WHAT HINDERS GOD’S MIRACULOUS POWER
FROM WORKING IN THE CHURCH TODAY ?
This article applies to the church and to professing Christians in these modern times. There are several reasons why Gods power is not present in modern day churches or in the lives of most Christians. One reason is that too many churches and Christians are complacent and satisfied with a static, even superficial, form of religion rather than possessing an ever increasing vibrant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The primary answer to what hinders God from working in our lives today is UNBELIEF! …not having faith, confidence and assurance in Him, in His Word, or in what He has promised. You may wonder, how can this be, since Christianity is a religion based on FAITH; or more accurately, what are you putting your faith IN; is it in what man teaches you or is it in what God says in His Word? You see, even in churches, what is being taught is not always from God’s Word, but from the mind and heart of man.
Here is the problem; UNBELIEF, because lack of faith dishonors and displeases God.
Hebrews 10:38 – Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My
soul has no pleasure in him.
God will not work on behalf of those who claim to worship Him but do not put their trust in Him or believe His Word.
Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Consider what Jesus had to say about believing in God’s promises.
Mark 9:23 – Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
When Jesus was ministering on earth people were so enamored by the power of God working through him as a man that they inquired how they can have such power to work miracles. His answer to them was to believe, have faith in Him, in what He said, taught and promised.
John 6:28-29 – Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
John 14:13-14 – And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 16:23-24 – And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
So we see that the real problem is in what you believe and what or who you put your faith in! This presents another problem in the church and that Christians face today. This problem is MIS-DIRECTED FAITH; putting faith in man and in man’s doctrines rather than in God and His Word. Man has limitations, but God doesn’t. So who we listen to and follow determines what we believe and thus what we experience in our lives.
Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Luke 18:27 – But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Jesus faced the same problem himself with those who refused to accept him as being sent by God to reveal the blessings of the Kingdom of God to mankind. (Please understand that the Kingdom of God refers to what is in God’s domain and under His authority, and those who come to Him and place themselves under His dominion by faith.)
Matthew 13:54-58 (Amplified Bible) – And coming into His own country He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is this not the carpenter’s Son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simion and Judas? And do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this? And they took offense at Him – (that is), they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority and caused to stumble. But Jesus said to them, a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house. And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief – their lack of faith (in the divine mission of Jesus).
Here we see those people who were familiar with him and his family refused to accept that he was from God. Their familiar knowledge of him prevented them from believing he was anything else but the son of Joseph and Mary and their family who they even identified. The problem that hindered even Jesus from doing miracles among them was their UNBELIEF, for whatever reason.
Jesus also experienced a second reason for unbelief which is misdirected faith – faith in man, in man’s authority and man’s doctrines that were being taught by the priests, scribes and Pharisees. This is the same problem we have in the church and among Christians today. Many churches teach and believe that healing, miracles and the sovereign power of God and the working of the Holy Spirit IS NOT for today. This writer spent twenty years in a “so called” Bible believing church that taught this.
The primary purpose of the power of God is to change lives. So churches that deny the power of God operating today lose out on changing many lives. The apostle Paul foretold that just such a condition would exist among churches in the last days, and he said what should be done in such cases.
2 Timothy 3:1 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Then in verses 2 through 4, Paul describes the carnal behavior that would be evident, even among Christians, in the last days. It is quite obvious that Paul is addressing conditions in churches in 5, because where else do you have a “form” of godliness.
2 Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The carnal behavior listed in verses 2 through 4 demonstrates that lives have not been changed; primarily because they deny the life changing and sovereign power of God to affect the needed change that first begins with repentance. Denying the power of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in the church today is man’s doctrine and goes contrary to the Word of God, especially when His Word says that He changes not, and is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Malachi 3:6 – For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In churches today, if a servant of God is called and gifted as a prophet, teacher or evangelist, he will not be allowed to minister in a denominational church, or even in an independent, man controlled church. Why? Because he does not possess man’s CREDENTIALS from that organization; he was not ordained by man, even though he was ordained by the Lord and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
This is exactly why Jesus was rejected by the religious establishment of priests, scribes, Pharisees and theologians of his day.
