Acts 19:11 God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.
As a whole 21st Century Christians are missing this in their everyday lives. Miracles were a common occurrence in the early church and many times miracles were happening anywhere, not just in church, because they knew there were the church. Jesus did not save a building. He came to save people so the presence of the Lord could live within us. When He lives in us, He will live through us, demonstrating His will and purpose for fallen humanity.
I want you to know right now that YOU are chosen and destined to do great things in the kingdom of Father God. He saved you to save others, He healed you so you can heal others, He brought you through so you help bring others through and He freed you so you can free others. The catch is this, when we are not busy doing what He desires us to do, we begin to grow cold and complacent. Soon luke-warmness sets it and a critical spirit wraps its destructive grip around us and we are not praising like we once did, not praying like we once did, not witnessing like we once did and it begins a downward spiral.
Father God wants us to live a supernatural lifestyle where miracles, signs and wonders are not uncommon but common. We serve a Father God who loves to do great things for and through His people.
It wasn’t Paul but rather the power of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit who was performing the usual miracles but God needs clean vessels to use. Vessels that are willing to sell out completely for the sake of the gospel, vessels that will say no to sin and yes to the will of God day by day.
We are saved by the powerful blood of Jesus Christ but that same blood also has the power to help us say no to sin and to live lives that will allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us. Paul, who was Sau,l was transformed on the Road to Damascus but the power that transformed him also kept him as he yielded his will daily.
I need to say this: we, as Christians, have a responsibility to live for Jesus daily and not just to be super Sunday saints. I love grace, I need grace, I preach grace but I also know that we have to learn to say no to sin and yes to His will daily. We can’t live impure, immoral lives and expect His anointing to dwell and work in our lives. Too many people are trying to live like the world, talk like the world, act like the world, be like the world all week and then transform into someone else on Sunday but the Kingdom of God does not operate that way. Yes, we need grace because we are human but we do not live a life of intentional sin.
Lifestyle is what we are talking about, not missing the mark! When we were born again we began a new relationship with Father God and our hearts now want to please Him. It’s not about what I can or can’t do, it’s about I love Him so much because of what He did for me, I want to please Him. It’s not about rules and regulations it’s about RELATIONSHIP and I want to honor Him with my lifestyle. He loved me and proved His love for me and while I was a sinner, Jesus died for me. Before I ever made a mess He loved me despite my mess so I, in return, want to die (to myself) for Him. He died for us, may we die for Him.
2 Timothy 2: 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
Let’s strive to keep our vessel clean, set apart and purge ourselves of ourselves. Back to Acts;
12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.
What an anointing Paul carried that even cloth, when it touched his skin, had enough power to cast out devils and heal people of their diseases. I remember reading how Smith Wigglesworth had stayed with a family for a few nights (sleeping in the master bedroom) and the husband was unsaved. He told the wife, when I leave don’t wash the sheets. That night when the husband laid down, he felt so convicted, it was like he was burning, till he got on his knees and gave his heart to Jesus. That is the anointing we need to walk under in these last days.
Prayer Points: Father help me to rid myself of me; less of me and more of you. Let me decrease so you can increase. By the power of the Holy Spirit teach me to control my flesh and walk daily in the Spirit in Jesus Name!
This week we jump into Acts 19 which talks about Paul’s third missionary journey.
Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Never doubt this truth, Father God has believers all over this world. As I’m writing this, one of our very own is in Burma, another in Mexico sharing the good news of Jesus and making believers. God’s plan for man will come to pass! These believers who believed in Jesus had not been taught about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.”
John’s teaching pointed to the Messiah but Paul was saying there is so much more than just being baptized in water. The One John said would come, has come and has died and has been resurrected and has ascended to heaven and now the Holy Spirit has come to endue us with power.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
Don’t you love it? After Paul spoke, the Holy Spirit was just waiting to fill them and all He needed was a hungry heart. Notice Paul laid his hands on them and immediately they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues, even some prophesied. There was twelve men which is a number of authority. Without a doubt these twelve brought revival to their region.
In these next verses we see Paul still ministering in Ephesus. 8 Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God.
The greatest opposition to the Kingdom of God is religion (religious spirits). Notice Paul had to preach boldly in the synagogue (church) for three months strongly teaching Kingdom truths about Jesus coming, dying and resurrecting and those stuck in religion did not want to change their traditional way of thinking. Most do not realize how powerful religious tradition is but let’s read about it.
Mark 7:13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others." NLT
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. KJV
A religious spirit destroys, condemns, tries to control and complains because it is in rebellion to the Kingdom of Father God. We must never major on the minors and minor on the majors. Religious people in the days of Jesus would fuss over Him healing on a Sabbath, more worried over custom than a person. Even Pentecostal churches have many religious traditions which can be contrary to what Father God wants to do.
9 But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.
A religious spirit is a stubborn spirit which rejects any truth or any message other than their own. You can spot a stubborn religious spirit by how they speak out against things, especially change. Finally, Paul had enough and left the synagogue and took the believers with them and had church in a lecture hall for the next 2 years and revival broke out among all the people, Jews and Gentiles all over the region.
Prayer Points: Father God search my heart for any spirit that not of The Holy Spirit so my heart can be clean before you and so you can flow in me and through me to touch others in Jesus Name!