Awakening to the Dunamis Power of God

Dunamis Power of GodI tend to avoid action movies, unless they are humorous. However, as The Hunk frequently accompanies me to romantic comedies without complaint, I do reciprocate occasionally!

Have you noticed that a frequent theme in movies is that of men and women discovering (usually by accident) that they have some kind of supernatural power? They were already endowed with the power, but now they are conscious of having it.

As they become aware of their super-human powers, they are responsible for learning how to use them. The question is—will they use it for good, or for evil? And of course our heroes use it for good, usually to overcome evil villains.

It’s time to become conscious of the power of the Holy Spirit that is available to us

As Spirit-filled Christians, we have been entrusted with the power of God. Unlike our movie heroes, however, the power we have is not our own, but is sourced in the Holy Spirit, Who is with us, in us, and upon us. (Acts 1:8, Acts 10:38)

The problem is—many of us are unaware of this power that is available to us.

We may enjoy the Presence of the Holy Spirit, without experiencing His power moving through us.

Or we may desire to experience His power moving through us, but are not sure how to release it.

It is time for that to change.

The Dunamis Power of God

The Greek word primarily translated power in relation to the works of God’s Kingdom is dunamis. Dunamis comes from the root word dunamai, to be able or possible, and means force, miraculous power, ability, might and strength. [1]

A number of English words have been derived from this word, for example dynamite (a powerful explosive), dynamo (which generates energy power) and dynamic (powerful). [2]

The Context of God’s Power

In the New Testament we see God’s power (dunamis) being released for healing, deliverance and many kinds of miracles and signs. [3] As I muse over God’s dunamis power in this context of Divine ability for miraculous works, some clear relationships come to mind:

The Holy Spirit and Dunamis Power

In receiving the Holy Spirit, we have also received God’s dunamis power.

  • Jesus said, ‘But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
  • Jesus described the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as being ‘clothed with power (dunamis) from on high.’ (Luke 24:49)
  • Jesus Himself is described as being ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit and power (dunamis).’ (Acts 10:38)

The Father’s Purposes and Dunamis Power

In the context of performing healing miracles, Jesus said, ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’ (John 5:19)

God’s dunamis power is released to accomplish the Father’s will. When we have an intimate relationship with God, we learn His plans. We can then release His power through prayer, word or an obedient act, to fulfil Father’s purpose.

Our Authority and Dunamis Power

In receiving authority from Jesus, we have been given stewardship of God’s power.

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matt 10:1) [4]

The Greek word translated authority, exousia, means the right to exercise power. We can only fully understand the authority God has given to us, as we also comprehend the power that we have been entrusted with.

Jesus’ Name and Dunamis Power

The dunamis power of God is released in the Name of Jesus.

In Acts 4, following the miraculous healing of the lame beggar at the temple, High Priest and leaders asked Peter and John, “By what power (dunamis) or what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7)

Peter replied, ‘It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.’ (Acts 4:10b)

The Kingdom and Dunamis Power

We can use words to describe and announce God’s Kingdom. But the evidence of God’s Kingdom is God’s power in action.

  • Jesus said to His disciples, ‘As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matt 10:7-8)
  • Paul described the Kingdom this way: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (dunamis).’ (1 Cor 4:20)
  • And [Jesus] said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power (dunamis). (Mark 9:1)

Awakening to our Stewardship of God’s Power

I believe that the church is in a time of awakening—to who we are and Whose we are. We are becoming increasingly aware of the authority that we carry as royal sons and daughters and of the power that is available to us.

Once fully aware of that power, it follows that we must become conscious of the stewardship and responsibility that we have.

And learn how to release it.

Next week I will share some thoughts about the relationship between prayer and God’s power.


Notes:

[1] Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996.  Ref 1411, dunamis.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] See http://www.learnthat.org/pages/view/roots.html#d

[3] For more blog posts on the topic of signs and wonders, see

5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles

6 Questions to ask about Supernatural Signs

Intimacy, Prayer and Releasing God’s Power

[4] See my notes under the heading ‘Who can perform signs and miracles’ for an explanation of how this applies more widely than the original 12 disciples in the post, ‘Miraculous Signs from God: What can we Expect?’


Can you think of some more Biblical insights related to the dunamis power of God, or do you have a testimony to share? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

6 Questions To Ask About Supernatural Signs

Prophetic signs. Supernatural occurrences. Reports of Heavenly substances appearing. Angelic visitations.

