The supernatural realm is real.
It is God’s place of power and promise for all believers.
But it is not enough to just sample God’s provisions for his children. He wants us to develop a lifestyle of walking in the supernatural Kingdom of God.
We all start from a place of ignorance. Quite often, we just don’t know what we don’t know. But when we master the basic spiritual concepts, we build a foundation and gain confidence to move forward.
As we prepare to engage in ministry, let’s examine five distinct steps which lead us into a pathway of perpetual power. Each successive step moves us towards a lifestyle of supernatural service.
5 Steps to Perpetual Power
1. Knowledge. This is the first step. We begin by recognizing that we are somewhat ignorant! It’s not that God’s ways are complex; they are simple. But sometimes we need instruction because the kingdom of heaven functions differently than the world in which we live.
In the natural realm, we know that if an apple drops from the tree and hits the ground, it illustrates the Law of Gravity. But do we recognize that although they are unseen, God has created spiritual forces and they are also at work?
Many of us have not grown up in a Christian culture where the power of God is normal; it is not second nature to us. Discovering true spiritual knowledge reveals possibilities that were foreign to us. Sparks begin to fly!
If this is new to you, don’t be discouraged. Even the first disciples needed training. They lived alongside Jesus for a period of over three years. During their training, they grew to understand the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why” of service to their Lord. Not only did Jesus teach them, but he allowed them to gain hands-on experience along the way. They observed. They ministered. They grew. Knowledge laid the foundation for their future actions in ministry. They understood who they were in relationship to Christ.
For several years, I trained traveling teams for a collegiate Christian ministry. Each weekend, these teams traveled across the Southeast preaching, leading worship, and inviting their audience to respond to the message. The ministry team would then pray for those specific needs. After one training seminar, I had the opportunity to observe the group at a local youth outreach. The ministry was amazing! The students didn’t hesitate to boldly pray with power and authority. Many were saved, immersed in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and received healing. The training had catapulted these young men and women into a new dimension of ministry where they were confident of their ability and position in Christ.
In addition to the nuts and bolts of practical knowledge, we must also “know” our Lord. We must become familiar with his nature and his word which dictates his will. We may need to ask ourselves the familiar question, “What would Jesus do?” How can we answer, if we aren’t familiar with the compassionate nature of our Lord? As we grow in understanding and the knowledge of him, we will gain insight into his ways.
2. Confidence. The second step is confidence. The practical and spiritual knowledge we gain gives us the courage to step out of the proverbial boat.
Remember Peter’s experience walking on the water? He had seen the miracles of Jesus and was confident of Christ’s power to uphold him on the waves. Yes, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink, but he was the one disciple who ventured out of the boat and actually did defy natural law. Peter actually walked on the water!
As we develop confidence in who we are and what God has invited us to do, we are no longer wondering whether we should or even could offer spiritual assistance. We become assured of what we know, and now have the certainty to proceed forward. Our faith is energized and that confidence produces action.
3. Action. With a foundation of knowledge and confidence, we become Christians in motion, active for the Kingdom of God. We are able to pray with others whenever and wherever the Holy Spirit prompts us. Ministry isn’t always confined to a church setting. In fact, God is on the move within our community, workplace, school, and neighborhood.
One day in Border’s bookstore, I was simply sipping coffee and flipping through a magazine to pass the time. A young lady sitting to my left began to share about an upcoming operation, and I could tell she was distressed. I used the opportunity to pray with her and asked for God’s peace to surround the situation. The effect was immediate. He was faithful to answer my prayer and respond to her need. I left Border’s encouraged by the fact that God had used me. She walked away knowing there is a God who loves and cares for her every need. It was a divine appointment.
As we become more in tune with our Heavenly Father and his will, our actions become consistent and reliable. We move from the active phase into the fourth step. Consistent actions produce positive habits.
4. Habits. This fourth step is a result of faithfully responding to God over a period of time. It generally takes about six weeks of consistent behavior for any new physical action to become a habit. Spiritual habits are developed in a similar fashion. With commitment and practice, our ministry habits will last a lifetime and touch the lives of countless hurting people.
Consider how a sprinter trains.The runner exercises and develops his muscles, practices his starting stance, and perfects his running strategy for the upcoming race. When the starting gun sounds, he doesn’t hesitate or fumble off the blocks, but moves smoothly into the actions he has trained his body to perform. It has become second nature to him.
As representatives of God, our actions should become second nature as well. Of course, there will be challenges, missed opportunities, or seeming “failures” as part of the learning process, but it is habits…good habits performed over a lifetime…that birth the final step. We all desire to be successful!
5. Success. Jesus has sent us into this world to make disciples, pray for the sick, and deliver the oppressed. Success in the eyes of God embodies these characteristics. At the end of our lives, we all want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Ministry is no longer limited to the church and the altar. God is at work in neighborhoods, job sites, schools, and anywhere the Holy Spirit finds a need. Many of my future posts in this series will equip, guide, and assure you that you have a place in God’s plan. Follow the pathway to perpetual power. God wants to use YOU!
Look for the release of my upcoming book, Empower, which is a training manual for active ministry.