Today I'm going to be very bold; actually blunt and honest more accurately describes my attitude. And I'm going to start by pointing the finger at myself. I have been writing this blog for nearly six years, all with the purpose of directing people towards God. The first few years I was still focused on this world, combining a message of how to survive the tactics of men and the schemes of the Prince of this world to destroy us. The last couple of years, I have clearly heard God's instructions to focus on Him and His will to see His Kingdom be realized on earth as it is in Heaven.
I have listened to the Holy Spirit and spoken to you about our Power and Authority; and shouted that we serve a Supernatural God. I have desperately wanted both fellow Believers and the Unsaved to grasp the magnitude of the God we serve and what He expects from us. And, yes, I know that I have been moderately successful in getting that message across -- and maybe there are some people who have had those "Aha!" moments, or even began examining their theology and Biblical worldview. But, I know that I've not done enough!!!
In Matthew 28, we receive our Commission from the Lord: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe [do] all that I commanded you. So, now comes a very important question that I had to ask myself ... Where is the fruit from my labor? Are the people who I might have influenced through this blog doing the things that Jesus did and taught His disciples to do? Are the people who my husband is leading in Bible study, or the students in that Sunday School class, Small Group, or members of the congregation sitting in the pews going out and converting people? Are they baptizing people in Jesus's Name? Are they laying hands on the sick, or casting out demons, or raising the dead, or discipling others in this Kingdom work? If the answer is "No", then are we doing what Jesus commissioned us to do? Even our "home church" group is not measuring up to Jesus's instruction.
I will concede that there is a real need to be educating and teaching people in the Truths of the Bible, and the Gospel of the Kingdom. "Teaching" is specifically mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 as a gift from Jesus to build up the Body of Christ, and to bring Believers to maturity in their knowledge of the Son of God. But we seem to have skipped over one very important reason that the gift of teaching was given -- to equip the saints for the ministry; a ministry that is exemplified by the fullness of Christ; that is, the full measure of all His powers. Teaching is supposed to result in Believers doing the things Jesus did, not just knowing about them! To that end, teaching is not enough!
I will tell you that God is making that point very clear to me --- head knowledge is simply not enough! I agree with American Evangelist, D L Moody, who said, "The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives". If we are going to make an impact [and change] our cities, our neighborhoods, our communities -- why stop there? -- change the world, then we need to be doing more than educating people. We need to be exhibiting the Power of God. That's what Jesus did. He brought Heaven to earth with signs and wonders, and He said that signs [and wonders] would accompany those who believed His message about the Kingdom of God. And those signs would include healing, casting out demons, and raising the dead. If we, in the Body of Christ, are truly making an impact in our labor for the Lord, then we should be seeing this evidence among those we are influencing. So, why aren't we seeing it happen?
Timothy says in these last days we will have the appearance of godliness, but will deny its power. That's what I'm seeing. The Body of Christ has either been convinced that signs and wonders stopped with the Apostles [which makes this belief akin to cessationism], or they fear signs and wonders because of the possibility of being deceived. So, in their fearfulness, they deny the power of miracles, healing, and casting out demons, and replace them with religious traditions, church activities, and even Bible study. They become satisfied with knowledge alone, instead of a genuine encounter with the Power of God Almighty.
I believe that my husband and I have witnessed the Power of God on only a small scale. Yes, we have seen people's lives changed as they encounter Jesus in a Deliverance session and allow Him to heal their spiritual and inner wounds. And we have partnered with Jesus to cast out demons from tormented souls. We have witnessed to people and seen real conversions, and baptized new believers in His Name. But it's not enough! Our discipleship needs to result in these Believers then going out and exercising God's Power and doing all that Jesus commanded.
We need to end the powerlessness of the Body of Christ and make God's signs and wonders the focus and ambition of our lives. Head knowledge only takes us so far. When we can effect real change in a person's life by showing them God's love for them and the salvation message; by baptizing them; by healing their infirmity, or casting out a demon -- and yes, even raising someone from the dead -- then we can reflect the true image of Christ to the world, and God's will is truly being done. We have long been told that we represent Christ; but what if we did as Pastor Bill Johnson suggests, and actually re-present Him? What if we returned to a gospel of God's Power, as well as one of His Love?
I no longer want to simply know that I have the Power and Authority from Jesus. I want to exhibit it in my life every moment of every day. I want the fullness of what it means to be a child of God. I want the full manifestation of the Holy Spirit so that I can truly co-labor with Christ. I want God to be glorified through His power that is evident in me. I want His power to be released in the works of my life so that repentance, change, and the desire to do the works of Jesus come into peoples' lives through real encounters with God. As Jesus was, so I want to be!
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Do you think there is ever a time when a person feels they are doing "enough"?ReplyDelete
Of course not! But we can't be paralyzed or complacent because of that doubt. God will bless our efforts if we just be obedient. Jesus kept preaching the Kingdom Gospel, and it requires action. So, if we will just try, and go do it, we will stand approved before our Lord.Delete
I want to ask you to consider something. Matt. 28:19 is not part of the original text. It may have been added by those pushing a trinitarian concept. Scripture clearly states that baptism is done in only the name of Yeshua (Jesus). The Father Son and Holy Spirit verse is not accurate and does not flow with the rest of scripture. Please look into this.ReplyDelete
I agree with you, Steve, that it was added and Baptism in the Name of Jesus is actually correct. That's why I state in the 3rd to last paragraph that my husband and I "baptize in His Name". But that isn't the point of this blog ... the blog is directed towards the Powerless Church and I am not interested in throwing out Matthew 28:19, or Mark 16:15-18, because they might have been added later... because if we do, then we throw out the Great Commission. We just need to understand the full implication of the Great Commission AND THEN GO DO IT!Delete
You hit the nail on the head! Just yesterday, as we were praying for our nation, Holy Spirit spoke James, don't just be hearers but does of the Word. Head knowledge is great, but it's absolutely useless without action. People will not be freed, healed, or delivered without action on our part.ReplyDelete
I'll be the first to admit sometime I'm afraid of what I don't completely understand or what I am unsure of. That paralyzing fear is exactly what the enemy desires! I am constantly reminding myself that Holy Spirit's ability to lead me is so much greater than the enemy's ability to deceive me. Yes, I make mistakes, but that is no reason to stop.
