What would we do without high quality spiritual friendships?
One of the reasons that our church experience is sometimes disappointing is the lack of strong spiritual friendships. We put too much emphasis on hierarchy and organisation, so that the pastor is expected to take the place of friend, guide and even of Jesus Himself.
Jesus emphasised brotherhood and teamwork rather than hierarchy.
Lk 10:1 (NKJV) After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20 (ESV)
I was talking on the phone to my cousin today when the Holy Spirit gave me a wonderful revelation. When we share our faith with good friends, the Holy Spirit loves to join in as the third member of the conversation.
Malachi 3:16 (ESV) Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.
God showed me unbelief in my life. He corrected me but encouraged me at the same time.
When I have experienced amazing miracles, I have been so excited, which is perfectly right, but then I have fallen into a negative attitude without realising it.
For example, I once prayed over a witchcraft shop on the way to work every day.
One day I asked my friends to cover me in prayer and I went inside to talk about Jesus to the witch.
I wrestled with words for some time, feeling the intense power and pressure from the dark spirits but God was always in control and I felt His presence inside me.
Finally God gave me a word to share. I told the witch I would pray for her, that she would see Jesus in a dream. Suddenly I saw panic in her eyes. The dark spirits knew they had met their match.
- A year later I read in the newspaper that the Wicca group had broken up and the witch had lost her followers. Jesus proved again to be the miracle worker. He answers prayer.
But that was 14 years ago. I have seen other great miracles since then but only from time to time.
When Jesus walked the earth, He worked wonders every day.
John 21:25 (ESV) Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Since then and women of God have lived miraculous lifestyles as Jesus promised, so why do many of us only see miracles from time to time?
Jn 14:12 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
- Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
One reason may be that we sometimes become too impressed with ourselves when God does something great through us.
I plead guilty to that one but I am not the only one.
One miracle should be the preparation for the next one if we fully appreciate what God has done and what He wants to keep on doing.
- So what hinders our continual progress from one miracle to the next?
One is self congratulation which sometimes subtly takes the focus off God.
- When you stop looking at God, your faith falls because true faith is always focussed on God.