Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12
I have heard many interpretations of the greater works Jesus said His disciples would do. The definitions vary because we are not seeing these greater works in manifestation on the level the Church should be walking on. A study of Church history reveals that only a minority of Christians have paid the price necessary to walk in them. God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). He does not play favorites. Accounts of the great men and women of God like Smith Wigglesworth or Kathryn Kuhlman and merely accounts of normal people who chose to pay the price to pursue God with their entire being. Smith Wigglesworth was an English plumber who paid the price and then traveled the world ministry in the miraculous power of God. I spent some time studying his ministry in the past. The Holy Spirit spoke to me during this time. He said that if I were willing to pay the same price that Smith Wigglesworth paid, I could walk in the same level of anointing. The cost he paid was high and I’ve not even come close to it. God has a unique plan for each of our lives. This plan includes the greater works that Jesus spoke of. Some will pay the price to walk in them and some will not. Which one of these will we be?
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Mark 16:14-20
Jesus told His disciples that “these signs shall follow them that believe”. The only qualifier He provided was believing. A belief is built through spending time with someone. We build our belief in God through careful and considerate study of His Word. This is what we mean when we talk about meditating in the Word. It should not be so difficult to tell the difference between a Christian and an unbeliever. If you have received Jesus and made Him your Lord, the Bible says you have been made alive spiritually. A Christian is a new creation in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the newborn spirit. Unbelievers are spiritually dead. This means that they are separated from God and do not have His Spirit dwelling in their spirit. It we are not seeing the signs that Jesus said would follow believers, and His only qualification was believing, then it stands to reason we do not believe. Ministers will argue that the time for miracles has passed but there is no Biblical foundation for this. Many churches seem to be attempting to be making excuses for their lack of power. Unbelief is a curable condition. The cure begins with our acceptance of its presence. Paul told us that we must have our mind renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2). We have been talking about the price that must be paid to immerse ourselves in the Word. The miraculous is missing today for the most part because so few have been willing to pay this price. We are surrounded on all sides by darkness. Movies, television, and the daily news are filled with death and destruction. Believers feed on these without giving thought to the damage they are causing to their spirits.
Smith Wigglesworth paid a huge price for the anointing. He lived a separated life. Lester Sumrall used to tell the story of his first visit to Smith’s home which illustrates the evangelist’s commitment to the things of God. It was customary in that time for men to carry a newspaper under their arm. Lester had one when he arrived and knocked. Smith open the door and very roughly demanded to know what Lester had under his arm! Lester answered, “I have an umbrella under this one and the morning paper under my other arm.” He was surprised when Smith shouted, “Throw it away! You can’t come in here with it. I don’t permit those lies into my house!” Smith Wigglesworth was a man mightily used by the Lord. He lived a life that was completely surrendered to God. Smith had such a reverence for the things of God that he would not even allow a newspaper to enter into his home. People often say that they have to look at the news to keep up with what is going on in the world. They argue that this will make them a more effective intercessor. Is this really true? Can the Holy Spirit lead us more effectively in prayer if we are keeping up with the headlines? Does He know what is happening in the world and how to focus our intercession without natural aids? I have been just as guilty as the next person in these areas. It is time for us to the the things of God more seriously. There is no spiritual value to our feeding on the death and destruction surrounding us. Television, movies, sports, and news accounts are among the many tools used by Satan to mold us into the image of the world’s system. Smith Wigglesworth paid the price for his anointing. Are we willing to do the same for ours? We can sit around reminiscing about the great meetings of times past or we can pay the price to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. The world is falling apart around us and we are the ones God has chosen to be the light in our generation.
Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! James 3:3-9
It is possible to “bridle” our entire being with our tongue. The writer of Proverbs tells us that “death and life are in the power” of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21). There are going to be struggles and things to overcome for us to walk in the miraculous. We have authority over our bodies. It is our responsibility to present our bodies as living sacrifices. This will require us to in turn submit to the Word of God. James tells us that we will be able to resist the devil only if we first submit to God (James 4:7). Our submission to God begins with our submission to His Word. This is the reason why so many Christians seem to be lacking the power to resist the devil. They are not submitted to the Word. We will not submit to the leadings of the Holy Spirit if we do not submit ourselves to God’s written Word. Many will tell you that Jesus is Lord, but their lives tell a different story. Jesus went to the cross and shed His blood to give us entrance to a victorious life. The choice to enter in is ours. God will never force any of His blessings on us.
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