I've always liked the meaning and results of the word "enthusiasm"... it's one of those essentials for getting just about anything worthwhile done. I also like to think of this word according to its roots. en = "in" and theos = "God". So when someone is enthused about something, they are being "infused with God"... along with His desire, drive and power.
I'm really enthused about what I'm seeing unfold with the healing ministry at SCC. It's taking root, growing and has momentum. As we are showing ourselves faithful in the little things we'll see God entrusting us with more and more "co-laboring" with Himself.
I get the sense that this past Sunday, Father's Day, marked an important inflection point for our church. From individuals seeking healing coming forward after the morning service, to the body of believers coming together that evening at Children's Hospital seeking healing for baby Davis Park. Better yet... God showed up...enthused to extend His hand of healing as we extended ours.
Jordan Seng writes in his book, Miracle Work, "God's main goal is to encourage us to trust His love. So it makes perfect sense that He would arrange things so that power flows most easily through those who fully trust his compassionate generosity in providing such power... Miracle working faith believes that God is genuinely eager for the goodness of miracles."
To put it another way... God Himself is enthused by opportunities to demonstrate His compassion toward His children. Let's count on that. Let's "let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in us". (Phil. 2:5) Let's keep "practicing hospitality" (Rom 12:13) as we "en-theos-istically" extend healing hands.
I want to share a key thought from an old spiritual mentor of mine... Andrew Murray...who writes the following in his devotional tract "Working For God".
"At the root of all true waiting there must lie the surrender and the readiness to be wholly fitted for God's use in the service of men. Yet there may be one who is ready to work as well as wait, but is looking for some great inflow of the Spirit's power to enable them to do mighty works, while they are forgetting that as a believer they already have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them. And that more grace is only given to those who are faithful in the little...that it is only in working that we can be taught by the Spirit how to do the greater works."
In our recent Healing Lab 1.0 we touched upon the notion that increasing power for healing the sick is a function of the "equation" drawn from Jordan Seng's book, "Miracle Work". (Plus my own addition of "FLOW")
POWER TO HEAL = AUTHORITY + CONSECRATION + GIFTING + FAITH + "FLOW"
Here's the thing about that element above of "FLOW" that ties to Andrew Murray's exhortation. The power of the Holy Spirit, who is resident within us, gets triggered and transmitted as we step out in simple OBEDIANCE. He moves AS we move. He teaches AS we "risk".
We are going to have opportunities for simple obedience over the next few weeks... AS we invite folks who need a healing touch to come on up after each 11:00am Sunday Service at SCC. I'm looking forward to co-laboring with you and the Spirit of Christ starting this Sunday. It's time for hands-on practice...
What if... I came to you gushing with excitement about my new-found power to actually place a phone call on my brand new I-Phone 7? You'd most likely look at me like I was living in the "Dark Ages". (Author's note: I AM eligible for Medicare, but the Dark Ages were just a bit before my time.) Then... you would go on to inform me of all the other "most wondrous things" I could be experiencing in my life via one of the thousands of cell phone APPS available out there just for the asking... like updates on what's happening with the Kardashian sisters at this particular this minute.
Snap-chatting Kardashians aside... there truly is so much power to accomplish lots of worthwhile things in life residing right here in our hands via the cell phones we "religiously" carry. And I'm convinced that the same dynamic exists when it comes to the power innate in every Christian believer to bring supernatural healing to bear for the sick and infirm in our lives. Yup... "There's an APP for that"... the Spirit of Christ... the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised as an indwelling, present power for all believers.
In the upcoming Healing LAB 1.0 (Sunday, 6/11, 12:25-2:45pm at SCC) we are going to be learning and practicing together regarding the "essentials" of tapping into and applying the power that Jesus Himself demonstrated as "He went through all their villages teaching, preaching and healing."
Look... Jesus would not charge us to be His witnesses in this time and place without super-charging us with the same power he routinely exercised. My vision is that our Church body be just as comfortable and adept at praying for the sick as we are at teaching and preaching... SSTBA!! ( So Standby To Be Amazed)
We have a banner up front and overhead at SCC that summarizes what we are about here in our congregation… “WELCOME… WORSHIP… WITNESS”.