In recent times, there have been increasing reports of unusual signs from God, and many Christians are asking:

  • How can we know that what we are hearing about, or seeing, is a sign that is genuinely from God?
  • How can we guard against being deceived—after all, didn’t Jesus warn against deceiving signs? (Matt 24:24)

These are important concerns. On one hand, we want to embrace the genuine move of God. On the other, we have a Biblical mandate to weigh up supernatural events—to determine whether or not they are truly of God.

6 Questions to Help Weigh up a Supernatural Sign or Event

Like Moses’ burning bush, a supernatural event is an invitation to God’s people, to go on a journey with Him.

I present the following questions, not as a checklist, but as a framework to help us begin that journey—to explore what God is doing from a Biblical perspective.

1. Is my Interest in Signs Sourced in an Intimate Relationship with God?

Jesus performed signs and miracles out of His intimate relationship with the Father: He only did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19)

He also said, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt 7:22-23)

A good question to ask is, ‘Is my personal desire for, participation in, and reporting of supernatural events based out of an intimate relationship with God?’

We need to remember that whilst we are responsible for our own walk with God, it is not possible to draw conclusions about another individual’s (or ministry’s) relationship with Him. [1]

2. What is the Fruit of this Sign or Miracle?

“Watch out for false prophets… every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit… by their fruit you will recognize them.” (See Matt 7:15-20)

Recently I shared about 5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles in the New Testament. [2]

Some good fruit that should be in evidence includes:

  • Honour being brought to God, and Jesus’ Name being glorified by signs done in His Name (John 2:11)
  • Outcomes that reflect the heart of the Gospel—which is restoration and redemption (Acts 10:38)
  • A love and respect for the Bible—God’s Word and a Biblical presentation of the Gospel (Heb 2:1-4)
  • The Father’s love being demonstrated (1 Cor 13:2)

3. How is the Sign being Reported?

What happens if a miraculous sign or ministry is of God, and is bearing good fruit at its source, but the way it is being reported does not reflect Father’s nature or holiness?

People may focus on the miracle in an unhealthy way, or move into ‘sensationalism.’ In this case, what God is doing may be genuine, but maturity is lacking in either the response to the miracle, or the sharing about it.

This can deter others who are seeking evidence that God is genuinely at work. [3]

We need to guard the way we give or receive reports about something God may be doing. And we also need to remember not to judge a supernatural event based on hearsay or another person’s criticism.

4. Are the Signs Drawing People to God?

True signs glorify God and point to Jesus. False signs glorify an individual, and draw people to believe in a person, or group of people. (See Acts 8:9-11)

Deceiving Signs

Jesus said in Matt 24:24, ‘For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.’

The purpose of deceiving signs is that people will put their faith in something other than Christ—this is an anti-Christ spirit and is addressed by John in 1 John 4:1-3.

Concerned about deception? We can use John’s litmus test for deceiving spirits and their signs: ‘Do they acknowledge the truth of the Gospel: Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection in the flesh?’ (1 John 4:1-3, 1 Cor 15:1-8)

5. What is my Motivation in Seeking or Sharing about a Sign?

Jesus made it clear that seeking a sign as proof in order to believe is an ungodly motivation. (Matt 12:39)

The writer to the Hebrews noted, ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ (Heb 11:1)

However, in Acts we read that the early church prayed for God to perform signs and wonders in Jesus’ Name—and God answered them! The motivation in this case was different—it was to give glory to God, and for the spread of the Gospel in the face of persecution.

“Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:30)

So we shouldn’t seek signs as a way of proving Jesus’ existence to others or ourselves. But when our heart’s desire is to see God’s purposes fulfilled and the Gospel spread (see 2 and 4, above) we can anticipate God doing wondrous things.

6. Are People being Saved, Healed and Set Free?

Unusual prophetic signs do have a Biblical precedent, as do signs of the manifested Presence and glory of God.

When God is at work, we should also expect to see the same evidence Jesus gave John the Baptist that a genuine move of God is occurring—healing and deliverance, and salvation in response to the Gospel being preached. (Matt 11:4) [4, 5]

Embrace the Mystery

At the end of the day we will not have answers to all the questions we have about a sign from God, whether we are hearing of it second-hand, or experiencing it ourselves.

