Issues of Life # 61

Supernatural Power #4

 

"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

 

    Jesus said that we who believe are to do the works that He did. We examined some of those works in the last installment. But Jesus takes this issue of moving in the supernatural to an even higher degree. He says that, “even greater works than these shall we do, because,” as Jesus says, “ I go to My Father.” What are we going to do with that?? It is a fact that if we aren’t willing to do the works that Jesus did then we certainly aren’t very good candidates to operate in “greater works”. But again we are faced with Biblical Truth! This is not some fairy tale. It’s not some ‘pie in the sky’ idea for wishful thinking. It’s what the Father wants to happen in, around and through each one of us. He wants the expressions of His supernatural power to be a normal thing. He wants it to be happening daily in the lives of His children.

    Jesus says that these things should happen “because I go to My Father”. Think about it. At this very moment Jesus stands in the presence of the Father as your advocate, someone Who is there to plead your case with the Creator of the Universe! Whatever your need….He’s there to identify to the Father the legitimacy of your requests or your dilemmas. And what Jesus is saying in the above passage is this: Whenever and wherever there is a legitimate need for the supernatural power of God to manifest, whenever you are faced with impossible circumstances, wherever there is the need for a miracle, …I am with the Father to ask Him for it….for you! And the payoff is that God is glorified. That is of the utmost importance because it always involves more people. When we allow God to do the impossible through us it builds our faith and the faith of the people who become aware of what has happened. Unbelievers become believers in the ‘twinkling of an eye’!

    Are there people you know personally who are going through intense problems? Is there an impossible situation that you’re facing? Is there an area in your life where you really need a miracle? It all starts by a simple act of faith by agreeing with what the Bible says and then asking!

 

…..Continued.

 


Issues of Life # 62

Supernatural Power #5

 

    Born again believers should have a love and a passion for the supernatural. And NO, it should not supersede our love and passion to know the Father. But let’s face it….the Father is the One who instituted the supernatural. Jesus was the perfect example of a servant operating in the supernatural. And in the above passage of Scripture (There are many others by the way!), Jesus commissions people like you and I to our part in the supernatural power of God. It’s a matter of us learning to love Him and then we soon find ourselves loving the same things that He loves.

    It is the supernatural power of God that changes the world. It is the evidence that the kingdom of God is working properly. John the Baptist, who was in prison and would soon be killed because of His testimony, sent two of his disciples to check out Jesus. They asked Him, “Are you the Messiah or do we need to look for another?” It’s interesting how Jesus answered the question. He didn’t directly respond to their direct question. He said, “Go and tell John that the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Jesus’ answer to their inquiry revealed the true test of the kingdom. The kingdom of God is busy with the happenings of the supernatural power of God.

    In sharp contrast the church of today has slowly drifted away from this kind of thinking. Down through the generations our adversary the devil has deceived the masses into believing that the supernatural is something that used to take place but doesn’t happen any more. The Body of Christ has been hobbled! We are bringing a good message of grace and the love of the Lord….but (Pardon the English!) there ain’t nothing supernatural happening! Where are the ones who were formerly blind but now see? Where are the ones who were born with crippling birth defects but are now whole? If John the Baptist were to send his disciples to our church to see if we are the ‘real thing’ what would he find? Would he discover that God is alive and moving in a supernatural way….or would he look for another, the genuine, somewhere else? We should go after God with everything that is in us and as we do that, the supernatural will become the norm!

 

…..Continued.

 


Issues of Life # 63

Supernatural Power #6

 