This coming Sunday being Pentecost Sunday I thought it timely to touch on what Jesus himself connected to the privilege of being a “witness”. Specifically, He commanded his disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised… you will receive power when Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea , Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus would never expect anyone... including we who live here in “ends of the earth” Seattle... to be his witnesses without FIRST “fitting” us for such work. Notice the order. Wait for the gift… Receive the power…Be my witnesses.
As the promised “Comforter”, the Holy Spirit is exactly the same as He was when He descended upon Jesus himself at His baptism AND upon the His disciples at Pentecost… as “Curer” / “Restorer” / “Healer”/ “Salver”. The work of the Holy Spirit which was witnessed during Jesus’ ministry and the disciple's in Acts is the same work He does today. Now, its through us, as we extend our hands… we who wait, receive and channel power not our own.
Sooooo… let’s come to Pentecost Sunday this week with the simple, yet sure, assumption that God is the same yesterday, today and forever… and that people are going to be touched, refreshed and healed right there in our midst this Sunday. All this due to the “fitness program" Jesus has us already enrolled in.
Hey Gang...I want to pass on a few tid-bits...
1. We are going to do the Healing Workshop 2.0 on Sunday, June 11th, right after lunch, 12:45-2:45. I will be giving a little "heads-up taste" for any and all in the congregation who might be interested at both the June 4th and 11th services. Fred, HT and I think it a good thing to open the workshop up, while at the same time encouraging you, the core, to personally invite folks that you see as good candidates for expanding our team. Of course, the elders are invited also.
2. I came across the following passage in a book that Fred and I are currently reading entitled Miracle Work. I find it refreshing and right on. (BTW... this book carries a back-page endorsement from Bishop Todd Hunter, an Anglican Church of
America bishop, who just so happens to have been one of our students at Calvary Chapel Bible School, and who I first introduced to John Wimber and subsequently went on to become John's right hand man at Vineyard Ministries.)
"Can we be confident that God wants to try to heal the suffering person standing in front of us? Actually yes, we should be very confident-- bold even. It's theoretically possible that God might refuse to allow a given healing for some reason, but in the Kingdom of God, healing is the default position.
"Unfortunately, believers can get exceptionally complicated in how they think about God's will for healing. If a person comes to us with life questions, we don't doubt that God wants us to tell the good news to him or her. If we walk into a desperately poor village, we don't doubt that God wants us to feed the hungry. But for some strange reason when we encounter sickness in a person, some of us worry about whether God wants the sickness healed, or it it's God's timing for the healing. I think this sort of thinking is awfully unhelpful."
3. We are still waiting on delivery of the John Wimber book, Power Healing, as it is on back order.
Please click on the "0 comments" at the top right hand corner of this post to share your thoughts and keep this conversation rolling...
Stepping In (To Christ) to Step Out (With Christ)
Something to keep in mind when setting about the work of praying for the healing of another person:
1. Man was originally made in the image of God. ("Let us make man in our image." -Gen 1:26)
Its' important to bear in mind what God IS in order to be aware of the 3-part construct of the human being standing in front of us.
God is a spiritual being. ("God is Spirit... John 4:24)
God is a moral being. ("The Lord is righteous... He will do no unrighteousness." -Zeph.3:5)
God is a materially creative being. ("God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light." -Gen. 1:3)
All these elements carry with them God's power and authority, all are interwoven, and all will be "in play" when we set about to pray for someone.
2. The Temple, the dwelling place God designed for His habitation, was also a 3-part construct. ("Make it after the pattern I show you... Outer Court, Inner Court and Holy of Holies" -Ex. 25:40)
3. Man is the temple of God. ("Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" -I Cor. 3:16). So man is a 3-part aggregate of spirit, soul and body.
What this all adds up to is that whole-person healing may very well involve the interplay of the spiritual, soulish and physical realms and dynamics. And that we, as prayer practitioners, will have to pay attention to what God may be doing in more than just the physical realm when dealing with some malady brought before us.
I'm leaning toward the next workshop being by "invite"... which would include any individuals (including husbands) that you think would resonate with this ministry and also a blanket invite to the SCC elders. The intent being that we expand our group. So be thinking about who you might invite.
BTW... I should have those copies of Wimber's book, Power Healing, in hand this week to distribute to you all.