they called a prophet, and I remember being a bit skeptical about it. But I still enjoyed listening. I came to a point where I decided to save the prayer I had been typing, and ten seconds I got this surprise: The prophet guy started praying into the same things I had been prying over. Not very specific as in “there is this guy who have problems with these and these issues”. No, it was rather a kind of prayer for a group of people, more specifically what he called “workers of the harvest”, and he specified it even further. To the people who had a feeling they were called to be workers of the harvest, but that felt there were things or issues that prevented them from going into their calling.
I had read the bible for years before this, and often seen the term “workers of the harvest” during my readings, but never had I reacted to it like this time. It was like God switched on a spotlight directed to a title of my spesific calling, and it was “Worker of the harvest”. I remember thinking even when he was starting up his prayer, telling who he would be praying for: “Worker of the harvest? So THAT’s my calling!” And I remember that when he continued praying for those who felt there were things preventing them from going onwards in their calling, that I felt he prayed right into the situation I had been praying over. To me, my immediate problem with getting onwards in my calling was that I had neither a church to attend, nor Christian friends, nor was I baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Still, all these things were about to change. Maybe a minute or maybe five minutes after this prophet guy had been praying, I almost jumped where I sat in my chair, I was still surprised and somewhat awed over that this guy had been prying right into my situation. The reason I jumped, was that all of a sudden, with no warning it felt like my heart was very big, like a meter or three foot in width. It only lasted for about a second, but in that second I heard my own “thought voice” saying: “Now you are going to the Unbad meeting!” Even though the voice was with my own “thought voice”, I didn’t feel like the thought came from me. It was simply too different in speed, authority and mildness. It had so much authority that had there been an Unbad meeting just then, I would have been out of the house within a minute after this experience, on my way to the meeting. When the “heart growth” had returned to normal, I was totally awed. I knew the Holy Spirit had done something, and I remember thinking how the big heart had felt like, thinking: “So that’s how it feels like to have a lion’s heart!”
Back then I thought the Holy Spirit had only given me a taste of what he can do, and of things to come, but I did not know that it was then I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. After all, I did not suddenly feel a yearning to speak in tongues! Which to me was one true the sign of having been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Also, I expected to be baptized in water before the Holy Spirit baptism. It took me at least another nine months before I understood that I had been baptized by the Holy Spirit at this occasion and before I actually started to pray in tongues.
Anyway, this happened on a Monday, and the first Unbad meeting was on the Friday, so I had a looooooong week to start doubting my experience. But I did trust God, and even though I was VERY nervous to go that Friday, I simply HAD to go. And God made sure that I would be well received. Not so much before the meeting, but the preacher talked into one issue that I was dealing with, and I had at least the boldness to go forth to be prayed for about this issue during the altar call. When the preacher learned to know that I knew no one else there, he was quick to introduce me to one of the regulars there. Had this not happened, I am pretty sure it would had taken a lot longer time before I would have been feeling at home in that church which is now my church. God WANTED me to go there, and since then I have been on most meeting there I have had the opportunity to come to.

