Power in the Name of Jesus
“We are descendants of The Creator and yet we stick with old, tired methods. We ask God to do a new thing through us, but expect Him to do it in a familiar way.”
– Bill Johnson
When we read about the power demonstrated in The Bible we tend to immediately step back and start to justify why we don’t pursue that lifestyle or why it’s not for us. In doing so, we never achieve what God wanted us to. Sometimes we think of the word power and we equate that to the facade of power that people receive through popularity, wealth, a high position or status. That however, is not the power The Bible speaks of. This power is a gift from God and comes out of a relationship with Him. It is essential in proclaiming the Christian faith everywhere we go. We cannot expect to represent Jesus to the world, a city or even those around us if we are only reading to them or telling them they are wrong. It takes something drastic to shake someone out of apathy or disbelief. That is why Jesus performed miracles everywhere He went. It opened the eyes and minds of those around Him and then He was able to speak truth to them. He didn’t come down to earth to just show us what He could do as God. He can do a lot more as God than He did on earth. He limited himself as a man to show us what we are capable of as human beings when we are completely in love with and dependent on a perfect God. He was a model for us to follow. Maybe we are afraid that we can’t control the power of God or fully understand it. Perhaps we cringe at the “failure” of praying for something and it doesn’t happen. Sometimes we would rather not try and just continue to speak words than do something risky. There isn’t a formula for prophecy or signs and wonders. There isn’t a list in The Bible of all the miracles God will do and anything off that list He can’t do. And if you use Prayer A, then this miracle will happen and Prayer B, another miracle. Sometimes Jesus spit in the dirt and rubbed mud on a person’s eyes and other times He said a word. There are some things in life we have to simply be dependent on God for and be in tune with what the Holy Spirit is saying.
The Bible is the Word of God but sometimes we are so focused on what God said we forget to ask Him what He is saying now. Those two shouldn’t contradict each other but it’s important to listen and know what He wants you to do today which could be completely different than yesterday. The Bible was meant to lead us to Jesus and hear from him daily. We can get so caught up in whether a miracle really happened or not when all we have to do is be listening to the Holy Spirit and ask Him. We can’t do it out of our own ability. God made a covenant with us and somewhere in the mix our will releases His will. If God wants to show up by withering a fig tree He can do it. If He wants to show up in a burning bush He can do it. But we get so caught up in the letter of the law we act like if He decides to shows up in a glory cloud then somehow its blasphemy! We can’t look at the Bible the same way we’ve been conditioned to look at life through our culture, family or education. The Lord’s ways are higher than ours and we can’t understand everything. He does what He pleases.
True power from our Creator should be strived for and pursued simply because we want to represent Him fully. Not out of selfish ambition or to achieve a certain status but simply because it is what God wants for our lives. We can represent God only as much as we have experienced Him. We look to doctrine and theology and strive for revelation and knowledge but God did not give us those things simply to make us smarter. He reveals truth as an invitation, it is with an encounter in mind. In Romans 15:18-19 Paul says: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have SAID and DONE – by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ” You see we can’t expect to have a supernatural result by using only human methods. If we accomplish things for God that are humanly possible then we are no different than worldly religions that do the same thing. Paul couldn’t FULLY preach the Gospel with just words. The whole point of spreading the love and truth of Christ is to show others that our God is truly alive and loves us all. In order to do that there has to be a demonstration, which is not just us telling people they are sinners and beating them down with The Bible but instead it is us walking in the love and power of God. Sometimes it is as simple as returning hate with love which opens the door to bring Heaven to earth. We like to walk in a realm of theory rather than walking in what God told us we have access to. We have tendency to want to do everything on our own and just add God to our own methods. We try to do the same thing with our Christian walk. If nothing that we do actually requires God to supernaturally intervene then when people go looking for God, all they find is us. Quite the disappointment. The power of The Holy Spirit is a real thing and the only way to co-labor with God and allow Him to move fully is to be in a completely vulnerable state where we take risks and allow His power to work through us. Let’s not be afraid of pursuing more of God and His nature which cannot be fully represented without His love, power and authority.