Posts Tagged ‘power of God’

Lifting the Broken

Praying for the sick in Kenya“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

I find myself at times feeling very sorry for the pain I see people go through… both physically and emotionally. Times of stress or struggle can overwhelm the best of us and our character is often tested even when we are in the very center of God’s will. Somewhere in the midst of suffering there is a powerful resource for our future success.

The “Sifted” Need Lifted:

At times it becomes obvious when a person needs the lifting power of God’s grace. Jesus responded to Peter when he was sifted by the Devil (Lk 22:31-32) and we must respond to those around us (Gal 6:2). We must become equipped with the Truth of God’s Word for the downcast and troubled. When we give God our pain, He does replace it with joy. It’s so subtle that after our own personal seasons of heartache, we often forget how the comforting Presence of God lifted us out of dispair and brokenness.

Finding Hope Anchors the Soul (Heb 6:19):

We can find hope in God’s Word, because it serves as the platform for God’s thoughts and purposes for His family, the Church. God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you” (2 Chron. 1:7). The Good News is that He says that to all His children in order to move them into joyful hope.

Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24) and He prays, “that they may have the full measure of My (His) joy within them” (Jn 17:13). Isn’t that powerful? Those who have experienced this joy know how amazing it is. It goes beyond our mental comprehension and it lifts the broken out of their painful perceptions… even before it delivers them from their painful circumstances. Its the power of hope!

How do we attain this joy?

Jesus tells us that it is hinged to abiding in His love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn 15:10-11) Love moves us into joy, because it releases hope inside our hearts.

God truly wants to lift the broken:

Here are some more verses that can boost our hope and free us to rejoice in our good Heavenly Father:

  • Prov. 10:24 “What the righteous desire will be granted.”
  • Ex. 33:17 “And the LORD said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
  • Zeph. 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”
  • Ps. 22:5 “…in You they trusted and were NOT disappointed.”
  • Isa. 49:23 “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
  • Ps. 21:2 “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
  • Ps. 145:19 “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
  • Ps. 6:9 “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
  • Eph. 3:20 “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

The Lord is so tender to those who are of a broken and contrite heart and desires to be near them. When the humble cry out for help, He is quick to respond even in the midst of the confusion that often blinds us of His Presence. He is kind, merciful and wants to lavish love on His children (Rom 5:5). The discipline is only for a moment, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)

Becoming Mighty In Spirit!

To be mighty in Spirit is to know God intimately and to experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle. It is a process of establishing more than how a person feels, because it is based upon the fruit that is released when the sifting occurs. It is being sensitive to the purposes of God that aim to advance His Kingdom even in those seasons when mystery is more evident than revelation. Our trials are putting courage into our bones and transforming us to become mighty in Spirit! (2 Cor. 4:16-17) There will always be trouble, but the grace to arise is more than equal to the task of lifting the broken. To be mighty in spirit… is to understand what it means to be “renewed daily”!

To be mighty in Spirit… comes as we know God intimately and experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle.

The Working of Faith

“For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love” (Gal 5:6) Amplified Bible.

There was a time in my life when God spoke a specific word to me about the value of compassion and love. It was during a season when I was aggressively seeking Him for more faith. I had fasted and prayed, spent hours in Scripture and even gone to a powerful conference that incredibly blessed and enriched my heart. Yet – I had forgotten this verse, that indicates specifically how love impacts faith! God seemed to be nudging me into a different place… a love place. So reluctantly I pulled away into His Presence.

Here is what He said to me: “When faith rises above love, then we come dangerously close to living in idolatry!”

God has made numerous promises regarding the power of faith. Faith can move mountains. Faith can heal diseases. Faith can receive answers to prayer. Nothing is impossible with faith. But the most valuable truth at that moment… was that “faith works by love”. I wanted to know the power of faith without understanding the governing factors that make faith active. Faith is activated by love, energized by love, expressed by love and works by love. What God seemed to be saying to me is that “faith alone” was not the key to getting the results He wanted for my life and that my continual search would lead me down a dangerous path. Faith was not meant to work on its own, but to be measured and empowered by love… not a feeling, but an activity of loving according to God’s Truth.

Faith works by Love!

Have you ever felt frustration in your ability to trust in God? Is your faith not working the way the Bible promises it should? I will never forget the words of Heidi Baker, who said: “All fruitfulness flows from intimacy.” The problem may have very little to do with your faith, but more with your love. Notice that faith is activated and energized by love.

Many people’s faith is dead and inactive, because they cannot see through the eyes of compassion. If your faith is like a dead battery; unable to produce power, then you must realize that you are deficient of love. Remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). When you are hearing the message of God’s Word, you are abiding in a supernatural resource that has the ability to transform sight. You are not listening to faith… you are listening to love. Love is the message… its the reality that activates, energizes and empowers us to see and do things we never considered possible – the faith stuff.

