Hey everyone! I want to apologize for the lack of posts over the last couple of months. I’ve been working on some different outreach events and prayer and worship gatherings here in Nashville that I’ve been pretty preoccupied with. I’m going to be posting frequently again moving forward and hopefully my posts will stir and encourage you.
Something the Lord has been speaking to me about recently is His heart to raise up a generation that will walk in the power of God once again. It seems that there are pockets of the church that believe in God’s power and other sections of the church that don’t, or they simply believe that God only moved in power in the past or that He only operates in the miraculous on rare occasions. Now there are many, many things I could say concerning this topic, but I only have room for a couple things in this post. If you want to read more, you can read my post entitled “Preach With Power.” Before I get too far, I want to share a couple of testimonies that I believe will help illustrate my point.
As I have stepped out in faith and believed for God to use me in power, I have seen the miraculous more and more in my life. This didn’t happen overnight, and it’s been a journey that’s included many times where I’ve missed it or the person I was praying for didn’t get healed, but the more I step out, the more I’ve seen God move in power. For example, one of the ways that I have seen God move more recently is in words of knowledge, which is when the Holy Spirit tells you something about someone that would be impossible for you to know without Him telling you.
One such example was last week when I met a friend of mine for breakfast at a local restaurant. My friend and I were talking and eating, and as we finished my friend looked at me and said, “I feel like The Lord wants us to pray for our waiter.” Now the guy who was serving us was probably the most muscular individual I’ve seen in a long time. This guy wasn’t just big, he was shredded! So I was expecting him to respond very much like most guys would and say, “No thanks, I don’t need prayer for anything.” But when our waiter came back to the table, my friend Stephen said, “Hey man, the Lord has been putting you on my heart and I felt like He wanted me to ask if there’s anything we can pray for you about.” No sooner than Stephen got the words out of his mouth did this guy begin to open his whole life to us. He began to tell us about his marriage, his kids, and how it had been a rough day at home before he came to work.
This was all shocking enough, but then, as we began praying for him, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Ask him about his relationship with his dad. He had a bad relationship with his dad growing up and that has caused him to think that God is like his earthly father and that God doesn’t want a relationship with him and doesn’t care about him.” So when we finished praying I looked at our waiter and said, “Hey man, as we were praying I just kept hearing The Lord telling me to ask you what your relationship with your dad is like.” When I said that, tears started rolling down the cheeks of this big, muscular guy right in the middle of the restaurant. He couldn’t even answer me because he got so choked up. So I continued and said, “What I heard the Lord say is that your relationship with your dad has caused you to think that God is the like your earthly dad, and it’s caused you to think that God doesn’t care about you or want a relationship with you. But the truth is that God cares about you so much that He was willing to send His Son Jesus to die so that He could have a relationship with you. That’s how much he loves you.” At this point, our waiter is crouched down in front of our table, with wide, teary eyes. When I finished sharing that with him, he looked at me and said, “Wow, that's scary how accurate that is…”
He began to tell us about his life growing up and how he had stopped following God after he got out of high school, but that his wife had been trying to get him to go to church. So my friend Stephen and I continued to share the Gospel with him and made sure he could get plugged into a local church and that he had a Bible. All in all, our waiter had an encounter with the power of God. This should be every day for us. And I believe that God wants to raise up a generation that will make the type of Christianity that we see in the book of Acts normal again… because that’s how God intended for the church live. Walking in the power of God isn’t radical Christianity, it’s normal, biblical Christianity.
Another testimony I want to share happened about a year ago. The Holy Spirit told me to go to Walmart because there would be someone there He wanted me to pray for. So I went to Walmart and I was walking around and didn’t feel led to pray for anyone in particular. But as I was getting ready to walk out, a lady walked in with three other women who looked like they were all in their mid-thirties or early forties. The one woman had a brace on her leg and a cast on her ankle. When I saw her, I immediately knew that she was who the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray for. I hesitated for a few minutes because she was with a group, and I was honestly scared to ask her if I could pray for her. But I approached her and said, “Excuse me, I felt like Jesus wanted me to ask if I can pray for you for healing (I try to say Jesus instead of simply saying God as much as possible so people know I am a Christian). She turned out to be a Christian as well, and she enthusiastically said yes! She told me that her ankle, which had the cast on it, really wasn’t the problem. It was her knee that was in such terrible pain that she couldn’t bend it.
So after asking for permission, I laid my hand on her knee and commanded it to be healed in the name of Jesus… in the middle of the Walmart pharmacy. After I prayed, I asked her to test it out. She stood up and began to try to bend her knee. As she did, she began to cry and say, “I couldn’t do this before! I couldn’t do this before! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!” She hugged me as she cried and walked off into the store saying loudly, “Thank you, Jesus!”
The best part of it all is that as I prayed for her, there was a Walmart employee, who looked like he was from the Middle East, standing nearby watching the whole thing very closely. When the lady began to bend her knee, she handed this Walmart employee her crutches and she walked off without them! After the lady walked off, I looked at the Walmart employee (who was still staring at me) and said somewhat jokingly, “Do you need prayer for anything?” Looking very shocked, he responded, “No, I think I’m okay.” So I walked over to him and asked, “What do you believe about God?” He said, “Well, I’m a Muslim.” Now, I knew enough about the religion of Islam to talk to him about Isa, which is what Muslims call Jesus. Jesus is actually extensively written about in the Quran and is believed to be a powerful prophet by Muslims. So I shared with him about how Jesus is alive, and how that lady getting healed was His power at work which proves that He is the One, True God. We didn’t have much time for conversation because he had to return to his job, but when I finished telling him about how Jesus is alive and how He has power, just like how He healed that lady, the man just looked at me and thoughtfully said, “Yeah… what happened with that lady… that was crazy…”
God wants to use us in power. It’s a part of what God intended to be the normal Christian life. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “My speech and my preaching were not with the persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (NKJV). Earlier in 1 Corinthians Paul additionally says, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1:17).
One of the most popular phrases in Christian culture is, “What would Jesus do?” It’s a great question, but I think many of us reject part of the answer to that question. We ask, “What would Jesus do?” but we don’t include anything in our answer about healing people or walking in the power of God. I don’t think there would be anyone that would disagree with me when I say, Jesus is our standard. I hear people say that all the time, but they only say that in regard to His morality—His kindness, His integrity, or His love. I completely agree that Jesus is our standard, but if that is the case, Jesus has to be our standard in all aspects of His life… not simply the ones that are more comfortable for us to embrace. Jesus can’t be our standard for morality and not for power.
To finish, I want to end with something I wrote in the post I mentioned earlier entitled “Preach With Power,”
We have had our standard set for us in the life of Jesus. And for many, instead of pressing in until our experience meets the standard of power and obedience that Jesus set, we sit back and find a way to lower the standard of the Bible to our level of experience. Will we ever attain to the perfection that Jesus did? No. Does that mean we shouldn’t aim for it? Absolutely not! Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully man. Jesus showed us what’s possible for the person who is living in right relationship with God.
More to come on this in my next post…