I have been asked to try to describe what is motivating me and what keeps me going in the ministry. The simple answer is that I am sustained by the Word of God, compelled by the Love of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. The word of God is saying:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
I have been living in the last days all my life. I am excited to know that I am living in the days of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all people. In the last days God is doing an extra ordinary work among sons and daughters, young men and old men, servant – men and women alike. In the last days everyone can be used by God, because he is pouring out his Spirit on all kind of people.
As long as I can remember I have been dreaming of something better, something greater than my everyday life. As a child I was in and out of hospitals all the time. I was ill, I was seriously ill and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. The doctors even told my parents that I would never grow up. Maximum lifespan would be 20 years.
In the Lutheran church I was told that I just had to accept the fact that God had put the disease on me. There was nothing I could do about it other than accepting it as God’s will for my life. I found that very difficult. At one point I nearly died as a young child, but God saved my life in the hospital.
In those days the doctors became my heroes. They relieved pain and made people well. They gave people a better life. That is what I also wanted to do.
The doctors were also important people whom other people wanted to see. I thought that being a doctor must be the greatest thing a human being could be. And I dreamt of becoming a doctor who could help people to a better life.
I never became a doctor, - but my dream of helping people to a better life has been fulfilled many times. I never had medical education or training, but the dream of seeing people healed has been fulfilled many times through the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ.
My parents took me to the prayer house as a little boy. The prayer house became a second home to me. There we had visiting missionaries taking us to new exotic and exciting worlds. They told stories, showed pictures, wore colourful clothes from distant countries. Then I started to dream of becoming a missionary travelling to foreign nations with the good news of salvation.
I never became a missionary like those I met at the prayer house. No mission society would send me. But the dream of proclaiming the good news to people that had never heard the gospel before has been fulfilled many times. Still I am dreaming of going to new places, new nations with the good news of the Kingdom of God.
One day a young man came to our youth meeting in the prayer house. He was different. He was confident, bold and radiant with joy. I had never seen a Christian like that before. This was his testimony:
God has more to give! Jesus Christ is still the same today, yesterday and forever! He is still performing miracles!
Again I began to dream! I launched on a pilgrimage to see what I read in the Bible – the Word of God becoming flesh again. Actually, I launched on a pilgrimage to see the dream of God come true in the world.
In January 1962 I was baptised in water and subsequently lost all my Lutheran friends. In May I was sent on my first preaching assignment. In June I was baptised in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues. The last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit became a reality to me as the Holy Spirit began to move in a powerful way in my life and to lead me forward with Christ. In November I attended a 5 weeks Bible School and began to travel to preach the good news in Norway.
The doctors only predicted maximum 20 years for me to live, but God had a different dream for my life. He has already given me 50 years of ministry – 50 miracle years! Now I am asking God for another 50 years in ministry together with Solveig, the best wife in the world. Why not? Nothing is impossible with God! My prayer is that the next 50 years in ministry will be better and more fruitful than the first 50 years!
I have had my share of difficulties, trials, hard times, opposition and challenges, but the Lord has been good and faithful to me. During those years the joy of the Lord has been my strength, the word of God has been sustaining me, the love of God has been compelling me to never give up, and the Spirit of God has refreshed me again and again. And I am still dreaming! I am still pursuing the dream of God:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Before I was born I was known by God! He formed me in my mother’s womb. He set me apart. He appointed me to serve him. He wrote the script of my life. He gave my days form before a single day had come. He has a precious dream about me, - and of all people, because we are all created in his image.
The Bible has become my dream book. The stories, the promises, the exhortations, the prophecies – make me dream big dreams. Through the Bible I have come to see glimpses of God’s great dream for humanity in Christ Jesus, my Lord, and that dream keeps me going.
I am dreaming God’s dream when I am awake, when I sleep, when I read, when I pray, when I meditate, I am dreaming God’s dream when I work in the field or in the forest. This dream consumes me. This dream is so big that I am never able to express it in words. Each time I have tried to express it in words, I realise that God has more to give, and that I actually dream of something greater.
Through the Bible I see glimpses of the dream of God, image after image. He is dreaming of a holy family of sons and daughters in the image of the only begotten Son. He is dreaming of a chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood that can demonstrate to the world who he is. He is dreaming of a house, a dwelling place being built by living stones carefully joined together in Christ. He is dreaming of bringing together everything in heaven and on earth in harmony under the rule and lordship of Jesus Christ, for the entire earth to be filled with the righteousness of God.
God’s dream is about a holy, pure, glorious bride for his Son. He is dreaming of a bride without a spot, wrinkle or any other blemish. He is dreaming of a radiant church. He is dreaming of a glorious church – ordinary born again people filled with the Spirit – with Christ on the inside – the hope of glory. This dream motivates me, and keeps me going!
