This past weekend as I was pondering the ongoing debates and division among believers concerning the pandemic, I heard the Lord cry out, “WHERE’S THE POWER!?” I could feel the burning of His heart that was looking beyond the safety measures and health recommendations and wondering where His people of power were. Where were His dread champions of faith? Where were the carriers of God’s manifest presence? Where is the priesthood of believers that operates in resurrection power? We may carry the “words of life” but do we have any evidence that backs them up? We may show care and compassion to the infirm, but have we forgotten the power of laying on of hands to heal the sick?
If we only settle for the best presentation of facts, the most scientific evidence of truth, or the safest course for medical intervention we’ve totally missed our assignment. If we focus primarily on caring for the least but forget what matters most, we will be trading our inheritance for a bowl of soup. We’re better than this!
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)
It’s time we take responsibility in our commission and start operating out of a higher realm. It’s time we start ministering in the power of the Spirit instead of the arm of flesh. We can still be compassionate and considerate to those who differ in their views, but we shouldn’t settle for a lesser prize when we’ve been given a greater promise.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about Him went out through all the surrounding country. (Luke 4:14)
Jesus was in a quarantine of His own when He was led into the wilderness. During that time of isolation, Jesus underwent a radical transformation. When He came out, His ministry took a revolutionary turn heavenward. His message became much more than comforting words and lofty ideals. His message was one that demonstrated authority and power from an unearthly source.
The very first thing Jesus did when He came out of isolation was to announce His assignment. Though He had probably read the scriptures many times before in the synagogue, this time it was different. His proclamation of freedom and liberty to all who were oppressed caused all of hell to break loose. The prophetic authority He spoke with was not of the earth and everyone knew it.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.… When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. (Luke 4:18-19, 28)
His words produced more than just reflective thought or intellectual pursuit – they charged the entire atmosphere with supernatural power. Jesus was no longer just the son of a carpenter. He was a Spirit-empowered magnetic field of Kingdom authority that shocked anyone in proximity to it. This was no longer business as usual! The Son of Man was now a conduit of dynamic glory and things would never be the same!
Not only did He step into His assignment with unyielding boldness – His first public demonstration of heaven’s power happened among the religious rulers! He started His mission of non-compliance within the same system He came to overhaul. Not only did He speak with unnatural authority, the next thing He did was to directly confront the demons who had found their way into the synagogue!
And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? … But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” … And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” (Luke 4:33-37)
There was no hesitation and no holding back on Jesus’ part. The shrill sounding voice and harassing tone of mockery was the same one that had threatened Him in the wilderness. Now, filled with His Father’s zeal, He immediately rebuked the demon and brought deliverance to the captive. His time in the wilderness produced an outcome that no one saw coming. The stir He created by this simple demonstration of God’s overriding goodness was now reverberating throughout the entire region.
Is it any wonder that we face the same opposing voices today whenever Holy Spirit starts moving in faith and power? Is it any wonder that demons manifest and curses abound when the anointing draws near? Will we shrink back from obeying God’s mandate simply because things start getting noisy and messy? The days of organized religion are over. What we are entering may seem like the Twilight Zone, but that’s only because we are starting to operate outside a realm that’s not our own. And it’s about time!
The reality is this. For those who are sincerely looking for truth and wanting to grow in faith, they need evidence more than arguments. They need testimonies of breakthrough more than statistics and studies. This is exactly why Jesus was known as a revolutionary. He didn’t just talk about the Kingdom – He demonstrated it.
The political and religious spirits will always be the first to question our motives, criticize our methods, and coerce our silence. The enemy will continually look for ways to mock us, silence us, or simply kill us. It doesn’t really matter to them. Those who follow the Deceiver of souls will never agree, never back down, and never concede. Let’s just get used to it. But they should no more be our priority than they were for Jesus. The devil will do what the devil always does by getting in our way and yelling in our face. That’s why we need to stay focused on our mission and draw attention to the Father of Lights instead of the father of lies.
But, we must be ready for what lies ahead. Being filled with and empowered by the Spirit can be two different things. Even Jesus demonstrated that. Though His call was never in question, His mission could not begin until He had been prepared and empowered from on high. Just as the early disciples found, being mantled with power is not merely a recommendation. It is a requirement for success.
And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. (Acts 1:4)
As we prepare our hearts for another Pentecost and consider the months ahead, I pray we not settle for what feels comfortable or looks familiar. We are entering totally new territory as the Ekklesia and it will require new tools, new methods, and new outlooks. We can only accomplish the Father’s plans through the presence and power of Holy Spirit. We may think we’ve already experienced it, but the upgrade that’s needed and the demonstrations to come are going to prove to everyone that we are not of this world – we never have been and never will be.
The reset has been initiated and the restart has begun. Now, we must pray for His power to ignite our hearts and fuel our mission so that all can see – the Kingdom of God is at hand!
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