Luke 20:1-2 – Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of man?
Jesus did not have the credentials or ordination of the religious establishment as addressed with the question, “By what authority and who is it that ordained you to do these things”. Jesus knew they would not accept His answer so he hit them with the same question as it applied to John the baptizer, which question they refused to answer.
If the apostle Paul, or even if Jesus himself, attempted to preach or minister in one of today’s churches, he would not be allowed. Why? Because he did not have man’s denominational or organizational ordination or credentials.
Man uses such credentials to control who can minister in their churches and, as such, regulates what is taught or presented. Thus man limits and hinders God’s ability to work in the lives of Christians and in the church in general. However, those who go to the foreign mission field and minister where such credentials are not an issue, they experience no such hindrance of God’s power. They get to witness the power of God take place to heal and do other miraculous works that bring true awakening of the Kingdom of God among the people.
Many of God’s servants, this writer included, have experienced the awesome and mighty power of God who is willing to reveal His loving grace and mercy to those who will accept the gospel message and His Word brought by those true servants. Why is this? Because the people being ministered to are not checking the servants “credentials”, but are eager to receive a foreign ambassador of the Kingdom of God who has come with a message of love and hope to rescue them from their needy condition. They are receptive, not rejective. Thus they are able to be touched by the power of God as they put faith in the message that brings life and hope.
So the problem in America and most of western civilization is that the supernatural power of God is hindered by man’s effort to control what is taught, preached and practiced within the Institutionalized Religious System, (or the IRS for a short form of identity). However, it is also important to understand that man’s effort to control what is brought forth within the IRS churches has been a means to protect the church from both perceived and real error and abuse that comes from false prophets, teachers and preachers. The problem is that, as the saying goes, “the baby gets thrown out with the wash water”.
Since leadership in the IRS relies on their own limited human knowledge, coupled with an obvious lack of true spiritual discernment, they end up shutting off “other” servants of God that would otherwise bring deeper understanding and revelation of God’s will and His Word by controlling who ministers by imposing their means of credentials and ordination as a condition.
This introduces another problem as well. God’s Word gives specific directions in how to recognize those who are truly His servants, prophets, teachers and ministers. But, then again, the IRS leadership of the various churches does not follow His Word but have elected instead to follow their own presumptive means to certify those they feel are qualified to minister in their churches. Generally, mankind uses the wrong parameters to recognize and accept those who minister.
Matthew 7:15-16 – Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
The end result of using the wrong parameters to qualify servants of God is the acceptance of many false prophets, teachers and preachers.
Matthew 7:21-23 – Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
The IRS has within its ranks a multitude of preachers who do not believe the Word of God and preach man’s doctrines, social issues and any other message that makes people feel good. Such ministers are building on sand rather than on the solid rock of God’s Word. The people who sit under such ministry have no real faith or confidence in Gods loving care and provision for them that is based on the truth of His Word. As a result, when the storms of life come against them, their house cannot stand and falls because their faith is not built on the solid rock of His Word.
Matthew 7:26-27 – But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
In addition, there are those who are outside of the IRS, some because they are too radicle for the IRS and are recognized as false ministers. Yet there are others who are true servants of God, and because they hold so strongly to God and His Word, that they are rejected by the IRS because they cannot comply with the limitations and erroneous doctrines that the IRS leadership would impose on them.
Thus we see a problem within the IRS because of man’s controls that limit the true power of God from operating. At the same time there is a problem outside the IRS with false prophets, teachers and evangelists who actually are servants of Satan under the influence of the spirit of antichrist. Such false ministers claim to have supernatural power and perform signs and wonders, using the spectacular to draw crowds and followers after themselves, as listed in verse 22 above.
Jesus warned that MANY, not a few, would come in His name saying they are “anointed”, (anointed is translated Christ in the Bible, and comes from the Hebrew, messiah), and they would DECEIVE MANY.
