Sid Roth - How to Thrive in the Wilderness
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. Is it possible that every problem you're going through, every trauma could actually be pathways into the supernatural? Is it possible with some of the things that you're going through that it is going to result in you walking in miracles? Is it possible that while you're going through you can have joy and peace? My guest says yes and she has the miracles to prove it. Katherine is from Australia and one of the things that I love about her ministry is almost every time she starts speaking, God has a sign. Someone that is deaf has their ear open. Tell me about one, Katherine.
Katherine Ruonala: Just recently I was in Korea and we saw four deaf ears open. One of those ladies had no eardrum. One of the ladies said she had been completely deaf since she was six. She had a terrible infection and it had never been treated, and as a result her eardrum was severely damaged. Well in the meeting, the Holy Spirit just popped open her ear. She could hear perfectly. And when she went back to her doctor to exam her, he said, "You have a perfectly formed eardrum". She was a famous artist and she bought me a beautiful painting that she had done to remember what the Holy Spirit had done.
Sid Roth: You say when people are going through traumas or it's called a wilderness experience, it's really a journey into the supernatural. What do you mean by that?
Katherine Ruonala: You know, I really believe that we inherent the promises through faith and patience. Often, the time between promise and fulfillment people don't know what's going on. Did I miss God? What's happening? Am I doing something wrong? But you know, scripturally you can read through the Bible and see many examples of how God uses those times to really allow us to grow to the place where we can stand in the places of influence that he wants us to stand in. He gives us hinds feet to stand in high places. I know there's times when we feel like what's going on, I see no fruit on the vine. What's going on, Lord? He really is preparing our character and giving us an opportunity to find him, to know him intimately because you have to know him to be able to trust him.
Sid Roth: Well you know what I said last night, I hadn't thought about it, but it was so obvious to me. Because of some of the trials and wilderness experiences you had, you developed, God didn't do them, but God so used it. You developed your intimacy with God. In fact, when you were 23, you had quite an encounter with God. Tell me about it.
Katherine Ruonala: At 23, the Lord began to call me into ministry, which was a shock to me. I thought I'd be a housewife for all my life, and I was happy with that. But the Lord just began to give me visions. I'd find myself on the floor having visions of people falling off the edge of a cliff and I'd see the face of Jesus and the sadness in his face. And I saw myself calling out to people, and I knew he was calling me to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick. I had visions of Bibles going out to the crowds. But I thought I really need someone to pull me out of a crowd and prophesy this because it seemed too outrageous in my thinking. "I'm a woman, God". I said. I used every excuse. "You need to do this for me". Every time a prophet would come to town, I'd say, "Okay, God, this is your chance. Come on. Give me the Word. I'm waiting for it. You've got to confirm it. I'm an imaginative person. If you don't confirm it I might just put it all down to my imagination". And the prophet said come, and they'd pick this one and they'd that one, and they don't pick me. And one night I just got so distressed. I went home. I was so upset. I said, "Lord, why didn't you call me out? How is the pastor going to know? How is it all going to happen"? And I had a plan. I thought if they prophesied that would be awesome and then I could help God. But I opened the Bible and I read this story of Simeon and says there in the Book of Luke that the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon's heart that he would see the Messiah before he died. And suddenly I realized the Holy Spirit has revealed this to my heart and I've said it's not enough. I have to have a prophet. And I love prophecies. But I got down on my bedside and I repented, and I said, "Lord, I'm so sorry. If no one ever prophesizes," and I was embarrassed to say it alone in my room, but out loud I said, "I choose to reveal what you are revealing to my heart that you've called me to preach the Gospel to heal the sick". You know, after that I just became a prophesy magnet. People pulled me out all the time. But I'm so glad God didn't do what I demanded because if he did every time I was led to do something I would have put my ability to move with him into the hands of other people's obedience.
Sid Roth: Now one of the things I like is you teach about dreaming big.
Katherine Ruonala: You know, God gives us an imagination. It's not evil. It's just a screen, a whiteboard that God can write on or we can write on, or the enemy can write on. But as you present it to God, let him use our sanctified imagination to see the things that he's promised. You know, as we see and say it, we'll see it fulfilled.
Sid Roth: Let's have a practical example. Your fingers, they were getting bad. Explain.
Katherine Ruonala: Yes. Well I woke up one morning and my fingers were all stiff and my mother had had terrible arthritis. And so my immediate thought was, oh no, I'm going to get arthritis like my mom with the big knuckles. I won't be able wear my rings. And as soon as I found myself thinking that, I went, no, like the Bible says, to "take captive every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God". So I grabbed that thought and I immediately replaced it with a Divine imagination. I imagined myself as a 90-year old woman with supple fingers wearing my rings and playing the piano. And the next morning, I woke up again, stiff fingers. So immediately I saw myself as a 90-year old woman, playing the piano, getting my nails done, wearing my rings, and, you know, I did that for five days, and that was probably 15 years ago now. I've never had a trace of arthritis or pain ever since.
