In My Father's Chair
Hi. I am Joshua David, I come from India and I’m so grateful that God gave me this opportunity to come to USA, Dallas, to share my story with you all. I hope that God will use this story to inspire you to really believe in Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the benefits of what He has done for your life. You know, before we start, I would like to pray and then we would go forward.
Father, I just want to thank You for this wonderful opportunity You have given to me, oh God. This morning, oh God, I dedicate myself and my listeners, oh Lord. I pray Holy Spirit, everyone who is listening, that You would take my words, oh God, and impact their lives in such a way that they will be drawn nearer to Jesus Christ. So Father, I pray that unleash Your anointing this morning, oh God, that will destroy the yoke of the enemy that has kept Your people bound and arrested in the things, oh Lord, that we’re never planned by You. So Father, I thank You for what You’re gonna do. So by faith in the name of Jesus, I received the ministry of supernatural and the ministry of teaching this morning, oh God. And I believe Holy Spirit that as we speak, that these words will become the power of God in their life, not just to increase their knowledge, but they will experience Jesus Christ. I thank You, Father, for what You’re gonna do. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.
You know my friend, there was a time in my life when my father became ill. His body organs were falling apart every time. Sometimes his lungs would be swollen with water, sometime heart would fail. His kidney gave up, there was renal failure that happened, he had bedsores in his body. His left leg was amputated because of gangrene. His right leg also developed gangrene, his parts were falling apart. He didn’t even, the arms that carried me did not have strength enough to lift up one glass of water and drink. When I saw my father’s pathetic condition in the hospital, my heart began to murmur and grumble against God.
I began to say, “God, where are you? Why are you not healing my father? Why are we being treated as if we have no God? Why are these difficult things happening in our life?” And there were people who would come up around us, and they would say, “Hey, you know, you need to go for 40 days of fasting and prayer and then God will release His healing.” And then I began to enter into 40 days of fasting and prayer. After 40 days of fasting and prayer, I would come out weak in my body, and not able to really do what I need to do. But nothing would have changed. My father would have deteriorated even more. Somebody would come and say, “You know, you need to sow a sacrificial seed. You need to really empty your bank account.” It was the most difficult financial time for our life, because our hospital bills were increasing big time. And during those times, we sold our stuff and sowed into the kingdom of God, believing those messages that if we sow enough that maybe we will attract God’s attention for our father’s healing. And guess what? It only led us into deeper poverty and debt, and nothing really worked. My father’s health was still deteriorating. My father and I, were here for one whole year.
One fine day, this doctor called me and the doctor said to me, “Hey, I want to be very honest with you. There is not much hope medically for your father. If we keep him in this hospital, you will be just wasting your money because medically nothing can be done for your daddy. My recommendation to you is if God wants to heal him, God will heal him. You just take him home. Let him die at peace with his children and his wife, let him be at home.” He said, “He will maximum live for two months.” I had to decide whether I’m going to keep believing and keep spending money, keep running the economy of our family, going in much more debt to continue to supply the needs, medical needs, of my father. So it was a struggle. I made that difficult choice and I said, “God, I don’t know what You have in store for my father. I’m gonna take him home. If You want to heal him, heal. If You don’t want to heal him, it’s okay. Just take him home.”
So I took my father and I brought him home. We had all the basic necessities that the doctor had told us to take care of him while he’s alive. One day I was grumbling and my father looked at me and called me. He said, “Son, why are you grumbling?” I said, “Daddy, don’t you know, the problems that we are going through? Why is God not answering our prayer?” My father looked at me and he said, “Son, devil comes every day to me, and satan whispers in my ear saying, ‘Barnabas, God does not love you anymore. God has forgotten about you. He has not forgiven your sins and that’s why you’re suffering and you’re gonna die.’” He said, “Devil tells me this every day.” And he says, “Every time I tell to that devil, ‘Devil, you are a liar. I don’t believe you. What Jesus did for me on the cross is the proof that God loves me. God did not send His Son to die for me to condemn me. He sent His Son to die for me to save me.’” And he said, “I told devil, by healing is not a proof that He loves me. The cross of Jesus Christ is the proof that He loves me.” And he said, “I told devil, you can try what you want to, but I will remain loyal to my God.”
