Building People of Substance for Works of Power
I remember a brisk but sunny morning back in 1981. Several of us were out on the street witnessing to people in a very rough neighborhood of dive bars and brothels. Staggering across the road came a very intoxicated Native American gentleman. Without a moment’s hesitation, my pastor’s wife approached him and, as we stood apart and prayed, she presented the Gospel to him. He accepted, and they prayed. Then she became really bold. She laid her hands on him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Right there, standing in the street, this guy started to speak with tongues and glorify God. He wept as he realized he was now stone-cold sober and filled with a new joy. We were all very conscious that we had seen God do a miracle through a housewife and mother. Oh, the wonder of it all!
God is in the miracle business. In I Corinthians 12:10, Paul names “working of miracles” as a manifestation of the Spirit given to the church, not to the Apostles, to the CHURCH. Sure, the apostles worked miracles, but there were others: Deacon Stephen worked miracles while feeding old ladies (Acts 6), Deacon Philip did miracles while running from persecution (Acts 8), and some guy named Ananias was used by the Risen Jesus to restore sight to Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9). The One New Man Bible translates working of miracles as “activities that call forth miracles.” Could it be that more miracles are waiting for more folks willing to step out and do some of those “activities?” Oh, the wonder of it all!
The boldness to step out and do “activities that call forth miracles” comes from knowing the promptings of the Spirit of God. Learning to yield to Him and step out of your comfort zone is a process for most of us. There are two manifestations of the Spirit that I call “entry level gifts” because they are promised to all. Every believer can be filled with the Spirit and speak with other tongues. Every person who is filled with the Spirit can prophesy. Indeed, Paul encouraged us to desire to prophesy. If you’re hungry for more miracle power in your life and the life of the Church, then start by using these gifts that are for every believer. Practice yielding to the Spirit of God. Oh, the wonder of it all!
Somebody Said: ““In all these gifts the presence of the Spirit is manifested in concrete effects. If the gifts are effective and profitable, then let us make use of such generous gifts. We are inundated with the gifts of the Spirit.” Hilary of Poitiers (310-367 A.D.)
Scripture Reading: Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NKJV)
If your Christian life has lost its sense of wonder, of the anticipation of miracles lying just a whisper away, then you need a reboot. One touch from our God can change a life in an instant. What He needs is a vessel who will hear Him and take the step of faith, do an activity that will call forth a miracle.. If that interests you, then begin praying with tongues for 30 minutes every day. In addition, ask God to use you to prophesy, that is speak by inspiration of His Spirit, then expect to be supernaturally moved. To paraphrase an old Buffy Sainte Marie song, “God is alive, wonder is afoot.” Now say it with me: “Oh, the wonder of it all!”
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
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