I see the word MERGER. It’s just like that, in all caps, bold and standing alone. The Spirit says, many churches are wimping out when they need to be ramping up. It’s time for The Church to come together in one accord, fully submitted to the Holy Spirit, listening, flowing. I see stadiums and huge convention centers filling with hungry people who want to hear the true gospel; the good news that Jesus came to save them from sin and death because He radically loves them. I see pastors working together as the disciples did, to bring love and truth to the lives of people, individually and corporately. No one is first, no one is last, they are all working in tandem to accomplish the Kingdom of God on Earth. No personal agendas, no man-made mission statements, no fear, no denominations, sects or rule books; just love. Jesus brought love, abundant life, peace and freedom. He is our king; we follow His example.
Let’s look at the last command of Jesus before He ascended to Heaven. Just preceding the statements in Mark 16:17-18, He tells the disciples in verses 15 and 16, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. The great commission. Keep in mind this is an appearance to the disciples after He died and rose from the grave. He conquered death, the very definition of the Dunamis power of God. It’s that powerful. He delegates this authority to use His power over to the disciples. He promises them in Luke 24:49, that the Holy Spirit would come and endue them with the power. Acts 2:39. That same authority and power and equipping passes down to us. So, how do you know you are getting the full meal deal at church? The answer is right there in Mark 17-18.
17. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; the will speak with new tongues; 18. They will take up serpents (demonic deceivers, not actual snakes); and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18. The power to overcome obstacles, give proof, meet needs and preach the good news.
Ok wait, lots of Jesus loving churches don’t believe in spiritual gifts. Lots believe the use of tongues is a spiritual gift that needs to be interpreted. Let’s clarify. There are two very different giftings of tongues. The special gift of tongues used in a corporate setting is when a person stands up, delivers a message in tongues then sits down. That message, according to 1 Corinthians, must be interpreted to be in line with the Bible and the Spirit. If it’s of God, and usually is, the interpretation follows. Personal tongues is a holy and spiritual language given to any believer who will ask for it. It’s a prayer language, it’s evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. When we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Spirit prays through us. It is extremely useful for prayer in agreement with God and personal edification. The Bible is the will and word of God. If spiritual gifts are criticized and negatively judged, it grieves the giver. Just saying. All you need to do is ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and scripture to back it up.
Are we seeing this in our churches today? Does a typical Sunday service come alive with the glory and manifestations of the Spirit of God? Are there testimonies of His goodness in everyday lives? Is the Holy Spirit revered and allowed to move? Are there healings, miracles, deliverance and prophesies? I believe the vision I’m seeing is God in His goodness, proving Himself to His people in spectacular methods that benefit them in very personal ways. He wants our hearts, our attention and our devotion. He wants to set us free of hurts and sufferings. We are the Church. Let’s merge with one another in unity, giving God the glory and praise. Blessings.