October 09, 2009

trained in supernatural ministry

for years, I had read books that cast a vision for the miraculous - I confess it wasn't the main focus of my reading, but I did read books like Wimber's "Power Evangelism" and "Power Healing". I read Jack Deere's books in the early 90's too - "Surprised by the Power of the Spirit and Surprised by the Voice of God". Even as I am remember, I read John White's book in the late 80's, "When the Spirit Comes in Power".

So why did these books not produce fruit in my life at the time? Why didn't I start to see an increase in healings? I would pray for the sick from time to time. Why wasn't I growing in the prophetic gifts? "All MAY prophesy", Paul teaches!

It wasn't because I lacked an understanding. I had been TAUGHT. But not in the way Jesus taught His disciples. Teaching for Jesus included DEMONSTRATION, PARTNERSHIP and ultimately RELEASE.

First He demonstrated healing and prophecy. He showed people the miraculous! It wasn't enough to give them didactic teaching. They SAW power. This was a critical stage for me personally - I needed to see these things. And for some reason, I was in Church for years without seeing any real demonstrations of power - even in Churches that were charismatic.

Secondly, Jesus partnered with His disciples in the supernatural. This is such an important part. He would do these things with them. He was present. They would be watching and doing the miracles. Again I can't stress how important this was for us. I had seen some stuff (conferences, etc.) but now I wanted to participate. The Lord has raised up many (Randy Clark, Bill Johnson and a host of other ministries) where people can go and participate in the miraculous themselves. We did this - and we saw deaf ears open of people we prayed for. We saw two blind eyes open. The Lord gave us the opportunity to partner with others a number of times like this.

Finally, Jesus released people to go and do the stuff when He wasn't there. He sent out the 12; He sent out the 70 and ultimately the vision for Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment of the Great Commission from Matthew 28. This stage also implied the confidence and the authority to repeat the entire cycle over again. Disciples who can demonstrate God's Power. Disciples who can invite others to join them in partnership and then ultimately release their own disciples to go and do the same.

We somehow have lost this process of discipleship as it relates to the supernatural. The Church has either not expected it to be possible (which is simple English is UNBELIEF). Elaborate theologies have been created to explain away our lack of power - i.e. cessationism (the miraculous gifts 'ceased' when the original Apostles died). Another major barrier has been unbiblical ideas about God's sovereignty and control (this is just FATALISM). This error says that 'if God wants to heal, He will' regardless of our role/partnership/anointing, etc. I think for years the reason I didn't pursue God's power with more diligence was because I simply had wrong ideas about how the Kingdom worked. I thought that if God wanted to give me a gift, He would. My pursuit, my desire and my growth notwithstanding. I also knew nothing of impartation which is the conveying of a spiritual gift through the laying on of hands. Hebrews 6 considers this to be a basic, fundamental Christian doctrine. Somehow the Bible Schools and 2 seminaries that I attended along with the many different ministries I had association with didn't remember to teach/emphasize this.

All this to say - make sure you are SEEING. Then align yourself with others with whom you can DO IT in partnership so that one day you will BE DOING IT by yourselves as you enlist others into the process that you are now repeating.