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Dean Merrill, A Higher Code

Read an excerpt from Dean Merrill’s, Miracle Invasion: Amazing true stories of the Holy Spirit’s gifts at work today.

David Killingsworth may have been the honored guest speaker that Sunday night at a multicultural church in Phoenix, but this didn’t stop a humble Navajo lady from approaching him at the end of the service to prophesy. “The Lord is going to give you understanding and wisdom concerning the old ways of the Native people,” she announced. “You will not get this from a book or a tape, but you will get it by revelation, because the Lord is going to use you to help redeem the culture and bring deliverance.”

Pastor Killingsworth welcomed this message in light of his ongoing interest in reaching Native Americans. His church, Green Forest Christian Center1 back in northwest Arkansas, had already sent several work and outreach teams to the small reservation town of Jeddito, Arizona, a Navajo enclave within the Hopi tribe’s larger territory. The town had a small log cabin church building where various groups had tried over the years to start a congregation without success.

The pastor flew home that Monday. When he showed up at his office the next day, a staff member reported, “There was a missionary on sabbatical who stopped by the Sunday night prayer meeting; after we had all prayed for a while, he said, ‘I have a word from the Lord for the father of this house.’ We told him, ‘Well, he’s not here; he’s in Arizona.’”

The visitor was not dissuaded. He asked if they might tape his message, to be played when the senior pastor returned. They accommodated him by bringing out a cassette recorder.

Now at his desk, Pastor Killingsworth sat down to listen. He punched the Play button and began to hear the following words: “The Lord says, ‘I will give you understanding and wisdom concerning the old ways of the Native people. You will not get this by book or by tape, but you will get it by revelation. And I will use you to redeem the culture and bring deliverance.’” It was virtually the identical message he had been given 1,200 miles west at essentially the same hour back on Sunday night.

In response, “Our church began to pray ever more seriously about this over the next period of time,” says the pastor. “We kept up our connections to Navajo people we’d already met and tried to extend our network. We came to believe God wanted us to try again to plant a church in Jeddito.”

And so it was that in August 2001, a team of some fifteen Green Forest people, including committed intercessors, came to the town once again to pray for a spiritual awakening. Several Navajo believers from Phoenix joined them, asking God to break through the dark superstitions of the culture with the light of the gospel. During one prayer meeting, a woman in her sixties, named Judy Magner, began to bear down in urgent entreaty, interceding in a flow of tongues.
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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2018

About the Author: Dean Merrill has been published in over 40 Christian magazines and is the author or co-author of 50 books. His most recent title is 50 Pentecostal and Charismatic Leaders Every Christian Should Know (Chosen, 2021). He has also written Miracle Invasion: Amazing True Stories of the Holy Spirit’s Gifts at Work Today (BroadStreet, 2018), Damage Control: How to Stop Making Jesus Look Bad (Baker, 2006) and seven other solo titles. As a co-author, he is perhaps best known for the award-winning “Fresh Wind” trilogy with Jim Cymbala, pastor of New York City’s Brooklyn Tabernacle, which sold more than a million copies in hardcover (Zondervan). The initial book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, was named Christian Book of the Year in 2000. He also assisted Gracia Burnham, missionary survivor who endured a year of captivity with a Muslim terrorist group in the southern Philippines. That book, entitled In the Presence of My Enemies (Tyndale), made the New York Times bestseller list and won a Gold Medallion award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Other notable titles have included a second book with Mrs. Burnham, To Fly Again (Tyndale); More than a Hobby, with Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green (Nelson); a book with Compassion International president Dr. Wess Stafford on the value of children, Too Small to Ignore (WaterBrook); and Every Man’s Bible (Tyndale), for which Merrill was the general editor.

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