“O Lord, no one but You can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God. For we trust in You alone. It is in Your name alone that we have come against this vast horde.” 2 Chronicles 14:11
At Easter our Pastor Steve preached on the single moment in all of History that defines Christianity: The Resurrection of Christ. Everything that Jesus had said up to that point; all of His wise words and teaching, all of the word pictures of the kingdom of heaven, all of it would have meant nothing if He hadn’t raised Himself back up from the dead. Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, and when He came back to life after being dead for three days, He proved it. And while the Resurrection is the pinnacle sign/wonder of Jesus’ ministry, it’s not the only sign and wonder that proved to the people (and to us) that He was (and still is) the Messiah. (Acts 2:22) The writer of Hebrews further confirms this to us in chapter two verses three and four saying: “So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak? And God confirmed His message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever He chose.”
In Acts chapter one, after the resurrection and immediately before the ascension, Jesus tells the Disciples,
“Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (verses 4-5&8)
A few days later they’re all just sitting around when the room starts filling with the sound of rushing wind and tongues of fire hover over their heads and they begin to speak in other languages because they’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit who has given them that power.
Acts 14:3 says that “the apostles stayed [in Iconium] a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.” God is teaching me something important today and I pray that none of us misses it. There is a correlation between the message of the gospel and signs and wonders. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sure they can be eaten alone, but BOY they are both so much better together!
I’m wondering, if perhaps, the message of the Church is falling on deaf ears because it’s not being accompanied by signs and wonders. The liberal atheistic groups are ranting and raving because all they see is a group of powerless Bible thumpers screaming at them to repent. What if, instead of screaming at them we started healing them – proving that our message of Jesus’ Grace is true? That Jesus DOES save. That Jesus DOES heal. That Jesus DOES love them in spite of their sin. THAT could change the world.
With the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit ANY believer can speak and heal the sick. Watch these! They’re a little lengthy but worth EVERY LIFE CHANGING SECOND! The reactions of the people are priceless!
[Street Healing with Tom Fischer there is some language in this one, but it’s as a reaction to their miraculous healing.]
In Luke 10:17-20 the Disciples came to Jesus and said,
“Lord, even the demons obey us when we use Your name!”
“Yes” He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
In Acts chapter four Peter and John get called before the council for healing a man in Jesus’ name. And after the council lets them go, Peter and John meet with the other believers in the area to tell them what has just happened. When the believers heard their story they lifted their voices in prayer:
“O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – You spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, Your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
The king of earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against the Messiah.’
In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, Your holy servant, whom You anointed. But everything they did was determined before-hand according to Your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants great boldness in preaching Your Word. Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
After this prayer, the meeting room shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’s power to preach the Word of God with boldness! I wonder, what kind of miracle-working power has God wanted to bestow in YOU if only you would pray today for the boldness to speak in Jesus’ name and command evil to leave?