As a blogger of faith and occasionally politics, I get challenged on my beliefs, my faith and my positions on the popular issues. There are some very intelligent people out there who have done their research-- they scare me. I am just an average Joe, sitting here this morning enjoying the foliage out my New England window, as I eat baby Goudas and sip Colombian coffee. I honestly can't compete with intellectuals- and I don't really care too. Go read the Huffington Post or Politico of some blog where the writer has 10 degrees from your favorite university.
Today I want to challenge your faith when it come to the miraculous. Why? Because God is not just waiting to bless you and those around you when you get to heaven. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is AT HAND!
It seems odd to me that Bible believing Christians get a little widgy when a manifestation of the Holy Spirit doesn't seem to have an exact match in the Bible. Things like healing eyes with dirt and spittle might seem a little out of place in today's manicured American churches. Why is that? It's in the Bible. Please don't give me some prepared answer you heard from a sermon 20 years ago. Show me exactly why your Bible doesn't allow Jesus to use you, or somebody like you, as a vessel of healing using mud made with spittle?
Even if we are on the same page when it comes to manifestations that match those in the word, but what about those that are not? Are we to assume that manifestations that happen at Bible believing churches, which cannot be found in the Word, are of the devil?
John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
I'd be interested what those things that Jesus did might be? Is the Bible just a collection of His "greatest hits"? Were these things edited out because they were not important, or because our gospel authors found the miraculous common place, and were more concerned about theology, faith and character?
I suppose we could toss Bible verses at this sort of stuff all day-- for me, I had to go check it out, be discerning, and make some decisions about what was God and what was not. If we have really read our Bible, prayed in faith, heard God's still small voice, then being deceived is going to be pretty tough. Don't you think? However; if we are relying on the faith of a pastor, a denominational statement we may never have read, a friend, or pamphlet we devoured years ago when we got saved, we are likely to get into trouble.
One of the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians is discernment. Do you have it, or know someone that does? Personally, my experience is, that I just don' t seem much of the gift of discernment operating in the church today. And no, I don't know why.
As a missionary in Brazil I saw some very intense demonic manifestations-- most Christians I know, have never seen such a thing. But let me tell, you they have opinions about it. I saw more healing in one meeting in a little church called Luz de Mundo in one hour, than I had experienced in the American church in my entire life! Was I deceived when someone that I prayed for with the help of a teammate got out of wheelchair and walked? What about the woman that had ankle braces for her entire life-- almost 60 years -- starting running around the sanctuary shouting "Gloria Deus!" Was she deceived?
I have also been to enough meetings where people have a religious style that is not God. I have heard false tongues and cast out demons. Some of it looks like some of the real "God" things I have experienced other places, but something just isn't right. Only the Spirit of God can discern this, the video tapes look the same.
In the end, we need Jesus, and so many times I've been stretched as a passionate follower. We need to be desperate to hear His voice, and see His glory. How that manifests is up to Him. Every notable revival has had some sort of manifestations of the Holy Spirit-- the term Holy Roller came from Christians that were overcome with laughter and rolled on the floor-- oh, and they were serious about repentance, salvation, and the power of Jesus. They are now called the Nazarenes. By the way, the Southern Baptists once had followers that spoke in tongues. Hmm...
You can challenge me, or you can challenge God. I suggest Him, what does knowing more then some average believer gain you?
Here are some blogs that I wrote over the years about this wonderful Jesus and His power to save, to heal and to minister to His creation.
The healing of a woman with a bad back.
A word of knowledge.
My own experience in the supernatural.
Do you really need a miracle?
Some demonic stories.