John Wimber used to say, “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.” If you aren’t familiar with John Wimber, he was a pioneer in Christianity in the 20th century. He was one of the generals God used to introduce the gifts of the spirit into the modern evangelical church. He believed in and taught “Power Evangelism.” Evangelism is when we share the message of Jesus with an unbeliever. Power Evangelism is when we share the same message accompanied with signs and wonders.
I’ve always been drawn to the concept of “Power Evangelism” even before I heard the term because I saw some pretty dramatic miracles as a child. These miracles validated the message about Jesus I heard and helped place a hunger in me for God. This concept is what the Bible teaches in Mark 16:20:
20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
These signs were healings, miracles, and accurate prophetic words that pointed people to Jesus. I believe “Power Evangelism” was God’s original plan and believe it is still His plan today. Before I go further I do want to say that I’m not against a gospel presentation without signs and wonders. I know many people who have been saved through just the message alone, however I think signs and wonders with the message is a more powerful package. Why? Because of the signs. What do signs do? They point to something. The same way the sign on a road points to the destination you are headed, supernatural signs and wonders point people to a relationship with Jesus.
Think about it, if I try to lead a Muslim to the Lord and only present theological and historical facts about Jesus, they could respond with their theological and historical facts about Muhammed. While I think the facts for Jesus being the Son of God is a more compelling and a stronger argument than the teachings of Islam, at the end of the day without a miraculous verification of what I’m saying, all I have is an argument.
If I’m able to share my faith with the Muslim person and then pray for their hurt shoulder and it gets healed, however, my God has done something their god can’t do. It doesn’t mean they’ll accept Jesus, but it does bring them to a place of decision. It’s easy to ignore an argument, it’s hard to ignore a miracle. The miracle will do something on the inside of them that my preaching alone cannot accomplish.
Sounds easy right? Share our faith and believe for signs and wonders following. Why don’t most spirit filled Christians who believe in miracles do it then? Fear. Sharing the gospel takes a measure of faith. Believing God will back our words with signs and wonders following takes a greater measure faith. It’s risky. I mean what if we pray and the miracle doesn’t happen? What if the person laughs and rejects our message? What if we make ourselves look bad and make God look bad?
Look at this verse written by one of the greatest theologians of all time, the Apostle Paul, out of 1 Corinthians 4:20:
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
God told Paul to write that. He wants us to step out in power! The message of God, which is about His kingdom (His rulership and dominion), comes with power! God wants us to do what feels risky and step out by faith and believe for miracles, signs, and wonders when we share our faith! This demonstrates His existence and power in a greater dimension. It will change atmospheres in rooms and lead to more salvations.
How do we do this? The first thing we need to do is renew our mind to what the word of God says about us. It says we are to lay hands on the sick and they will recover. It says we can hear His voice so we can give accurate words of wisdom, knowledge, and prophecy. After we know what the word says about us and we stir our faith, we need to step out in small things. If you’ve never prayed for a sick person before I probably wouldn’t recommend trying to raise a person from the dead. Start by praying for a Christian friend’s headache or knee pain. Start with small things and prove God in a little and then you’ll have faith to believe Him for more. Lastly, I would encourage us to stay connected with like minded believers who want to take the same risks by stepping out in faith. We need to mutually encourage and inspire one another!
If you want to learn more about stepping out in faith and how to practically operate in the gifts of the spirit, I’d encourage you to attend or watch our Wednesday evening church services that will begin on June 9th at 7:00. I’ll begin doing a series on the gifts of the spirit that will present a strong theological foundation for the gifts and teach you how to flow in the gifts so you can help your friends, family, and co-workers experience the power of God. Our services will be streamed at https://gracelifetriad.online.church/ for those who are reading this and are unable to attend. I would really encourage those who are local to come out if at all possible because we will do some hands on training that will be really beneficial to helping you learn how to function in the power of God!
Remember, faith is spelled R-I-S-K. And don’t worry if you look foolish by stepping out. God will back you!!!
Mark 9:23 “All things are possible to Him who believes.”