Several Fridays ago, Scot allowed me to post here about several reasons that working supernaturally with and through the Spirit (healings, prophetic insights, etc.) can be a match made in heaven–and on earth–for those interested in joining God’s mission.  We also discussed how the strengths of the missional church movement would also be very helpful to those already working with the Spirit in this way.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when Scot started the series on the book of Acts.  And the posts didn’t disappoint.  But there hasn’t been much discussion. The relative silence in light of such an exciting book got me thinking about the comments to my prior post.  I wondered how many folks read these passages and studies and just feel foreign to the dynamics described there.  Looking back at the comments to my earlier post, there were at least two common refrains:

(i) “Yes!!
I’ve practiced some of this and want to practice it more and want to see it
embodied more in emerging/missional church.  Thanks for raising this issue!”, and

(ii) “I
believe it’s possible and even a good thing in theory, but have little or no
experience with this personally, nor am I likely to have any given my church
tradition, and it makes me nervous.” 

So, in
response to both these loosely described groups and everyone in between, and to
help us all, I have questions for us to think about and discuss.  To those more in the latter camp: 

What are your own biggest concerns, fears,
objections or obstacles to practicing this stuff with the Spirit?  Also, how do you feel when you
encounter or do studies like Scot’s on the material in Acts (or similar
passages in the gospels)?  Do they
encourage you, create longing or interest, or just seem distant and strange
and/or intimidating?

those interested in further reading, Authority to Heal
, by Ken Blue (IVP, 1987) is, still in frequent use at Fuller, and
deals with common hindrances and gives practical advice for getting started in working
with God to heal.]

To those who
have had experience with these things, what
were and what continue to be your common obstacles, etc., to working with the
Spirit in these ways?  What has
been most helpful?  Any surprises
in your experience relative to what you expected?  What are some of the most memorable things you’ve seen God
do?  What are some of the most
memorable things he’s taught you as you participated in these things?

For my part, I
personally have more experience with what I consider to be
“prophetic” experiences–experiences in which I’ve been given inside
information about or for someone else that had great significance to them (at
that moment or later), or been told to do something that had particular
significance to them, and that I had no way to know about on my own.  (Think of the woman at the well or
Nathaniel under the fig tree, or Agabus with Paul.)  At first, my main obstacles for me were merely the avoidance

of the topic and practice by the tradition I grew up in and the fear of the
unknown.  Later, though, and to
this day, my main obstacles are just getting busy and being fearful of how I’m
perceived.  Basically, just different
forms of selfishness are my most common impediments.  That’s my initial encouragement to those curious about doing
these things with God: perfection is neither a prerequisite for nor a
by-product of doing these things. 
They’re just part of our apprenticeship to Jesus, part of our growth in
trust and love for God and others. 
They are not deserved by anyone involved; they are given as part of
God’s love and mission.  They are
embodiments of what and whom we proclaim.


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