    Nobody has much of a problem believing that Jesus operated in the supernatural but when it comes to mortal man doing the same it gets much more complicated. Our faith quickly diminishes when we are faced with our own ability to operate in the supernatural, and in some ways it should. In and of ourselves we have absolutely no potential for the supernatural. But everything changes when we enter the kingdom by spiritual birth. I mean, everything changes! We now have incredible potential to operate in the supernatural because the Holy Spirit of God lives in us. “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” Jesus sent out the twelve (And then the seventy!) and He gave them authority over all the power of the devil. He sent them out as ‘lambs among wolves’ to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers and to cast out demons. Think about it; Jesus knew the limitations of these twelve. He had to know that the experience of fishing or of collecting taxes wouldn’t adequately prepare one to operate in the supernatural….but He sent them out nonetheless. It was important for them to know that they could not depend on their own ability. For them to depend on their own ability would reveal that they were totally helpless indeed. They were setting a new precedence in that, now, mankind would not have to just settle with what they could accomplish of themselves. No, now they could depend on, and call upon the resources of, and the power of heaven. They would quickly find that God would powerfully move in their behalf, that He is quick to deliver, to help and to supernaturally bring the needed resources at the precise time. And now as we read the Biblical account we are amazed at the extent of how God used these simple men.

    I think we’re all on the same page at this point…but let’s do the hard thing. It’s easy enough to believe that God used the twelve in a supernatural way to accomplish His will but what about you and I? It’s clear that the Bible instructs us, also, to operate in the supernatural. We should deal swiftly with our unbelief, get obedient to the Father and ‘let the supernatural happen’!

 

…..Continued.

 


Issues of Life # 64

Supernatural Power #7

 

            For the kingdom man or woman the supernatural power of God is not optional. It is a vital part of the kingdom life. It is the proof that the kingdom of God is working properly. It is the evidence that an all-powerful God is on the move! It is proof to the most hardened unbelievers that there is One Who is in control of this whole thing. Many would argue in this day and time that we are not living in the age of miracles. Well, there has never been an age of miracles. There is a God of miracles, Who the Bible says is the “same yesterday, today and forever”. As God’s children we are to invade the impossible realm. Jesus said, “With men there are things that are impossible but with God nothing is impossible.” We have legal access to the supernatural power of God. The church must get out of complacency where the supernatural is concerned. We must refrain from trusting solely on what we can accomplish in and of ourselves. We must have a desire for the supernatural and allow the Father to ‘move’ and work through us as He pleases.  Without the supernatural working through us we are destined to have a very boring kind of life. Church will become same old, same old pretty quick. But let someone get healed by the power of God and boredom immediately disappears and excitement and anticipation take its place!

            Jude’s letter encourages us to, “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”. There are those who would argue that nothing is wrong with the church of today. But the Biblical precedence is that the church be full of the power of God. We should be the major change agent in the world but we can’t do it without the expression of the supernatural. What was Jude talking about? When have we seen sick, maimed and crippled people dragged out of their homes in hope that our shadow would fall on them and they would be healed? That’s the kind of faith that we are to earnestly contend for! We have a monumental task in front of us. Will you go against the grain of the religious world? Will you agree with what the Bible says about the supernatural? If your answer is Yes…..get ready for God to use you in an incredible way!

 


Issues of Life # 65

Supernatural Power #8

 

"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

 

    The Bible says that there are those who have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof”. The modern church has pretty much denied the power of God. Jesus confronted this group of people in His day. He told the Pharisees that they were “whitewashed tombs”, indicating that they looked good on the outside but they were full of dead men’s bones! Jesus didn’t mess around with dead religion. He didn’t have much tolerance for those who knew to do right, but didn’t. He knew that those who knew to do right but didn’t do it would not bring glory and honor to the Father but instead would bring reproach. One of the great reasons that the religious people of Jesus’ day hated Him was because His faithfulness exposed their faithlessness! Ultimately it was this group that put Jesus on the cross.

    We are so far from what God wants on this subject of the supernatural, that most of the modern church gets nervous even when the supernatural is talked about. There are those that think that nothing supernatural is even supposed to happen. They are adamant about it. They would argue about it. They think that talk of the supernatural manifesting in the life of a believer is just some ‘far out’, fanatical point of view. But obviously this is not a Biblical mindset. That’s the sad part, that modern churchgoers would rather be steeped in unbelief than to have their mind renewed according to God’s Word. These same people will argue to the death over the validity and Truth of God’s Word…..but they miss the supernatural.