Now back to the story of my calling: I think God even started preparing me for my calling about a month before my baptism in the Holy Spirit. I was attending Trønderkonferansen (a regional conference for the Pentecostals) in this same church. I knew no one else but my uncle there, but I am sure God was preparing me to make this church my home church even then, by making it a good experience. Anyway, during that time there was a rather big and dividing conflict in a national sports organization I was a member of, which was somewhat devastating for me to be an observer of. Because I knew it weakened both my own motivation to continue working within that organization and that it weakened the whole organization. Even though I had been saved only weeks before this, I knew well from both stories I had heard, and from my own wanderings on the internet that there is a lot of division and lack of unity even in the body of Christ.
And the unity of the body of Christ happened to be the main theme of the different speakers on this conference. So every speech at this conference that I got the chance to hear echoed deeply within me and my sadness for the lack of unity. Even the night before, I made this mental illustration of demons working with different tools, like bitterness, proudness and misunderstandings, beneath the true body of Christ in order to cause more and more divisions in the body. During one of these meetings on my first day at this conference, the preacher talking about unity, I brought up this image of division caused by these demons and the image suddenly got its own life. Through the cracks that the demons had created I saw people that fell down in the fiery pit below the demons. As I saw this I felt this overwhelming sadness coming over me, because I knew it to be true. I knew that the division in the church far too often caused people to not find their place in the body of Christ. The sadness, or sorrow, I felt was so strong that I could not handle it, I felt the tears springing out in my eyes, and my heart aching terribly. I could not handle the sadness of it all, so I had to open my eyes, and concentrated very hard to concentrate on what the preacher said, trying very hard to not thing of what I had “seen” and preferably to not remember anything of it. Still after maybe five minutes, my eyes closed again in prayer, and the image appeared again, people still falling. But it was then I saw this white fire coming down from above, spreading out before it hit the body below and covering the whole body of Christ. As this white fiery covered the people of the body, I could see that the divisions started to heal. It was like the white fire was a healing balm that was poured over the body and cured every sore created by the demons below.
I remember that seeing this, I opened my eyes and I was very puzzled. I thought something like “This must be a sort of godly inspiration!”. I thought this because I have never reacted this emotionally to anything I have created in my mind on my own, so I was sure that God somehow had something to do with this. Anyway, I could not forget this experience and was pondering it all, and at some point I was starting to wonder what the bible says about experiences like this. And the first question I asked myself was: What kind of experience was this? Having some bible knowledge I knew very quickly that there is nothing in the bible that mentions any thing called “godly inspiration”, and the closest thing to what I had experienced would be that of prophetic visions.
Now THAT thought gave me a scare! Me having had a prophetic vision?!? Why?!? How?!? The best way to describe it would be that it was like I had gotten this interesting stone or small rock to examine, and suddenly it turned very hot in my hands. I did not really like the thought of having had something like that, I felt I did not deserve it, that it was waaaay above me, and I had absolutely no problem finding reasons why I should not have had a prophetic vision. And even my reaction to the thought of having had a prophetic vision scared me, I knew very well that Paul wrote that we should want and seek to get the prophetic gift. I knew very well that the spiritual gifts are not something given because one deserves it. The Norwegian word for the spiritual gifts “nådegaver”, meaning gifts of grace explained very well to me that if God wanted to give me a prophetic gift, he could do so without deserving it. Simply out of his great grace and love for me and his people. I wrestled with this experience, even unsuccessfully trying to find biblical evidence of what I had seen to be false or unbiblical. But after three months I settled with this conclusion and prayed to God: “God, if you want to give me a prophetic gifting, please do so, but please teach me to use it well and correctly as you want it!”
Even early in this process, I understood that if God wanted to give me a gift of prophecy, it would be because he would want me to actually use this gift. The thought that I actually would have to use this gift, is possibly one of the reasons I opposed so much to the idea of me getting such a gift. I think I preferred to just be an anonymous Christian that didn’t have any particular gifting and that could just live his Christian life in anonymous obscurity. And to have a prophetic gift would mean I wouldn’t be able to just hide away as I had done somewhat in my life before I was saved. And it was early in this process I got this experience of finding out my calling was to be a “worker of the harvest”. Which I guess nudged me towards accepting the thought of prophetic gifting.

It was also during this time when I was about to fall asleep I sometime, that I was “rehearsing” my testimony in my head. That I had this image that I sometime might do it live in front of a group of people in what I felt was a small congregation house or possibly even a gymnastics room of a school. I was standing on a scene behind a pulpit. What was odd was that I did not feel particularly uncomfortable about standing behind that pulpit that I even wanted to get the chance to stand there and tell those people my story about how I came to Christ. Because the story wouldn’t be about me, but the story would be about Jesus and what he can do in a young man’s life.

During the next months I was eventually baptized in water, it was God’s working that it happened when it did as well, but that’s another story. And having finally been baptized, and finished with the mindwrestling about the possibility of having a prophetic gift, I turned my focus on what it could mean to be a “worker of the harvest”. The term is as I see it very “general”, it doesn’t say much about the specific ministry I am called to do. Also I was wondering if it was just my own thoughts that put that calling into me, or if it really was from God. And it was during that time at an alter call someone prayed prophetically over me, and saying that they saw me as a “worker of the harvest”. I had then never told anyone about me suspecting to have a calling as a harvester, so this confirmed to me very well that it was from God. Later I spoke with him who said that to me, and he told me he had seen the image of a rake, gathering the straws, meaning I would be a gatherer. This felt true in my heart, so I knew my calling indeed would be to be a harvester. I just didn’t know what it meant. All I knew that a harvester would be a sort of evangelical calling, but to me there are a lot of different kinds of evangelical ways to minister to people.