When I heard that about my father, I got very protects. I came back and I started crying. I said, “God, I don’t know you the way my father knows you. He’s suffering all of these things and his faith is unshakable. But I am so disturbed just watching what he’s going through. God helped me out.” So things begin to improve a little bit. But then suddenly, in two weeks time, my father died.
When a pastor dies in sickness, sometimes church members can speak very nasty things. They would come to our home and they would speak things which were horrible even to mention, about my dad, about us, about ministry, and things. One of the accusations people would make is that, you know, “God has judged you about something that you have done wrong.” We constantly lived under the shadow of trying to find out, What is it Lord, that we did wrong? Someone would come for prayer and say, “There is a generational curse upon your family that needs to be broken.” We would sit under the shadow of that and think God, we don’t know who disobeyed You in our previous generation, and we are suffering because of that. Every one of these teachings begin to bombard in our mind and create distance in our heart with God the Father.
So my heart became so hard that it had been three months after the death of my father, I had stopped reading the Bible, I’d stopped praying, I’d stopped doing any sort of ministry – even though I was the pastor of the church. During that time, I would invite guest speakers every Sunday to come and minister but I wouldn’t minister because of this, all chaotic things happening in my mind. In those days, I was so upset with my wife that we would constantly argue and fight and there was lack of joy and peace in our marriage. There was lack of joy in our ministry, there was lack of joy in our life, in our home, and everything was just chaotic, and was falling apart.
One day, I was heading to our church office and when I stopped at a red light, I heard God speak to me, audibly. And the Lord said to me, “How long will you live like this, My son?” The moment I heard, everything in me recognized His voice. And I said, “God, don’t speak to me. I don’t want to hear Your voice. Where were You when we needed You the most? Why are You even talking now when it is too late?” And the traffic light became green, and I moved ahead. Next traffic light, I stopped again. When I stopped at the next traffic light, again, that sweet gentle voice came to me audibly saying, “My son, how long will you live like this?”
This time when I heard there was this unusual shivering that started in my body. My tears started rolling down my cheek. I was on my bike. I had goosebumps all over my body. My tears were rolling down. And yet from my brokenness, I said, “God, I told You, I don’t want to come back to You. It’s no point because if You’re not gonna be relevant in the times of need, what do I need to do with Your theology? I don’t need a God who is up there in heaven and is not concerned about our practical problems in this earth.” And I said, “God, when I fasted, where were You? When I prayed, where were You? When I longed for You, where were You Lord? It doesn’t seem that You are interested in our life. It only feels that we are not good enough. We are not able enough. We have done some mistakes and we don’t know what mistake that is. We have fasted, we have prayed, we have sold, we have given offerings, we have done everything that we were taught to do and nothing worked Lord. My father still died.”
The traffic light became green. I came to my office, for the first time I opened up my father’s cabin, and I went and sat on his chair. Now there was a big table right in front of me. – I want you to imagine this. A room, which was just about like, 12 x12, size, 12 feet by 12 feet size room. There was a big table, and an office executive chair. – So I went and sat on the executive chair, and I put my head down on the table, and I began to weep bitterly. I had not cried from the time my father died. But that day, I just wept bitterly as a child mourning for the death of his father.
When I opened up my eyes, I saw Jesus sitting across the table on that chair. My eyes saw my Savior. He looked at me, He smiled. There was a register and a pen kept there, He pushed it forward to me. He said, “Son, I want you to choose between your experience and the word of God. Whatever you will choose will define your life from this moment.” And He looked at me and said, “Son, write down what your experience is doing.” The moment I took pen and paper, I begin to write down what my experience was doing: It robbed my intimacy with the Lord, it robbed my job, it robbed my fun, it robbed my peace. There was only pain, sorrow, guilt, and shame, and suicidal tendency was there. You know, I even contemplated suicide so many times during that season of my life. And during those days, as I began to write down what my experience was doing, I wrote down that my experience was offering me death and hell.
