Some Christians have chosen to believe that God no longer works in our lives the way he did in the early church. The New Testament is filled with examples of God's healing power, miracles, and supernatural spiritual gifts. It would appear that God intended for us to learn something about him from all those reports, and maybe expect that the God who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" might continue them.
"That was for then," Dr. Lofty growls over his reading glasses. "We no longer need such displays and anyone who claims to have experienced them is delusional."
Well, put me in that category.
Last night, at a very small gathering of those seeking to deepen our missionary zeal and knowledge, my young friend Jeff hobbled in on his crutches. He had torn his ACL in a soccer game and his heavily bandaged knee was swollen and could hold no weight. He was looking at surgery and weeks on crutches.
Another friend, Warren, intervened. "I think God wants to heal you, brother," he said. Gathering my son Sam, Jeff's girlfriend Linsdsey, and my nephew Tim, Warren laid hands on Jeff and they prayed for God to heal Jeff.
A few moments later, Jeff walked back into the meeting, bandage gone, putting full weight on his bad leg! He was crying as he told us what had happened minutes ago. Having watched Jeff struggle for the past week with his injured leg, I could hardly believe my eyes.
"God heals! I have no pain, zero!" he exclaimed. With radiant face, he carried his crutches out of the building.
We rejoiced together and I watched as the faith of those young leaders-of-tomorrow grew. Each of them has a call of God on their lives and He wanted to demonstrate to them in an intensely personal way his power and love. As he did in the early church, God wanted to seal in their hearts a demonstration of his "very present help in trouble."
I don't know what they face as they follow God, but I do know that no one will ever be able to reason away their solid foundation of faith in a God who listens. No doctoral degree or list of misconstrued scripture will ever strip from them the memory of crippled Jeff walking back into that meeting with no crutches.
The man with an argument is no match for the man with an experience.
Have you experienced the power of God?