The God of Diversity – The Divine Counter to Methods,
Programs and Other forms of Madness In the Church Today
by Priscilla Van Sutphin  goinupstream@gmail.com
August 1st, 2004
www.blogtalkradio.com/Upstream

When I was 38, I had grown weary of my aloneness and bankruptcy spiritually, and I sought to bring my son to church.  I didn’t think there was any hope for me, but I kept thinking maybe he can be good enough, if I raise him right.  So off we went to an Easter service at the Catholic Church. Much to my dismay, the gospel message was far from my need, and the priest was speaking on why there were people at mass only on holidays.

I wanted to stand up and tell him right there and then.  But I decided against that, and instead left.  In my anger, I cried out, “ God, there has to be more than this ! “  God was quick to answer, and within a week, a neighbor explained to me the difference between being born again, and the Catholic church doctrine with which I had been raised.  I had been raised to believe if I committed mortal sin, I was lost and never could make it to heaven.  But if I committed venial sins, I could make recompense and had a chance.  Since I’d had two abortions and a life of self-serving lust, I knew myself to be condemned, hopeless, and not going to heaven.  So needless to say, the good news to me was truly GOOD NEWS !

A year after making a decision to serve Christ, I got baptized in the Spirit in my living room, after staying up late after children and husband were in bed.  I was desperately seeking the Lord’s face, as I felt I’d made the biggest mistake in my life marrying my ex.  I didn’t know I was to DEPEND on Him for who to marry at the time.  So I married for all the wrong reasons.  This concept of dependency was WAY foreign to my upbringing.

My mother was infested with bitterness, jezebelian pride and lust and my foster mom had taught me that if I didn’t care for myself, no one else would, and she taught me to be INDEPENDENT.  So I’d built my life around that theorum.  I got a bachelor’s degree, then worked in  Children’s hospital in Chicago for a time, then I went to grad school at UCLA to get a graduate degree in Pediatric Nursing.  I finally taught nursing for five years at Rush, Presbyterian St. Lukes’ hospital before moving to California.  There I made educational coordinator within a couple years and assistant professor, rapidly working myself to the world’s idea of success.  I established for the first time, with the March of Dimes, conferences for OB nurses that were taught by women and nurses !!!  That was a big deal way back then and I became Chairman of the Illinois NAACOG [ Nurse’s Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology ] I also joined the honorary nurses association Sigma Theta Tau…etc., etc.  I was very independent !

When I came to the Lord, after about a year and a half, I got sick frequently, with headaches, aches and pains, tiredness…and I had this new family after marrying, and getting saved with two added stepsons, and a mother in law living with us.  The Lord asked me to give up NURSING and stay home which is something my husband wanted…so I gave it up.  The Lord told me, “ I have other things for you to do ! “  You see, the Lord is very WISE.  He knew all my pride was tied up in what I COULD DO !  So He asked me to give up the profession to serve HIM.  Being often sick it wasn’t always hard, except when I’d see pregnant women and new babies, or hear stories about birth.  Then I’d think back to the “good ole days”.  But God in His wisdom, had me relinquish little by little all that was ME.  All the kingdom I had built upon.

Much later, after the divorce and being forced to live with my mother as I’d become sick with CFIDS [ Chronic Fatigue Immunodeficiency Syndrome and Fibromyalgia ]  I’d lost my husband, my two stepsons, the white-washed marriage, and was left to depend on the one year of alimony { had no money for a lawyer } and left to depend on GOD alone for all I needed.  My mother died after a year, and again, I feared we’d lose our place to stay and would be homeless, as she had been on housing.  But graciously, THE LORD supplied our needs by extending the housing contract to me for me and David my son !  The lady said, I could INHERIT her account.  I’d never heard of that, but GOD KNEW I would need help and provided the way.  I couldn’t work…I could barely do activities of daily living and it eventually after my mother died, got so bad my immune system was like someone with AIDS.

People just didn’t understand how I couldn’t work however, and how I could live this life of dependency.  "Dependency is BAD !"  And yet , they knew nothing of my life, and how INDEPENDENT I had been.  GOD, had provided THIS time, as He spoke to me, “ I’ve turned your vitality to the drought of summer !”

Ps 32:4-5 NKJV   For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.  Selah  5   I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,"  and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Selah  

The reason He did that/allowed that, was so I could get healed of the terrible abuse I’d received as a child.  My stepfather practiced witchcraft and molested me.  I was abandoned by my mother many times in my life and left with Grandma first at birth, then with foster parents later on. I had been a “disposable child “, and very much like an orphan. So besides being taught independence from my foster mom…there was a lot of hidden RAGE and ANGER, REJECTION and REBELLION, and many other things, etc…to deal with that added to the fierce INDEPENDENCE I had had.  