Then God looked at me and said, “Son, I want you to write down what My word has to offer you.” My thoughts begin to flow and I began to write down that the word of God was offering a new beginning and what that new beginning looked like. When I began to write down one after another, one after another, you know, the Scripture started flooding my brain. Soon the list of what God was offering me became more than the list of what my experience was offering. I remember that moment, when I felt so fragile in my body, as if I had no strength. I dropped from the chair down on the floor. I experienced, I think, what John writes in Revelation when he says, “When I behold Him, I fell like a dead man.” You know, I think I experienced what John wrote there. When I fell down, I thought, I’m gonna die now.
I remember, while falling down, I gathered all of my strength. I said, God, “Today I die for my experience, and I live for your word.” When I declared that from my mouth, I saw Jesus get up from the other side of the table, come from the left side, lift, lifted me up and put me back on that chair of my father. He put His arm around my shoulder. He pulled a Bible before me. He opened up and we were in 2Kings, chapter five. Now friends, I don’t know if you have ever watched a movie called Jumanji, if you have seen Jumanji, they open up a book and that book becomes a real world. Exactly that experience happened with me.
He opened up 2Kings, chapter five, and I was in Naaman’s house. There was this small girl who was coming there. She was carrying something. She came, looked at me and said, “Joshua, I am the Jewish girl who was taken captive in the hands of Naaman, and I’m serving in his house.” And she said to me something amazing. She said, “My experience said that the God of Israel is not powerful. Their Syrian god is powerful, because we were taken hostage in their place. If my God was powerful, I would be free. But I was in bondage. And this was life imprisonment, life bondage. There was no freedom for me.” She said, “But you know what? I had to choose to let go of my experience and believe in God whom I served. So I said to my mistress, that if this man would have been in our land, there is a man of God who would heal. Joshua, because I believed in the word, I’m free today from the pain.” She said, “If I could do it, you can certainly do it.” And I was out of that chapter, I was out of that house. I was back in my table, then Jesus pulled up another part.
When I pulled up, I saw a few people sitting and while there is a discussion, one man is talking there. One short fellow gets up from there, comes to me and lays his hand on my shoulder and says, “Hey, Josh, I am Paul.” He said, “I had to come to this part in my life, where I had to learn forgetting the past and pressing on to future is important.” He said, “Son, if you do this, your life will never be the same again. Let go of your past, and press on to the future that is in Christ for you.” He declared that to me, and he touched my cheeks, and he said, “Grace and peace be to you.” He declared that and suddenly, I was back in my chair. Tears are rolling down. I was still shivering head to toe. Jesus looked at me and said, “Son, because you have chosen my word, now, I can use you globally. I will be your Father, you will be My son, and your life will never be the same again.” He kissed me on my forehead and disappeared.
After I walked out from that room, it was as if I have been serviced inside out. I felt brand new. It was like I was born again, again! It was like I had known the joy that I’ve never known before. Now I’m trying to feel that hurt that I used to feel, it’s not there. Now I’m trying to remember what hurt me. It’s not there. All I knew is my Father loved me. All I knew is that Jesus embraced me. All I knew is that He is for me, and not against me.
You know, my friend, this is what Paul is trying to say to the church of Colossi. First thing he says, “Grace and peace be to you from the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Most people do not understand that our Father does not have anything else apart from grace and peace for you. There is nothing else. Everything that God needs to give you, He has already given you. Many people think, Well, God is angry at me because of what I did. Well, God is upset at me. Maybe God wants me to do this and I have not done this. God is angry.
God is not like a man. He is not fickle minded. He is not somebody who changes His personality. He is not somebody who’s good in the morning and evil in the evening. He is somebody who is consistent. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changed. You know, these are the words that He has used to express how much He loves you, how much He loves me, my friend.
When you read scriptures in Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11, the Bible declares, God says, For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans of peace and not of evil. Plans to give you hope and a future. Not “a plan,” but “plans.” The word is plural there. That means if I goof up one plan, He will come up with another plan. If I goof up another plan, He will come up with third plan. If I mess up with the third plan, He will come up with fourth plan. My God is not in shortage of plans concerning my life. He is not in shortage of opportunities, bringing my way to pull me back to His fold. My friend, the Scripture declares God says, “I have plans for your life!”