Jesus called the message, the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mt 4:23-25) and it stirred the supernatural activities that drew the crowds, because they could feel their pain and see their brokenness. He was activated in His faith by compassion and love; it is what moved Him (Mt 9:35-38). The Good News is that God’s love is realized and experienced when we come to believe… love becomes the encounter that makes faith a reality.

Love gives Faith its Authority!

A good battery may not be able to work, because it has been drained. You don’t throw away a good battery; instead, you recharge it. Your faith may be in great shape, but unable to work. You can recharge it by plugging it into love… you are called to abide in love! Spend time in the Father’s love. Let your life be immersed in the warmth of the Holy Spirit’s embrace and you will find faith moving in spontaneous ways. Stop working it up, and begin to live from an intimate place in the Father’s heart. You will begin to see that love activates faith.

Reclaiming a Miss-directed faith.

I was thinking about this just this morning, and the famous love chapter (1 Cor 13) was brought to my mind: “…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” This scripture does not say that you cannot move mountains without love; it says that you are nothing without love. Your faith will be of no benefit to you without love, because you stand alone. You might have the faith to move mountains; but without love, you will be nothing and your faith will be hype, miss-directed and unable to accomplish God’s real purposes. And just so we understand; if that faith could function and bring results, we should question the source.

What God wanted me to see is that I could find myself in idolatry, believing that I was doing something by the power of God; when in fact it was flesh, or worse… demonic. Satan loves to masquerade as a purveyor of false gifts and manifestations.

God is love (1 Jn 4:8). God traffics in love and therefore faith that is properly focused from love will set us free, heal us and deliver from all the works of the Devil. Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8).

Wholeness

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”. (Mk. 5:34)

The woman we meet in Mark 5:21-34, has been called “the woman with the issue of blood”. She was defined by what was wrong with her. For twelve long years, this woman had been bleeding; we can assume it was a uniquely female problem. When we meet her, she is physically, financially, socially and spiritually drained—bankrupt in every way.

Yet, this woman understood something about God that would radically change where she placed her hope. She knew how much God valued and esteemed her as a person… His image bearer. So, if this Jesus was from God, surely He would heal her. She understood her position in society, that she was overstepping cultural and religious boundaries set by pious men of her day. It was a risk she was willing to take… because there was nothing left to lose.

When she touched Jesus, two things happened…

  • First, she is healed in her body. It was measurable. She felt the flow of blood cease and even Jesus felt the power of God released. It was a real miracle and the evidence was confirmed by two witnesses. This is what she came for… and God was true to His Promise.
  • Secondly, she is restored to wholeness. What she knew of God’s heart was just the beginning. You see, her courage was cloaked in anonymity and she was trembling in the fear of being noticed. But Jesus was the will of God made manifest and He was not going to allow her to “settle” for healing; when wholeness is the will of God. He wanted to do more than stop the flow of blood. He wanted to start the flow of life. He called her forward to testify, to tell what had just happened to her so that others would believe… and her ministry would begin.

Freed from Suffering:

Jesus tells the woman, “…be freed from your suffering.” Its only when wholeness is achieved that we can be freed from our suffering at the hand of the devil. Even when healing is evidenced, and life is back to normal; fears and torment can still remain. We overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11). Wholeness restores your voice! Wholeness allows you to feel as though you are being heard. It is found when the peace of God is manifest in the human heart… when confidence in God is the strongest force in your life. You are not forgotten and there is nothing so big that God cannot restore, remove or redeem for your good pleasure. Wholeness is about your value to God!

Wholeness is about your value to God!

Beyond the Limits

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

If you want to experience a fresh reality of life, influenced by the power of God; you need to discover how to live beyond your limitations. There is a Living Resource in Jesus. He is the Christ – the Son of the Living God, mighty to deliver and faithful to strengthen the weary. I can almost hear: “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. If you were in my situation you would see that it’s not that easy to change things.”

Changing things will not change things!

For most people there is a natural resistance against the unknown, even if it is wanted desperately. People do not like to be where they are… but they are afraid to risk what they have relied upon.

I want to let you know of the 3 things that will limit God’s power in your life and offer you the alternative that will not require you to change anything… God will do it for you! These might feel like baby steps, but they will benefit you and your awareness of God’s activity in your life. Sometimes our biggest hurdle is that we lean on ourselves when we think we are trusting God! So, let these sink in…

1. Fear limits God – So Let God Love You!

When we are afraid we start becoming anxious and reason things out. Fear of men, fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of losing friends, approval or your job, all kinds of fears come to the surface when life gets overwhelming. Let me remind you that love casts out ALL fear! The people who do not know the love of God, fall apart like a house of cards in a wind storm. They cannot handle the weight of adversity, because they cannot trust His care for them. To know God is to allow Him to love you, just as you are… warts and all. You can always tell the size of a man’s character by the size of the problem it takes to discourage him.

