Hey, everyone, this is Dave Harvey. I am a pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California. My lovely wife Taff and I have the honor of running the Bethel Leaders Network, which is a fun global group of leaders that are pursuing Heaven on Earth right now. We also run a not for profit called Increase, which is passionate, like this incredible podcast, about God is alive today and doing amazing things. So we built an app and a map and so we’re just wanting to shout the glory of God. So it’s an honor to be here today. I felt to share today about radical faith.
I’ve had a story going over and over in my mind all day, because I feel like God wants you to hear it. And I know this, this might sound like, ‘Oh, great, Dave floats around on clouds and he’s always seen miracles,’ and everything like that. I want to tell you, I’m a normal person who loves Jesus. I have prayed for hundreds of people and not seen them get well and different things. But I do know in my heart, that if I focus on what God is doing, it’s a spiral that will forever take me upwards and I’ve seen that so much. But when I focus on what it appears like God’s not doing, it just drags me down into powerlessness.
So this story came on my journey, just hungry for more of God. I grew up in Australia, as you can tell, and our church was a great church. We love the Lord. But we really weren’t seeing what was in the Bible. Jesus did incredible things in the Bible. In the book of Acts, they all did supernatural things and we were like, There’s got to be more. The Lord spoke to us multiple times, I think it was 14 times over 18 months, “move to America,” where, we’re sorry, we never wanted to come. We loved Australia. We love the beach. But He said, “I need you to move to Bethel.” So we came just hungry for more and on that journey, I remember one moment where, and this is a real key, if you’re hungry for more of God, find others around you who are operating in it at a little bit more. Or go somewhere where they are seeing some things and just experience it; just be in the room when God does miracles.
It was some friends that came back from a trip from Mexico. Everybody said, “You’ve got to get on the Mexico trip. Like this is where miracles happen.” And they told me some stories which blew my mind about tumors dissolving instantly, and bodies going flying just from a word of knowledge, no one touching people. So I applied and got on the trip the following year, and started out the trip, kind of like a wet sock. We really don’t speak Spanish as Australians, so we’re trying to communicate to these strangers, people on the street, “Do you have a pain in your stomach?” And they’re looking at me and I asked to pray and it was all awkward and nothing was working. I was like, “God, do You really want to work through me? This is painful.” And I just remembered the Lord saying, “Don’t stop. Don’t stop, don’t give up.”
So I’m out there and I’m just churning away and person after person not really responsive, not really getting healed. And the Lord saying, “No, just stay with it.” And then I remember this old woman standing in front of me and this is probably after about two hours of nothing, nothing working. And this old woman’s there and I think I’d had an interpreter at this stage and the interpreter said, “She has severe pain in her stomach.” So I just said a simple prayer, honestly, not expecting much. And instantly this old woman’s eyes pricked open and she’s like, “Oh, all gone!” and she’s completely healed. And I’m as surprised as she is. So she runs away and I’m like, Oh, well, I think that was good, and she comes back with her daughter. She goes, “You must pray! You must pray!” And I can’t remember what was wrong with her daughter. But God instantly healed her daughter. Even without a language, much of an understanding, God was just moving, and then a crowd started to form and people are starting to get healed. So I’m sitting there going, Okay. There’s something to this. I am called to release healing on the planet.
So I remember later on the trip, there was this buzz around where we were hanging out as a team. Someone said, “You got to get on this small bus trip. We’re going to find some girls who are part of a suicide pact.” But something leapt inside me, I’m like, I’m in. So I forced my way into this little bus, there was probably 12 of us on this little bus. And we scooted off to try to find these girls. Now, when we arrived, we arrived at a school, a giant Catholic school, where these girls went. But school was still in so we had time to kill. I had an interpreter right in front of me and as faith was growing in me, I said to the interpreter, “Come with me. Let’s just go for it.”
