All around we see the thief at work: Income and prosperity are being stolen from individuals, families and businesses, the thriving economies of our cities and nations destroyed, the health and lives of our loved ones compromised or taken, anxiety and fear robbing people worldwide of their peace and joy, accusations, attacks, reactions and violence destroying the well-being and safety of our communities, and the list goes on.
The thievery has escalated to a worldwide pandemic, generating greater levels and dimensions of fear and stress. This is precisely why Jesus came and when He is needed to bring what only He can bring. He's here right now, not in some faraway heavenly galaxy.
Jesus tells us He put His Holy Spirit inside us; we are His temple and the Spirit of God lives in us. In the Gospel of John, Chapter 17, Jesus prayed to Father God, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them [that's us], that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me" (John 17:22-23, ESV).
In Ephesians we are told that God wants us to know Him, and "the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. ... He put all things in subjection under [Christ's] feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Eph. 1:19-23, NASB). He's here right now alive in us, and He still has all authority in heaven and on earth!
We as His church are the ambassadors of His kingdom here on this planet, and we are endowed with supernatural power and authority to bring the reign of the King into every circumstance and situation here on earth. He came to destroy the works of the enemy, and He wants to do it through us. Remember, we are not in a battle against people but spiritual forces of thievery, death and destruction.
Yes, there is opposition! Yet everywhere, the church is beginning to arise and shine in her new creation identity to take back what the thief has stolen and to resist any more thievery. We are seeing numerous people healed of COVID-19 symptoms, deep breathing restored, pain and headaches leave, fevers go down and many now testing negative for this virus.
Most of these are through online prayers on a variety of platforms. We're also seeing cancer healed, people waking up out of comas on a Zoom screen, blind eyes open, hearing restored. We are seeing small businesses come up with genius new strategies, and they are now thriving. And the most common result we hear from all our prayers, ministry and preaching, online and in person, is that people feel anxiety and hopelessness lift. They feel hope and peace flood in until everything is fresh and different, full of hope, love, joy and a brand-new peace that goes beyond understanding.
This is not the time for the church to shrink back and retreat in fear. This is a glorious time in which we are seeing the gospel being proclaimed by thousands of fresh, new, zealous preachers over the internet and on the streets. The church is moving outdoors and worshipping in the midst of creation, where many are hearing the gospel and turning to Jesus and being baptized.
This is the time for people of faith to rise up, believing that everything God says is true, to be those who have received "abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness" and to overflow with them into the hurting world around us. Everyone gets to play! And we have choices. Will we empower and champion our people who are reaching out to a hurting world, or will we criticize their lack of experience, schooling, style or appearance? Choices. Let's not partner with the accuser of the brethren, just as we don't want to partner with the thief. We're declaring a different kingdom!
This is the time for the church to arise and shine. Everyone in whom the Spirit of the living God dwells is anointed for activation. Each one of us is equipped with our own life message and our own gifts and calling.
Let's run into Him who is our life and find those ways we can each impact the world with hope and love, truth and freedom. We step out in faith, believing in His faithfulness, and He does the miraculous.
We can preach the gospel a million ways: We can pray and intercede, serve, give finances, feed, evangelize, love, speak things that build up and don't tear down, heal, forgive and do a thousand things that usher in His kingdom. He has a plan for you. Ask Him.
Chuck Parry is the director of Bethel Church's Healing Rooms and author of the new book, Alignment: Live a Life of Miracles. When he's not at home in Redding, California, he travels all over the country and world teaching thousands of people about God's miraculous work in and through us.
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