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WHERE MIRACLES BEGIN!
Jesus Christ said that you will do greater things. It's time!
By LINDA ANDERSON
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013Linda Anderson
All rights reserved.
What's in a name?
"When the multitudes saw [the miracles], they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men" (Matthew 9:8).
Do you have power that you don't know about? Does the church have authority to bless people that it isn't using?
One of the ways in which God propels us into the reality of His personal involvement in our lives is through unexplainable events. Without a supernatural occurrence which only God could perform, we through us. Miracles are not optional, they are essential to faith!
Like so many others, I was religious in my faith and devotion to God. Special encounters with His presence were occasional. I would some-times be aware of God's presence while attending a great church service or in a conference setting where passionate worship was present. Occasionally I would encounter someone who talked about God in a way that jarred me into a greater desire for Him.
Several years ago I had an astonishing experience while in the hospital that changed my life. My family lived in Oklahoma at the time I was hospitalized for a surgical procedure. Being close to the the center of Oral Roberts' ministry hub and university, it was common to see him on TV. As a renowned faith healer, Oral Roberts was a familiar name in Oklahoma. We knew of him, but as ministers in a conservative denomination, we didn't follow him.
There in the hospital, having just come through major surgery, I was in severe pain in my right arm. I kept telling my husband, Tom, that the pain of the incision was bearable, but that the pain in my arm was not. As I tried to rest, Tom turned on the TV and began to channel surf. Flipping through the channels, he rested for a moment on an Oral Roberts program — just long enough for me to hear the life-changing words, "There is someone with excruciating pain in their right arm listening right now. Be healed, in the name of Jesus!" Instantly ALL pain left my right arm and I was flooded with relief and astonishment. How could this happen with the sound of the words from a man on TV?! Something unexplainable had happened to me and I knew that it had to do with the name of Jesus! As I pondered the instant healing in my arm, I began to wonder what God was trying to tell me. And, I began to wonder if I could also have such authority to help people in my own ministry.
"If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:14).
The pain in my arm was taken away and I was healed through the words of a person who had authority in the name of Jesus. There must surely be something exceedingly powerful about this name!
Throughout the Bible names have great significance to God. What person is called (think about how many times you have been called by your own name) has an impact on his or her life.
One of the women in our church changed her name from "Rebel" to "Charity". When Charity was born, her parents named her "Rebel" (the meaning of rebel is rebellion or against God). Charity tells her story of how being called "Rebel" affected her life and caused her to become what she heard herself called —"rebellious". Later in life she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. As she grew to know God, she heard God speak to her heart about His desire for her to have a new name — "Charity", which means "God's love".
It was a challenging process for Charity to change her name legally as well as to help her family and friends adjust to her new name. But the result has been that Charity is reminded of who God says that she is whenever she is addressed by her new name!
In the Bible, we find accounts of where God changed the names of specific individuals. He changed Abram's name to "Abraham" by adding the "ah" that means breath of God (Genesis 17:5). The Lord did the same with Sarai as He changed her name to Sarah (Genesis 17:15).
When Saul was changed into a new man, he became Paul. God promised secret new names to others (Revelations 2:17), and was specific in what He wanted certain individuals called.
In Luke 1:13 we find the story of an angel being sent to give an unborn child a name. It was so important to God that John be called "John" that the angel, Gabriel, was sent to tell his dad this name.
Adam gave the animals names (Genesis 2:19); some people cried out to God for name-meaning changes (I Chronicles 4:10); the name of Jesus will eventually cause every person to bow down (Philippians 2:10)! The phrase, "the name of the Lord" is mentioned over one hundred times throughout the Bible.
Consider one more — God calls Himself "The Lord of Hosts" throughout Scripture (275 times — NKJV). These "hosts" are countless angels who serve God continually. He has innumerable – without number – servants and friends! (We will see later in this book how the ministry of angels is important to us people.) God identifies Himself, more often than any other title, as the One who has countless angels who serve Him.
Jesus' Name: Unsurpassed In Power, Prestige and Possibilities
Names carry weight and have significance. Consider the effect when an American ambassador to a foreign country speaks in the name of the President of the United States. There is an authority that comes with this position and power that would not be avail-able to an ordinary tourist.
Think about what your response might be to having a police officer knock on your door and say, "Open up in the name of the law!" Most likely you would open the door because resisting could mean your arrest. There is power backing up that police officer!
How much more power is there when you are backed up by the name of Almighty God? Knowing the name that is above all names and being invited (requested by Jesus Himself) to use His name, is unsurpassed in privilege and power!
"At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).
When Jesus invites us to minister in His name He transfers divine authority to us. He gives us His power, prestige and possibilities. In the name of Jesus, anything good can happen!
The name of God is also a tremendous weapon against the powers of darkness. The authority in the name of Jesus Christ can drive demons out of an oppressed person. (Be cautious, though, that you do not use His name for personal gain or without proper respect. In Acts 19 we are told that some men tried to cast out a demon in Jesus' name, only to find that the demonic spirit knew they were phonies and called their bluff. The one demonized man beat up all the imposters and chased them out of the house. No one has the authority of Jesus unless Jesus Christ is truly their Lord!)
Your Authority In Jesus Christ Is Rooted In Your Relationship With Him
If you have asked God to forgive you of your sins, then this wonderful work of redemption has changed your destiny. Your name has been written in God's book in Heaven and you are now a child of God with all the benefits of being in His family.
Your relationship with God is legally based and not feelings based. For example, a newly married person may wake up the day after the wedding ceremony and not "feel married", but these feelings do not change the legal fact of their marriage. In the same way, no matter how you may feel on any given day, the place God has given you in His family is real. So is the power of God in your life. Your authority in God is based upon who you are in Him, through salvation, not on how
Excerpted from WHERE MIRACLES BEGIN! by LINDA ANDERSON. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Anderson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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