A demonstration of the Spirit's power

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

Since the beginning of 2022, we have been focusing on prayer and revival at NewLife. Revival, simply put, is an increase in the presence and power of God in the church and in the community. Listen to how J.D. Greear explained it in his book Jesus Continued: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You:

“In an awakening, the Spirit of God does not typically do a ‘new’ thing; he simply pours greater power upon the ‘normal’ things faithful Christians are already doing. Prayers become more intense; worship becomes more joyous; repentance becomes more sorrowful; and the preached Word yields greater effect. The Spirit of God multiplies the effectiveness of our ‘normal’ work of seed-planting, bringing a bountiful harvest. And he does more in a moment than we can accomplish in a lifetime.”


Amen! Do we truly believe this? Do we believe that the answers are not found in the latest ministry fad, in singing more modern worship songs, or in dressing more like hipster Christians? Do we truly believe that the answers we are looking for is found in devoting ourselves to deeper prayer and to walking in holiness?

Consider the case of D.L. Moody. In the summer of 1871, two women of Moody's congregation felt an unusual burden to pray for Moody, “that the Lord would give him the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire.” Moody would see them praying in the front row of his church and he was irritated. But soon he gave in, and in September began to pray with them every Friday afternoon, as he felt like his ministry was becoming a sounding brass with little power. On November 24th, 1871, Moody's church building was destroyed in the great Chicago fire. He went to New York to seek financial help. Day and night he would walk the streets, desperate for the touch of God's power in his life. Then suddenly, in his own words:

“One day, in the city of New York—oh, what a day!—I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name . . . I can only say that God revealed himself to me, and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world—it would be small dust in the balance.” (W. R. Moody, The Life of D. L. Moody, New York: 1900, p. 149)

Do you truly believe in the power of prayer? Do you believe that God can do more in a moment than we can accomplish in a lifetime? If so, then let us prioritize our days and weeks to reflect this belief! And if we don’t believe it, then let us put the promise of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8 to the test: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Let it be so in our lives and in our church! Amen.

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