Would people ask us, by what power we do church?
Would people ask us, by what Power we do church

 

 

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

What is the "dunamis" power of God? It is a spiritual power to overcome the forces of darkness, the principalities that hold the captives. We can't release the captives if there is no power and annointing to break the yoke, the bondage of the principalities who ruled each town, area, and people. When the apostles received power on high, it is the power of the Holy Spirit and the annointing to overcome and to go out the preach the Gospel effectively. Miracles are a manifestation of the supernatural victory that has already been won in the heavenlies.

If we were really honest, we need the power to break into the new harvest field and ministries, yet we often lack this power committed as we are. We soon rationalise it was a necessity for the early church but not for today. The gifts and miracles are over we exclaimed even though the power of God is needed then and today. The need for the power of God, of revival, and for miracles to accompany the Gospel message has never been more pertinent especially for a stagnant church seeking a breakthrough.

The harvest field is much bigger today than it was yesterday. We need the power and annointing to reap the Harvest field and not only of miracles, but for a spiritual breakthrough for revival. The church itself needs a revival from within for we often no longer worships Jesus but man made gods subtly it seems. We seldom war agressively against the powers of darkness but instead ignore their reality as myths and superstitions.

When Jesus healed the blind man, we debated whether it was the sins of the fathers that caused his blindness. This question remains pertinent today, for we carry the sins of the church Fathers.  We are part of the universal church. The harm caused throughout the last two thousand years of her existence is still with us. When they railed against gays from the pulpit and caused deaths, the blood calls out for justice. The work of God and the move of the Holy Spirit is hindered by our unrighteousness.

We have an institutional church that often no longer believes in the physical resurrection of Christ, nor of Jesus death being the way, the life, and the truth to God. We put the priests, the Saints before Jesus. Evil is within and Satan doesn't exist we proclaim. The more conservative are no different, using the  religious laws to persecute the weakest in the community (eg gays). We have become modern religious pharisees living by the letter of the religious law but not having its spirit nor power. We worship ourselves, we seek to perpetuate power and wealth. Hence, we often lack power for we have quenched the Holy Spirit of God by our heritage, words, deeds, and tradition. We pray that the Holy Spirit will do our bidding, yet He often kept silent.

We have often taken the Spirit of God for granted, for we say He is always there. The manifestation of the power of God starts with the communion with the Holy Spirit for Jesus did not leave us empty handed for the ministry. We abide by the Holy Spirit and not Him abiding by our ways.

By God's grace, the Holy Spirit of God still moves mightily in the hearts of people and to do battle in the spiritual realm when we call on Him in humility and meekness when we fall on our knees to pray and seek God. Hence, we see the revival happening in Asia and Africa. It is important to tap into the mighty move of God.

Acts 4:7, "They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?""

 I was in conversation with friends who were questioning how others could call themselves Pastors even though they did not have a Masters of Divinity.  I smiled for I remembered Peter and John. A Masters degree in divinity doesn't make one a Pastor although proper qualifications for any job is important. Yet, theology is no precise science like Engineering, and how we do religion and faith varies greatly if we had graduated from Oral Roberts University (ORU) versus a liberal Episcopal College.

We in the Pentecostal tradition have often taken the call and the annointing of power as equally important. The Charismatic movement have her "less than educated" women heroes in the likes of Kathryn Kuhlman and Amiee Semple McPherson. In Singapore, the mega church pastors Kong Hee and Joseph Prince did not have their Masters of Divinity before starting the largest mega churches in Singapore. They had power, the power and annointing of the Holy Spirit.

 The Pharisees who were so angst against Peter and John for healing the man on Sabath, because they were not even certified religious leaders. They had no "masters of divinity". They were unknown, sheep like followers of Jesus whose occupation were fisherman. They had no qualifications and Peter was known to have betrayed Jesus. Yet, would any qualification have helped? For the Pharisees and Saducees learned in the Book couldn't do any miracles let alone raising the dead.

Peter and John were clearly guilty of working on a Sabath, if indeed the work of God was considered sin but yet they couldn't convict Peter and John for it would have created a public uproar for the healing was seen by all. Everyone knew the lame man being healed, so denying the testimony was useless.

The Jewish religious leaders had gotten rid of Jesus, and now wanted to know on what authority they had to heal the man. The apostles (other than Paul) were not learned religious scribes, so how could they have found the power, the sacred teachings and sayings to invoke the power of God. Yet, a proper educated religious intellect is important. Whilst Peter and John set the scene, the intellectual powerhouse of Paul was required to frame the theological understanding of the Cross of Calvary and God's grace beyond the incumbent Jewish religious faith.