My dream is like the rising of the sun, the first gleam of dawn, heralding the bright and full light of day. The gleam of dawn tells me a new day has arrived, even if it is still morning. I know the bright day of full light will come, - because it has already come in Jesus Christ.
I have seen the dawn of a new day, a new life, in many people already, but I want to see more! I am dreaming of more villages to reach. I am dreaming of bringing many nations to Christ, because the word of God says:
For as the waters fill the sea,
the earth will be filled with an awareness
of the glory of the Lord.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
I am so thankful to God and to Keri Jones who sent me and Solveig, my wonderful wife, to India and to other nations in Asia. It is a wonderful thing to be sent on a mission. I am grateful to Noralv Askeland, Terje Dahle and all the brothers and churches in Norway who have been enabling us to go year after year to see the work of God develop. I my blog I have been telling some stories of what we have seen and experienced as we have been serving God. I thank God for giving me Solveig to be my wife and partner in the ministry. We are dreaming the same dream together!
Jesus Christ came to seek and to save what was lost. He found me and you. He saved me and you. Then he said: As the Father has sent me I send you, to seek and to save, - to change the world.
I am dreaming of a people who have something greater to live for than themselves and their own fellowship, -a people who are concerned for the development of the entire society and are working to make society what it was meant to be.
I am dreaming of a people who live in the future NOW because they dream big dreams since they already have tasted the powers of the age to come.
I am dreaming of people having their roots in God and in the great heroes of faith, refusing to accept injustice or unrighteousness, but allowing the dream of a righteousness society to motivate them to action to make this world a better place to live in.
I am dreaming of people seeing themselves as active partakers in the great cosmic drama of bringing heaven and earth together in harmony, - people seeing a global panorama but engaging themselves locally where they live and work.
I am dreaming of a people, - not only standing on the doorpost of a new age, but people carrying the new era, the new age, with them to create change in the present.
I am dreaming of a people bringing restoration of all things the prophets spoke of. I am dreaming of the manifestations of the sons of God, - the word of God becoming flesh again and again and again.
I am seeing what the holy prophets were seeing – Christ – the mystery of God – being revealed, made visible in the covenant community.
I am seeing the world being changed, even though there are many setbacks.
I have seen incredible things happen in my short life time, things that no one thought was possible. The Iron Curtain has fallen. The Berlin Wall has been destroyed. The powerful communist regime of Soviet Union is no more.
The Spirit is falling on Catholics and Lutherans. The Spirit of God is falling on drug addicts and politicians. The Spirit of God is moving all over the world. It is exciting to be alive in a time like this.
I have seen Muslims and Hindus embrace salvation in Jesus Christ. I have seen whole villages turn to Christ. But God has more to give! God has more to do. The dream is bigger than what I have seen. Transformation of society will take place!
Acts 2:17-18 In the last days! In the last days in which we are living God is pouring out his Spirit upon all people, young people, old people, men and women, boys and girls. It is exciting to be part of what God is doing in these last days!
The purpose of God, - the dream of God of the revelation of Christ – lives its own life in me. I discover that I am in the dream, - and the dream is in me!
This dream of God lives its own life, it carries me away, - here, - there, unpredictable, takes new turns, takes new forms. The dream open up new landscapes, blazing new trails, lifting me to new heights. When the dream is alive, I am alive! When the dream lives in me I can live for something much greater than myself, - and life has a purpose. This is what keeps me going!
The dream of God lives in my heart. I can see what God does in our time. I see something new coming forth. I can hear the rattling noise of dry bones coming together. I can see a small cloud on the horizon. I can see the cloud growing fast, becoming many big clouds covering the entire sky. I see companies of prophets being raised up. They are like clouds full of rain. They let the word of God rain over the thirsty and those who long for God. They let heavenly visions and dreams refresh old and young people.
Listen! I can hear the sound of living seeds falling in the good soil of human hearts. It is seeds of hope. It is seeds of faith. It is seeds of love. It is seeds of living visions. It is seeds of big dreams.
I see a new generation of Spirit filled people standing forth. They are carried along by dreams and visions of God. I am one of those young people being carried away by the Spirit, - by His vision – His dream.
The dream lives in me! I live in the dream. I live for Him who is greater than everything. He lives in me! Therefore, the little I can do counts. It actually has a big effect on the world. Because, together with you, I am part of the fulfilment of the dream of God!
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.) (Ac 2:17-18). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.) (Je 1:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
* Or How precious to me are your thoughts.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.) (Ps 139:16-17). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.) (Hab 2:14). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.) (Is 11:9). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.