Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Monday, March 28, 2016

We Need the Supernatural

What I think we need is the supernatural!  We need God to move beyond our abilities.  God has used the supernatural before, as a way to draw people in to hear the Gospel. 

We want to have an impact on our community.  We want to see the will of God working in the lives of our friends, families, coworkers and neighbors.  If people see the supernatural working in us, then they will be able to believe that God who can have an impact on their lives.  Today, I want to post on God’s use of the supernatural.

Acts 8:5-8 (NKJV)
8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

Signs and Wonders

How many know that people are looking for real power?  That’s why there are so many religions.  People are looking for a power that will move them beyond where own abilities can take them.  People need a God who has power, it that right?  Don’t we all want a God who can meet needs that we have struggled to meet?  Everybody is searching for a God that has power.

Well, here is the good news – WE serve a God of miracles.  He opened the Red Sea.  He rained food from Heaven.  He brought water out of a rock.  He held the sun in one place.  God is a God of the supernatural.

Jesus also brought about miracles:

Acts 10:38 (NKJV)
10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

So we are serving a God of power.  It’s one thing to explain that to people.  We can tell people that Jesus did miracles.  We can tell them what Jesus did and people will accept it.  There’s a difference, though, between accepting what we say and seeing the miracle happen before their eyes.  There’s a difference.  In our text, Philip preaches Jesus and people listened and accepted what he said because of the miracles that Philip did. 

Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews.  He had a seat on the Sanhedrin.  He was a Pharisee and he said to Jesus, “We know that you have come from God because no one can do the things you have been doing unless God is with him.”  That element of the supernatural is what convinced Nicodemus of who Jesus was.  Look at this scripture:

Mark 16:17-18 (NKJV)
16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

In other words, there will be signs that follow us: Demons will be cast out.  We’ll speak with new tongues.  We’ll lay hands on the sick and they’ll recover.  What are those things?  They’re miracles; they’re signs.  Jesus performed those signs and people believed.

John 11:43-45 (NKJV)
11:43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." 45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

They believed because they saw the miracle.  Philip performed those signs and people believed.  We need a visible dimension of the supernatural in our church.  We need to be like Philip and demonstrate the Power of God. 

One of the things that was really exciting as a new convert was seeing the miracles of healing.  This week, as we did communion a couple of people got healed and it was refreshing to hear them just say, “Hey it’s gone.”  It was fun to see them get as excited as I did, when I was a young believer.  People get saved because they can see the Power of God.

John 2:23 (NKJV)
2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

Many believed in His name when they saw the signs.  The signs He did persuaded them.  Jesus even sent out His disciples and told them:

Matthew 10:7-8 (NKJV)
10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

He’s telling the “Use the signs.”  Use the supernatural – show them the signs.  In our day and hour we also need to show the Power of God.

The Early Church

The Book of Acts is full of men showing the Power of God.  There is huge growth in the early churches men like Philip were scattered from Jerusalem and ended up in far-flung places, preaching Jesus and performing miracles.  There will always be arguments against logic.  People can counter just about anything that you’ve said, but it’s difficult to argue against a leg growing out when you’ve seen it with your own eyes.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the enemies of God platted to kill Jesus because of that act.  They also plotted to kill Lazarus.

John 12:9-11 (NKJV)
12:9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

How could they deny Jesus’ power when this man who everyone knew had died is standing right there?

Acts 3:6-7 (NKJV)
3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

Peter and John, at the Gate Beautiful raised a lame man and the Bible says many heard the word and believed; about five thousand of them.

Acts 5:15-16 (NKJV)
5:15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

People brought out the sick and lame in the hopes that Peter’s shadow would fall across them and they’d be healed.

Acts 19:11-12 (NKJV)
19:11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.

Paul gave people handkerchiefs and articles of clothing and people got healed.

This is how the church was birthed.  This was God’s strategy for reaching men.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  I believe that this same strategy is available to us today.  All of this is the power we were told we would receive through the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8:

Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

God is telling us that when we receive the Holy Spirit we receive power to be witnesses of Him, and we can use that power to do the things that He did.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit.

This is for believers. It’s not just for pastors and evangelists.  It’s for believers like you and I.  Anything pastors and evangelists can do – you can do.  I think we need to use the supernatural on outreaches and in church services.  We can show people that there’s an alternative to the traditional Taiwanese religion.  We can show them the power that God has and that the idols don’t have.

A Plan of Attack

I think there’s a problem in a large part of the church world, today.  I believe that a big part of the problem is that people don’t have faith.  They don’t have faith to give. They don’t have the faith to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  They don’t have faith to witness and testify, and they don’t have faith to pray for the sick.  Some people I’ve prayed for don’t even have the faith to accept that they’ve been healed.  I pray for them and we see God do something powerful in them and I ask them, “What about the pain?”  They say, “Well, it doesn’t hurt…RIGHT NOW.”  There are even those who don’t even have the faith to be prayed for.

We’re Pentecostals.  We believe that what happened on the day of Pentecost is still happening today.  At least, that’s what we’re supposed to believe.  What did Peter have that we don’t?  He was uneducated.  He was a fisherman, not a theologian.  He was an average guy, not really special in any way, but God did powerful miracles through him.  People thought, “If his shadow falls on me, I can be healed.”  What did Peter have that you don’t?  Maybe it’s the faith that God could use him:  Faith that the promise of the Holy Spirit is real.

Acts 2:39 (NKJV)
2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

WE are the ones who are afar off – As many as the Lord will call.  He’s not looking for someone who’s special.  If you’re saved – You’re called.  WE are the ones who will prophecy and have visions.  WE are the ones this promise is for.    THESE are the last days.  We need to pray and contend for the supernatural in our churches.  We need to stand in faith and pray for the sick.  We need to contend for more of the Holy Spirit.  We need to pray, read our Bible and come to church to bolster and strengthen our faith, and we need to step out in that faith.

In the Old Testament, there’s a moment when the Ark of the Covenant is captured.  The Ark of the Covenant is proof of the power of God because it contains the Ten Commandments written with the finger of God.  There is also a bowl of the miracle food that God provided to Israel while they were in the desert.  Finally, it also contains Aaron’s rod that, through a miracle budded in the desert. The ark was captured by the Philistines and they put it in a room with their gods, particularly Dagon, who is the fish god.  The next morning Dagon had been thrown down from his shelf and shattered.  Dagon, the idol lay in pieces on the ground, as God showed his power is beyond that of the idols.  God did that supernaturally.  He threw Dagon down supernaturally.  I believe that it’s time that some idols fell in our cities and nations.  Let’s cry out for a supernatural move of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment