In Acts 11, we read an interesting account where a group of prophets came down from Jerusalem to visit the church at Antioch.
One particular prophet by the name of Agabus indicated by the Spirit that a great famine would sweep the whole world (see verse 28).
What I find to be interesting about this story is not that a person accurately prophesied a
On the contrary…
What fascinates me is this: There is no account of the church in Antioch praying against this
Instead, the Christ followers in that region sent whatever means they had to those gathered in Judea in an effort to contribute to the relief of those in need.
I find this story to be so riveting because the response of those in Antioch is not overly reflective of the response of those within the church today.
We have a tendency to react.
We want to flex the muscles of authority through commands and decrees.
We sometimes pride ourselves on what we think the will of the Lord is for a particular situation and what our response should be as a result.
But what if the Lord is wanting us to incline our ear to hear what the Spirit has to say?
What if we should be responding to God relationally rather than reacting circumstantially?
Much like the response to Covid-19, a lot of believers today would have prayed against the famine.
They would have bound scarcity of food and loosed abundance.
In some cases, I do believe that should be our response.
I would agree that there are times when the right course of action is to stand in the gap against something and intercede for change.
However, I also believe that it’s of the utmost importance to ask the Holy Spirit, “How do you want me to respond?”
The truth of the matter is this: There are countless people all over the world — including some of the biggest names in ministry today — that are praying for this pandemic to come to an end with very little success.
Could it be that we aren’t responding to this season in the manner God is wanting us to?
Are we reacting out of what we’ve been taught and trained to do by default, or are we genuinely seeking to understand how the Lord wants us to respond?
I have believed and still believe that the greatest thing we could be praying for is not the end of a pandemic; rather, it’s for another outpouring.
I believe the response of God’s people should be prayer meetings that do not center on
commanding a disease to vanish, but revolve around crying out for Jesus to anoint us with the Holy Spirit and power.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: We have yet to know what the new normal will look like moving forward… but if the new normal is not met with a new demonstration, we’ve missed it.
We didn’t utilize the time wisely.
We didn’t hear what the Spirit was saying to the church.
I believe God is asking us to wait…
I believe God wants to unify His church around this one thing — the pursuit of a greater baptism… the desire for more of the Holy Spirit.
The truth of the matter is this, guys… we can flex our authority all we want… but authority without power is useless.
Could it be that the reason why our commands and prayers against the Coronavirus are rendered ineffective is because we actually lack the power required to extinguish the virus?
Authority is only reinforced through power. It’s power that demonstrates it. Without power, there is no authority. The greater the power, the greater the authority.
It’s the gun on the hip of the policeman that intimidates criminals and reinforces the authority of the badge.
Likewise, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that frightens the devil and validates our authority.
The devil isn’t going to flee simply because you invoke the name of Jesus — just ask the seven sons of Sceva (see Acts 19:14-16). But he will run when the same power that rested on Jesus to destroy his works rests on us.
That’s what puts him on notice…
That’s what we need…
Let our response be this: Let us heed Jesus’ words in Luke 11:13… Let us persistently ask for the One that we need.
Let us ask… let us seek… let us knock for one thing and one thing alone — to have a greater baptism in the One that empowers us to both live and demonstrate the Christian life, the Holy Spirit.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries
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