Read the red and pray for the power.
(Dear reader, I ask you to bear with me as I vent some of my growing pains.)
I remember hearing someone say this from the pulpit years ago. He was hungry for a move of God and compelled to seek the Lord.
He said, “I found myself reading the red-lettered text and praying for the power of God.”
He wanted to see revival in his own life and in the lives of those with whom he came into contact.
I know how he feels.
I’m tired of hearing excuses; I want to see the real stuff.
You know the stuff: The sick healed, the dead raised, the demon possessed delivered.
“But Brother Tim, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen today!”
Yeah, why not?
Do we go to church expecting to see the miracles of God? Or are we content to hear a nice homily based on a couple of scriptures and then go home basically the same as when we arrived? Quite frankly, I’ve heard enough preaching and teaching. I don’t need to “get saved” — been there, done that. And I’ve “rededicated my life” so many times my dedicator is getting worn out. I’ve sinned and I’ve repented and I’m ready to move on. If this thing is for real (and I believe it is) then I’m ready to experience the miraculous.
“You better be careful, Brother Tim, you shouldn’t seek a sign.”
Says who? If I’m traveling cross country, I look for the signs to make sure I’m on the right highway. If I leave Athens heading to Chattanooga, but I see a sign that says Knoxville 25 miles, I know I’m going the wrong way. A sign isn’t the destination; it isn’t the end all to be all. But a sign will point you in the right direction.
“Brother Tim, you better be careful! Jesus said, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign’ (Reference Matthew 12:39).”
Jesus was speaking to folks who were looking for the Messiah and the Messiah was standing right in front of them. They had eyes, but they couldn’t see, and ears, but they couldn’t hear.
Later in Jesus’ life, He told His disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 [NKJV]).
I believe in Him, so I assume He’s talking about me.
The Apostle Peter said Jesus was, “… a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22).
If Jesus performed miracles, wonders and signs, and said greater works I will do, then I want to know, where are these greater works. I’m tired of talking about it, I’m ready to start doing them.
The Apostle Paul went so far as to encourage the believers at Corinth to desire spiritual gifts (reference 1 Corinthians 14:1). Those gifts include a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing and the working of miracles (reference 1 Corinthians 12:8-10) to name a few. If Paul told us to desire spiritual gifts, then I want those gifts operating in my life; how about you?
I’m tired of talking about it and ready to start doing it. If you need healing in your life? I’ll minister to you and the Lord will raise you up. Do you need deliverance? I’ll cast that demon out of you, if you really want it gone. Don’t know where to turn in your life? I’ll seek the Lord for a word of wisdom or knowledge just for you.
The way I see it, no one is going to ask you to do these things if they don’t know what capabilities you possess through the empowering of the Holy Spirit (or as I’m fond of saying, “It’s a sad dog won’t wag his own tail”).
In the meantime, I’m going to read the red and pray for power.
Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at email@example.com