When Jesus Draws Near

Making God Known

Making Jesus known to a world crying out for Him means allowing Him to be known and seen through each of us. Releasing Jesus’ presence, and thus the kingdom of God itself, is done through at least five activities:

Laying on of hands. This is a biblical mandate and one of the basic doctrines of Christ (see Heb. 6:1-2). Because the kingdom is within us, it is released through the touch of faith. It is an intentional act for healing, blessing or impartation (see Mark 16:18; 1 Tim. 4:14). It is the principle of touch and release.

Proximity to anointing. This principle worked through the apostle Peter when the sick were healed by being placed in a location where his shadow would fall on them as he walked by. Jesus’ garment fits into this category as well. He didn’t purposefully lay His hands on the woman with the issue of blood, for example, or the multitudes (see Mark 6:56), yet they were healed. Even His clothing became saturated with God’s miracle power. Physical location as it pertains to the anointing is crucial in releasing the kingdom.

Acts of faith. These release the kingdom, as faith requires an activity. This is one of the easiest principles to prove in Scripture. Jesus was often brought into an impossibility because of someone else’s faith. Matthew 8:10 records that Jesus was stunned by the incredible level of faith in a high-ranking Roman soldier who was not a Jew. His faith caught Jesus completely off guard. I love the idea of having faith that grabs God’s attention, drawing Him into a situation.

Prophetic acts. These are unusual because the action is not related to the desired outcome, as it is with an act of faith. For example, Elisha heard the cries of the sons of the prophets when they lost a borrowed axe head (see 2 Kings 6). It fell into the water. Elisha had them throw a stick into the water, and the axe head floated to the surface. It was an act of obedience—there was no logical connection between the act and the recovery of the axe head, yet without it there would have been no recovery. Physical obedience brings spiritual release.

The declaration. Nothing happens in the kingdom without a declaration. When we say what the Father is saying, all of heaven is brought into the equation. When that declaration is a “testimony,” we capture the momentum of the history of God’s dealings with mankind. Then a creative prophetic power is released to establish the revelation of God on the earth. It is imperative that we “declare His works.” We are to burn with the conviction that we carry the revelation of God’s nature and presence for all people to see.

Psalm 78 contains some of the most startling promises and warnings in the Bible about why the record of God’s activities among men is not to be hidden or forgotten.

Israel, by not keeping the testimony of what God had done for them, ended up in the ultimate sin of unbelief. “In spite of [what He had done for them], they still sinned, and did not believe in His wondrous works” (Ps. 78:32).

Many of us can remember stories of God’s interventions, if asked. But few of us keep them at the forefront of our thinking and conversation.

Yet when we hold what is valuable to God in our hearts, we are prepared to believe when Jesus steps onto the scene. The testimony plays that role.

History Is Speaking

On July 17, 1859, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon spoke a prophetic message titled, “The Story of God’s Mighty Acts,” to the church of his day. In it, he declared a prophetic truth that had the power to shape the church culture until there was a full restoration of all that had been lost of God’s historic interventions among humanity. Here is his prophetic cry:

“When people hear about what God used to do, one of the things they say is: ‘Oh, that was a very long while ago.’

“Has God changed? Is he not an immutable God—the same yesterday, today and forever? Does not that furnish an argument to prove that what God has done at one time He can do at another?

“I think I may push it a little further and say: What He has done once is a prophecy of what He intends to do again. Whatever God has done is to be looked upon as a precedent.

“[Let us] with earnestness seek that God would restore to us the faith of the men of old, that we may richly enjoy His grace as in the days of old.”

History tells us the church then did little with this truth, except perhaps to applaud another great sermon. We in our generation are being presented with a similar opportunity.

It is obvious that amazing things happen when the power of Christ shows up. Will you be available to become His vessel for miracles? Let’s not miss our own opportunity to see a full restoration of God’s works among humanity until Jesus is accurately re-presented and His glory fills the earth.


Bill Johnson is senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and an author of books about Christian living, including Release the Power of Jesus (Destiny Image), from which this article is adapted.


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