I wonder how many of us really believe that God can use us in the same way He used Jesus’ disciples and early church members?
In my late twenties, when I was suffering from a severe Bronchial Asthma spasm, my wife was told I would not see forty. From the age of twenty-three, this affliction had taken hold of me and was increasing its grip at a rapid pace. It restricted all physical activity, and my presence was announced by a noisy wheezing.
Then, one evening, as we met with a group of friends to look at the Scriptures and investigate the dimension we sensed was missing in our Christian experience, one of them suggested they pray with me about this affliction. They stood around placing their hands on me, and prayed that Jesus would heal me.
From that day onward, the difference has been amazing. During those years of affliction walking the promenade to the town (two and a half miles each way), going up hills and mountains in the Lake District, playing tennis and riding a bicycle would have been impossible, but now are regular activities for me. The bronchitis has gone, and almost all trace of asthma. The Lord did a marvellous work of healing as a result of those simple prayers.
When Jesus sent the twelve disciples out He gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1). The group who prayed with me all those years ago had been trying to find out why such healings were not being experienced in churches today? I’d asked the question, “What’s happened to the power and authority Jesus invested in those disciples?” I’d read the Gospels and Acts and believed that Jesus’ power is just the same today as it was then, so I’d been asking why it wasn’t the normal experience in every church.
Since than it has been a privilege and a joy to minister to others in Jesus’ name, and watch as He has touched and healed many, whether it’s been in spirit, soul or body. If we are truly His disciples, then isn’t it reasonable to say that the same power and authority is available for all of us to use as in the early Church?
Prayer: Dear Lord God, please forgive me for those times I’ve failed to recognise the gifts and use the authority given by Jesus to His followers to help the sick and suffering. Give me insight and sensitivity to recognise when You’ve placed me in situations to be used for Your glory and the blessing of others, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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