Had a great Sunday yesterday. Mike Betts preached on Philip. I think Toby had spoken on him not long ago and many of his points underlined those Toby made about Stephen last week. God is looking for servant hearted people who are full of the Spirit; a tea towel in one hand and doing miracles with the other! He made the helpful point that the qualification for waiting on tables in Acts was being filled with the Spirit. Do we sometime separate jobs into spiritual and practical? The Apostles said that people doing practical tasks needed to be filled with the Spirit. That’s because it’s not just getting the job done that matters, it’s how the job is done, with what attitude and motivation, in whose strength, in what sort of relationships and to whose glory? I want to work harder and make more time to see people filled with the Spirit. Need to think about how.
At the end of his preach Mike asked for people to come up with words of knowledge (hear from God and come up to the front). There were several, people responded, we prayed for them and at least half a dozen testified to being healed in some way. Brilliant! It felt like little baby steps but we are definitely breaking into something. A friend likened it to learning to ride a bike. We managed to stay on for a few wobbly yards without being held.
I am finding I have faith and expectation when I am praying that wasn’t there in the same experiential way before. As Bill Johnson suggests, I keep the praying short, and then ask what God is doing. I used to ask, dreading a negative response, but now I am asking because I can’t wait to hear what God is doing.
At the end we prayed for a baby with a brain tumour, plus a little girl about to go in to hospital for a serious op. Praise God for the healings we are seeing (pains gone, joints freed up etc) but we are looking to God for extraordinary miracles!
We will keep pressing on. Next week I am preaching again for the first time in ages. The next passage in Matthew’s collection of healing miracles is chapter 9:18-31 where Jesus heals a women from years of haemorrhaging and raises a dead girl. So much is in my mind to say. I want to recap the key truths in my last four preaches, talk about living in the gap between our biblical expectation and current experience, as well as pick up on the healing touch of Jesus in this passage. Not sure how I am going to do it and leave lots of room to pray for people.