Matthew 24:4-5 –And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ (anointed),’ and will deceive many.
How could “many” be deceived? It is simply due to a lack of knowing God and His Word, coupled with a lack of spiritual maturity, discernment and wisdom. Such false ministers are frequently on TV or at city conferences and special meetings trying to draw in crowds to their ministry. Most of these false ministers generate a following by using SENSATIONAISM or seemingly supernatural power which they claim is from God. Yes they use the name of Jesus and even use the Bible, just as Jesus warned in verse 5 above.
Yes, God still heals and uses miraculous power today, at the denial of many IRS churches. The difference is that God does not put on a show, but Satan loves to put on a show and “show off” to deceive people. However, when God moves by His Spirit to heal or do the miraculous, it changes lives, brings repentance, promotes righteousness and convicts of sin or reveals more about His loving care and compassion that draws people to Him.
When false ministers put on a show or demonstration of something supernatural, nothing changes – it’s just a show that promotes the minister to draw a following or gets people to believe the error that he teaches or preaches. Then they get you to give them money; …lots of money! There is no conviction of sin, no repentance or changed lives, no promotion of righteousness. And the power they operate under is not God but Satan, the liar and deceiver.
John 8:44 – You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
As mentioned before, Jesus declared how to recognize His true servants from the false ones as listed in
Matthew 7:16; “by their fruit you shall know (recognize) them”. Please understand that “fruit” does not refer to “their works” as is generally thought. According to John 15 man can produce all kinds of works and God not be in it. There is a fruit we are to look for that can only be produced by the life of Christ flowing in and through them.
John 15:4-5 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
The fruit Jesus said we are to look for is the Fruit of the Spirit that is listed in Galatians.
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
This fruit is actually the character and nature of God that is formed within each believer in Christ in whom the spirit of Christ dwells. The character and nature of God was fully revealed and manifested in Jesus and is imparted by the Spirit of Christ into true believers when they accept Him as Savior and Lord.
Galatians 4:6 – And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!
There is a specific reason that Jesus told us to look for this fruit in His servants. False prophets and ministers will want you to look at “their” works, what they have done, accomplished or the supernatural aspects of “their” ministry; the so-called “gifts”. Satan can counterfeit supernatural “gifts”, signs, wonders and the spectacular. However, Satan cannot counterfeit the Fruit of the Spirit because that fruit is totally contrary to his corrupt character and nature.
This fruit in His servants produces truth by His Word, and those that are led of the Spirit truly represent God’s Kingdom and are witnesses and messengers of the good news that all mankind needs to hear.
There is another factor that hinders God’s power from working in a person’s life; a hidden secret sin. A person, even a minister, who is harboring a hidden secret sin that has not been repented of allows the enemy to have a foothold in his life. God will not allow His power to operate in a life that is so compromised because that person is not a reliable witness for Him but is vulnerable to the ploys of the enemy. This is not about human failure or weakness when we fall into sin and confess it and repent. This is about a sin that the person hangs onto because he/she likes to do whatever activity it is that is the sin. Such a wavering, double-minded person is living between sin and righteousness and is not walking in proper fellowship with the Lord.
James 1:6-8 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minided man is unstable in all his ways.
Don’t allow Satan’s ploys, man’s controls and limitations, or unbelief deny you of God’s miraculous power and healing to bring His loving care into your life. Do not allow yourself to be deceived, either by man’s limitations and denial of God’s power, or by the deception of the enemy by false ministers. To be able to allow God’s power to work in your life you must know Him through His Son’s life given for you on the cross, then be a follower of Christ as a disciple under him, (not under man), and you must know His Word - the TRUTH.
John 8:30-32 – As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The power of God is in Christ and in His Word, by His Spirit, and both can be in you as you believe in Him. Then allow Him to be in you to be a light to the world which will truly honor Him as you walk in faith and being faithful to Him. SELAH, think on that!