At some point I concluded that God did possibly not want to give me much more of a hint about what my specific calling would be. Possibly because knowing more precisely would scare me so much I’d rather run away or be discouraged. And I still believe that was the main reason God didn’t reveal much more to me back then. But God didn’t stop his work on preparing me for the calling he got for me. At another occasion someone mentioned that I would be involved with youths and young people. Although I did then feel, and still feel that my calling is towards people of all ages, I do like and enjoy working with young people. At the same time I was considering the idea of actually following up the idea of making a website dedicated to testimonies of Christians of all backgrounds, and I even registered a domain and set up a prototype for such a website. At that time I considered that website as “probably a sort of ‘hobby calling'”, a calling that wouldn’t be the main part of a future ministry, but that would run on the side and separately from whatever God would call me to.

That first summer after I was saved, I went to Uppsala to the Word of Life’s Europe Conference for the first time of my life. At my second day there, I attended the morning prayer, and let my tongue loose (I had been praying in tongues for a couple of months then), and while I was standing there, my tongue just running on its own, my thoughts came into the thoughts of my calling or future ministry, and I listed up to myself all those things I knew about my calling and possible ministries: harvester, working with youths, web site for testimonies.
And for a few seconds I had this compact idea or dream how all those could actually work together, a ministry web site where people could send testimonies, a travelling ministry to churches, bringing a couple people with some interesting testimonies and a worship band, and making some of the people from the local church come with their testimonies.
As I saw this idea, I knew why God hadn’t shown me earlier, and I even thought it was too early to know then. But God knows the perfect timing of everything, and that was the perfect timing for sowing that ministry dream in my head. I did not dare thinking much on that thing for a while, it was simply too big, too large for me. It scared me, still scares me. I felt and feel too uncomfortable with the size of it, but at the same time, it is calling me. Telling me that someday, this is what you can do. Will do. Maybe in a different way than I imagine it today. It is still nothing but an idea, still growing, still dreaming. But it is something I feel God is calling me towards.

Even today I do not know the way to get to where I can actually be in that calling. But at the same time, I am not in a hurry. I trust that if God want me to enter into a ministry like described, he will make sure I walk the way I need to go. My most immediate calling is to be where I am at, to walk the path he has set before me. To learn those things he want me to learn, to do those tasks he give me on the way, to learn to know him better, to be a witness where I am. To not try to run ahead of him in my impatience, but to walk with him. To trust that he will get me where he need me to be, and to trust he will prepare me for things I will meet both on the way and when I reach the goals he have set for me.
I believe yesterday’s small “testimony meeting” was one of those small steps I was supposed to walk. But even thought I believed this, or maybe because I did believe this, I was very scared to arrange it. “What if it wasn’t God who wanted me to have it? What if I have misunderstood God’s calling for me? What if I am doing the wrong thing?” When I drove to Betel yesterday I was just as nervous as that first time I was on my way to my first Unbad meeting. I “knew” that God wanted me to do this, but what if I was wrong in believing it?

I very much felt like the man in my drawing, standing on still water, looking into the roaring, scary waters. Wondering “Should I go? Should I take the next step? Do I dare to?”, and I did take it. I had made sure I couldn’t do anything else. “Advertizing” the idea of a testimony meeting long time in advance, made sure I could not take any easy way out, like going to bowl instead, anything else easy, simple and “normal. I really had to take a step in faith, and God both gave me the strength to do it, as well as giving me the wisdom to prevent me to find an excuse not to do it.

Thank you God, for your wisdom and your help.
Thank you God, for the Holy Spirit working in me.
Thank you for all the testimonies we heard yesterday.
Thank you Jesus, for the testimony you have put in every follower of you.
Thank you Lord for your word, and for your ways of speaking to our hearts.
I pray that this meeting was not one of one, but a first of many.
I pray that you will give your children in the boldness to speak out their testimonies.
That they will truly be bold in their ways, contrary to the world’s opposition against us.
I pray that you will increase the flame you have put inside of us,
so we no longer can hide it for the world.
But be a bright candle, a lighthouse in an otherwise dark land.
Help us Lord, to love people like you love them.
Lord, I pray, love them through us; let us see your lost sheep as you see them.
There is so many, Father, that goes through their lives without knowing you.
There are so many, too many, that never ever really get to hear about you.
I pray God; let your children not be content in staying comfortable in our homes.
But put the dream in our hearts that we cannot do anything, will not do anything,
want not do anything, but what you have called each and every one of us to do.
To receive your Holy Spirit, and be your “witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to then ends of the earth.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.