I had a strange dream a few weeks ago in which I visited a friend and offered to write some articles for his church newsletter about the miracle working power of Jesus. But although he knew and loved the Lord, he seemed somewhat reticent when it came to talking about the supernatural power of God.
When I woke up, I had a strong conviction that I should do just that – write some articles and tell some stories about the miracle, healing, supernatural power of Jesus. As I pondered what to call these articles, the name “Chronicles of Power” came to mind. It wasn’t my choice for a title – but I felt the Lord impress upon me that that was what they should be called. And my initial idea was to write these articles and hand out copies in the church. But my wife Marianne said “why don’t you blog them for a wider audience”. And so that’s what I’m doing.
I’ll say more about the future content of the “Chronicles of Power” at the end, but by way of introduction, I want to come back to something in my dream that challenged me – namely our reticence to proclaim the miracle working power of Jesus.
It is intriguing how we Christians shy away from openly proclaiming the healing power of God. Maybe it’s the effect of the “age of reason”, or the world’s insatiable quest for verifiable, reproducible proof that has impaired our faculty of faith - our ability to take God at His Word and believe what He said before we see it.
Or maybe it’s the possibility of not being healed that leads us to not even ask for fear of disappointment. Perhaps we fear we don’t have faith or that God doesn’t love us? Those last two are completely untrue of course - God does love us and He has given us all the gift of faith (bearing in mind you only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain because it’s God who does the heavy lifting – not your faith!)
I watched a fascinating TV programme once while living in South Africa in the 1980’s – it was a Christian panel discussion on the subject of divine healing. A Christian doctor, a Catholic priest and a Christian psychologist were all arguing against divine healing. After listening to all their long-winded, convoluted and negative arguments about why miracles don’t happen today, the host turned to the final guest, Reinhard Bonnke - the great 20th century healing evangelist who led hundreds of thousands of people to Christ the length and breadth of Africa - and asked him “So what do you think?”
“God heals today” was his short and sweet reply. When asked to elaborate, he said “The Bible says it – I believe it – and I’ve seen it”. And he had. Not only had multitudes come to Christ through his ministry, but many thousands had also experienced the miracle healing power of God. It brought the show to a premature end. All the other arguments suddenly seemed so pointless and empty.
There is an important lesson to be learned here about believing God: Proclaiming, celebrating and rejoicing in what He has said, done and promised creates the right conditions for faith to grow and God’s power to be experienced. It’s much harder to experience His divine power if you are constantly arguing against it, talking yourself out of it and listing the reasons it might not happen.
When Jesus went to heal the little girl who had died (Mark 5) He found a tumult of people crying and wailing loudly. Jesus asked “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep”. They laughed at Him, scorned Him. The next bit is interesting – it says Jesus asked all the wailing mourners to leave! Their scorn and mockery were not conducive to faith! Jesus then asked the girl’s parents to accompany Him, and He promptly raised the little girl from the dead!
The power, miracles, signs, wonders, healing – are the children’s bread (Matt 15:26 and Mark 7:27). They are part and parcel of His Kingdom. Jesus said we would see the Kingdom come in power (Mark 9:1), that miracles point to who He is and help us believe in Him (John 14:11).
Christianity is not just another religious system or vain philosophy – there is power in the name of Jesus to save, heal and deliver and we need to proclaim that and celebrate it, not apologise for it or sweep it under the carpet. It is the supernatural power of God that sets Christianity apart from all the vain and powerless philosophies of this world.
In this age of reason and scientific rigour we are perhaps too hung up on trying to explain everything, understand everything, quantify everything, control everything and make a formula and procedure out of everything, We need to realise that the God who breathed galaxies and solar systems, dark matter and light into existence, reserves the right to step in and change things for the sake of His Beloved. We need to let God be God!
In C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” books, Jesus is represented by a magnificent lion called Aslan and several times we are introduced to the thrilling but scary thought that he is not “safe”, not a “tame lion”. In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” Mr Beaver is telling the children about Aslan, and Lucy asks “Is he safe?”. Mr Beaver replies: “Who said anything about safe. ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you”.
The thought that Jesus has the power to raise the dead, heal the sick, deliver the demonised, confront our prejudices and transform our lives - and that He’s commissioned His church to exercise such power in His name – is thrilling and scary. But He is good! He is faithful. He loved us to the Cross and back! He can be trusted.
I’m convinced that in these last days of economic meltdown, spiralling inflation, wars, food shortages, deteriorating public services, pestilence, viruses, violence, destructive addictions and unbridled greed – we need more than ever to see a church moving in the miraculous, supernatural power of God. It won’t be a safe ride - but He is good!
And so to these articles entitled “Chronicles of Power”. Over the coming weeks, I want to encourage our faith by sharing stories about the unparalleled and unprecedented outpouring of miraculous healings seen around the world in the 20th century. Many wonderful miracles in the ministry of Jesus are recorded in the Gospels, but as Jesus Himself said in 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.” I want to see and tell the stories of the “greater things”
Psalm 34:2 says: “I’m boasting of you and all your works, so let all who are discouraged take heart”. And Psalm 105:1 & 5 says: “Go ahead and give God thanks for all the glorious things He has done! Go ahead and worship Him! Tell everyone about His wonders! Don’t you ever forget His miracles and marvels…”
And finally, I love David’s enthusiasm in Psalm 145:3-6 to proclaim, declare, celebrate and rejoice in the mighty works of God…..”Lord, You are great and worthy of the highest praise! For there is no end to the discovery of the greatness that surrounds You. Generation after generation will declare more of Your greatness and declare more of Your glory. Your magnificent splendour and the miracles of your majesty are my constant meditation. Your awe-inspiring acts of power have everyone talking! I’m telling people everywhere about your excellent greatness!”
A blog by Pastor Brendan munro
Welcome to my blog - thank you for stopping by! I’ve never done this before and I’m only doing it now after friends encouraged me to share more widely of the life-changing journey I’ve been on with God over the past couple of years.