At some point, we need to release a supernatural event, along with our questions, into God’s hands—to trust that His desire to bless His Church with good gifts is greater than the enemy’s power to deceive. (see Luke 11:11-13)


Notes:

[1] When we judge another person’s (or group’s) inner motives or heart before God, we move onto dangerous ground. (Matt 7:2) See the article, ‘Set Yourself Free From Judging Others’

[2] These should be taken into consideration.  See 5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles in the New Testament in conjunction with the above article.

[3] See Angelic Encounters and Supernatural Experiences for thoughts about sharing your supernatural experiences.

[4] These questions are not new. For example Irenaeus, one of the Early Church Fathers, wrote about this in his work, ‘Against Heresies.’ An excerpt of his work is here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iii.xxxiii.html (see points 3 and 4 in particular).

[4] I wish to thank Clayton Coombs for his help with this article and the reference to Irenaeus, above.


Related Articles:

5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles

Miraculous Signs from God: What Can We Expect?

Angelic Encounters and Supernatural Experiences


Do you have any further thoughts or questions about signs and supernatural events? What other questions could help us weigh up a sign? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog


5 Purposes For Signs And Miracles

God wants to do more in you and through you than you could ever dream or imagine!

Understanding the New Testament purpose for signs, wonders and miracles will lift your faith and expectation of what God can do through you. It will also help you to have the right motivation for seeking or reporting miraculous signs.

5 New Testament Reasons for Signs and Miracles

1. Signs Reveal Jesus’ Glory

John wrote of Jesus’ miracle at Cana: ‘What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.’ (John 2:11) John went on to shares significant works and miracles that took place throughout Jesus’ ministry.

The Greek word for glory, doxa, refers to Jesus Divinity—His majesty and magnificence. [1]

The writer to the Hebrews noted, ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.’ (Heb 1:3a)

Just as the clouds part to reveal the brightness of the sun, miraculous signs from God reveal the Divine amidst the human.

The revealing of Jesus’ Divinity through signs and wonders did not just apply to His ministry in the Gospels. Jesus’ glory as the Resurrected Christ continues to be revealed as we represent Him and do the ‘greater works’ using His Name. (John 14:12)

Jesus said, ‘…whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’ (John 14:13)

Today, God wants to reveal the glory of His Son in and through us. (John 17:22) And one of the ways He does this is through signs—He is manifesting His glory in His Church. (Is 60:1-3)

2. Signs Show us what the Father is like—and Express His love for People

When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus responded, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:9-11)

The signs that Jesus performs speak of the Father’s mercy and love for people, as well as His dominion and power. They speak of His grace and generosity and His purposes.

Jesus attributed His miraculous works to the Father. In John 5:19 He said, ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’ (also John 10:37-38)

3. Signs Confirm God’s Word

‘So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.’ (Acts 14:3)

Evangelism and signs go hand in hand in the New Testament. God confirms and testifies the Gospel through signs and miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Heb 2:3-4, Mark 16:20) [2]

Signs and miracles point to the cross—to the complete work that Jesus has accomplished to provide salvation, healing and freedom through His death and resurrection.

A blank signpost is useless for its purpose—it is incomplete without a description, stating the destination to which it is pointing. In the same way, signs from God are not to be the focus; they tell us something about God and His Word.

4. Signs are the Manifestation of God’s Kingdom among us

‘He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:2)

Signs are the evidence of the message and establishment of Kingdom of God. Jesus said, ‘…if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.’ (Luke 11:20)

As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we can expect to see signs and miracles taking place as we take our place as royal sons and daughters in God’s Kingdom.

5. Result in People Believing in Jesus

‘Jesus performed many other signs… But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’ (John 20:30-31)

John records many instances in his Gospel of people believing in Jesus after He performed a sign or miracle. (John 2:11, 2:23; 4:39, 4:53)

In Acts, peoples believed after signs and miracles were performed. (Acts 9:42)

According to John, the ultimate purpose both of the signs and the recording of them is to result in people believing in Jesus as Messiah. [3, 4]

The highest value of signs and miracles is when, as a result, people believe and receive Jesus as Saviour and are born again into God’s family.
And this is the greatest miracle of all.