When my son was born, I went to hospital to see him. He was very, very small, just born. I didn’t look at my son and said to him, “First call me daddy, only then I will pay your hospital bill.” I didn’t look at my son and say, “First call me daddy, only then I will give you a name.” My wife did not say, “Hey, first call me mommy, only then I’m gonna feed you.” She didn’t say that. You know one thing we knew, even before you believe in us, we know that you belong to us. We know that much before you could call us daddy or mommy. We told it to the whole world that you are our son. If we being earthly parents know how to do this to our children, how much more a heavenly Father who created us, who formed us, who had planned about us before the foundations of the earth, who has set His eyes upon us, who says from everlasting to everlasting, “I have loved you.” That Lord loves us and cares for us.
So our identity doesn’t really come from what we do, what we think, what we feel or what has been done to us. Our identity truly comes from the One who formed us, who loved us, who called us and who created us. You know, we may come up with those experiences in our life and allow those experience to shape who we really are, shape our belief system, about ourselves, about God and about others. But let me tell you one thing my friend, our experiences, even though they damage our life, when they meet Jesus Christ, they bow down. Every effect of our experiences, bows down for the Lord.
You know, my friend, many people have this misunderstanding that God’s emotions are defined by my actions on this earth. No, my friend, God is not a television set with you, a remote to change His channels. No, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So when God is looking at you and I, He’s not looking at somebody, Oh, now he has committed sin. Oh, I know, tomorrow he’s gonna commit sin. Oh, I know he is the sinner.
You know, it’s exactly like when Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Peter, Satan has asked for you. But I have prayed to Father that He will keep you. And remember Peter, when you are restored, take care of the brothers.” See, Jesus is not focused on Peter’s betrayal, Jesus is focused on when he will be restored. If we can learn to see ourselves from the lens of Christ, who was crucified, He looked at those who are hitting Him and said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they do.” Because He sees them restored.
My friend, what God looks at us is very different than the way we look at ourselves. Devil is a champion in training you to hold on to the toxic memories, to hold on to the toxic words, so that your joy be continuously destroyed. If we can see ourselves the way He sees us, you know, we will end up doing the way He does. Because Jesus, how does Jesus look at us? He said, “If you believe in me, you will do greater things than me.” So Jesus sees us doing greater things than Him.
If this word hits your heart that God sees me, holy, flawless and restored. I have to choose this word. Now somebody might say, you know, “So pastor, are you saying if I continue to live in sin, it is okay?” I didn’t say that. Your evil thought is telling you that. What I am trying to say is that when you begin to see yourself the way God begins to see you, holy, flawless and restored, that perception shapes your feelings, and because holiness shapes you’re feeling, your actions are defined by what you think and you feel, now you have courage to say no to the sin opportunities. That’s why James writes in his writing, and he says, “Now the grace of God has appeared to all men, teaching them to say no to sin. Grace is not the license to commit sin. It is the empowerment of God to say no to sin.”
So no matter which part of the world you are hearing this podcast from, but if you have been living under the shadow of your evil thoughts and deeds, and if those thinking patterns have arrested you, if false teachings have arrested you, my prayer is that the truth of the Word of God will set you free. Would you bow your heads in prayer with me and close your eyes, as we conclude this time together?
Father, in the name of Jesus, I bring my listeners to You, Lord, I pray, Father, the great work of restoration that You have done in my life, Lord, that You would extend into their lives. Even now, Lord, as they turn their eyes away from themselves, and they gaze upon the beauty of Jesus Christ, Lord, I pray that You would make Jesus real to them. Father, that You will make Jesus real to them, and that life will never be the same again. So Father, in the name of Jesus, let every spirit of grief, let every spirit of sorrow, rejection and abandonment, everything that causes them to go into depression, every negative thinking pattern, be broken in the name of Jesus. And Father, by faith, in the name of Jesus, I release the Spirit of sonship upon their life, where they abide in the power of God. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen. My friend, when you abide in this truth, that there is nothing between Father and I, and He sees me holy, pure and flawless and restored, supernatural becomes our default setting, because you begin to realize that you can unleash and live the potential of God on this earth. May God bless you. If you want to hear more of my messages, you can simply log into Upper Room India.org You will find all the teachings that I have, please, is there for your benefit. May God bless you, have a blessed time. Amen