The Power’s Out

1 Corinthians 2: 4 – 5

My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

A friend of mine helped me to see that the church of God, the body of Christ has a problem. That problem also expresses itself in our evangelistic attempts. The problem is that we have lost the power. Unlike Paul, we do come in persuasive words trying to talk people into being Christians. As pastors, perhaps we spend too much time talking and not enough time actually letting God move by His power. Although Jesus was a great miracle worker, we have divorced ourselves from miracles and the display of God’s power.

All of us, every single Christian, are supposed to walk in the sustaining victory of Christ. Perhaps you, like me, look back at the Israelites and think we could and would do better but as I look around I see that we are not where we should be. Are we the victorious church? We were destined by God Himself to live in the fullness of the blessing. Our lives are supposed to be full of everything Christ is and yet I see us sick and broke, our relationships are a mess and we have become the disfavored stepchild instead of kings and princes. What happened to us? What happened to the glory of Christ? Where is this power that the Bible tells us about? We are not casting out demons and healing the sick. Jesus said that the things he did we should do even greater yet I certainly haven’t walked on water or fed 5000 people. Sometimes it’s hard to feed myself.

Every one of us is meant to walk in the spiritual power of Jesus. We are supposed to see Jesus’ miracle working power daily. Where is the power of God in our lives? How is Jesus’ victory being experienced or demonstrated in our lives? There are dozens of verses on prosperity. Are we enjoying the prosperity God set aside for us? There is an equal number of scriptures on healing but how is our health?

The heathen look at us and scoff the way we have belittled the Israelites. They don’t want any part of our God because they don’t see any victory in our lives. They see weak, mealy mouth people instead of the giants we should be. Why, even most Christians these days are not discernable as such. We live the same worldly lives as our pagan friends. We too have lost the allure of a mighty God. Sure, we pray when the chips are down but that is about the end of it. Where is the power? Where are the miracles? Where is the overcoming victory that Jesus promised us? Is he a liar? We certainly aren’t living it so something is clearly amiss.

I wish I had the answers. I don’t but I sure don’t like the way our Christianity has become a watered down version of faith. I don’t see us standing like Stephen or delivering people. We are supposed to be living a life in Christ but this certainly does not look like a Christ experience to me. And how did we get here? How did we fall so far?

You are the body of Christ. Are you satisfied? Do you want a whole lot more of Christ than you are currently experiencing? Are there things in your life which a touch from Jesus would resolve forever? I believe, I truly do, that we are meant for much more. I believe in my heart of hearts that there is power in the name of Jesus, that devils must flee, bodies must be healed and I believe there are angels all around us just waiting for something to do. I say again, you are the body of Christ and I am the body of Christ. We are Christ in this earth now. What must we do in order to walk in the earth as he did? What are you going to do about it? What are any of us going to do about it?

Reborn, Renewed, Alive in Christ

John 20: 30 -31

Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John and the other writers of the gospels related some of the miracles of Jesus but John makes a point here to tell us that the miracles we read about in the gospels are by no means an exhaustive list of the many miracles Jesus performed. So, this question presents itself, “How many miracles does it take for one to believe?” We, who receive this daily devotional, are all believers in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God so somewhere along the line we must have seen enough evidence. Then John says that in our believing we should have life in the name of Jesus. What did he mean by that? He wasn’t talking to a bunch of physically dead people so he wasn’t talking about physical life. He was, however, speaking to spiritually dead people, people like us before we were saved. So this evidence of Jesus as the Messiah was supposed to infuse life into those who would believe, spiritual life.

When is salvation then? Will we be saved in the great by and by? We all talk about when we were saved (past tense) i.e. “I was saved in 1974,” “I was saved out at sea when a shipmate prayed for me,” etc. We have already been saved and given access to this life about which John writes. Salvation is not for tomorrow. We didn’t buy a ticket to salvation. We already have it today. You are living your eternal life in Christ right now. Your eternal life began the moment you received Jesus as Lord. So what is John really trying to get at in this passage? Do you think this is a simple message of salvation to the uninitiated or is there more here?  

One of the things that I think John is trying to get us to accept is that Jesus is a miracle worker. The believers of John’s time came to Jesus through his miracles. In other words, they saw and heard about the miracles that Jesus performed and through them they accepted that He is the King, Messiah and Lord. They first believed the miracles then they equated that miracle working power with his divine lordship. An interesting dynamic exists in our times. We believe that Jesus is Lord and through that confession of faith we try to believe that He is also a miracle worker. Many, however, are unconvinced of his power. They believe that He is the Christ but they do not believe in his ability to exercise miracle producing power today. Some do not even believe that the chronicles of Jesus’ miracles is a true account. They think the gospels are a fairy tale.

The third problem in our thought process is that some of us do not fully understand or appreciate that Jesus is alive. We have left him on the cross or in the grave but He is a resurrected Lord. He is alive and well. Without this revelation, by which I mean a clear and certain knowing in one’s heart as well as one’s mind, we cannot receive this life in Christ to which John is attempting to lead us. 

Jesus told us that he came in order to give us life, abundant life in fact (John 10: 10). This is what John is speaking about, the abundant life that is available in Christ Jesus to those who believe. But believe what? First that He is who He says He is, the resurrected Son of God, the promised Messiah, and second that He can do now what he did in the days before his crucifixion.

Miracles are still happening all over the world for those who believe. People are receiving sight from blind eyes just as they did when Jesus walked the earth. There are healings of every sort. Financial miracles abound, relationships are restored. All sorts of miracles are occurring, more than you can name. So I return to my first question, “How many miracles does it take for us to believe?” What is this life in Christ that John speaks of and how can we each live it. What did Jesus mean when he said, “abundant life?”

The life we live in the flesh is the low level of life but there is an abundant life overflowing with all of the blessings of God which is the free gift to whomever shall believe. This is the spiritual life, the renewed life. And with this new life in Christ Jesus every need is met, dreams and goals fulfilled, and a life of peace and joy. There is victory in Jesus, hence victorious living. All things become possible, life becomes easier and we can live a life where we feel fulfilled. Our lives are given purpose and we are satisfied even in the deep longing of our hearts. It is all available to he who believes. This life, this gift of a life in Christ, a life of abundance was the purpose of Jesus’ coming. If we are not living this life then why not? What does the body of Christ need in order to come into the life Jesus meant for us, died to give us?

The apostle John says that the secret is in our believing. We need to have our believers tweaked. Surely, the only way to do that is to renew ourselves in Jesus. We are going to have to seek him again as we did in the beginning. We need a renewal in our prayer life and in the Word. These are the two areas that we often let slide but which I am convinced are necessary for a life in Christ. It is only through communion with the Godhead that we are transformed in our hearts and in our thinking and can receive the revelations necessary for a rich, full existence in the person of Jesus. The hungry will seek and they will be fed. Jesus always fed the hungry. Do not settle for anything less than God’s best for you and He will fill you to overflowing as He has so often promised.