"The apostles performed many signs and wonders.... As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds brought their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed." ... From Acts 5
As a teenager, even though church people told me otherwise, I believed God could still use Christians in the same way as those verses, above. That He could sort-of spill over onto people we met downtown and heal and encourage them.
Do I still believe that? Yes, I do.
I mean, I've spent time with some Christians and slowly inched my way out the door lest I catch their crabby, critical, miracles-don't-happen-anymore spirit. That might sound bad and unloving on my part, but I believe the Bible says it's ok:
"They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power. Stay away from such people." ... 2 Timothy 3:5
But with other Christians I've known? I hate for them to leave, for their gentle, faith-flowing, God-can-still-do-anything spirit energizes me. Makes me long to love God more and release anything which distracts me from obeying Him with my whole heart.
What I would love to carry around? An anointing from God that overflows when I go to the supermarket or anyplace else. You know, an anointing that splashes over so that when I and my shopping cart pass by a hurting person, suddenly she'll feel better. Oddly she'll recall her lost faith, the God who walked beside her until she wandered away. And she'll want God back, so much so, that she'll stop right there beside the pasta boxes and ask for Him. She'll suddenly believe He can be hers again.
But this I know: That kind of anointing requires a passionate love for God. And obeying Him behind closed doors: I cannot nag and snap at Tom around the house (after God convicted me otherwise) and expect to splash around miracles downtown. I must view disobedience as an enemy.
Fear and distraction, also. Oh, there is a necessary, godly rest and play! But then there is distraction which veers me way off course, over to some murky, average, ho-hum place, a place I detest.
Instead, I long for more of God and I want others to want more, as well. So what to do? Keep the flame of love for God burning while daily tossing into it all that would distract me over to some average place I'd rather not be, a place where nobody ever gets set free.
"Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher." ... Hebrews 12:2
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound...” ... from Isaiah 61
Thirty-four years ago today I married the Best Man On The Planet. Wow. Am I blessed or what?!