Friday, April 20, 2018
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Prayin’ for the power, Amigos.
My personal odyssey in the search for the power of the Spirit began early in my Christian life. I was saved on my own, reading in my apartment. Some ladies invited me to their church where I saw things, a reality of the Spirit I had never seen. I was terrified, but I knew it was real. One friend gave me some cassette tapes by Kenneth E. Hagin called. “How You Can be Led by the Spirit of God.” I have never been the same. He described some experiences that were totally foreign to me: visions, angelic visitations, audible voices… He also illuminated some things that I had experienced but never understood: revelation from the Word, the witness of the Spirit within, and the tangible anointing of the Spirit. I determined that this guy was either a charlatan, a lunatic, or a man who walked with God in a manner beyond anything I had known. I wanted it.
Over a period of several years, I grew in both knowledge and experience in the things of the Spirit. I want to bible school and began to pastor. My personality is very conservative, skeptical, and painfully shy. This was not natural for me, but I knew it was real, and that people needed the power of God.
As a pastor, I have found three essentials to foster supernatural ministry.
1. Study it. Until I build the reality of God’s desire to move supernaturally into my own heart, I will never expect it. I found it especially challenging to see myself as the vessel that He might use in spiritual gifts and manifestations. Build your faith. Galatians 3:2-5 / 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
2. Teach it. People don’t expect what they don’t know, and God moves in atmospheres of expectancy. Teach the Book of Acts as if it were happening today. It should be. Acts 5:12-16 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
3. Monitor it. Don’t be bashful about correcting and directing. If you allow something in a service to occur without comment, people will assume you approve. Learn the difference between the real, the over-exuberant, and the patently false. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
Somebody Said: “…the early church fathers provide abundant evidence that gifts such as prophecy and miracles continued in their own time, even if not as abundantly as in the first century. Christians in the medieval and modern periods continued to embrace these activities of the Spirit. It is, in fact, cessationism that is not well documented in earlier history; it seems no coincidence that it arose only in a culture dominated by anti-supernaturalism.” ― Craig S. Keener
Scripture Reading: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:18-19 NKJV)
A brief search of the internet for popular Christian books gave the following results: Christian leadership – 250, church growth- over 400, The Holy Spirit – 48. Of the 48, two were bibles, and only 12 were actually about the Holy Spirit. Of those, half did not contain mention of the miraculous. My point? It seems that church world is greatly concerned about a lack of growth, maybe associated with a lack of leadership. I would contend that a more basic problem is a lack of power, maybe associated with a lack of knowledge or a lack of desire. The “old-timers” used to talk about the phrase, “Reading the red and praying for the power.” They were hungry for a New Testament kind of miracle power. If you’re hungry, too, then join me in my quest for unmistakable, irrefutable, supernatural power in the modern church. Study it, teach it, monitor it, then stand back and see what God does.
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.