Notes:

[1] Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996.  Ref 1391, doxa, glory

[2] Signs can get attention, they can draw a following and a crowd (John 6:2), but it is the work of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of individuals that brings conversion that leads to true discipleship. (John 16:7-10, Titus 3:5) Many who saw the signs Jesus performed did not believe (John 12:37)

In spite of this limitation, signs were clearly part of God’s plan in Jesus’ ministry and are in the Church today.

[3] It is God’s generous purpose to help people believe in Jesus through the performing of signs—however, Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ demand for signs as a proof in order to believe in Him. (Matt 12:39)

[4] I wish to thank David McCracken Ministries team member Clayton Coombs for insights I have included here.


Related Posts:

Angelic Encounters And Supernatural Experiences

Miraculous Signs From God: What Can We Expect?

6 Questions To Ask About Supernatural Signs

Awakening To The Dunamis Power Of God


Do you have any testimonies or ideas on the topic of the purpose of miracles and signs? Do you have any specific questions you would like answers for as we explore the topic further? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

Miraculous Signs From God: What Can We Expect?

‘Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.’ (Acts 2:22)

Signs: What are they?

The New Testament Greek word for signs is semeion, meaning a ‘sign, mark or token.’ [1]

A God-given sign is an event that has the mark of God upon it. His Divine power and supernatural intervention is the only explanation for what is taking place.

A sign is like a flashing light proclaiming, ‘God is at work here!’

Many Different Signs from God

When you think of ‘signs’, what comes to mind? In the church today, we tend to use the term ‘sign’ to describe an unusual miracle or manifestation.

However in the New Testament the term is used for many different displays of God’s power, including: miracles (John 2:11), resurrection (John 11:43-47), deliverance (Mark 16:17), provision (John 6:12-14), healing (John 6:2), tongues and prophecy. (1 Cor 14:22-25) John in particular consistently refers to the miracles of Jesus as ‘signs.’ In his Gospel, John made a systematic report of signs that included turning water to wine, the feeding of the 5,000, and Lazarus’ resurrection. (John 2:11, 4:54)

‘…and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.’ (John 6:2)

In addition to healing and deliverance, remarkable miracles that Jesus performed included:

  • Turning water into wine (John 2:11)
  • An overflow catch of fish (Luke 5:6)
  • Fish with a coin in its mouth (Matt 17:27)
  • Calming the storm with a word of command (Luke 8:24)
  • Walking on water (John 6:19)
  • Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-8)
  • Multiplication of bread and fish (John 6:1-15)
  • Cursing the fig tree (Matt 21:18-21)

Many of these revealed Jesus’ supremacy over the laws of nature.

Signs also accompanied Jesus’ birth (Matt 2:2, Luke 2:12) and death. (Matt 27:45, 51)

No Limit to the Signs God can do

Signs in scripture are diverse, and many miraculous things God did were not repeated. [2] This tells us that there is no limit to the many ways God will reveal Himself to people.

Jesus said that those who believed in Him would perform more and even greater works after His resurrection. (John 14:12-14)

Who can Perform Signs and Miracles?

Signs, wonders and miracles are a special mark of Apostolic ministry in the New Testament (2 Cor 12:12), but are not confined to the Apostles.

Stephen and Philip, who are deacons-turned-evangelists, do great signs and wonders in Jesus’ Name as they preach the Gospel. (Acts 6:8, 8:6) And prophets such as Agabus bring supernatural insights from God. (Acts 11:28)

However, miraculous ministry is not confined to those in the five-fold ministry office. (Eph 4:11-13)

When Paul lists the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed amongst individual believers (1 Cor 12:7), he includes:

  • Faith (1 Cor 12:9)
  • Healing (1 Cor 12:9)
  • Miraculous powers (1 Cor 12:10)
  • Prophecy (1 Cor 12:10)

Through spiritual gifts, miraculous signs are distributed throughout the body as a part of the regular ministry of the church.

In the New Testament, individual believers, carrying authority as sons and daughters of God also have the ability to pray and see God’s power released in Jesus’ Name (Matt 28:19-20).

Partnering with God

Observing the way that Jesus performed miracles shows us how a supernatural life is sourced in our intimate relationship with God. (John 5:19)

In the miracles of Jesus we see perfect unity between the Father, who ordained them, Jesus who acted in obedience to perform them and the Holy Spirit, whose power produced the miracle.

Peter observed this Divine unity when he stated:

‘…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38)

Signs can be Public or Personal

Many signs and miracles of Jesus were performed in front of crowds.

