30 Jan Release the power of Jesus [book review] – Sally Pemberton
I would love to share with you some of the highlights from a recent book I have been reading: Release the power of Jesus by Bill Johnson.
There is power in the testimony – let’s share it!
I love stories, both telling them and listening to them – I just love the magical quality of seeing people’s faces as they engage, long for more and then with eyes wide open, are waiting for the ending. I knew sharing stories was special, but I had no idea of how powerful they could be. Our stories / testimonies of how God has worked in our lives can not only entertain and educate, but they are also the vehicle by which God releases faith and hope to those in need. It’s incredible to believe that our testimonies can become catalytic, changing an atmosphere in a room and bringing a supernatural release. Further, in Revelation 19:10 it says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. In simple terms, the testimony can proclaim if Jesus did it for me, He can do it for you – because He is no respecter of persons, He dearly loves us all and wants us to live in the fullness of all He has provided.
Bigger than I thought…
Through reading the book, I have become more expectant to look to God, for His daily interventions and opportunities for me to walk in. These are the ‘good works, that God planned in advance for me to do…’ (Ephesians 2:10). My understanding of this verse has expanded too. I had reduced it to mean acts of kindness such as feeding the poor, clothing the poor, praying for and encouraging a friend in need. However Jesus specifically used the term, ‘good works’ to describe the miracles, signs and wonders He performed. (John 14:8-12)
The book also gently reminds that for many of us, we categorise our serving into possible and impossible. Loving our neighbour well would fall into the ‘possible’, while dramatic healing, lives turned around and huge interventions challenge us more – and we can deem these as more ‘impossible’. The truth is that all of Christ’s commands are impossible to fulfil apart from His grace and power. Why love in the flesh, when you can go to God and ask for His extraordinary ways of loving? Looking back over my life, I am grateful for many wonderful testimonies of God’s intervention, with some healings and many examples of guidance and provision. Hereon in, I will be looking to live in a greater awareness of every good work that God sends my way, and step out more in asking to move in signs and wonders.
It’s great to know that sharing our testimonies needn’t be preaching or heavy in every way, but when appropriate shared in our everyday conversation.
Full impact of the testimony
As God graciously steps into our lives, it is easy to be satisfied with the relief of the breakthrough and the answer to prayer, but God wants us to search further and to discover more about Him in the process. Every miracle big or small, has nutrients within it to see reality from God’s perspective, so we can walk continually in faith. Each testimony has the power to change our thinking and behaviour. We are encouraged to ‘keep the testimony’, by making a conscientious decision to ponder over our deepening revelation of who God is and to develop a lifestyle of sharing God’s wonderful stories all the time.
Miracles erase options for the believer
It is encouraging to know that as we experience miracles and study His word, our minds become renewed. Faced with new challenges, we begin to think more like Christ. No longer do I have to think of what I don’t have, I can access the bank of Heavenly promises and remember too how God has stepped in before. I can always call to mind what I have seen God do. As I choose to remember my history with God, it will become a series of monuments and a reference point for the rest of my life.
All our lives have a mixture of wonderful breakthroughs and those areas where we are still waiting and believing. A grateful and wise heart will choose to focus where God has brought a testimony, rather than focusing on and becoming discouraged by what God hasn’t done yet! There are countless other breakthroughs waiting to happen, if we will put our trust in God and step out in obedience in those areas. We need to keep courageous and pressing on, in all the areas where God is moving and partner with Him there, while keeping our hopes and dreams alive.
Keep alive – I am responsible
My daily walk with God and remaining in His presence, rather than just religiously going through the motions is my responsibility. I lead others most effectively by following Him and living completely under His influence. Allowing the right things to impact me, will enable me to impact the world as God intended. As I live under the atmosphere of heaven, believing for miracles, my capacity to bring people into their supernatural potential, significantly increases and so does their desire to seek God.
Keep alert – keep aware
As we regularly recount testimonies to our friends, families, at the start of our meetings, and at every appropriate opportunity – we will become encouraged and more aware of God. It will give us grace to face whatever impossibilities we are experiencing. Focusing my attention on what God has done and is doing, helps me remain or become thankful. Living with a vibrant awareness and belief that God invades the impossible will help deliver me from ‘discouragement, small vision and mediocrity’. Thankfully, as we grasp and run with this thinking we are strengthened in faith, realising it is not all down to me, or dependent on what I can accomplish with my life and ministry gifts.
Give people what they really long for
The greatest responsibility of my life is to know God and make Him known . People long for more than a message filled with truth, they desire encounter at their deepest point of need (1 Cor 2:4). This could be healing, signs and wonders, or a specific word which significantly encourages.
Let our hearts continue to be captivated and focused on bringing our awesome God to all we meet, and may the testimony of God’s power and love continue to change not only our world, but the world.
Love and blessings,