Healings are rare, then and today. But the power of God remains then and today. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tommorow, and the Holy Spirit no different. And so it was a shock to the Pharisees to see the healing miracle, the power that gave credibility to the Gospel message. And in the answer that would have perplexed the Pharisees, Peter and John then declared:-

Acts 4:10 "then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed."

They couldn't persecute Peter and John on this account, for surely they already crucified Jesus and so couldn't call a dead man to the stand. It also troubled them that Jesus was not really dead but truly alive in the disciples.

How is Christ alive in each one of us through the Holy Spirit of God?

I remember entering the prayer room of CHC in their office some 15 years ago at Selegie Singapore. It was said that on this hallowed grounds of unceasing prayers and fasting did the power for revival came and the church expanded rapidly. How do we have the same power to bring revival?

a) Be Harvest centered - The first disciples went around preaching the Gospel message of the resurrected Christ and His message of salvation. They didn't go around preaching the shema Yisrael alone - loving God, loving others as we love ourselves. They preached Jesus, His death and resurrection and the need for faith and repentance. When we preach Christ, the Holy Spirits fills and annoints us.

b) Be harmless as Lambs - The disciples didn't go around antagonising the Pharisees. They were not against the Pharisees or the Romans. They were not anti-Jewish faith and many still go to the synagogues and remained part of the Jewish Community. He didn't go head-on with the religious leaders or the Romans authorities in the city. Jesus roamed the desert for He knew that change is not outward but inward, within our hearts. If we were desperate enough for the move of God, we would have gone from the cities into the desert to seek Him.

c) Be Holy Spirit centered - What made the disciples so bold? they had the Holy Spirit in them. We take the Holy Spirit often for granted. He is everywhere we declare, even when we eat, drink and be merry. Yet, the Holy Spirit is not often in us to fill our spiritual tanks full. From the time of Moses, the Spirit of God had left mankind and is easily quenched. He is like a wind that comes and goes. It takes a decision to follow the Spirit of God. When Peter and John healed the lame man, it was not their own power, for the Holy Spirit was already there and led them to the healing. He only picked one person at the beautiful gate to be healed when there were others who were lame and blind.

d) Be Jesus Christ centered It is the nature of the Holy Spirit to exalt Jesus, His name and His ministry. When we continue to the ministry of Christ, and proclaim, "In His name", we invoke the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit proclaimes and exalts Jesus, and when He is exalted high above the heavens, above our wordly structures, power and wealth. The Holy Spirit will honor the name of Jesus with His power and annointing to break the yoke and the hardened ground of our ministries to the lost, the wounded and the hurting.

e) Be mindful of the causing harm In the 21st century, we still put gays in the closet and throw the keys away. When we sin in the name of Christ, we grieve the Holy Spirit. When we cause harm, God is grieved and no longer the Holy Spirit with us in power. For surely, God will not sanctify our actions.

f) Step out by Faith We stand up by faith to proclaim the Gospel message of Salvation in Christ beyond the progressive mandate for social justice.  Peter and John were willing to move by the Holy Spirit. Are willing to step out in faith to come of the closet as a church! The term "Christians" was first used at Antioch when they begin to mobilise for evangelism to the Gentiles. They had to step out into the unknown for it was hard ground filled with spiritual forces stopping the move of god for each town had their own gods and the people of faith worshipping it. They needed the power of God to breakdown the spiritual strongholds.

We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit again in our ministries for we need the Holy Spirit like never before. It is the Holy Spirit that we need to welcome  into our churches. Just like the first century christians, the ministry to the GLBT is on hard ground due to the strong anti-gay crusade by the church resulting in a high barrier. We need to have power to conduct spiritual warfare against the Spirit of darkness holding the GLBT community in their captive. Being gay or straight is not the issue, but whether we are of Christ.

When the Holy Spirit is working, we need to do very little to strive nor to work. We are to go with the flow and move where the Spirit of God leads us. It is not by our works, it is not by our strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We are to rest for Jesus said, the work is completed. It is when we take the step of faith to move in the power of the Holy Spirit that miracles happen in our lives, our ministry and in the extension of the Kingdom of God.

Come Holy Spirit, like a mighty wind

1. Come as a wisdom to children, Come as new sight to the blind, Come, Lord, as strength to my weakness, Take me:soul, body and mind.

Refrain: Come, Holy Spirit, I need You, Come, sweet Spirit, I pray; Come in Your strength and Your power, Come in Your own gentle way.

2. Come as a rest to the weary, Come as a balm for the sore, Come as a dew to my dryness: Fill me with joy evermore. Refrain:

3. Come like a spring in the desert, Come to the withered of soul; O let Your sweet healing power Touch me and make me whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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