Doing the Unusual

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the expression “unusual miracles”. I’ve personally seen firsthand the extraordinary impact signs and wonders make as they accompany the preaching of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul understood what Kingdom advancement implies… ministry leaders are called to do the “unusual” in the eyes of the world! If we are to become what we see in the Book of Acts, we will need to put on a lot more courage and tenacity. It requires us to be found doing the unusual!

Shifting our Thinking:

In the city of Ephesus, a shift in the Spiritual Realm was occurring. The Kingdom of God; which is the government of heaven, was gaining influence over all areas of life from the religious practices to the daily routine. Beliefs were changing and faith was being engaged in unusual ways as people stepped into the supernatural, as if unleashed from natural law. Jesus said when you abide in My Word, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (Jn. 8:31-32). The Apostle Paul; like Jesus, was pulling them into revelation rather than letting them stay bound to natural limits.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:36). Freedom implies the ability to move without hindrance or limitation… and it brings fresh perspective on the future. Unusual miracles change the way you think about your reality, limitations and possibilities. We must change the way we think in order to advance into a ministry known by unusual miracles!

Conflict with Darkness:

The immediate result of the Apostle Paul’s experience was that evil spirits were driven out into the open. Conflict is first and foremost a spiritual battle that makes every leader do an inventory of their gifts and training. Are they equipped to handle the battle? Their experience and character set the standard for how they will address visible opposition in the spiritual realm. Perhaps most important is a person’s awareness of spiritual authority. Some do well, some flounder; but every leader must get their skills sharpened by their identity in Christ and their experiences in the field. The spiritual battle is real!

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)

This account is like a backhanded compliment. In effect Satan’s agents were saying, ‘This preacher is achieving something’. Yet, the victories of our advancement must be maintained and enforced by radical followers who know who they are and what they carry. These sons of Sceva were trying to be helpful without the tools or experience.

Paul’s preaching was breaking through and crushing the occult practices in the city of Ephesus. What also seemed to be happening was that many people became very nervous about the incredible beating those without spiritual authority had just experienced. Believe me when I say the word gets out. But God will get the last word, if we are truly doing unusual miracles by His hand.

“This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.” (Acts 19:17-19)

Even in the Church world today, we see a lot of folks having one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the enemy’s camp. These folks need to see the reality of these kingdoms in conflict. When the Apostle Paul preached, the believers brought the books and tools of their witchcraft and burned them publicly. What an impact that would make on a region! The value of the books was fifty thousand pieces of silver. Each silver coin was a day’s wage… this is estimated at $2,500,000 in today’s market.

Doing the unusual reveals an extraordinary shift in the way we think about ministry. We must encourage a new definition of “normal” that moves us away from natural limitation and begins the unusual, supernatural… walk by faith – not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Jesus wants to redefine reality: seeing is no longer the key to believing… now believing is the key to seeing!

When we begin to see through the eyes of faith, the impossible will become ordinary!

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