I’ve stepped out in recent days and created a new You Tube channel. I’d be the first to say that it appears to be a reflection of my ego before its characterized as anything else. Most immediately, I’m willing to affirm that this channel is more of a reflection of my playful desire to tinker with an avenue to the internet than anything else (www.youtube.com/user/jlpt2?feature=mhee).
A recent upload of a slideshow and audio from a message I preached this year got my juices flowing all over again. I say in the clip that I have grown tired of a powerless church, that the new birth in Christ has secured the believer in relationship with the Holy Spirit and that that should encourage us to live our lives passionately to do the same as Christ did when he was on the earth. A powerless church is an oxymoron, but most congregations live in denial of their true identity in Christ.
This power in the Spirit may not be as peculiar or unnatural as some may think, but it is passion and faith driven.
This past Sunday, April, Anna and I visited a church in Atlanta we’ve wanted to attend for a while. I was on vacation so the circumstances allowed us to attend. At the close of the worship service, we were invited to receive prayer. Anna went to be prayed for by one of the members of one of the prayer teams. She didn’t tell us afterward what she asked for in prayer, but she did say that the guy who prayed for her head it on the head.
Our daughter was with her youth group last night. She contributed in leadership during worship. She experienced the presence of God in the service. At the close of the service, she prayed for one of her friends who had been experiencing stomach pain. After the prayers, her friend said the pain she’d felt for days was gone. Was this a sign of power through passion for a friend, perhaps in light of recent impartation prayer in Atlanta? Sure, why not?
Today, April and I were shopping in Walmart. As we collected groceries, I saw a woman in a wheelchair. We continued shopping, but I knew I was supposed to pray for her (I’m getting use to doing this). At one moment when we crossed paths, I stepped in front of her, introduced myself, asked if I could pray for her right there. She agreed. I prayed for her wellbeing, healing, rich blessings and peace. Afterward, she told me she appreciated it because she’d heard about a death of a family member this morning, and that she’s been upset all day. Was this a sign of power through passion for a stranger to whom God had directed me? Sure, why not?
The power born in the believer by a loving Father is not a myth or a lie or an ungrounded promise that disappoints more than it brings comfort and blessing. The power of the Holy Spirit is founded in love for others and through the voice of the Lord directing His church to reveal His love for all and to all. Sometimes miracles, sometimes just love shared. Were these signs of power? Sure, why not?