    The modern church has placed too much emphasis on church growth principles. Seminars and conferences are held worldwide so church leaders can learn the ‘hottest’, ‘newest’ thing in church growth. The answers and the secrets of church growth are right under our nose! I’ll tell you ahead of time that this answer, this secret, will not suit everyone. It’s too simple! Paul told the Colossians that there was this mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations but has now been revealed to His saints. Here’s the mystery! It is the secret of legitimate church growth. It is the answer to the victorious Christian life! It is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And when He has your permission to do as He wants to do in your life….the supernatural is the by-product! That’s the way it is in the kingdom….or else you’ll have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.

 

…..Continued.


Issues of Life # 66

Supernatural Power #9

 

    Where is the church? Where is the organism that God ordained to change the planet? Where is the power to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to cast out demons and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord? We, in the church, have been slowly seduced down through the generations to a position of unbelief where the supernatural is concerned. The church has regressed to the point that when the supernatural is discussed, if in fact it is discussed at all, most people don’t really believe that anything supernatural happens anymore. If anything does happen most people try to explain it away. Even the church considers it strange, weird or ‘far out’ if something happens that appears to be supernatural. But when we look at the scriptural evidence and believe by faith then our minds begin the process of being changed and transformed. I believe that God thinks that it is strange, weird or far out when we come together and ‘nothing’ supernatural happens! We are spiritual people. When spiritual people come together….spiritual things should happen!

    There was an instance in the Bible when a person was brought to Jesus. The man was blind. The onlookers asked Jesus, “Who has sinned, his father or his father’s father?” The question is an indication that it was common knowledge in that time period that sin opened the door for physical infirmities. Jesus’ answer was astounding. “Neither this man’s father sinned nor his father’s father. This man is blind so that the works of God might be made manifest.” Did you catch it? He said that there were those who had infirmities so that the works of God could be made manifest! Could it be that there are those out there right now (maybe even in your path) who have cancer or some other disease that are just waiting for someone like you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to the point of looking foolish who would take a chance on God and pray that they would be healed? I believe that this scenario is not only possible but probable! The Bible says that, “the works are prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Spiritually it’s a ‘done deal’! The work is already completed. But the reality of God’s finished work won’t be manifested until we access it by faith. Then God moves! The impossible becomes possible. The church needs to ‘show up’!


Issues of Life # 67

Supernatural Power #10

  

    There is a little book in the Bible suspiciously tucked among other seemingly more important books. It is the book of Jude. Jude is rarely read and rarely quoted. But he has some important things to say. One especially important thing that he has to say in his little 25 verse letter speaks volumes to the church of his day but also has much to say to the church of today. He says it this way, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude was living in a time when mediocrity was just beginning to creep in. He saw the danger and in his short little letter he encouraged any future readers to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. What was Jude talking about? What did he mean by, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”? Well there was a time not so long ago that he knew that the manifestation of the supernatural was commonplace. It was something that happened on a daily basis. And, the cool thing is that it was happening through just plain old people like you and I. Jude must have seen the trend moving away from the supernatural. In his spirit he longed for a time when handkerchiefs were prayed over and then sent to foreign countries and when they were placed on the sick….supernatural healing took place! He longed for a time when people who were born with crippled bodies were suddenly made whole by the power of God! He longed for the time when the sick and maimed were carried out of their homes onto the street in hopes that just the shadow of those walking with the Lord would fall on them so they would be healed. In his little letter he pleaded with the believers of his day to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. It needs to happen today more than ever. Jude was ‘right on’! You and I must contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints!


Issues of Life #68

Faith #1

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

 

    Faith is one of the fundamental issues of the Christian faith. While the principle of faith is found throughout the whole Bible it is interesting to note that the word, faith is used only two times in the entire Old Testament. Faith is the fuel of the kingdom of God. It is the only way that we progress in this life that God has chosen for us. It is by faith that we enter the kingdom. His Word states, “For it is by grace that you are saved through faith, that not of works, lest any man should boast.” We can only receive our salvation by faith. The Bible says that, “God is not willing that any should perish.” God’s deepest desire is that we engage in a saving knowledge of Him. I mean, He wants us to be saved!  And while He has made every provision for that to happen, we are the ones who must respond by faith to receive Him into our lives. It seems too easy. We were sinners by nature and the Bible states that we were separated from God. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and we are very un-perfect! But, a simple decision fueled by faith brings us into right standing with the Father and our life in Him is underway.