2. Unbelief limits God – So Let God Prove Himself!

Unfortunately we live in a culture of unbelief. The news, our friends and family, and even most churches; often speak and act out of unbelief. You may not doubt that God can do amazing things, but you might wonder why He would do anything for you… its about His willingness to do it. Recognize God is willing, because He likes you.

I can have the faith that God can heal, but at the same time not believe that He will do it right here, for me. That is how the leper felt when he asked Jesus if He was willing to heal him (Mk. 1:40-41). Jesus was willing!

I can know that God supplies all my needs, but still not walk in an assurance that He will do it when I’m in a tight spot. That is how the Apostle Paul felt when he was in need (2 Cor. 7:5-7) for when he arrived in Macedonia (Acts 20:1) he had a difficult time “with trouble all round – conflicts outside and anxiety within”. But God, who cheers the depressed, gave him comfort by the arrival of Titus. That encouragement and strength was what the Apostle Paul needed… supernatural grace to reign in life!

3. Disobedience limits God – So Let God Speak to You!

If God tells you to do something – do it, even if it might not look like the smartest thing to do. Who cares about what other people say when you have a word from God? You might need some wisdom in how or when to step up, hut remind yourself that you’re not alone. God can even bless a mistake made out of faith more than a mistake made by doing nothing! If you step across the line and stop over thinking what God should you, you will see His power begin moving in your life.

So get rid of fear and unbelief and be obedient to what He says and you will see greater miracles in your life. You will find yourself trusting in the One who makes the impossible possible… in the One who is always for you!

“And if God be for you who can be against you?” (Rom. 8:31)

The Gospel of Power

Free to Dance!

Preaching in Kenya Africa

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” (1 Thess. 1:5)

We are to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom like Jesus did; not just with words, but with the dynamic power it carries. God’s message is not dependent on the speaking skills of men, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. To preach the Gospel of the Kingdom is to release more that just eloquent sermons, but to experience the power of God that transforms the world around us. The concern is that we would allow our preaching to rest upon the wisdom of man rather than the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

This is how the Apostle Paul describes his ministry: “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.” (Rom 15:18-19)

Evangelistic strategies must not rest on gimmics or elequence. This is not just the suggestion of the Apostle Paul. It was what changed the atmosphere of unbelief throughout all of the culture of Jesus’ day. He came to bring a Kingdom that would crush darkness as it advanced in the Earth.

  • Jesus went about proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (Mt. 9:35).
  • God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38).
  • This was the purpose for which the Son of God was manifest, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).

We must lead people to Christ through the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Our need is to preach the Gospel as Heaven’s Message to mankind and welcome God’s intervention as the One who confirms His Word through signs and wonders. He will do it as He said He would (Ps. 107:20)(Zech. 4:6).

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” (Heb. 2:3-4)

This is what God does! He uses miracles to testify about salvation. A message that only speaks to the intellect is an incomplete message, because the call is to set the captives free from sin and the works of the devil. A Kingdom message offers power that brings good news to the poor and advances freedom and healing to the sick. Miracles become tools for evaangelism and explosive advancement against the strongholds in a region. People are longing for breakthroughs in their daily lives. They are looking for the answers and solutions to their problems. We can demonstrate the heart of God in the power of the Gospel. But we must stop being ashamed and begin to believe what God has clearly promised. Righteousness and the evidence that salvation has come is revealed by faith (Rom. 1:16-17).

Boldness Includes Miracles:

Miracles are so important to evangelism that when the apostles were dealing with opposition, they prayed for more signs and wonders. ”Enable Your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness. Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:28-31) Immediately the Lord answered their prayer. The building shook violently and they were once again filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with fresh boldness.

Filled with the Holy Spirit:

Notice, the evidence came when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. A powerful message included a powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. When we wait for the Holy Spirit to anoint us, God will respond by stretching forth His hand to heal and perform signs and wonders.

Don’t Settle for Fluff!

My point really comes down to this, signs and wonders do not belong in the margins. They are plainly part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were a part of how Jesus preached and told His disciples to preach. It is what He pointed to when He communicated the Great Commission and told the apostles to go make disciples and teach those who would follow their message, to observe all the things He had commanded them. The signs and wonders challenge our comfortable preaching styles when they rely on fluffy content and fancy illustrations, but they make the Gospel truly relevant.

In order to effectively preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, it must carry power… the kind of power that sets people free from the works of the devil!

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