Often, when we want to experience something extraordinary, we are called to take an action step of belief. We will likely be called on to stretch for miracles with faith.
There’s a way that things work.
What about my physical well-being? If I want to experience the best in my body, I’ll get quality information. I’ll be sure to give my body the right fuel, smart exercise, and optimal rest.
Relationships. Personal finance. Career and business. With everything, there’s a way that things work.
It’s true in the natural. And in the supernatural.
To be Jesus Smart, I’ll diligently explore the Gospels in the New Testament and realize there’s a way that things work when I want to experience something extraordinary.
See the Prayer, Affirmation, and Activation at the end of this article.
“Stretch out your hand!”
Often, when we want to experience something extraordinary, we are called to take an action step in faith.
A man with a withered hand was in a Jewish synagogue. See Mark 3:1-6. When Jesus entered, he noticed the man and said, ‘Get up and come forward.'”
Then Jesus said something extraordinary: “Stretch out your hand.”
You would think his hand would first need to be restored … and then he could stretch it out. Right? But Jesus challenged the man to stretch out his withered hand in faith. As he did, the restoration manifested. See the partnership? Jesus would not let him be passive.
He asked the man to engage the restoration process with faith-generated action … to do something he’d never done. Something he didn’t think he could do.
Even as we contend in faith and obedience for miracles, let’s remember that God is most concerned about the development of our character. I believe that Christlikeness is first about our character … the nature of Jesus within. And second, Christlikeness is living out the capacities of Jesus in our world such as miracles, healings, deliverance, and raising the dead.
It’s always been a partnership between the Creator and us
Go back to the Garden of Eden—it’s always been a partnership between heaven and earth. Between God and man.
God is sovereign over all things. Yet man is designed to activate dominion under God’s sovereignty. In many instances, sovereignty flows through the dominion we activate.
We can’t be passive. We must be active. Even proactive.
Jesus Christ embodies truth and reality. He is orthodoxy (right belief). He’s also orthopraxy (right practice). As you carefully read the New Testament Gospels, look for Jesus’ modus operandi … the method of Jesus, the way that things work.
And then resolve this: you will responsibly harmonize with Jesus.
contend for every inch
The devil is not put to flight by a courteous request. He meets us at every turn, contends for every inch, and our progress has to be registered in heart’s blood and tears. — Charles E. Cowman
You may have to tear the roof off!
Four friends tore through a roof of a crowded house and lowered a paralytic man before Jesus. We can even partner with Jesus on behalf of others. See Mark 2:1-12.
The house was overflowing with people. They couldn't get in. But they would not be blocked.
Do you see the violence of faith? The passionate pursuit?
Jesus says, “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” Jesus didn’t heal the man and then say, “Rise.”
Somehow, it seems there was a simultaneous faith-movement in the paralyzed man and a correlating activity of Jesus. It’s like a dance between the world of Jesus and our world of challenge. As he obeyed and moved in faith, the restoration manifested. Partnership.
Some people in today's Church World are uncomfortable with this. They resist it. But that's what a passionate, desperate faith can do.
Pressing through a crowd
“If I just touch his garment, I’ll become well.” This is what she was saying to herself. So she pressed her way through the crowd and connected with Jesus.
Jesus sensed healing power flowing from his person. “Who touched My garment?” Do you see the dance between this woman and Jesus? See her initiative? In her desperation, she stretched and reached for her miracle. Jesus responded.
He couldn’t help it.
prayer that attains
Effective prayer is prayer that attains what it seeks. It is prayer that moves God, effecting its end. — Charles G. Finney
“What’s your wish?”
Jesus asked him, “Do you wish to get well?” Seems like an unnecessary question. But it’s not …
Is there something that’s paralyzed in your life? Jesus didn’t ask, “Do you need to be healed?” But “Do you want to be healed?” He knew that a long-term struggle can wear down our will and unleash hopelessness upon us.
Then Jesus said, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”
And he did just that. Jesus made a demand on the human will and the paralyzed man responded. Again, a simultaneous faith-movement with the corresponding activity of Jesus.
It’s the dance of the extraordinary.
Immerse yourself in the red and black of the Gospels
In a red-letter edition of the New Testament, the words of Jesus in the Gospels are in red. The activity of Jesus is in black.
Read and re-read the teaching and activity of Jesus. What did Jesus say (the red)? How did he operate (the black)? What did he call people to do as they met him in the zone of the extraordinary?
The gift of the Gospels in the New Testament is that we see perfect theology and practices in Jesus. He perfectly communicates the heart of the Father to us (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 1:18). And … “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”(Hebrews 13:8).
There are some instances where Jesus performed an extraordinary miracle without asking for an action step of obedience. Like the healing of the deaf and mute man in Mark 8. But in many cases, Jesus expected corresponding activity of faith. I’m suggesting that our default approach should be to listen to what Jesus may say as we desire the extraordinary. Take that action step of obedience and move with him on the dance floor of the extraordinary.
Stretch for your miracle … Prayer, Affirmation, and Activation
Are you facing a big need? What opportunities are before you? The promise is that the world of Jesus can come into your world. Learn the modus operandi of Jesus: from the Garden of Eden … to Jesus’ time on earth … to our experience now!
Heavenly Father, I praise you for perfectly revealing yourself in your Son, Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, illuminate my understanding. Reveal Jesus to me more and more through the Word. Father, I ask for a working knowledge of the Kingdom. Thank you that I can partner with you in the extraordinary. Amen.
I receive an increasing revelation of Jesus Christ, and the Father in Christ. My quest is Christ … and the Kingdom of Christ. I live and move in the sayings and activities of Jesus. I partner with Christ in the extraordinary.
- Read and re-read the New Testament Gospels. Capture insights from the sayings and activities of Christ in a journal. Keep reviewing them.
- Create a prayer list of several challenges/opportunities. Invest some time in listening prayer. Note any action steps you feel Jesus is asking you to take.
- Set aside 15-minute blocks of prayer time for each challenge/opportunity. Cycle through your concerns in prayer until you begin to see some change. Begin thank the Father. See Prayer Is Limitless!