This propelled the rise of modern science. Unfortunately, this thinking was unfriendly toward faith in general, especially the supernatural—including prayer, the Holy Spirit, and spiritual experience. Christians unwittingly influenced by this thinking will often say they believe in the Bible yet ignore the implications and promises of stories and teachings from Genesis to Revelation.
Until then God loves us and is somehow with us. So we lose interest. Who can blame a person for this? When the Bible informs our expectations more than our cultural conditioning does, we can expect things to change. The New Testament clearly tells the church to function by spiritual gifts, but too many function by committee. We have book knowledge, but how much do we practice?
Jesus never taught his disciples to minister through programs; he demonstrated how to minister in the manifest power of God. Understanding will follow willingness. People in this postmodern age are often skeptical and jaded. They want something real, authentic, that takes them beyond themselves, yet is practiced in a community of people who care about each other. This is exactly the model we see in the New Testament.
I hear a lot, and even teach, about how churches need to reach out in relevant ways to people in our changing culture. But I hear little about how churches need to operate in the supernatural and train people to exercise their God-given spiritual gifts. We can only seek it and go with it when it manifests. This again is exactly what we see God intending in every story of the Bible. He intends that we humbly submit to him and live by faith. Stepping beyond our conditioning can be hard. We will have to overcome doubts, unanswered prayer, and testing.
We will have to go against the grain of the Enlightenment-influenced church. God has made it possible for you to know Him and experience an amazing change in your own life. Discover how you can find peace with God. You can also send us your prayer requests. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies. Skip to main content. Please notice that Jesus tells us to teach them to obey everything he has commanded us. And what has he commanded us? To proclaim the gospel, heal the sick, love one another, drive out demons, feed the hungry, look after widows, orphans and those who are vulnerable, and raise the dead.
That is just for starters! Only when we become convinced that the whole ministry of Jesus is for the whole Church of Jesus will we have the motivation to step out into action. It seems to me that to use rather outdated terminology we have largely won the charismatic battle but lost the charismatic war. Most Christians have learned about and now believe in the gift of tongues, but how many pray in tongues every day? Many of us have learned about and believe that Jesus can heal today, but how many of us regularly pray in faith for healing miracles? We have to move from armchair belief to the obedience that is the outworking of faith.
Faith without works is dead. The problem here is that many of us have misunderstood some key aspects of faith. We are not called to have great faith in faith, but great faith in God. This means faith and trust in his character, in his goodness and compassion, as well as his power.
It is all about relationship. When I focus on my faith alone I come up short. However, when I focus on the Lord and meditate on his love, kindness and ability to keep his promises, my faith grows.
It is all about relationship, not rules and techniques. Faith needs to be exercised to grow. Faith is a verb: When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralysed man that his sins were forgiven and then healed him. How did he see their faith? Did they smile in a faith-filled way? He saw a hole in the roof. Faith makes holes in roofs! It is something we do even more than it is something we think or feel.
A few years ago we were in an evening meeting at Soul Survivor and we prayed for people to receive the gift of tongues.
Every year we get visitors from different countries, and this year there happened to be a youth group from Romania. As people were beginning to pray, the rest of us in the Big Top began to speak out praise to God, either in English or in tongues. I happened to be praying over the microphone in tongues and I noticed it seemed a little different to me. I even wondered if I was subconsciously trying to make it sound better as so many people could hear me.
He has been stunned because he recognised the language I was speaking in: That youth leader now believes in the gift of tongues! Why is this important? The gospel is meant to be very good news indeed!
Only an utter conviction of these things will spur us into action. Secondly, I believe we need to understand how God wants to use us. His power is not made perfect in our strength, but only in our weakness. This is true of the whole of the Christian life, and especially true in the realm of the supernatural. God puts his treasure in our jars of clay, and the life seeps out through the cracks! Because the Christian life is to be a life of dependence on God. Listening to him, looking to him, aware of our need and of his limitless supply. It is about learning to tune in to his presence when we are vulnerable and weak and feel as though we are sinking.
The key is not asking God to be louder but to make ourselves quieter.
Make the most of times alone Most of our days are filled with people and we cram the rest of them with noise — music, TV, the Internet. But our days also have little spaces in them, perhaps when you wake up, are walking to work or just before you go to sleep.
Find a place where you can be still for a short time. On the second night of Soul Survivor B , about young people gave their lives to Jesus. I will look foolish and lose credibility in front of 9, young people.
I spoke the words. At first no one came forward.