Sid Roth: You know, a lot of people in this area, it's like the new age, use the imagination and imaging and things like that. Where do you think they got it? They have the counterfeit. We have got the authentic. God gave us an imagination to be used for him with our renewed mind. When we come back, and not many people are willing to talk about this, but Katherine went through a seven-year battle in the wilderness. I believe it's going to help many of you. Be right back.
Sid Roth: So Katherine, most people think those that are on television, those that are on front line ministry, they don't have problems. It's just me that has the problem. What happened for seven years to you?
Katherine Ruonala: Well you know, after this encounter when I was 23, it was seven years before I ever preached my first sermon in a church. And during that time, God was doing a work in me, but it was like when God was doing these things, he was developing my character and allowing me to realize that there is a lot of things that I needed to learn. And I think primarily I needed to learn how much I needed him. But I went through a season where I was misunderstood and falsely accused, and overlooked. But you know, I found him. I found him as the one that supplied my needs and it was such a delight.
Sid Roth: You talk about warring for the promises God has on your life to the written word, through the prophetic word. Give us one key.
Katherine Ruonala: God had spoken to me when I was 23 that in my 30th year he was going to open the doors to ministry. But my 30th year was about the worst year of my life. And nine days before I turned 31, I just started to say, "God, you said". I got up one day and I'm like, that's it, it's nine days to go. You said. And I think he loves it when we start to take him at his word and say, "You said". And you know, it was that day that God introduced me to somebody that just opened the doors for me and brought the breakthrough. So I believe we need to make declarations. Timothy talks about it in the Bible. "Wage warfare, my son Timothy," with the prophetic words spoken over you. We can't be passive with it. We need to actively declare it, speak it out, "God, you said" and call those things being out as though they are now.
Sid Roth: You know, I'm reminded there was a time you were speaking at a conference and all sorts of miracles broke out, and you thought, oh God, they're going to expect this again. I just don't know. Tell me about that.
Katherine Ruonala: You know, I was intimidated by what God did. We had the most remarkable meeting. Actually, it was in Augusta, Georgia and a lady with a completely, she had her eardrum cut out, had her eardrum restored. She was hearing, which was amazing. Cataracts were disappearing. Miracles were popping everywhere. And as I was going up the stairs to my bedroom that night, staying with a friend, I was thinking, oh Lord, we've got another meeting tomorrow night, and I felt like he really raised the bar. I thought, oh God, they're going to bring all their sick friends. Please Jesus, you're going to do it again? And I left my computer playing on shuffle, and it happened to be that as I was walking up the stairs I could hear one of Kathrine Kuhlman's little Heart to Heart radio talks, and she was saying, "Every time I walk out on the platform, I die a thousand deaths knowing that there are people in the congregation that for them this is their last hope". And I thought, I know what you're talking about. I hear you. But as I kept walking into my room she began to say, "But I encourage myself with the truth that everything Jesus did on the earth he did as a man utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit". Then she said, "And the Holy Spirit will never let you down". And then I heard him say, "And the Holy Spirit will never let you down". And you know, after that it seemed like everywhere I went God would open a deaf ear as the first one almost to make a point to me, I think, that hey, you rely on me and I'll never let you down.
Sid Roth: But you know, you would think, I'll take myself for example. I do lectures on the supernatural all over the world and I have large numbers of unsaved people coming to this expecting miracles not even knowing I'm going to talk about Jesus. And talk about every time I get up I do not take God for granted because here's the truth. If he doesn't show up I can't do anything. And it's not a fake thing. I know this. I absolutely know it and I don't understand why you don't know it. There's nothing good going on in your life that God is responsible for, that you need God. I mean, I think we're living in such a generation right now where people think well it's half me and half God. I can tell you it's zero me and all God.
Katherine Ruonala: Oh yes. Oh yes. I believe it too, ultimately dependent on the Holy Spirit.
Sid Roth: And you know what? When we come back, what happens if your daughter, your son leaves, the leaves the Lord, leaves you? What do you do? That's what happened to Katherine because the way she handled it will give you some insight. We'll be right back.
Sid Roth: You know, it's got to be so hard when your daughter and your ministry turns her back on God. What effect did it have on you, Katherine?
Katherine Ruonala: You know, it was not supposed to happen. That's not in the plan.
Sid Roth: Of course.
