We need to re-dig the well of the supernatural
In the third part of his series on evangelism, Mark Greenwood talks about the importance of being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I’m sat in a reasonably comfy chair; it’s the one I always hope will be available. Strong 4G enables me to do some emails, check social media and on occasion watch a bit of YouTube.
“Mr Mark Greenwood to see Doctor John!” And I am up as my name is called out over an inexpensive and therefore slightly muffled speaker and, just in case you missed it, there is a large visual confirmation on the screen.
I wouldn’t say I get sorted out every time I go to see my GP, even when I have been referred to consultants and specialists. In fact, I still struggle with a number of ailments, dry eyes being one of them. I won’t give you a list but now you know if you see me looking like Popeye occasionally, it’s the eye! Now even though I don’t always get sorted, the fact is if I have another problem with my health, I will still go and see the doctor.
I’ve definitely seen more people not healed when I have prayed for them than I have seen healed. Mind you, having said that, I have also seen more people not converted than I have seen converted through my evangelism but it’s never stopped me sharing my faith with people!
Why don’t we see as many people healed in our Movement as we used to? I think the reason is simple: we have stopped asking God to heal people as much as we used to.
I said in the first of these three articles in April: “Jesus was committed to preaching relevantly and demonstrating the miraculous and doing good because he cared.
Throughout Elim’s history, we have sometimes focused on one area more than another but the Spirit of God is calling us to build our evangelism equally on all three points i.e. relevant words, caring actions and Spirit-empowered.
Without these, we will limp along in our evangelism. I don’t know about you, but I find when I limp, it’s a real frustration, it creates an imbalance as well as a lack of forward movement.
We definitely need to re-dig the well of the supernatural. We do, however, need to look at how we do it within the cultural context we find ourselves in. I love the way New Wine and Soul Survivor very gently wait on God – and he turns up!
Caring actions put us in front of those who most likely need prayer. As the relationship strengthens you may find people share some of their personal challenges with you. If you feel it is right then why not offer to pray as well as meet the need practically where you can. I certainly have done this and there have been some lovely moments where I’ve felt something has happened.
“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them... the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it,” (Mark 16:20).
It’s worth noting that just because someone lets you pray for them it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to become a Christian. I’ve known people to be healed through prayer and still not give their lives to God.
That said, I have known people who have been healed and have received Christ as a result. I have also known people not get healed but feel something and so have then given their lives to Christ.
So how does Big Yes, Little Yes and Healthy Maybe connect with the miraculous? Jesus promised what would happen; he commanded the disciples to go; they went and did what he said and Jesus’ promise was fulfilled.
What do signs do? They point someone towards something or somewhere. I think we have always expected the miraculous to be the defining moment, and it may well be, but my reading is that it follows the preaching of the gospel and then points to God and maybe leaves people wondering what it is all about.
The truth is, as I often say, if Jesus can walk in front of people and they still aren’t convinced he is God, then we should understand that people may not receive Christ at the moment they experience something supernatural but it may cause them to investigate (Little Yes) or at least be willing to consider (Healthy Maybe) the God they have just experienced in some way.
Relevant words, caring actions and Spirit-empowered is a truly potent combination in our evangelism.
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