However, most of the crowd attending the wedding of Cana was unaware that Jesus was the source of a miracle. Only Mary, the servants and Jesus’ disciples were privy to the truth. (John 2:9-10)

Why did Jesus direct Peter to throw out a line and catch a single fish from the Sea of Galilee to provide the coin that would pay for His and Peter’s temple tax? (Matt 17:24-26)

Healing and deliverance impacted individuals and their families.

The coin in the mouth of a single fish may have been a very personal sign from the heart of God, speaking to Peter of His ongoing provision. For in the future, Peter would gain a living, not as a fisherman, but through serving as a leader in the church. (1 Cor 9:4-6)

In upcoming posts I will be considering the questions, ‘What is the purpose of miraculous signs?’ and ‘How can we tell a sign is really from God—and be protected from the ‘deceiving signs’ Jesus talked about?’


Notes:

[1] Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996.  Ref 4592, semeion, sign (also ‘miracle’)

[2] I have focused on the NT in the above study. Signs also have a prominence in the OT, for example signs of covenant, such as the rainbow (Gen 9) and circumcision, the miraculous signs God performed through Moses in Egypt, the miracles of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, and so on.


Related Posts:

6 Questions to ask About Supernatural Signs

Angelic Encounters And Supernatural Experiences

5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles

Awakening To The Dunamis Power Of God


Do you have any testimonies or ideas on the topic of miraculous signs? Do you have any specific questions you would like answers for as we explore the topic further? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

Angelic Encounters And Supernatural Experiences

I was standing at the end of a row during worship, when something white flashed to my right, and a person brushed past me in the aisle. Turning to see who it was, I realised that nobody was there.

Suddenly, my spiritual eyes were opened. In a vision, I saw a group of angels moving to the front and taking position in a line across the front of the church.

Shortly after this, I stood up to preach. My message that night was on ‘Kingdom Investment.’ As I concluded with an impassioned call to ‘live a life that counts for eternity’ an unusual thing happened. While I was still speaking, and with no altar call, a large number of youth and young adults spontaneously rushed to the front to commit their lives to God for His service.

They were standing—in a line—in the very area I had seen the angels take their place.


8 Things I Have Learned About Supernatural Experiences

We live in a time when there is an increasing interest in the supernatural and angelic encounters, both inside and outside of the church.

Today I am considering two questions:

  • ‘How can we know for sure that our supernatural experiences are of God?’
  • ‘Should we share our experiences with others? And if so, what is the best way to communicate what God is doing?’

During more than 35 years as a Christian with prophetic gifts, I have experienced a number of unusual spiritual occurrences. Some of them were of God—and some weren’t.

Here are some of the lessons that I have learned along the way:

1. The Bible is our Guide for the Supernatural

If we are going to live empowered Christian lives, then we can expect supernatural events and signs, including angelic visitation.

For example, in the New Testament we read of visions (Acts 10:9-16); supernatural travel (Acts 8:39-40, 2 Cor 12:2-4); angels appearing for the purpose of guidance (Acts 11:13), strengthening (Luke 22:43, Acts 27:23-24), protection (Matt 2:13) and deliverance (Acts 5:19).

I am learning to stay open to the many means that God uses to communicate with His children—and to use us. I am also realising that my discomfort with my own or another person’s supernatural experience does not mean that it is not of God.

The Bible is our primary guide in understanding and navigating supernatural encounters. (2 Tim 3:16)

2. Keep the Focus on God, not Angels or Experiences

Our focus should always be on God, worshipping Him and fulfilling His purposes. I have learned to be wary of anything that distracts me from this. (Luke 4:8, Rev 19:10)

If Satan can’t hold us back, he will try and push us too far, into extremes. (Col 2:18)

For example, whilst communication from angels is scriptural, seeking contact with them and initiating conversation with them is not. [1]

3. It is Vital to be in a Church Community

In the New Testament, spiritual gifts are to be expressed and nurtured in community. (1 Cor 12-14)

Isolation is not only lonely and unbiblical – it is also a dangerous place to be.

I have also learned that it is possible to be isolated even in the midst of church life. It takes choice, humility and perseverance to be open about angelic encounters and supernatural experiences, and to submit our spiritual gifts to leadership.