He came, and we saw these young adults leaning against this food stand. I said to them through the interpreter, “Are any of you guys sick? Because Jesus is healing everyone right now and He wants to heal you.” And they just all looked at me, after the interpreter said that and they’re sort of laughing, “No, no, no, but he’s sick.” They pointed over the road and there’s an old guy on crutches, with his knee wrapped up and he’s hobbling around. I said, “Well, come with me. Jesus is going to heal him.” Now as I’m saying these things, I’m listening to myself, What are you saying? Like, you are just absolutely sure God’s gonna heal? Now, I don’t know if this was God, I get what they call a gift of faith coming on me. To this day, I don’t know. But all I know is when I listen and I obey with radical faith, these words become normal and you’ll hear that in a second.
So, so we go across the road with these, there was four of them, actually, four guys. We come across and I say to the man, “Can we pray for you? Jesus is healing everybody right now.” He said, “Oh, sure, sure…knee.” So I said, “But I’m not going to pray for you. He is.” And I pointed to one of the guys who doesn’t know God, and I said, “Stretch out your hand and just say, ‘Jesus heal him.’” So this guy puts his hand out and in Spanish he just says, “Jesus heal him.” Instantly, this guy had the same look that this old woman had earlier. Eyes open, “Oh my, oh my, oh my.” Then he starts tapping his hip. “Here, here, here.” And so I said, “All right, you.” and I pointed to one of the other guys. You do the same. Put your hand out and say, “Jesus heal his hip.”
So, I’m watching myself doing this and like, I’ve never done this before. I’ve never seen anyone do this before. I don’t know if non-Christians can pray, but it’s working. So let’s just go with what God is making happen here. So he’s, this guy, young adult, cool looking dude, put his hand out, “Jesus heal him.” “Oh!!! Oh!!!” The guy’s ecstatic. All pain leaves his hip and then he taps his right knee. He had another knee that was bum. And I’m just like, unbelievable. This guy’s getting a complete work over. So I said to the third guy, “Put your hand out and just do the same.” So he did the same and that guy’s knee got instantly healed. In that moment, I looked at all of them and I’m like, I’m amazed. I’m ecstatic at the goodness of God. And I said, “Who healed him? Who healed you, sir? Was it me?” And they all go, “No.” I said, “Did I put my hands on you?” They go, “No.” “Was it, was it you guys?” And they go, “No,” and they said, “Jesus.” And I said, “Would you like to know, the One that healed you? Because He’s here right now. Jesus is here.” And they all said yes! They all gave their lives to Jesus. It was just this God moment.
I walked over and there’s the schools coming out, and it’s mayhem. Like, there’s hundreds of kids all dressed up in their uniform and I’m just full of faith now. So I go into the crowd with this guy and I’m like, saying to these young teenagers, I’m like, “Put your hands up. Put your hands up. I’m going to pray for God to touch you.” I’m just putting my hands on top of them – I’m not touching their hands. – I’m just like, “Holy Spirit, just touch this, this boy. Holy Spirit touch this girl.” I’m going along and then the police come and it’s a scene of like, this tension building. The police come, “You must leave, you must leave.” I’m like, “Sorry, I didn’t know this was wrong.”
I’m walking away and as I walk away, I turn around and there is this girl. She’s standing in front of me and this woman comes to me. She’s pushing the policeman away, “It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s my daughter. It’s my daughter.” And she says this is one of the ones in the suicide pact. And I looked at this young girl, and I looked at her friend next to her, and I just said, – It was like God’s compassion came on me. – and I just said, “Jesus sent an Australian here from California to Mexico to tell you that He doesn’t want you to die. He wants you to live and He loves you.” I started to share with her about Jesus. Well, her and her friend, the last two in the suicide pact, gave their lives to the Lord and it blew my mind of what God could do.
We didn’t have to go searching for those girls. We didn’t have to do anything. It was like a surreal moment, it was almost like the whole thing had been set up. It was bizarre, because I didn’t know who we were looking for, nor was I looking for those girls honestly. I was on this high with Jesus. I was just praying for anything that moved. To be kicked out by the police and say, “Sorry, sorry, I’m going.” and then turn around and there’s the girls in front of me, was like, Oh, you can’t make this stuff happen. This is… And then the police still came at me, but then the mother to step in and say leave us alone. It was a real…. God really wanted to save those girls. And it’s funny, I didn’t know I would get emotional when I shared. Just like, because I can still see their, their lost little faces, as I first looked at them. I was like, Oh they’re the ones; like Jesus loves them so much. When you step out in faith and radical obedience with God, He can do anything. Like, He can move mountains.
