A snapshot of the normal Christian life
In this passage we see a snapshot of the normal Christian life…
- Jesus' disciples filled with the Holy Spirit, leading to
- A demonstration of God's love through many signs and wonders, leading to
- Many repenting and believing in Jesus, leading to
- Neighbouring cities hearing about the extraordinary things that were happening, leading to
- Multitudes bringing their sick to be healed by the disciples, leading to
- Even more believing in Jesus, leading to
- Leaders in old, dead, lifeless religion getting jealous, leading to
- Persecution and miraculous angelic deliverances, leading to
- Even more crazy courageous preaching and signs, leading to
- A repeat of the whole process, again and again.
This is not some fantastic manifestation designed to leave us marvelling at what God did ‘once upon a time'.
This is normal Christianity.
The manifestation of a miracle-working Christ through the life of the Christian. The hands and feet of Jesus on the earth. The glorious Church.
This is who we are.
This is who you are.
But why isn't it our normal daily experience now? Is it because we don’t have the same Holy Spirit they did? Or because God wanted to do that through believers then, but not anymore? Or is it because we've believed lies about the will of God and the true, miraculous nature of our identity in Him, and in so-doing succumbed to that paralysing enemy – fear.
And if fear is the poison, what is the antidote?
The Bible gives us three keys:
Key 1 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
Are you rooted and grounded in the Father’s love? Do you know beyond doubt that you were God’s idea, created in His likeness, on purpose? And that he did this with the sole intention of pouring His love out upon you (and through you) – forever? (Ephesians 2:6-8)
Key 2 – “Be anxious (fearful) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
The truth is that we cannot do anything of eternal value without Jesus (John 15:5), let alone live a supernatural lifestyle, so a prayerful life is simply a recognition of our dependent position as the beloved children of God. Is it your daily habit to bring the unfiltered thoughts of your heart before the Father to hear His voice bring peace?
Key 3 – “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” James 1:22
Jesus didn't just teach about the Father's love, He vividly demonstrated it through stunning miracles, signs and wonders. Theologians try and explain it away, but the simple fact is, we are called to do the same. (John 14:12)
Three powerful keys.
- A personal revelation of your identity as the child of a God who loves you passionately
- A life characterised by deep personal relationship with Him
- A heart that says ‘yes' when He wants to put His love into action through you
These are the keys to the abundant life Jesus came to give us.
So how do we get here from where we are today? Let us be united in our prayerful pursuit of fresh encounters of Father’s love, get liberated from all the fear that hinders us, ask God to heal and perform signs and wonders through us, then courageously take the opportunities He gives us to love people like Jesus did.
This, as we have seen in this passage, is the doorway to the multitudes!