4. Be Accountable in Your Gifts and Supernatural Encounters

I learned the hard way that leadership is a vital means of staying on track in my spiritual gifts and supernatural experiences. (Heb 13:17) It is also necessary to staying in a place of humility. (1 Peter 5:5)

As well as encouraging us in what God is doing, a mentor or leader can also help us weigh up and test both the encounter and any revelation we receive through it. (1 Cor 14:29)

I have also learned that guidelines or protocols in church life are not there to control people, but are there for the protection of everyone—and to honour them and my leaders.

5. All Prophetic Insights are Subject to being Weighed up.

Just because revelation is given in a powerful experience or angelic encounter, does not mean that it is above being weighed up. (1 Thess 5:21, Gal 1:8)

We must beware of blindly putting our trust in an experience. Remember ‘Satan masquerades as an angel of light’ (2 Cor 11:14) and can counterfeit the things of God. [2]

In this regard, I have also learned not to solely rely on my gift of discernment—again, this is a spiritual gift designed by God to be lived out in community and under leadership.[3]

6. Use Wisdom When Sharing with Others:

a. Focus on the Fruit

I have learned when sharing about a prophetic experience, to focus on the fruit, not just share about the experience itself. (John 15:8, Luke 6:43-44) What was the outcome that gave glory to God? Was it a change in my life? An answer to prayer? Myself or another brought closer to Jesus? Someone healed?

If we have not seen fruit (an outcome that gives glory to God), perhaps it is not the right time to share.

Remember, a genuine supernatural experience is a signpost, pointing the way to God—the experience itself is not the destination.

b. Take care how you share about your experiences with others.

I have learned to be sensitive to how others will perceive and respond to my supernatural experiences, and to use wisdom accordingly.[4]

There are critics—people who are seeking ways to discredit the things of God. We do not want to give them fuel. On the other hand, there are going to be sensationalists. These people are drawn to the emotional excitement of supernatural things and will make them a focus. (Col 2:18)

It is human to be drawn to the ‘wow’ factor. But in the New Testament, Divine supernatural interventions did not produce ‘WOW’ but ‘AWE.’ (Matt 9:8, Acts 2:43)

This is all the more reason to exercise wisdom in communicating our experiences.

c. There will be times to hold back from public sharing of an experience

Mary kept the supernatural events surrounding Jesus’ birth in her heart and treasured them. (Luke 2:19)

I have discovered that there are times when, after communicating with my leadership about something I have experienced—to simply keep it to myself. (2 Cor 12:1-4)

7. Revelation Received in a Supernatural Experience is not Superior to Other Types of Revelation

The revelation (insight from God) that one believer receives through the gentle nudge of the Spirit is just as powerful as that received through a vision or angelic encounter. (John 16:3)

Both are of God.

Both are subject to being weighed up.

I have learned that supernatural encounters can make me vulnerable to pride.  (2 Cor 12:7) But humility comes through submitting to godly leadership, remaining transparent and staying in community.

8. Be Naturally Supernatural

Something is wrong if people feel uncomfortable around us or perceive us as ‘spooky.’ I have learned that the anointing of God is not dependent upon a physical manifestation or formularised prayer—but on intimacy with God.

God has called us to live out our Christian faith—including our spiritual gifts and ministries—in a natural way.

This is the lifestyle that Jesus expressed, able to speak with and relate to common people—and ordinary people felt comfortable around Him. (Mark 2:15b)


Notes:

[1] From a theological perspective, Wayne Grudem says, ‘Though angels did appear to people at various times in scripture, the people apparently never sought those appearances. Our role is rather to talk to the Lord, who is himself the commander of all angelic forces.’ Grudem W. Systematic Theology 1994 IVP:Nottingham p407

[2] We do not need to fear. We can trust our Father to give us good gifts (spiritual experiences) when we are seeking Him (Matt 7:9-11), however we must also use His wisdom in testing the purpose of a spiritual encounter and whether it is in fact from Him.

[3] People who are in deception do not know that they are in deception. This is why accountability within community is so important.

[4] An example of this is when Joseph enthusiastically but unwisely shared his prophetic dreams with his brothers, who then persecuted him for it. (Gen 37:5)

I would like to thank Steve McCracken and Malcolm Calder for contributions to this article.


Related Posts:

6 Questions to ask About Supernatural Signs

An Open Heaven Is Your Inheritance

5 Purposes for Signs and Miracles


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching