We don’t go looking for or emphasize miracles, but in our fellowships we’ve been seeing the miraculous happen time and again.
We had one man collapse and then die right in front of the paramedics and the fellowship he had been helping to start in the jail – and then come back to life shortly thereafter on the gurney in the jail infirmary after brothers gathered together to pray for him.
While dead, he had an amazing encounter with the Lord. Two days later he met with the men who saw him die to share what the Lord showed him. I was there, and privileged to fellowship with those brothers as they rejoiced together in what God had done among them.
Can you imagine the impact that had on advancing the Kingdom of God in that jail, the fellowship that had been planted there, and the lives of those inmates?
We had another brother just a couple of months ago have his sight – which he had lost in one eye because he was “seeing” constant bright flashes from a detached retina – instantly restored after laying hands on him. His doctor, in amazement, confirmed the healing and that it was not possible in the natural.
Both of these brothers are classic “men of peace”, just like we see mentioned in Luke 10:1-11.
In both cases, someone from our fellowships had gone out as God directed, identified them as the “social glue” in their communities, and was working with them to lay the foundation for new fellowships to form as they naturally attracted others to come and see what the Lord was doing. The miracles they experienced represented God’s confirming blessing on them in that endeavor, again, just like in Luke 10:1-11.
There have been many more dramatic healings, and we see God dramatically intervene in dramatic ways on a routine basis.
In each of these, it is like the Book of Acts because they often occur in ways that confirm the establishment of new fellowships – and the advance of God’s Kingdom – typically in rough communities and sub-cultures that up until then had been strongholds of the enemy.
As I see God move among us, it reinforces my passion to see the rest of the Body of Christ set free from the debilitating shackles of those who tout weird doctrines and practices – often rooted in post-modern, existential sensibilities.
Such bondage comes down to trying to impose one’s own self-perceived measure of Christ as normative for all. Even if their measure of Christ is charming and enticing, it nonetheless becomes a new legalism that entraps many. See Organic Dead Ends.
I have seen the power of God at work. I have seen transformation as folks get out of themselves and become free to express – as God directs – their own unique gifts, callings and grace.
Because of this, I stand resolute against any ear-tickling attempt to reinforce among believers (and fellowships) an insular, anemic predisposition to remain mired in some existential comfort zone.
Because of this, I am also passionate about seeing the Body of Christ break free of such bondage – no matter how charmingly packaged – and once again display the power of God to transform lives and cultures rather than reflect the spirit of this age.
It may be painful to face the difficult question of whether your faith does little more than reinforce your existential, post-modern (or any other) sensibilities – but then again, the birth of authentically new life often involves travail. There is hope, but not without confession and repentance.
This is the great challenge facing the Body of Christ. This is worth contending over, because true life, freedom and transformation in Christ only comes as we realize that we – and our sensibilities and narratives – do not define the full measure Christ or His image in others.
- Myopic Ekklesia (crossroadjunction.com)