Time to pull on the work boots and being God's kingdom to earth!
It is such a privilege to be yoked with a like-minded Sister in Christ! You get it, my friend, and I know I can count on you to meet me on the battlefield. We WILL make a difference for the Kingdom!Delete
Pam/Belle, now THAT's some HOLY FRUSTRATION! I have felt drawn to praying with people for healing for several years, and some of the guidance I've received from the Lord in prayer include: if I'm in a conversation with a person and they bring up a health concern, that is a sign that I should pray with them...that in the hard times to come, the Lord will have me be a healing evangelist...but also, that I must wait to step out in this work until my husband and 3 adult sons are believers and strong in the Lord, as they will be my prayer cover as mighty men of God. Thanks be to God, the youngest one had a conversion last year but is not yet very strong in his fledging Christian walk.ReplyDelete
What holds me back the most in praying with people for their healing is that I don't want THEM to be disappointed in God if nothing happens...my personal faith is strong enough that I can persevere and keep on praying, and try to accept yes/no/wait as God's will...but I'm always afraid that if I don't have a super clear direction/word from the Lord on praying for a person's healing, am I just stepping out on my own, and will they be disappointed because nothing happened? How did the apostles in the Bible "know" what to say and step out in that powerful faith God WOULD do something? I've read Facebook posts by "The Praying Medic", an EMT who God has directed to pray with patients and others for healing, and even he admits many times of praying with no visible results...
The real question you have is "Is it always God's will to Heal"? We don't always know the final outcome when we pray for someone's healing, because healing is always in God's timing. They may be healed on their way home, or it may be weeks or months. I believe we all have to become very attuned to listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit when someone needs healing. I would explain to a person that God has asked me to pray for them and seek healing, but it is always up to God as to the timing. And they may need to be prayed over more than once -- prayer built upon prayer for healing. I also think the Apostles believe Jesus when He told them He had given them power to heal, so they just did it. But I also think there were times they didn't succeed ... the father of the epileptic boy told Jesus that His disciples were unable to heal his son; and some came to Jesus saying, "why couldn't we heal"? So they obviously weren't always successful. But here is where I think the rubber hits the road ... we are guaranteed failure if we quit. So, in faith, we just keep listening and obeying. God needs to know that we trust Him, that we are going to obey even when we see no physical evidence. That is the life of a righteous believer. Don't give up!Delete
Pam/Belle, a follow up comment on my last post. Two wonderful instances of praying for people's healing that resulted in God's amazing touch: I was ministering to a gal with an abusive past, she stayed at my home overnight once and when she got in bed, I continued to pray over her, rubbing her back while humming lullabies/praying in the Spirit. When she got up in the morning, with amazement she told me that when she used the bathroom, she found that the scar tissue in her pelvic region were GONE. We REJOICED over God's healing touch for the hurt little girl in her. Another instance, I had felt led to pray long-distance for a gal with some kind of mysterious nerve pain/abcesses in her feet/lower legs. She had even gone to the Mayo Clinic for help with no success. The Lord gave me some words of knowledge to share with her on-line, which were spot-on to her life, which grew her faith and comfort with me, a stranger, praying for her. I had a chance to visit her in person, and pray with her over the course of several days. One time, I had my hands held above her feet, and praying in the Spirit, felt like a great battle was going on, I was cheering on the Lord "Go Holy Spirit, go!" as my hands were full of power and shaking. Several months later, I was given a word from the Lord seeing myself wrestling a huge snake, being thrown around by it them I gained control and overpowered it...the "snake" was the pain/suffering this gal was dealing with. She gradually improved, starting working with a naturopath, and is now healed...but I'm not sure how much credit she has given to God in the whole process, she is a pretty casual Christian. But as for me, both these instances have given me a taste of the joy and love and power that is manifested in the Lord's healing touch, and I want to be part of it for the Kingdom and to save souls.ReplyDelete
The Body of Christ needs to hear more testimonies such as yours in order to break out of the "casualness" that you so accurately describe. The fear of being deceived by false prophets or false healing has kept the manifestation of God's Power in the Believer from being evident -- not only to the Church [in order to stimulate it], but to the world who greatly need to see how Big our God is, and the full display of His love for us.Delete
Boy you touched a nerve! This is what we should be doing as the church. I don't think this message will fly in my little church. How do I go about doing this on my own? I want to have an impact because in my spirit I know this is right,but I have no idea how to even begin. Belle, where did you get your training? I listen to people on line but they just started doing the work boldly and lone wolf but that really scares me!ReplyDelete
If you want to begin doing God's work of healing, then go to YouTube and there is an 18-hour training course by Curry Blake, called DHT (Divine Healing Training). If you want to learn Deliverance, start with anything by Dr. Charles Kraft, but specifically his books "Defeating Dark Angels" and "Two Hours to Freedom" (both on Amazon). Then you just pray about it and start doing it!Delete
You could also find another person or two in your small church who are interested in this and become accountable to each other, studying this together. That would help you to not be so scared about being a Lone Wolf.