The Normal Christian Life

The more time I spend with God the more I see His plan to bring His kingdom to earth. As I read through the Bible I see all this crazy stuff happening all the time: 3,000 people being saved in a day, healings, deliverances, the Holy Spirit being poured out on people in a greater measure,etc. When I read these stories half of me gets excited and pumped up while the other half is left wondering why don’t I see God’s power like this today? I have seen crazy stuff and I know without a doubt God still moves in the miraculous today. But I wonder why don’t I see people raised from the dead or healed from cancer?

I was talking to God about this a while ago and He told me it’s because I am not stepping out and taking the risks He has called us all to take. The Bible says to lay hands on people and they will be healed, how many people have I laid hands on recently? If I am not seeing people saved, how many people have I shared Jesus with recently? It comes down to me not walking out in everything He has given me. Were called to bring Heaven to Earth everywhere we go, not just at church during service. God is not confined to a building and He is waiting for us to step out and call forth His Kingdom to come and not only invade our circumstances, but also the circumstances of those we see daily. God wants to pour out His love on this world and He has chosen to use us to share His love powerfully and authentically with those we encounter.  During this time while I was talking to God about all of this I ran across this quote:

“I’m challenged by the fact that Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of signs and wonders and not just information. Jesus followed up His words with power. He responded to John the Baptist’s disciples when asked if He was really the ONE. He said “the blind see again, the crippled walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor and broken now hear the hope of salvation.” If Jesus is perfect theology and is our example of how to live then we have to pursue what is on His heart.”

– Brian Johnson (Worship Pastor at Bethel Church)

As I have started to walk out in His power more and take risks I have come to know and understand His purpose at a deeper level. Before Jesus went up to be with the Father, He instructed His followers to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.“(Luke 24:49) Jesus knew that we would not be able to fulfill the great commission with out the power of the Holy Spirit. We can not walk out in this power because of our own ability, it is His power He has chosen to give us to bring Him glory.

God Will Honor Your Risks

In Mark 16 it says, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17) It is very clear in scripture that we can do these things through the authority of His name and His power. We can not heal people, we can not raise the dead, we can not do any of these signs on our own. But the Creator of the universe has decided that through Him we can and through Him all things are possible.

Jesus’ disciples did exactly what He instructed them to do, they waited in the upper room all together for the promise of the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the waiting church. Immediately they started speaking in tongues and walking out in the  miraculous. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)

The early church was obedient and waiting to be clothed with power on High. The early church was so enabled by the Spirit’s power that every where they went the supernatural broke out. The apostles were truly ambassadors of Christ who were equipped with divine capabilities to show the love of God and glorify Him. They understood that they had divine work to do and they needed divine power to accomplish it. The apostles understood that this power was from the Spirit and that it had nothing to do with them.

I think sometimes we feel like we are not qualified enough to walk out in the supernatural. The truth is, we will never be qualified to walk out in His power, but we don’t have to be because He is. We have to stop worrying about what if it does not work and start thinking about what if it does work? What if we take a risk and pray for someone and God completely heals them and they give their life to Jesus? That reward is so much greater and should be worth the risk. We need to stop being so concerned with how we will look and start focusing on what the Father wants to do through us.

God wants to use us to show His power to edify and build up the church, He does not fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us spiritual gifts strictly for ourselves. “Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” (1 Corinthians 14:26b) There are many different ways God wants to pour out His love on people. That is why there are many different gifts;  gift of healing, gift of words of knowledge, discernment, miracles, etc. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) There are different gifts, but all given by the same Spirit for the same purpose to show His love and bring Him glory.

Miracles

The gift of miracles was the hardest for me to understand and classify. Miracles are operations of supernatural powers. They contradict all known scientific laws due to the supernatural causes by God. Miracles in the Bible are usually referred to as signs, wonders, and miracles. All three of these words mean the same thing, they mean divine power, events that cause wonder, and events that signify God is working. There are many examples of miracles in the Bible, but they are so supernatural I think that is why I had such a hard time grasping exactly what they were. In Acts 9:36-42  we can see where a girl named Tabitha became sick and died. Peter went to see Tabitha and he told her to get up and she opened her eyes and sat up. That is a miracle, a girl that was dead was told to “get up” and life came back into her. It is something that goes against the natural, people do not normally wake up after being dead, this was a miracle from God. We need to have the same faith that Peter had here, he just went in and told her to get up, he knew how powerful His God was and called life into the situation and God showed up and got the glory.

Think of how much God wants to do through us everyday and how many people He wants to encounter Him through us that we just walk by? We need to be so filled with His presence and faith that this is natural. This is what the church is called to do and God is calling us to awaken our power through Him to change the world.

The Greatest Miracle of All

The greatest miracle of all is salvation. We have the gift of salvation inside of us, we just need to open our mouths and share the goodness of Jesus with every one we meet. Even if they think we are weird, their salvation is more important then us feeling weird. It’s time to stop thinking about ourselves and do what we are called to do.

As great as signs, wonder, and miracles are we need to not get caught up in chasing His signs and we need to focusing on chasing Him. When we are seeking God first these things will follow us, they will be natural because we will be so filled with His presence that every where we go the supernatural breaks out, just like the apostles in Acts.

“Greater Works Than These”

Lastly, we are called to do even greater works then Jesus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14) If Jesus did all these amazing things, think about what the Father wants to do with us? We need to step out and take risks and partner with Him in bringing His kingdom to earth.