That story hit me between the eyes in a deep way. I came back from Mexico and I remember being in the car with my boys and saying to the boys, and we don’t do this often, but sometimes we do it. I said, “Boys, ask God for a color of the person that He wants to touch and ask Him, you know, what He wants to heal? If there’s a part of their body.” So the boys are in the back and they’re probably, oh gosh, nine, seven, and five or something. I don’t know; they were young. And they’re all calling out colors like purple, black, white, and, and arm, sore arm. And I’m like, kids just hear so easily from the Lord, I just have learned to trust that. We get all, we get all, I don’t know, constipated about it, is how an Aussie would say it. But I think God’s so naturally connected to us. We can relax a lot more.
So we get to this, I’m taking them out for ice cream and what we call at Bethel almost a treasure hunt. We’re just looking for God’s treasure who He’s highlighted. The ice cream’s the bribe and I’m gonna try to get my kids doing something. We get there and we look inside the burger joint, which is next to the ice cream joint, and there’s a football team, a high school football team, and all the colors the boys have called out are on their jerseys. The kids are like, “Dad, that’s them, that’s the colors!” I’ve gone, “Awesome. Well, let’s go get an ice cream and we’ll see who God highlights. We’ll sit out front and we’ll just watch because they’re all in there doing their party.” So we sit and have their ice cream, our ice cream, and then the football team comes out and a guy comes out with his arm in a sling. And I said, “I think that’s our guy. You guys had arm.” And the boys will get nervous. Like they’re like, “Yeah, but I don’t want to go pray. I don’t want to go pray.” I’m like, “Come on. Just come. I’ll do it. You just walk with me.” And one of them’s like, “I’m not coming.”
So I walk over with one of them and I go, “Hey guys, how you doing? This might sound a little bit strange, but on the way here – We’re learning to hear God speak – and our kids asked God if there was someone that He wanted to touch today and they got the colors of your football jersey and they got that you had a sore arm and look, you’ve got those things. What’s going on?” He said, “I busted my collarbone last week of football. I’m out for six weeks.” I said, “Can I tell you a story of what God’s doing right now?” And I told him that story from Mexico of the four guys who didn’t know God and how God instantly healed this old man. I tell them this story and I said, so I said to one of his buddies, “I want you to put your hand out and pray and we’ll see what God does.” And so I said, “Just put your hand down here.” And they’re all looking at me weird, like, what is this? And some parents are starting to look off. And so he’s put his hand out and he goes…I said, just say, “Jesus,” he says, “Jesus, heal him.” And then we’re just standing there awkward. You know this awkward silence. And then I go, “Test it out.” And he starts to like, mockingly like, do it. Then all of a sudden, he gets his arm completely up and his friend starts yelling at him, “You couldn’t do that before! You couldn’t do that before!” And his arm is instantly and completely healed. Now I’m ecstatic, the kids are like, little bit nervous and still, and they’re quite happy. And I’m sitting there going, Oh, God, God is the God of testimony and if God’s done something once, He wants to do it again.
Revelation 19:10, “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” So I’ve seen the Lord use that testimony again and again. It’s almost been like the Lord has wanted to take the focus off of me and get it on onto Him. And I think that’s what I learned through that testimony is that God’s really big and He can do, He can heal through anyone or anything. Yeah, so we’ve just seen the Lord step out of our boxes so many times, which has been wonderful. Through the exposure to the community here at Bethel, and the school and then making a lot of mistakes. And still, to this day, still to this day, you know, I’ve prayed beside people’s beds, believed for God to heal them of cancer, and they’ve gotten better a bit and then all of a sudden they’ve died, you know. And those moments you never forget that but you never let it define you. I think the church for too long has used that and made, tried to find scriptures that backup their failure rather than, rather than looking at Jesus who was our model and our testimony and get and if He said, “You’ll do greater works than Me,” then just don’t worry too much about those times. Let them hurt, but just say, “Lord, help. I want more. I want more.”