In the midst of the worst persecution and sickness, the LORD came to me and ministered to my pain and loneliness.  I had many visitations that I could not see, but could hear and feel His touch.  I could smell him walking outside in the garden.  I would get into the car when I had one, and could feel another hand come down on mine when I put it on the gear shift !  I KNEW HE WAS WITH ME.   In the midst of so much abandonment by others… HE was my ROCK.  HE WAS MY LOVER, and the COMFORTER of My soul.  AND He sent me Judy, my surrogate mom who would come week after week for four years, and just hold me and pray with me and walk me through inner healing.  It took a lot for me to submit even to that, as my mother had been involved with new age practices…so I didn’t want to do anything against the Lord.  He had to give me a dream and a word that would open my heart to doing it !

AGAIN, I couldn’t be INDEPENDENT.  He wanted me to learn to RECEIVE…and to no longer be INDEPENDENT, but to be interdependent with the part of the body of Christ I COULD trust, and to receive the healing He had for me.

Many times in my walk in Christianity, I was doing healing and deliverance, even before I was delivered from things.  And if there was one thing I could tell you, that I have learned after 20 years of doing healing & deliverance in a variety of settings, it is that GOD IS sovereign and the most important thing to remember is to DEPEND on the Holy Spirit in all the prayer, and all the deliverance.

I had A LOT of psych background in my master’s training at UCLA as we used a behavioral model for evaluating patients.  I knew a lot of psych things, and relationship of certain behaviors to problems.  BUT if I depended on my own knowledge rather than on HIS,  I would often miss what GOD WANTED TO DO !

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN HEALING AN DELIVERANCE IS DEPENDENCE ON GOD.

I have used lists, for deliverance, I have used rebuking and I have spent hours in worship and using the WORD.  BUT, the most important thing is to ASK HIM what HE is doing, not relying on what He has done before !  ONLY HE knows all things and all people !  ONLY HE knows what HE is doing at this moment in that person’s life.  So, when I see people teach methods, I get a bit uneasy.  It is good to an extent to learn what HAS BEEN DONE.  BUT it does not prepare you for what GOD is doing NOW !  It only gives you background that will help your discernment, but you must rely on HIM.

Let me tell you of one instance.  While still living in my mother’s apartment after she died, a young couple came to live with me for three months as they’d come out here at the Lord’s bidding but had no place to stay.  We were praying for this young woman one night for deliverance.  [ her father had been a satanic high priest and high up in the business world ]  We were praying, and the Lord showed my friend a snake wrapped around her spine in the spirit.  So after so much praying, etc…the Lord said to me, “ Have Jim, [ her fiancée] come and profess his love to her in front of ME and you !”  This was strange to me, but after three times hearing it I obeyed.  I told Jim what I thought the Lord was saying and he did it !  AS HE DID,  SHE burst out in tears [ it was a father’s love issue ] and that pride stronghold was broken…and she got delivered and some inner healing at the same time !  All the rebuking in the world was not going to undo that spirit !

This is just to show, that God does not always work according to OUR PLANS, OUR METHODS, or what we have been taught !  He still is on the THRONE.  He still is Jehovah Sabaoth.  He still does a NEW THING whenever HE LIKES !

All this is to demonstrate that when we become to RELIANT on our methods and programs for doing things, it is not being DEPENDENT on GOD like HE would like !  It is being INDEPENDENT.  The MOST VALUABLE THING to learn is how to DEPEND on HIM for all the answers.  THAT is HUMILITY.  Jesus had that humility !  HE depended on the Father for what HE was doing, so how much MORE should we also DEPEND on the FATHER for what and how we do things ?

Every time we choose to go our own way, or the TRIED way…we are acting INDEPENDENTLY !  YOU don’t know what that person standing in front of you has been through, but HE DOES !  You don’t know the history of that person, what they’ve been delivered of, or not, but HE DOES !  You don’t know the sensitivity of that person but HE DOES.

I learned to ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS of GOD.  That is key to dependence also !  He knows all the answers that we don’t !  He is the ROD and the STAFF.  You know that verse from Psalm 23…Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me !  That is symbolic of HIS direction and guidance !

In the days ahead we will ABSOLUTELY HAVE to DEPEND on Him for all things – What to eat, and what NOT to eat ! – Where to go and where NOT to go !  Who to touch, who NOT to touch !  It is getting  MORE AND MORE important as the world grows more disparate in the difference between good and evil.  So He is teaching us to act in FAITH, and to DEPEND on HIM more than our own knowledge.  There is no guarantee that what has worked before will work now…SO if you haven't already, or don't understand what you are going through, ASK, and LEARN DEPENDENCE ON HIM !  HE is the Source of all WISDOM.  HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE !  SEEK HIS ADVICE and learn to shun independence !  I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST Who strengthens me. Apart from HIM, I can do NOTHING.