Some of the most powerful words in the Bible are the shortest words. Words like all, will, nothing, and everything. In the increasingly muddled, grey world that we live in today, where there is exception upon exception, and always a reason as to why ‘this doesn’t apply to me’ or ‘I’m different’ – the promises of the Bible stand resolute and firm.
I came across another pearler this morning in a book that I was reading… quoting from John 14:12:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” – John 14:12 (Emphasis mine)
Anyone means… anyone. For me, this one verse alone puts the nail in the coffin of cessationist thinking, and it breaks forever the clergy/laity paradigm.
Biblically, the only qualification you need to walk in the same power that Jesus walked in – is faith. You don’t have to have a position, a title, a certificate, worldly influence, charisma, money or connections. You can be popular or an outcast. When Jesus says this power is open to anyone – He means it!
But not only does this verse hold for us great promise, it also holds us accountable. It means there’s also no good reason for me not to be doing what Jesus did. I can’t blame my history, my circumstances or my church leaders or oversight. If my life is not seeing the same fruit that Jesus did, then my faith in Him needs examination – because Jesus’ words and promise don’t allow me any other excuse.
Everyone wants to be a ‘someone’. But based on this… I’d rather be an ‘anyone’!
Thinking today about the cripple sitting by the pool of Bethesda in John 5. The Bible says he was waiting for the pool to be stirred. Then thinking about 2 Tim 1:6 which encourages us to ‘stir up the gift of God’.
The man was healed that day not because the pool was stirred, but because Jesus had stirred His gift!!
It’s the same when it comes to walking in the power of the Spirit. Some can only move when the ‘pool is stirred’ – when they’re in an environment where things are already happening. But we’re called to ‘stir the gift’ – to get the environment set in the first place!
How do we do this? I find that to walk in the Spirits power requires an act of faith on my part. It might be summoning the courage to pray for someone. Or in my prayer times, deciding to laugh before the Spirits joy comes on me!! As we STIR the gifts God has given us – His power starts to flow.
John 20:3 – 6 “Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first. Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn’t enter in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb”
When the news reached the disciples of the empty tomb – Peter and John started running towards the tomb.
John reached it first, but didn’t enter in.
Peter reached it second, entered in, but didn’t stay.
Mary Magdelene arrived last, but she remained there. It was to her that Jesus was first revealed!
When God speaks to us, there are those who agree with the word, but don’t enter into it. There are those who agree and enter in, but don’t remain in that which God has spoken.
But to those who come, enter in, and remain in what God has said – to them will Christ be fully revealed!
John 5:46-47 – For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to learn to hear the voice of God is to become familiar with, and believe the written word of God. There are claims and promises in the Word that will challenge us and provoke our faith!
In this verse, Jesus says to the crowd – if you don’t believe the words of Moses, then how can you believe the words I speak to you? There are many who want to hear the voice of God directly speaking to them – but refuse to believe the printed word they have in front of them.
In contrast, the more we read and believe the written word of God, the more the spoken, revelatory voice of God starts to open up to us. The Word directs us to His presence, and His presence is where we hear His voice speaking!
If you’re struggling to hear the spoken word of God in your life – start by reading and challenging yourself to believe the written Word of God. You’ll start opening up a door to hear His voice clearer and clearer!