In the UK, Christian activities like the church looking after the sick, elderly, poor and needy have been forgotten with the rationale of, “the Government does that!” The New Testament practice of ministers casting out demons, healing the sick, and generally gaining a high profile that impacts society through those activities, has been neglected and, in some circles, verily trashed. Have we lost the heavenly plot?
The theology and mindset that is commonly labelled as “Cessationist” is to my mind ungodly escapism. Thought patterns that hide in academic pigeon holes are so unreasonable that those that hold such views have reduced Christianity to nothing but an intellectual, man-made, academia led sect wherein God is just talked about but never seen nor fully, properly negotiated with. It is important to note that Luther changed the whole world with only half the message. That’s how powerful God’s word is. It is, nevertheless no grounds for preaching half the message for evermore, especially in a generation like ours that has seen the whole.
Some of my friends tell me that my blogs (soon to be books) are my ministry emphasis. I say, “I have many emphases.” However, Paul, had no such partial emphasis. He wrote half of the New Testament and his thoughts and teachings have been pondered over for two millennia. His “emphasis” was a comprehensive “whole” of all that is orthodox in the faith and of the Spirit. In my belief system, Paul is the most complete minister of the Gospel. His emphases are the emphases of God Himself. We must never forget that Paul only taught what Christ taught. He imbibed Christ’s message and then lived and repeated it. Christ’s teaching is the platform Paul stands on. How many of us can find all that Paul taught within the context of Christ’s teachings in the gospels?
Paul moved in the miraculous often. To facilitate moving in the miraculous, bringing prophecy, deliverance, healing, and even raising the dead, it is evident that the Apostle held certain, what I refer to as, “Faith Mindsets” that expedited sustained activity in the power of God. These mindsets, sadly, are normally considered utterly radical in most Christian circles today. The likes of John G Lake, TL Osborn and Maria Woodward-Etter taught orthodox Christianity, but dotting theological “i’s” and crossing theological “t’s” that seem like fiction to many. I suggest that we need to emulate and absorb Paul’s mindsets to have Paul’s impact. I would go further and declare that Paul’s mindsets were obviously mind sets of Christ Himself. If we desire to do what Jesus did, we need to live like Jesus lived. If we wish to live like Jesus we are absolutely required to think like Jesus. There is no way this writer can claim comprehensive insight into Paul’s thoughts in this direction, yet I do believe I am in the grasp of a few crumbs that have fallen from the table that Paul has laid for us in the scriptures. Those tiny crumbs feed me well.
The approach of Jesus to the miraculous is a phenomenon in itself. It obviously was not a shock to Him when he first changed water to wine. It was premeditated, calmly and rationally approached, with instructions of how to bring the miracle into physical manifestation. Only those that were active in the administration of the miracle (the water pourers), and His mother, knew it was a miracle. The general mental posture of Jesus in the supernatural needs to be sought after. From the revealed attitude and mental processes of Christ, it is clear that Paul emulated his Master in many ways, including managing the miraculous.
Faith needs feeding. Faith should build into itself mindsets that feed it into bloom and greater growth. All truth feeds a person’s faith. There are certain truths that reach so deep into the psyche, and cut so profoundly into the status quo of one’s life, that they need to be mentally chewed on and spiritually masticated until it becomes the engrafted word of truth to our souls. These truths are what I refer to as “Mandatory Mindsets for the Sustained Management of the Miraculous.” We are desperately seeking God for truths that will impact ministry, to the point that people will be regularly seeing the power of God to heal and confirm the Word that is preached.