On Tuesday evening, I understood how Jesus felt when his disciples finally “got it” and reported back, after He sent them out to minister on their own for the first time, that the sick were healed and darkness conquered. In His joy, the Lord said He saw Satan fall from Heaven because of them.
On Tuesday I’m teaching and mentoring a class of students on how to minister in the areas of confession, forgiveness and repentance. After seven weeks of foundation laying, the students this week started doing ministry sessions on their own and – wow! – it was amazing what God did through them that evening.
They trustingly applied what they’ve learned and lovingly came beside folks to help them transparently go to those places of pain, turmoil and brokenness where they needed the Lord. Once there, with simple faith they invited the Lord to speak His words of loving grace – which always bring lasting and wholeness and healing – and the Lord did!
Confession, forgiveness and repentance have become forgotten ordinances that we have twisted into ineffective spiritual abstractions. As a result, most churches have lost the ability to meaningfully administer those graces today.
In our class, the students are learning to use those ordinances to walk with hurting people to those places in their lives where the Lord’s been waiting with healing. And as a result, on Tuesday they saw Jesus dramatically intervene and bring wholeness on issues that they never would have been able to address before – like sex abuse, drug addiction, deep deep hurts and disappointment, and other kinds of bondage.
I was so proud of them, and grateful for how the Lord showed up to dramatically confirm that He is the Living Word who works in us and through us – even today.
This is true ministry and should be the norm – rather than the exception – as we fully trust and, with simple faith, let the Lord dynamically intervene and bring wholeness and transformation His way.
And so, I saw Satan fall in the lives of a half dozen ministry recipients this week. Not through our own strength and not through the prevailing performance-based gospel of our age – which thinks every problem can be solved by quoting a few verses and spiritual platitudes and telling people to just be obedient through their own power – but because we let the Living Word Himself bring life and transformation.
For more information on how the Lord brings healing and wholeness, see God Shows Up.