    Some would argue, “But I don’t have enough faith.” While it may seem and feel that way it is not an accurate assumption. The Word tells us that, “God has dealt to each one of us the measure of faith.” He has deposited the measure of His faith in us so that we may rightly respond to the things He has predestined for each one of us. There is adequate faith resident in us for every situation that we encounter in our lifetime! Salvation is free….at least for us, but it cost the Father dearly! He gave the best that He had (Jesus) to be the payment for our sin. When Jesus died on the cross He received the punishment that we deserved. And, in turn, we received everything that He had coming. The Bible says that, “We have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Everything that we need in this lifetime to be successful and to bring glory and honor to God has already been given to us. But it is only by faith that we can see those things manifest.

 

…..Continued.


Issues of Life #69

Faith #2

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

 

    The author of the letter to the Hebrews starts off the ‘faith’ chapter by using a very interesting word. It’s the word, “now”. I think that it is a very strategic and key word. There is much time spent in the modern church talking about what God has done in the past. There is also a lot of time spent in talking about what God is going to do in the future. Both of these perspectives are very important indeed. But the writer here uses the word, now. It is vital for us to know the things that God has done in the past and what He will do in the future. We can learn a lot from how God moves in different situations and how He deals with His people. But, relative to you and I, one of the most important things I could ask is, “What is God doing in your life today?” “What is He doing in the earth NOW??” If we’re not careful we will spend all our time talking about what lies in the past and in the future and possibly miss what He is doing today! The modern church has, in many cases, made the mistake. I mean, who could argue that studying the Old Testament is not important? We all know that it is. And who could argue that studying Biblical prophecies or the book of Revelation is not of great importance? Well, they’re both equally important. But what about NOW? God is a God of NOW! He’s a God for today! He wants to move and do exploits through people like us NOW, Today! When we relegate everything to what’s happened in the past and what is going to happen in the future, it can cause us to become stationary. We can become stationary to the extent that nothing at all is happening in our lives today.

    The kingdom of God is a NOW place! It is a place where the sick are healed, demons are cast out and the lepers are cleansed. John the Baptist and then Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” They were both saying, “It is NOW!” They were saying to those who would dare to believe by faith, “It is NOW (the kingdom of God) and you can have access to it!” So, look and study about the things that God has done in the past. And, by all means, consider what the Bible says about what is going to happen in the future. But, whatever you do, do not forget about NOW!

 

…..Continued.


Issues of Life #70

Faith #3

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

 

            The writer of Hebrews gives the clearest definition of faith that can be found anywhere. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we take a close look at the words used we should be able to make a few accurate assumptions. Faith is substance! Faith is evidence! Faith is much, much more than a positive attitude. It is much more than just hoping for positive results. It is substance; it is the evidence, the reality and the actual existence of unseen things. Why is that so hard for the human mind to conceive? Well, it is partly because we are trained so much to walk by sight rather than to walk by faith. It also defies human logic and conventional thinking. This is one of the great challenges of the Christian life but also one that God has predestined us to overcome. It is the nature of the flesh and the way of the world to walk by sight. But the way of the kingdom is much different. We are to walk by faith and, through relationship with our Heavenly Father, we are conditioned by His Spirit to put our trust in ‘unseen’ things in an ‘unseen’ world.

            The Bible gives a written guarantee that all our needs will be met. Paul says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” We should be careful not to confuse our ‘wants’ with our actual needs! Those are two entirely different things. The Bible also states that, “We have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Every single thing that we will ever need in this life has already been provided by the Father. Whatever our current need is, the supply exists at this very moment! Just because we can’t see those things does not mean that they’re not there. They are there; they exist at this very moment in the unseen realm. But by the Father’s own rules those things cannot be accessed except by faith. We have authority, through our right standing with Jesus, to pray into being those things that cannot be seen.

            Faith is best nurtured and brought to maturity through our deepening relationship with the Father. A good Father is a faithful supplier for His children. What is your most urgent need today? According to God’s Word the supply for that need is right there…just out of sight. Will we go against the grain of the modern church and go after those things by faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

…..Continued.

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