Katherine Ruonala: What do you expect? I think I cried probably every day for the first year and every second day for the next year. I remember once being in her bedroom and I had bought a new dinner and made the room up nice and was praying, and believing in faith for him to come home, come back to Christ. One day I was in there praying, the Lord said to me, "You know, I've prepared a room for my children, too". And I know that he just walked me through that. But one night when I was praying, a couple of years later, the most extraordinary thing happened. A young couple from our church, they didn't know her, they were only new to the church, were on a prayer drive. And it was about the time I was praying, they were driving pass and they saw my daughter coming out a restaurant and the felt the Holy Spirit say, "Go and talk to that one".
Sid Roth: Did they know that was your daughter?
Katherine Ruonala: Oh, they had no idea who she was. But they thought, oh no, she's a young woman. We don't want to scare her at night time. So they kept driving, and the Holy Spirit said, "No, go back". So they turned the car around, and this is all the time while I was at home praying. They turned the car around and they went to find her, and she was gone. But she and a friend had taken the car around the block just to put some makeup on. So they asked the Holy Spirit for directions and sure enough, he took them to where they were. They got of the car and they said, "Don't freak out, we're Christians. Can we just pray for you"? And they began to prophesy over her and her friend, and just rang me half an hour later to say, "Wow, guess what happened"? And she said, "Where do you go to church"? And they said, "Glory City Church". And she said, "My mom is a pastor there". And you know, that was the beginning of the Holy Spirit just drawing her back. And now we have the sweetest relationship. She loves God, loves God.
Sid Roth: Do you want to see how beautiful her daughter is. Jess, wave at us. You're one proud mama.
Katherine Ruonala: I tell you what, she's amazing.
Sid Roth: But there are people watching, their spouses left, left God them. Their children have left them. One time they knew God, but they left. Would you pray for those people right now.
Katherine Ruonala: Father, you know and understand so well how they feel. Lord, I'm asking for special grace, Lord, to see these loved ones as you see them for special grace, Lord, to see them as you have intended them to be, Lord, that you help them, not to judge them, but to love them. Supernaturally, shed your love abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, hover over those ones. You who began a good work in them, you will carry it through to completion. So Father, we say thank you in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
Sid Roth: Tell me one key that will help us in a wilderness experience.
Katherine Ruonala: Learn how to lean into him and let him love you. You know, faith works by love.
Sid Roth: Whoa, whoa, whoa, you at home and you in the studio audience, just as an act of your faith, lean into him.
Katherine Ruonala: Yes.
Sid Roth: Just lean into him. Feels good.
Katherine Ruonala: Amen. Amen. You know, there would be days that I would be walking around crying and the Lord would just be there interpreting my tears. He just knows me so well. I'm complicated and he gets me, and he became my best friend. And he longs for fellowship with us more than we have ever understood. So I believe that the wilderness time doesn't have to be an unpleasant time. He wants it actually to be so special, that place where you find him, where you find him as the one who satisfies, where you find him as the source of your joy. The fulfillment of your promise is great, but he, he is the source of your joy and you can have that right now whether you've seen the fulfillment or not. And his love then will activate hope and faith to be able to see and declare the things that he's promised and to see them come to pass.
Sid Roth: We have about a minute and a half for miracles. I want you to pray for miracles. This woman moves in miracles. There is such a presence of the Holy Spirit all around us right now. Please pray.
Katherine Ruonala: Father, I thank you. Just as you have done so many times, I speak right now, there's somebody here watching that has cancer, and I see the Holy Spirit touching you, someone with bowel cancer. And there's a lady, also you've been going through chemotherapy. Right now the Holy Spirit is coming on you. I see him touching you, something to do with the kidneys. I thank you for healing and touching someone's liver, too, right now. I thank you for healing. You know, the Lord has given us testimonies of hepatitis C being healed. But I see somebody right now with liver disease instantly now even as you reach out the Holy Spirit is touching you and healing you. I see somebody else. You've been wanting to have your deaf ear open. Now in Jesus' name, I command that ear to open. Hear in Jesus' name. I thank you, Lord, for sight, glorious, supernatural sight, Lord, for those that have been struggling with cataracts. Now I speak to the cataracts, dissolve in Jesus' name. I speak healing. I speak healing to blood conditions right now. Someone suffering with leukemia, God is greater than leukemia. I speak the name of Jesus over that disease and I say, you cannot stay, go in Jesus' name. I release healing to people, arthritis in people's hand, just like I was feeling, I was getting. You don't have to have it. I speak healing in the mighty name of Jesus. And also someone with a heart condition, I speak wholeness to your heart, shalom, peace, healing in Jesus' name. Amen.
Sid Roth: I like that. Shalom and peace, healing in Jesus' name.