Acts 10 verse 38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with The Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
It is certainly true that the body of Christ have not walked in their full inheritance in the last two thousand years ago in proclaiming and demonstrating the full gospel of Jesus Christ in Kingdom power, and yet God has used many to reach people with the love of Christ through doing good, through compassionate and merciful acts of kindness. Recently I heard a friend refer to an unnamed church in America that operates in prophetic and healing evangelism but feels led to leave other churches to feed the hungry, and provide material help for those suffering in poverty in the local community. In other words those other churches will be the “do gooders” but that church will distinguish themselves as being the ones that operate in the supernatural.
I had to ask myself, is that kind of separation biblical?
God has been speaking to me about convergence and fulness coming to the body of Christ where there isn’t an apparent excessive emphasis on one area of who The Lord is as in previous outpourings of The Spirit, and how He desires to minister through His body The Church. One example of healthy fulness is when prominence is given to The Word and The Spirit together. There can then be a move away from meetings becoming too information or experience driven, and the very “zoe” life of God can thereby infuse hearts and minds. Our experiences must never contravene The Word so we should be rooted and grounded so as to avoid opening ourselves up to deception, yet we mustn’t shy away from the new thing that The Lord wants to do in The Spirit because of sterile religious tradition, and a fear of the manifestation of His glory if it is “out of the box.”
When we are ministering to someone, The Word tells us about sacrificial giving and serving to meet a person’s needs, but The Spirit gives us specific strategies in how best to implement that. People need to know about the kindness and goodness of The Lord through our love for them (Romans 2 verse 4) , yet through a tangible encounter with His manifest presence they can get divine revelation to the reality of Jesus that can change them forever.
The Word and The Spirit together release mercy and miracle ministry to work harmoniously in tandem. About two years ago in the early days of going out on the streets wanting to share the gospel through prophetic and healing evangelism, The Lord spoke to me of the importance of compassion. Matthew 14 verse 14 says that “Jesus went out and He saw a great multitude, and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” We need to find out what people need. James 2 verse 19 tells us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” We need to listen to God as we listen to people with compassion rather than preach at them. Some people might be hungry and need a meal, or a cup of coffee and someone to talk to, or a physical healing. We can get information by asking people what they need, but also The Holy Spirit can give us words of knowledge to reveal Jesus to them. I truly believe that mercy ministry can be the breeding ground for the miraculous. You only have to look at people like Roland and Heidi Baker in Mozambique adopting many orphans, yet seeing The Lord work through them in great acts of Kingdom power such as the blind getting their sight and even the dead raised. Moreover, testimonies of miraculous multiplication of food confirm how The Lord desires to do today what He did in His life on Earth, and even greater (John 14 verse 12) through His church.
There is a danger of compartmentalizing mercy and miracle ministry as being wholly separate. In Jesus’ parable of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10 we read that the Samaritan expressed his compassion for the man who had been attacked, left for dead on the side of the road, practically. In verse 34 it states that “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and he set him on his animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” It goes on to say that he gave the man money. Clearly this parable talks about mercy ministry, and yet I believe the reference to the oil and wine ministered to the man goes deeper than natural medicine but can be seen as referring to the healing anointing that Jesus operated in that is available to all born again believers. Mark 6:13 says that the disciples “anointed many sick people with oil and healed them”. The Greek word for anoint is aleipho which literally means to rub, to cover over. He is covering over and filling His body the church with all His attributes, His very DNA for this hour in history so He will be glorified as His Kingdom comes on Earth as it is in Heaven. (see Ephesians 1 22-23 and Ephesians 3 17-19) I believe the day is coming where it will be just as natural for The Church to pray for the sick and see signs wonders and miracles as it is to do good to people through providing for their material needs and befriending them. We need to press in to function in the fullest expression of God’s love that we can. I believe we will see The Lord ignite churches with a fresh passion for souls and compassion for the poor birthed through intimacy with The bridegroom Jesus Christ where mercy ministry and prophetic and healing evangelism will flow together to see a mighty end time harvest of souls. Let’s not miss what The Father is doing, but embrace the exceptional privilege that has been granted to each one of us to be fruitful carriers of His love, His mercy, and His glory.