6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
Israel had returned from bondage. Zerubbabel was leading them in the rebuilding of the temple but things were not going as planned. An angel appeared to him in a vision with a promise that the work would be completed by the Holy Spirit working through Israel.
At times it seems to be impossible for us to successfully walk the path God has called us to travel on. This should not take us by surprise because it is impossible to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit!
I believe that God is saying the same thing to us today as He said to Zerubbabel. It is not by our effort or strength that any of us will accomplish what God has planned for our lives. We must train ourselves to lean on the Holy Spirit for help in every aspect of our lives.
Jesus told us His disciples that His followers should be doing the same works that He did (John 14:12). He did not stop there though but said that they would also be doing “greater” works than He did. Many people have got hung up on the word “greater” but we are not even walking in the “works” that Jesus did so we should start there.
The “works” Jesus did involve healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and opening blind eyes. These are impossible for any of us to do from a natural perspective! They require a total dependency on the Holy Spirit.
We need to examine these things because change will not happen until we accept that something is not right in the Church today. A person will not try to get “healed” if they think that the lack of healing power in manifestation is normal and that unfortunately seems to be the viewpoint of most Christians today.
The vast majority today seem content with our seeker-friendly model of Christianity. We attend service each week and do a few things with little expectation set on us by church leadership. This is a very “easy” non-confrontational model that has filled church seats with “comfortable” Christians void of power in their lives.
Most pastors today avoid talking about “divine healing” and it seems the reason is fear. If their members were to approach them for prayer they would likely ask about the doctor’s report or refer them to a doctor. Any resulting prayers are usually focused on petitions for comfort in the pain or divine assistance being granted to the doctor.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Jesus did not tell His disciples to “pray” for the sick. He did not tell them to pray for the doctor treating the sick person. His instruction was provided as a commandment to “heal the sick”, “cleanse the lepers”, and “raise the dead”. This is much different from praying that God would do these things!
I have heard many messages on church growth over the years. Miracles are happening today but not in the average church. If we were walking in the power of the Holy Spirit we would not need to talk about church growth strategies!
2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
Churches rely on gimmicks to increase attendance. Jesus used miracles like a dinner bell to call people. People followed Him because of the power they saw manifesting in His meetings. He did not need to rely on gimmicks or church growth strategies!
I believe that Jesus was the greatest preacher in Church history. The Gospel account does not tell us though that people were drawn to the meetings because of His oratorial skills. They followed Him because of the miracles that manifested in His meetings.
People have not changed in the time since Jesus was ministering. If they were drawn to the miraculous then, they will be drawn to it today. I believe that churches are struggling with attendance today simply as a result of the lack of miraculous manifestations.
Jesus held meetings in which it was known that people’s needs were being met. He proved that God was not just concerned about our eternity by healing broken bodies and casting out demons.
Today we tell people they need to get their lives straightened out to avoid hell and God is no longer in the healing business. This is not the Gospel message Jesus called His Church to deliver!
The majority of people will agree that they believe there is a heaven and a hell. They are something in our future and so most do not give them much thought because of the hell they are living in at the moment. People need the message that Jesus preached to deal with their daily life struggles and that message included the miraculous!
Jesus told His disciples that they were to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead. Stop and think for a moment what the state of Christianity would be if every believer were obeying this command today.
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
The average pastor today will refer a person complaining of depression to a psychiatrist or counselor. They will not try to deal with the issue personally usually as a result of being afraid the person might sue them. I look at the condition of things and cannot help but wonder how grieved God must be at the state of His Church.
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