And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NASB)
Unlike today’s American way of doing church, the Apostle Paul’s ministry did not rely on persuasive words of wisdom. Instead, the emphasis of his ministry was on the demonstration of the spirit and of power. America has many great preachers and teachers, and thank God for them because they have helped many people. But where is the power? There has been a severe famine when it comes to demonstrating the spirit and power. So much so that many believers have come to think this is normal. But that was not the way it was for Paul’s ministry. He makes it clear, the demonstrations were the very heart of his ministry.
What is the demonstration of the spirit and of power? Webster’s dictionary defines demonstration as an outward display to provide conclusive evidence. Since spiritual things are hidden from the natural realm, putting them on display for all to see makes a big impact. However, putting them on display requires someone who knows how to get them out of that realm and into this one. Paul knew how to do this.
Paul did not have any special privileges that the rest of us do not have. The spiritual realm has been made accessible to whosoever will come and drink. Like anyone else, Paul did not start his new life as a believer being an expert on these things. He was like the rest of us, he had a lot to learn. Developing in this area requires training and diligence. There is a price to be paid. Those who are hungry enough will do whatever it takes. Those who are not hungry will never get it because they are not willing to make the effort to develop themselves.
The Lord told me one time, “If you want more of the things that belong to me, then you must first give me more of the things that belong to you.”
What does God want from us? He wants our time, our attention, our devotion to him and to his word. He wants our obedience. He wants us to be so hungry for him that we set other things aside. We turn off the television. We spend time seeking his presence and studying his word.
For those who are willing to pay the price, they can learn how to connect with the Spirit of God and with the awesome power of the spiritual realm. They can get to the place where the spiritual realm is more real to them than the natural realm. A spiritually minded person knows how to connect with God, who is a spirit, and with the realm of God, which is the realm of the spirit. Meanwhile, other people all around them can remain completely ignorant about spiritual things.
When the spirit is manifested in the natural realm, naturally minded people can only see the effects of it. They still do not know what it going on. It is like seeing the effects of the wind. We can all see the effects of the wind, but very few know anything about where it came from.
Manifestations of the power of God have almost completely been removed from most American churches. In fact, many church leaders teach that manifestations are no longer available to believers today, even though the scriptures never say that. Others teach these manifestations are still for today, yet they do not allow them to operate in their church services. They already have a busy program they follow and that program does not allow the Holy Spirit to come and do what he wants to do. As a result, there are no manifestations of the spirit or power. This goes on week after week until eventually everyone things this is normal.
Too many of America’s church leaders have sold out to compromise and self preservation. They have refused to humble themselves or admit that their ministry has missed the mark. Instead they have arrogantly twisted the scriptures to justify their own failures and even used their leadership positions to mislead their people. They have made it their aim to keep the people in and God out.
The failures of our leaders do not get any of us off the hook. We are still held accountable by God to believe his word and to obey his commands. Even if our leaders go astray, we must stand with God and with his word. In doing so, we allow God to bring about changes, moving out the old rebellious, arrogant leaders and replacing them with humble new obedient soldiers who are willing to follow orders.
Come Holy Spirit! Invade our churches!
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